Photo courtesy of Earl Coates
Editor’s note: “The new normal” is a continuing series that looks into how members of the Los Medanos College community are coping with a shelter-in-place order amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earl Coates is a full-time student and musician attending Los Medanos College for the spring semester. Coates has already obtained a bachelors degree in criminal justice but chose to come back to school to polish his his singing and also play sports, his favorite being football.
“I wanted to come come back and play football and figured two degrees wouldn’t hurt,” he said.
Coates was transitioning from being within the security field to planning on heading into the world of education, becoming a substitute teacher.
But due to the COVID-19 virus, this transition created a gap in work for substitute teachers. Because substituting is not an essential job, this caused Coates to be unemployed for a short period of time.
“It just sucked as soon as I was about to start substituting we get put on quarantine,” he said. “Rent was due at the end of the month I was hot!”
Fortunately for Coates, he was able to pick up a temporary job at Amazon and also do part-time with his Dad’s plumbing company during the pandemic, allowing him to make rent on time.
“I’m just glad God blessed me to be able to get a job shortly after because I was starting to get real stressed out,” he said.
Coates has not enjoyed the transition of his classes online. He feels that it’s very hard to keep up with all six classes he signed up for being online, especially when he signed up for face-to-face classes.
“I’m not messing with these online classes even though we’re quarantined at home it is just very easy to forget about them,” he said. “It’s just kind of hard to focus on school work when people are dying.”
In his new found spare time, Coates has been working out, reading, and playing tons of Call of Duty.
With everything going on around him, Coates manages to keep an optimistic outlook and is hoping that “this virus dies down and the quarantine is over by the end of month.”