Avery Hoppa’s job is practically pandemic-proof: She’s a nurse who does triage over the phone. So her work is still necessary, and the transition to working from her home in Hanover, N.H., was smooth. Her husband, a biologist at Dartmouth College, had a slightly bigger adjustment to make when classes went virtual.
They’re both still employed, and Hoppa says she feels “so incredibly grateful” about that during this massive economic crisis. Her family has been able to do things like buy a new car and get a good deal on it.
“It feels weird to be a consumer right now,” Hoppa says. “I’m so conscious that there are people all over the United States who can’t even afford food to eat and who have lost their jobs and are really struggling.”
The Hoppas are also donating money and trying to support local businesses, but sometimes it’s not obvious if spending their money locally is even the right thing to do.
“There’s this contradictory impulse,” Hoppa says. “I want to use the money we have to support our local restaurants and keep retail afloat. But you also know, OK, if I’m buying things … that store has to be open and possibly it’s putting those people at risk.”
“It’s just hard to figure out. What’s the right thing to do?” she asks. “What’s the morally right thing to do in this situation?”