Interview 15: Nicole
August 29, 2020
Stress self-rating: 3      
1 = no stress, 5 = extremely stressed
Living with extended family
since the pandemic
Essential health worker
Reduced employment in pandemic
House Type
Single storey garage apartment behind parent’s house
Approx. 1,500 sf
Single storey
3 Bed + 1.5 Bath
Built 1940s, frame / concrete block
Household Size:    3
2 Children                
1 Adults                     
Persons Per Room  0.75

Nicole and her two children, ages 9 and 14, live in a garage apartment behind Nicole’s parents’ home. Nicole is an essential worker and is unable to work from home during the pandemic. She bought new laundry units to alleviate stress at home, but the dryer broke down, forcing Nicole to go to the washateria on weekends. Nicole’s children each have their own bedroom, so conflicts in the house are minimal. The close physical proximity of Nicole’s apartment and her parents’ house allowed for intergenerational social connection and support. During the pandemic, Nicole communicated with her parents via their respective bedroom windows. Nicole and her children stayed out of her parents’ house because of Nicole’s father’s medical fragility. The paved outdoor space in between the properties was beneficial during lockdown and also became the site of Nicole’s daughter’s birthday celebration, for which both Nicole’s parents and Nicole’s sister’s families joined.