Interview 05: Tess
August 20, 2020
Stress self-rating: 2     
1 = no stress, 5 = extremely stressed
Worked from home (hair braiding)
House Type
Two storey apartment
in large complex
Approx. 1,400 sf
3 Bed + 1 Bath
Built 1970s, Masonry / Frame
Household Size:    5
4 Children                
1 Adults                         
Persons Per Room  0.83

Tess and her four children, aged between 11 and 17, have lived in this two-storey apartment unit for more than a decade, and call it their home. Tess, who does braids at home, was able to continue work from home and receive clients in her living room. Her hair work did not take up much space in the home and was not a stress. The porch is a key gathering space for their household and extended family, continuing a pre-COVID tradition of seafood and gumbo. It is used as an outdoor cooking and dining room for visiting family members, connecting the kitchen inside to the common greenspace outside. While their home internet installation has been delayed due to the pandemic, her kids have school laptops and access the internet via cell-phone hotspots. Occupied by children and grandchildren, Tess did not feel isolated. Her overall low stress self-rating relates to her family’s ability to maintain social connection, schoolwork, internet access, and self-employment through the uncertainties of lockdown. 