Life During Hard Times

By Azizul Hakim

Life style of a college student can be stressful and hard at times, especially when you’re at an age when you’re not considered an adult but then again have to start taking responsibilities. As soon as you get into college, you are required to study, work, pay your expenses, look after yourself and have a good GPA. Family gatherings, friend outings, social media all those need to be taken care of too unless your parents are like multimillionaires and you don’t have to work. That’s a different story but majority of college students don’t have a lifestyle like that.

Money is nothing but pieces of paper for students. The way students use paper to write is the same way students spend money. And that can be a very big problem. No one has ever thought of it like that until now when we are scared to go outside and people are dying left and right.

College students don’t have fat bank accounts. People with a fat bank account are least worried. They have savings and they can easily survive. What about college students? Have you ever thought of saving? Was your Nike shoes and fancy clothes more important than saving? You wasting money on buying games which you barely play, was that a good investment? You took loan from the bank and invested in the stock market a couple of months ago. You know lost almost all of that money. The stock market has also crashed. You now know you are in deep trouble. You have payments due, bills to pay and food to buy but no money in your bank account. That’s when we all know we have a problem. A serious one.

You take the MTA although your college is now closed. It’s because you need to go to work. There is nothing you can do. With unemployment rising in millions, losing a job is not worth it. You have no other option but to work. You see the behavior and people around you in the MTA and you are scared to death no matter what. Coughing or sneezing may lead to a big problem. People might attack just because you coughed. Situations are bad and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Despite knowing the fact that using public transportations increases the risk of getting affected, at a point you get used to it because you are going to work. And when you go to work, you’ll eventually come in contact with other people.

Majority of college students work at restaurants or coffee shops or similar type of jobs where getting in contact with people is not so hard after all. At first you question yourself so much about the unnecessary expenses and spending you did but then you realize it’s too late now. You have no other choice but to work. As days pass by, you don’t feel comfortable at all. You feel more scared than nurses and doctors working at hospital because they know what they are dealing with. They know which patients are COVID patients and who is affected. But, what about you? You don’t know who has this virus in them. You interact with so many people. Even the person carrying the virus might not know. What if it’s your co-worker who is working beside you?

You question yourself whether you working is a good idea or not. You’re scared of taking the virus home and passing it on to your family members. But the next day, you wake up and get ready to go to work because you know those bills won’t pay themselves especially when a small part of your family spending is provided by you. Although you’re scared, you have responsibilities. You took bad decisions before while spending money and now you’re just paying the consequences.

COVID-19: The Death of Empathy and Humanity

It was at the beginning of January of this year that I started following the developing situation In Wuhan in regard to a new coronavirus. Like something out of a movie, citizens of that city were being forced into quarantine, at times against their will. The news outlets made some mention of the situation in China but I questioned its validity because news sources at times sensationalize their reporting to increase viewership. As the days passed I continued following the situation, realizing the seriousness of it, and that it was only a matter of time before the US would be impacted. Towards the end of January, the first case in the US was reported out of Washington State. I immediately advised members of my family to stock up on food and supplies and as a result, was criticized and accused of being paranoid. “That won’t happen here, you’re overreacting”, is one of the many remarks I received from family, friends, and co-workers in return for my advice, but I insisted that based on what was happening in Wuhan and currently developing in Europe, the increase in the number of those infected in the US would be exponential. Fast-forward to the end of February and the nightmare had only worsened with the CDC informing Americans to prepare for an outbreak. At that point, I was in good shape as far as having adequate supplies, including toilet paper, to ride this out. It was now the beginning of March and I developed some cold and flu symptoms. Luckily they were relatively mild compared to what was being reported from the media, and it probably wasn’t related to SARS-COV-2, but I took precautions anyway and stopping my use of public transportation and limiting my contact with others as much as possible. At that point, I decided that attending lectures at Citytech might be risky as it involved sitting in spaces with multiple people that traveled on the subway, were probably not well informed about what was going on, or at an extreme oblivious to the severity of what lay ahead. I missed several classes but kept up with my school work, and then shortly after, the school transitioned to distance learning. I felt relieved, thinking I would no longer have to expose myself. That was until my father-in-law, a cancer patient developed breathing issues.

We called my father-in-laws’ doctor one afternoon and were instructed to bring him in to be examined. When we arrived at the hospital to our surprise he was immediately rushed in. Everyone seemed nervous as he was hurriedly wheeled through the building to an intensive care unit. When he arrived at the ICU he was immediately placed in isolation with no human contact except through a glass panel and via his mobile phone. The hospital feared he had COVID-19 and wanted to mitigate the risk of spreading the disease if he was indeed infected. Shortly after we were asked to leave the facility and prohibited from returning. A couple of days later his results came back negative and he was discharged. Medications were prescribed to treat his symptoms and a biopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of his breathing issues. The biopsy was canceled the day before it was to be performed due to the hospital being in “wartime mode” and its desire to focus resources on treating COVID-19 patients. A few days later we were again forced to bring him to the hospital due to shortness of breath. He was again admitted, again spent a couple of days there, was again checked for COVID-19, and then upon testing negative, was again discharged with no resolution. His health continued to deteriorate so a couple of days later we brought him to the ER a third time, but this time things were different. We were instructed to drop him off at the ER and were not allowed to enter due to a newly implemented “no visitor policy.” We called to check up on him but attempts to communicate via cellphone and video calls were unsuccessful. We requested access to him multiple times over the next few days and were denied each and every time. It wasn’t until my wife threatened to storm into the hospital, with no regard for the consequences, that the hospital finally allowed us to see him, but only one person at a time. Upon entering his hospital room, we immediately noticed things were not as they should be. His personal belongings which included a shirt that at some point was saturated with his blood lay on the floor along with his underwear, socks, and shoes. The room was noticeably dirty with blood spots and other stains on the furniture and the floor. Syringe wrappers were on his bed and we discovered he was laying on a plastic syringe cover for what appeared to be an extended period of time due to a deep indentation and bruising on his back. He lay there motionless, uncovered, and hooked up to a breathing machine that beeped incessantly. He complained of feeling hungry and not having eaten for days. As a result of his weakened state he was unable to feed himself and the hospital staff did nothing to ensure he received adequate nutrition. After we all visited with him, my mother-in-law was allowed to spend the night. During that time she fed him, cleaned him, and made sure he was comfortable, leading to an improvement in his physical and mental state. The next evening though, she was forced to leave by a head nurse that threatened to call security if she refused. Again he was alone, and he remained that way for an entire day, while we negotiated with the hospital for my mother-in-law to be allowed to re-enter the facility. The following day various members of the hospital communicated to us via video-conference that there was nothing more they could do for him and that no exceptions to their visitor policy would be made unless we agreed to transfer him out of the hospital and into hospice care. We immediately disagreed, which led to a social worker explaining to us that they could and would transfer him, even if we didn’t agree. They explained that if we did agree they would place him at an end of life unit in the hospital, where he would be allowed one visitor while he awaited transfer to the hospice care facility, but would not be resuscitated if he went into cardiac arrest. I reminded them that he had rights as a patient, catching them off-guard, but we ultimately ended up agreeing to their terms so that my mother-in-law could return to his bedside as soon as possible and he would not pass alone. Several hours later my father-in-law was transferred to the end of life unit and my mother-in-law was allowed to enter the facility. A couple of days later on the 30th of March, my father-in-law passed away in the hospital, bringing an end to his suffering.

As we drove home from the hospital my mother-in-law asked me to make the funeral arrangements. Finding a funeral home was not an easy task. I called several funeral homes but could not get straight answers about how they were handling viewings, due to regulations that had been implemented by the government prohibiting gatherings, and also due to the sheer quantity of deaths occurring in the city on a daily basis. I was fortunate to find a funeral home just outside of the city that could handle the viewing within a week, but not without restrictions on the length of the viewing, and the maximum number of people that could attend at any given time. My father-in-law’s body was ultimately cremated but viewing the cremation was not allowed due to regulations put in place by the Department of Health.

Up to this point in time, I have been spared from becoming infected with COVID-19. I have had to buy extra supplies, I have missed lectures, and I constantly worry about my health and the health of my family. I have had to deal with the nightmare that was my father-in-law’s compassionless and negligent treatment by the hospital, which I feel led to his untimely death. I feel fortunate that neither I nor any of my family members have been infected with COVID-19, but we have been impacted by it as a result of the loss of empathy and humanity that it has caused.

Covid-19: How Life has Changed

I’ve only left my house five times in the past two months. The way time is moving it feels like it’s moving fast and slow at the same time. Before we were put in quarantine I was out of my house every day of the week. This whole situation feels like it put life in slow motion sometimes and then in fast forward during others. During my free time in the week I feel like life is on fast forward. Due to the quarantine classes have been online. At first the transition to online learning was rocky in some classes, but the adjustment happened quick. Lucky for me none of my classes had zoom meetings, so I’d simply do my assignments and then get back to quarantine life. While I got assignments done time would slow down, and then once they’re complete time would speed up all over again.

Days blend together with how messed up my sleeping schedule has become. At first I’d only stay up until 2am, and wake up at a reasonable time around 10am. Then with time it just started to push back more and more. It went from 2am to 4am, and now I’m staying up until 6am on a regular basis waking up whenever. I stay up binging TV shows and movies, doing assignments, and talking to friends on the phone through Facetime. Not leaving the house, I do the same thing over and over. Thankfully I have my two best friends and my family members who bring variety into my days. Besides the different assignments that my professors give, my family and friends fill my days with joy and laughter during these difficult times.

I’ve lost a couple of friends to Covid-19 which made it difficult to focus some days on assignments, but not being alone helped me to deal with their passing. Having people surrounding me and making me laugh on a daily basis makes this quarantine bearable. Simply watching tv shows and movies to pass the time would probably drive me insane. The company is necessary. My sister Tristan has been really great during this time because she’d force the family to do activities together. One morning she told everyone to write poems about everything that’s going on since she wanted to have a “Slam Poetry Night”. That night we had a poetry reading, and we were all extra dramatic during our readings. We were all snapping instead of clapping, and really getting into character for the readings. It was a memorable night. Every now and then Tristan would come up with another idea. Those days have become special during this time where we are constantly being bombarded by sad news on tv, social media, or by family members from all over.

Quarantine has actually brought everyone closer together even though it’s meant to separate us for our safety. Within my household activities like the one I described above is bringing us closer, and cooking is as well. As a family we’ve been cooking together. One night we made personal pies and watched Coco. Another we made chopped cheeses where everyone had a different twist to theirs. Outside of my household we’ve been having zoom meetings with family and friends across the country and across the world. Yes Covid-19 has brought a lot of heartbreak with the constant loss in everyone’s lives, but it has also brought positives. I think it’s important to reflect on them from time to time even if it may be a bit difficult.

COVID-19 pandemic

The last time I sat down in a restaurant and enjoyed being outside with my friends was March 11,2020. I remember meeting up with my friend and my boyfriend to eat Thai food and have a few drinks. It was around 8 pm on a Wednesday night. Usually on a Wednesday night this restaurant is empty, but today I noticed it was full. It was packed with people, chatter could be heard all over the restaurant. My boyfriend and I decided to rent a electric scooter to get home. I enjoyed my ride home and the evening breeze. Who knew that March 11,2020 would be my last day to hang out for a while, I miss it. The following weeks classes were moved online, non essential businesses were closed, people started to wear mask and gloves outside, Lines to get in every store, Disinfectants out of stock or overpriced at some stores. I learned that i don’t like online classes i prefer in class.  It is crazy, It is as if my life is a Sci-fi movie now. 

I’m still working at a grocery store. Ill be honest and say no one is following the six feet rule. Is it because we are all wearing mask ? or is it because when we all come to work as soon as we step in we have our temperatures checked. They do tell you in the news the first sign  of COVID-19 is a fever. I believe this isn’t always the case. Several people at my job lost their sense to taste and smell. I was sick for about two weeks in March with a severe sore throat, fatigue, and loss the sense of taste and smell. Me loosing my sense of taste or smell never happened before. I started to get paranoid. Is it COVID-19 or a regular cold. I found it so odd that when i went back to work after two weeks several people couldn’t taste or smell as well.  I hope I don’t get sick again during this pandemic.  Is it a cold, COVID-19, flu, or allergies?. For now I’m just finishing up the end of the semester, enjoying going to work as it is the only other human interaction i have besides my parents, and be mindful to wash my hands and use hand sanitizer outside and to  social distance.

A Sunday Afternoon (During the COVID-19 Pandemic)

This post was submitted to The Buzz by a writer identifying themselves as Jasper. Thanks, Jasper! You can also submit your writing anonymously or non-anonymously by filling out the form at the bottom of this post.

As I entered the park silence began to descend! The swish of the car’s tires on the wet highway became background noise to the tweeting and chorusing of the merry red breasted birds.
The silence deepened, closed in by the gray damp filled, misty air hanging around me. The silence wrapped me in a cocoon of tranquility as my feet followed the sandy path that lead away from the paved entrance.
The dripping branches closing in around my path showed the signs of springs renewal. Despite this cool March day, the willow was pushing forth its catkins and the cherry was in full bloom. Whilst the elm showed signs of buds the scrub oak seemed reluctant to join this emerging spring chorus.
Stepping from the woods into an open pasture I was surrounded by hundreds of Canadian geese ferociously tearing at the ground for newly sprung seeds. There journey north, far from over, they were urgent in their searching and unaware of my passing, although one small brood angrily chided the small boy who chased them round and round a tree.
Across the open vistas red clover carpeted the yet stunted grass casting a  somber background to  the colorful daffodils that punched upwards from the earth.
Despite this distraction my damp world remained tranquil and without signs of life other than the solitary policeman, a sentry to the silent playgrounds, baseball fields and tennis courts without their nets, all deserted. Forlorn yellow signs, affixed to the fences supported his mission, declaring the current crisis. NO GROUPS PLAY ALONE.
Happily alone, I continued with a wave.
March 28th, 2020

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How COVID-19 Affected My Life

This is a guest post by Riad S. Abdullayev, a student in OpenLab team member Olivia Wood’s Composition 1 class at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Riad originally posted this work on the CUNY Academic Commons, a platform similar to the OpenLab that is open to all CUNY students. City Tech students are encouraged to browse the Commons to see what their peers at other colleges are working on. 

Most probably one of the worst things the person can do right now is to be selfish and made the world problem about himself. However, this is exactly what I am going to do in this paper.

2019 was a tough year for me. It is started with my legalization process in this country. It started with a different choice I had to make – I needed to refuse my citizenship and apply for asylum here in the United States, which meant I could never go back to my country. I could never walk around the streets I grew up in. Most probably I will never see most of my friends ever again. I will never enter the house I grew up in. Unfortunately, as sad as it is but going back isn’t an option. Despite my family, my friends and some nice childhood memories my country can’t offer me anything else. Especially, it can’t guaranty the most essential thing for a human being – safety. Not only authorities deny protection for people like me, but they also initiate persecution and spread hate among citizens.

So, as hard as it was – I started my asylum application, which surprisingly didn’t last long. In the middle of March, I already got approval and now was the time to make my American dream come true.

I don’t want to go deep into the details since it should be about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected me, but I want the reader to understand my position better.

After eight months of changing different minimal wage jobs, several panic attacks and taking control over my PTSD, I finally have been accepted to college! One step closer to my goal. In the last weeks of 2019, I made a list – well, not even a list more of a guideline – what I am going to do in 2020 and the upcoming decade in general. I promised myself to enjoy life, take as many opportunities as I can, be social, take care of my health – both physical and mental, take care of my look, start to dress stylish and many other things that I didn’t do in 2019. And, well, generally before.

And the first three months of 2020 I truly did my best to follow this guideline.

But the universe had a different plan for us all. The year started with a rumor about World War Three. And then not long after we heard about the novel coronavirus spreading around chine and slowly going out of it to other countries. We all remember the bird flu, swine flu, Ebola outbreaks so at that time no one expected what is going to happen. And while the novel virus was spreading around the Old World, we didn’t pay attention to that. We were going to school, work, events, parties, etc.

I remember the virus got my attention in mid- February when it started to spread over Iran. Since my country located in the North-Western border of Iran – I realized it is a matter of time when the virus is going to knock on the doors of people I care about. However, following the news about the spread of the virus in Europe and Asia didn’t give me any closure to see what is about to happen.

I remember receiving an email on Tuesday around 11 PM that classes on Wednesday are canceled. Then on Wednesday governor gave the order to switch into distance learning mode till the rest of the semester. Less than a week later – I received an email from my boxing gym that they are going to be closed. And in one day all the bars, cafes and restaurants have closed their doors. Some of them still deliver food, some of them won’t open ever again.

I was afraid that staying locked at home with this uncertainty of the future may trigger my PTSD. Thankfully it didn’t. At least for now. But I live in constant fear of the returning of my nightmares and painful flashbacks.

Despite all that mess in the world and my head, I am still focused on my long-term goal. I am being on top of my classes. Doing as much of my assignments as I possibly can. I even registered for summer courses in order to graduate faster. My short yet full of different events life had taught me – while our body has physical limitations, our mind doesn’t. So, the virus might be aggressive, dangerous and deadly but I won’t give up on life. I won’t let fear, anxiety, and uncertainty take over my life ever again.

Adapting to Covid-19

I remember when it was announced that the virus was taking over China. There were so many videos on the internet of the streets in Wuhan. One second a pedestrian is standing on the street corner, waiting for the bus, the next second they’re passed out on the floor. It was insane to see, and pretty scary, but I guess I didn’t really imagine the escalation it took. Once I saw that Italy went on full quarantine, instantly I’m pretty sure the majority of the United States realized that would possibly be us soon, so the supermarkets got filled up, people went crazy for toilet paper, checkout lines would be so long they would wrap around the store. As soon as my mom saw that there were a few cases in Manhattan, she had me pretty much move down to Pennyslvania with her during quarantine. So that’s where I am right now. It’s a bit of a struggle to be honest, but it could be a lot worse, I can’t do much other than just try to adapt and work on myself. I think the hardest thing to maintain and adapt to is school, 100%. It felt motivating to physically get up in the morning and go to school and then work, or get up, go to work and then school. Everything was on a schedule, it was so easy. Online school….not as much. Obviously the job I had back home temporarily closed, so instead of staying jobless I got a job at the Costco around here that my mom works at. Everyone is taking precaution out here, but it is not as bad as New York is currently. But we start so early in the morning, 5-6 am, once I get back to my mom’s, I rest, and then try my best to get as much work done for all my classes. It gets a little overwhelming though. For some classes I don’t really feel like I’m learning as well/ as much as I should be. It’s easier to understand lectures when the teacher is visible, doing the work, explaining it step by step vocally. Using both my eyes and ears at the same time to take in as much information and comprehend the best that I can. School is definitely really stressful during this time. Another thing that is stressful is simply just my mental state. Ever since this virus began to spread all over New York City, it is so exhausting to constantly be hoping that no one you love and care for gets it. Friends, family, apparently a tiger contracted the virus so animals can also be on that list. Everyday I just see posts and hear stories of this person’s husband, mom, dad, uncle, friend passing away from the virus. My uncle was recently diagnosed with the virus as well. He seems fine for now, but it made me realize how real this all is. Yes, the masks and demand to be 6 feet apart, the numerous news stories makes it all feel just as real, but when someone you love and care for gets it, and you have no clue how bad it will escalate in their system. I don’t know, I’m been feeling a lot of things these last few weeks. Just hoping this ends soon, this is all a huge mess.

Today’s Commute

The M train runs like a jaguar through the night, while tunnel lights stretch out before my eyes. The seven other individuals in this cart sit 4 feet or more away from me. It screeches due to lack of people talking to block its cries. No one dares position themself right next to one another on a day like today. The train escapes from the underground onto the Williamsburg Bridge that transports the 8 of us to a different borough. My eyes adjust. The sky stands still and imitates me while tall buildings underneath it rush away from me.

The mechanical train operator indicates the following stop. The double doors separate and open a gap between them. A man walks out through them, while another man rushes inside. The double doors come together again and close, trapping him in. This new man doesn’t sit down. A song in my ears cuts a hole in my heart and I dance in my head to the next tune I listen to. My thoughts play with each other to distract me from things I can’t change. The digital signs display my designated stop. My mind prepares to stand up without the help of anything or anyone. The poles weep in hard silence after losing their purpose. The double doors open again, this time to let me off.

Writing During The COVID-19 Pandemic


My Life Before and During the Pandemic

For my day to day lifestyle, I have always repeated the same routine which anyone could pronounce as a boring lifestyle. I would set an alarm to wake by 6 am at most. I usually wake earlier than 6 am most times and when I don’t feel sleepy anymore, I pick up books to read, listen to music or rather have my school works done. I know quite well that most of my classes starts from 8:30 am on a day to day basis, so I have to prepare myself before then. Since I am not really a social-type of person, I bury my heads in books, go for classes, get back late at night if my schedule warrants it, cook meals for my family when am back, relax when I can and prepare for the next day. My weekends are dedicated to my kid brother, Sammy. Since he’s still in high school, he would definitely need help with certain things like school works, and mentoring. My best sports are track & field and long tennis. I stopped playing these sports when I started college last year and haven’t been opportune to play sports since my college is yet to have the equipment’s needed. My parents are workaholics and barely stays home. I have scheduled days in a month that is reserved for grocery shopping and other necessities.

Sitting down with my family at the dinette for dinner, I turned on the TV to channel 25 for the 7 pm CNN newsroom. At first, hearing of the COVID-19 virus didn’t seem to make us worried because the news was only a brief oration about a strange virus that didn’t raise an alarm. After few days, I started taking notes of my environments and the way people took the unexpected virus, I noticed some people took it serious, some said we actually gave the virus more attention than needed. I continued with my day to day lifestyle but COVID-19 gradually became a global issue that requires ultimate attention. My dad who happens to work more often had to stay home constantly. Schools got closed down. Everyone schedules had to changes unexpectedly. Some families now have financial difficulties; some aren’t used to staying home, some students that have part-time jobs had to quit, some students that aren’t used to virtual learning had to abide with the rules, professor had to comply also, a mother of two-three toddlers had to keep up with their kids since there isn’t any daycare opened, and many more. My uncle who traveled to Africa on a business trip got stuck since there isn’t any airline service available for the main time due to COVID-19.

This pandemic did not only cause great loss of people suddenly but efficient steps are also required of every individual in a country. In USA in particular, we were all advised to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds, use hand gloves, wear face masks, and adhere to social distance. This actually period of time is the first time I had to use face masks. I wasn’t used to wearing face masks and it got uncomfortable. I had to watch online videos of how to remove hand gloves without one contaminating the other and I thought of others that don’t even know all these or how to use them properly. Since no one knows how long this would last, grocery stores are being cleared out by individuals in order to have enough food at home. The biggest change in my day to day lifestyle was the hours I now use at home instead of on campus. I prefer being on campus than staying home. Meeting with my professors, the smiles on their faces when they see students coming in, learning something new every day, our class verbal discussions, the school club activities, and many more. At times, I meet with students that loves coming to school campus like me because different families go through different phases of problems and coming to school is the only time they can at least get their mind off their problems. I considered everything, how this COVID-19 changed everything. However, even now that there isn’t an assurance of a definite date all these would end, student, professors, families can only hang on because we would all get through these hard times together. From my perspective, united we stand – united we overcome. All we need to do is to stay strong and safe.

How COVID-19 Has Impacted me and Family

Since the pandemic arrived in the U.S a lot has changed. Families are been separated due to isolation, health condition or even death, financial status has been impacted when employees that used to go out there to provide for the country, for their family were forced to stay home. In addiction in some of the cases thanks to technology there are still ways to provide from home since there are a lot of job that consist on working behind a electronic devices by devices i refer to computers, phone or tablets.

In my personal experience i had to stop working, i had as a part time a delivery job where i was able to use my car deliver food for people and also work for a building company but that delivery job i had to stop it due to my past history why asthma. I went out to work for the first week and my parents were suffering because they did not want me to catch the virus, i was mad in the beginning because i was taking all the restriction needed covering my mouth and hands with gloves and mask but it was not until the following week that i decided to stay home and sacrifice my extra income for my health and also the health of others in my house if that was the case. It’s been 3 weeks since the last time i went out side and in the beginning was frustrating and annoying but little by little i settled. Since my income was cut and i still need to deal with bills and i will have to find ways to make these payments happen.

Adding to the story we still dealing with a issue in my family and that is the fact that my brother is a truck driver over the road. I never had an idea how important is for everyone on earth these drivers and how much this could affect if they stop. It’s makes two weeks tomorrow that my brother left to work and haven’t being able to make it back because they just send him away and away and when he thinks that he would make it home they again ask him for a extra help, he is save but is stressing the fact that we are not able to see him as much as we used to. His routine changed for coming at least twice home to being out for almost 14 days. Last week was my father birthday and we cut him a small cake and we called him on Face-time and he hanged up before crying. He called me the day after he called me and he said that he will never put money over family and there is nothing more important for him now than just come home and see all of us. He is very quite and it took me by surprise that he opened up like this with me he is not that sentimental but it did happen when all this forced him.