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York Student’s Uplifting Story of Survival and Success During COVID Crisis

My name is Candace Edge and I am a Junior majoring in Sociology and minoring in English and Political Science at York College, CUNY. I work full time, attend school full time, run a nonprofit organization, and am a mom of four, ages 14,11,8, and 2. COVID-19 has definitely turned my life upside down.

When the pandemic began, I was advised by my employer to work from home. This was difficult for me to adjust to as part of my job duties included direct interaction with the staff. I realized that this was for the best as I was living in the house with my mother and father who both had underlying health issues.

Having to work remotely and manage my children’s distance learning was a task because all four were in different grade levels which meant varying workloads. Having all four of them in different classrooms simultaneously also posed an issue with having enough technology available for everyone to be engaged all day in their respective classrooms.

In combination with that, I still had my own classes to complete. Transitioning to distance learning for myself was an uphill battle. I have always avoided online classes because my busy household brings so many distractions. I was definitely stretched extremely thin. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, my mother developed cold-like symptoms.

We grew very concerned, so we called the doctor and received an evaluation. The doctor sent the ambulance to my home and I accompanied my mom to the hospital. Twelve days later, after testing positive for COVID-19, and being placed on a ventilator

Candace Edge Head Shot

my mother passed away on 04/18/2020. It was extremely heartbreaking as we could not see her or be with her when she needed us the most.

We had to wait an entire month to have her funeral because the funeral homes and cemeteries were backlogged. Because there was no other place to quarantine, I also developed mild symptoms like coughing and loss of taste and smell. Currently, we are taking all precautions to take care of my father who has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. We are faced with the reality that my mother is no longer with us as well as the fact that there was a loss of income in the home.

With all this, midterms and finals were still due. I had to find a way to center my grief and persevere through the work. My professors were very compassionate and accommodating. With tears in my eyes and unbearable sadness in my heart, I managed to attend every class, take every quiz, and hand in every paper. I am pleased to say that I met and exceeded my expectations this semester. I have received A[s]

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