To help us spread messages of support from our family to yours, we recently connected with Ashley Rose Murphy, CANFAR National Ambassador, and asked her to share her experience living through the pandemic.
What has daily life been like for you during the pandemic?
I have been living with my boyfriend at his parents’ house and that’s been a really cool and interesting transition. I feel like I’m finally growing up to be an adult and I’m learning what it’s like to save my money. I’m trying to be very smart and practical throughout these times because once this is done, my boyfriend and I want to look for a place to live together. And so, this is kind of just the stepping stone. It was completely unexpected, but nonetheless it happened and I’m super grateful. It’s been a really exciting time for us and it tests our relationship. We’re together 24/7 but it’s been really fun, so I can’t really complain.
What was it like celebrating your birthday while in quarantine?
I spent my 22nd birthday in quarantine and I think I had the best birthday I ever had. I am a university student and I don’t live at home during the year, so I don’t think I have celebrated my birthday on my birthday in a few years. This year, I was able to wake up to my family and wake up to my niece running to me, yelling, “I love you Aunty Ash,” and giving me so many birthday hugs and kisses. I started crying afterwards because I felt so much love and it reminded me that COVID-19 may have taken so much from us, but it can’t away our love and our family support we have for one another. It’s a really beautiful thing.
How are you coping and staying connected with your loved ones?
I’ve watched a lot of Netflix shows despite doing a lot of homework at the same time. I’m watching “How I Met Your Mother” for the first time. I’m binging it and I love it. And if anyone knows me, I don’t really binge TV shows. I’m not really good at sitting in one place and just watching continuous episodes after episodes. I need to get up, I need to do something, or I just end up forgetting about it and I just move onto the next thing. So, this has really taught me to know that I can chill. I can have time to myself. I don’t have to do anything, and that’s okay. And now I’ve been trying to impart that wisdom that I’ve learned to my friends when they’re stressing out about exams and essays, and I tell them everything is going to be fine. It’s a really hard time for all of us but all we really have to do is just stay together and keep each other sane. That’s really what I’m trying to do for my friends and my family. I’m in constant contact with my family –I text my mom every single day and I call her all the time, especially when I have questions about adulting because, you know, adulting’s hard.
How are you staying in touch with your community?
I’ve been reaching out to more HIV-positive youth—my friends—to see how they’re doing. We’re in a lot of group chats, just talking to each other, helping each other out, talking about doctors’ appointments, and medicine-taking and how it’s affected each and every one of us personally. But I think the biggest thing is because we’re all youth, we just want to go outside and hang out and talk to people, and you know, go to parties and have fun. I’m super excited to have fun again, to go out and be able to see everyone. I want to see my family again, but I don’t know when the next time I can see them. It’s just a big waiting game.