Team Member’s Thoughts on the Year of COVID

2020 has been an interesting year to say the least! In my lifetime (I’m 39 years old), I haven’t seen anything of the likes. It has changed things for a lot of people, for some more than others.

At Integrity Custom Builders, we have been blessed to have had an abundance of work, other than about a month of being slow back in April. There are pros and cons to any trade, and right now our industry is a good industry to be in to be able to continue working in the midst of the pandemic.

There have been good and bad things that have come out of this pandemic. I have noticed how this has caused people to be in one of two categories: The one group of people sees no possibilities around them due to COVID setting up all kinds of restrictions; the other group of people see all kinds of possibilities around them because they are willing to think outside of whatever box they live in and are willing to do things differently!

I certainly try to live as the person that sees the opportunities that come through this, versus the person that sees only the problems that come out of this. While that’s not always easy, I believe it’s what puts myself or anyone else in the best position to be able to see the bright side of whatever I’m going through.

I asked everyone on our team the following question: What is one positive thing and one negative thing that you’ve seen happen through the COVID experience? I hope you enjoy the input from our team, and I would love to hear feedback from you on that as well!

Manny Fisher

Thoughts from the Team…

André: One negative thing I’ve noticed because of COVID is small local shops wanting you to leave as soon as possible instead of sticking around to chat and socialize.

On a positive note, I am very blessed to be a part of a home fellowship group that was started because of church canceling.

Mahlon: I miss the freedom to visit nursing homes and dine in restaurants, among other social norms. And may I say I don’t particularly enjoy wearing masks…

On the positive side, it has given many people a fresh, new perspective on life and how blessed we have been in the past to live in such an incredible and blessed nation. Much of my life has stayed relatively the same, thanks to being able to live in such a beautiful, rural place like the Shenandoah Valley!

Matt: Something negative because of COVID is that there’s a lot of anger and fear that I see in people, and when you go out in public there’s not that friendliness or community atmosphere anymore.

Two positives that I have seen from COVID: 1) Because of being off work we were able to spend more time as a family and also we moved here to Virginia. 2) Because of COVID, we were not able to gather together in church for a while, so I have a greater appreciation now for the freedom of gathering to worship and to hear the word of God with fellow believers.

Manny: A negative I’ve seen is the lumber prices going way up and long lead times for materials due to mismanagement by lumber mills and manufacturers. Also, I don’t like how people seem scared of other people now.

One of the best things is that convenience store and public restrooms are a lot cleaner, and people in general seem to care more about cleanliness. : )

Mary: The most negative thing I have experienced from COVID is not being able to visit much with some of my family members due to various restrictions. I’m grateful for Zoom that has helped relieve some of the separations.

The most positive is… hold on let me think… :o). Ok, I’ve had more time to devote to numerous projects that I didn’t have time for before, such as refinishing 4 pieces of furniture. (I was already a homeschool Mom before COVID, so we didn’t experience much of a change as far as how much time I spend with our children.)

Gerald: On the negative side, my wife got it and was sick for 2 weeks or so, and our friend lost a loved one.

The division it has revealed among us is discouraging; in a time when we should be coming together in an effort to help each other, instead we choose sides and attack each other, causing even more fear and confusion.

Seeing our society not knowing how to cope with disaster, we feel the need to blame someone to somehow make ourselves feel more secure.

As to positives, due to the slow-down in the work load, I was able to take some time off to complete the remodel of our own house faster than expected.

I value interacting with people even more than I did before; it was something I took for granted.

Kaitlyn: A huge negative that I have observed is the damage to community, especially for the already-lonely people among us.

A personal disappointment was to have several big trips canceled.

A big positive in my life has been the extra time at home with my family and more time to do things outdoors. I’m blessed to live in a beautiful area and to have a family who I love spending extra time with. My family also got 21 chicks in the spring, and our cat had 3 kittens! All the new life has been such a fun family project.

Overall, 2020 has actually been a year of tremendous blessings for my family, many not related to COVID. I’m thankful for a lot of answered prayers and countless instances where we’ve seen God work in abundant ways this year, even in the midst of some hardships for our world.

In Conclusion

We are grateful to God for all the ways he has provided for us during this year. We know that many in our community have sustained much greater difficulties than we have, and we’ve been reminded of so many blessings that we oftentimes take for granted. We hope that we can be the type of people who remember to be thankful, who see the opportunities in the midst of hardship, and who carry forward the lessons we’ve learned from this season.

Until next time,
The Integrity Team