FAMILIES OF KODIAK

Bitanga Productions photographed families in front of their porches and outdoors to document families being together through the tough times.

FAMILIES OF ITHACA

Bitanga Productions photographed families in front of their porches and outdoors to document families being together through the tough times.

Kevin Palis & Family

Why do I work, why do I do all of these things? Morning to evening working, but for what? The general answer for that is for my family, but for me it’s for my little one. I am finding out things that my son is good at and we are getting to know each other more because we are together more. He is 6 years old and it is nice to see his interest in painting and chess. I am also hoping to catch up with my photography editing. On top of these things, I am thankful to be with my son and to still be working.

 

We keep in touch with his cousins even though we are stuck at home. We try and have video calls daily to make my son still be connected with the world. I am very thankful for having my son here because for the first few years that I was here in Ithaca, I was alone. If it were the case that he was still in the Philippines, I would probably just go there. It makes me realize what is important and if I am here, but my family is here, I don’t know what will happen with the virus, but it will push me to just go back to the Philippines instead.

Tara Morgan & Family

 

What is exciting to me about this time is that it is calling attention to many social inequities and silent disabilities that have been easy for us as a culture to ignore. Though this is heartbreaking, it is also a gift. This is an excellent time for all of us to reflect upon the ways in which we can challenge ourselves to do, and be, better. What kind of world do we have, and what kind of world we want? Who do we want to be to our neighbors and communities?

 

I am hopeful that enormous change will come out of this. What I worry, though, about is that things will go back to how they were before this crisis. That we will go back to settling for the status-quo. Recently, I came across this quote “Life shows us that a person who is unable to flare up with anger at injustice or folly will never develop true kindness and love. Equally, a person who educates himself through noble anger will have a heart abounding. Love and kindness are the obverse of noble anger. Anger that is overcome and purified will be transformed into the love that is its counterpart. A loving hand is seldom one that has never been clenched in response to injustice or folly. Anger and love are complementary."

 

This is a time when many of us are feeling frustrated, angry or hopeless. And I believe we should be. What I am learning is that the anger I (we?) feel during all of this is justified, and that this anger is what can fuel us to be more empathetic, work for a better future, to stand up for the rights of the disenfranchised in our communities, and to use our sadness and frustration to create lasting
social change.

Laura Kovac & Family


We are a family of four. My husband is working out of the basement right now, teaching online courses for Elmira College. I am upstairs attempting to homeschool my 7-year-old while also taking care of our 6-month-old.

 

This experience has been humbling in so many ways. Although I feel stressed and overwhelmed by the news and daily life on most days, I am also comforted by the fact that social distancing seems to be working, at least here in Tompkins County. I am grateful that we have a roof over our heads and food to eat. The homeschool experience does not even closely resemble actual school. My son likes to dress up as his favorite characters now for school, usually someone from Star Wars. He also insists that he and I act as those characters while we are homeschooling.

 

Most of my day is spent playing make believe with him as I am now his main play mate. One thing we have loosened up on during this is video games. He is now playing Minecraft online with his friends. This gives him a chance to socialize with his friends and "play" as well. My husband is a physics teacher although he will actually also be teaching an astronomy course this spring term. He is not sure how to go about this as most of what he was planning for this six-hour course was going to be very hands on.

 

One can probably assume that most college students do not have a quality telescope at home so now the course will be simply observing the night sky with the naked eye. Things change, we are adapting and changing each day. I am trying to preserve as much of these memories in video and print to share with my children when they are older.

Nancy Kane & Family


I am grateful for my husband, dog, and 7 and a half cats (one is feral). I am grateful I chose never to have children. I would not want to bring them into a world where the government would have so failed its people.

 

I fear for my husband's aging parents and hope they will survive this crisis. I have learned to brew my own lattes. I fear for my students, who are struggling to adapt to a distance learning platform with little experience or preparation.

 

I am grateful to them for their patience and optimism. I may come out of this with a heightened taste for alcohol, because I am also becoming adept at mixology. My dance students cannot effectively learn online. I used to think how grateful I was to teach in a discipline in which I would always be needed in person, to share, correct, care, and guide them in dance education. Now I feel like I am failing them.

I miss going to the gym and don't know how long it will be before we can go back. I wake every night and can't get back to sleep for hours.

 

Some of my friends are fighting cancer, and I fear for them. They were struggling before, and now COVID-19 on top of all that, in a world where the signs of COVID-19 are often invisible, we will never know if it is safe to hug anyone. Anyone. I think people will go back to wearing gloves when they go out, even in summer. I don't know if I'm excited or sad about that.
 

Jenna Kain & Family


My husband is a middle school teacher. We are so thankful we have a job still and enjoys teaching remotely. I am a substitute teacher and am out of work, so I have started making masks to donate and some to sell. It has been a change of pace for sure.

 

Our 3 kids are doing well at home. They miss their friends so much that it hurts their little hearts to video chat with them. School has been going well. We are very happy with all the hard work the school district has done to help make this the best.I have Lyme Disease and other chronic autoimmune diseases. Being sick all the time can be hard. I had a PICC up until late March and had an allergic reaction to my medicine. I had to go to the Emergency Department. It was scary having to go.

 

One of the greatest quotes I have heard during this time of isolation is this, "Be careful what we rush back to is worth it." We want to make sure we're using this time to sort out what we want our life to look like. We want to make sure that when this is over, we don't rush back to the wrong things. We want to learn from this slower time to enjoy baking, family meals, playing board games, and having cuddle time on the couch as a family. We need to slow down as a society.

 

I am worried about my family and friends and hope that no one gets sick. I am certainly worried about the economic disaster that will happen after this is over. I'm learning to trust in God even more, that this is too big and too much out of my control. I'm learning that I miss my church family, I miss being able to meetup with friends at the park or for coffee. The little things in life are what I miss most. We take for granted all of our blessings in life and this time as been a good time of realization.

Anna Tamis & Family

We are so grateful for each other, and for our 3children. We are so grateful for our health, for fresh air to breathe, for nature that surrounds us. We are so grateful for technology so that we can stay connected with our friends and family. We are most grateful for our friends and family on the front lines who are treating people now. We are grateful for music, for delicious food grown nearby, for farms, farmers, grocers, and delivery fleets who are feeding us during this scary time.

 

Our children miss their friends and teachers terribly. They are athletes who miss their teammates, coaches, and the hard work that brings big wins and hard losses. We all miss our parents, our nieces and nephews, family celebrations and get-togethers. We talk about possible scenarios of how this might all end. We research new scientific discoveries & focus on the good that is coming out of tragedy, such as the mask factory in the basketball gym! The Cornell buses filled with healthcare workers from TC. We cook, bake, clean, hike, play, work, study, and eat together 24/7. It is tiring. But we are lucky. There are 5 of us. It is never boring. It is hard. But it is fine. The kids are happy. We can be at home with them, so we are very grateful. Always.

Michell Belanger & Family

 

During this time, it makes us appreciate living in a small and quiet community more than ever! Also, it makes us even more grateful for the traveling experiences we have had in the past and will cherish future ones even more! However, we are most worried about the uncertainty of when we will next see my immune-compromised family in NH. We are worried it will be at least a year or two.

Joshua Alonzo & Family

 

I am grateful for my family since this pandemic showed me how we stayed strong and sticked together even in these challenging times. I am grateful for the opportunities that are available because I can continue my education and work from home.
: I am excited to see the day that COVID-19 will settle with the people of the world having a new perspective to prevent pandemics in the future. I am worried about my friends and family and I hope they all stay safe.
: I realized I wanted to keep the people who help me when I need it the most in my life. My family has always been supportive and they give me enough freedom to experience life and learn from those experiences.
: Also, I found great friends. The friends who are willing to give without asking. The friends who lift me up. And the friends who support the person I am.

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