Luke Hayden


Health studies

I work for a medical device company and our biggest client has asked us to make antibody testing kits for the entire U.S. population. I’m an analyst in the manufacturing division, ensuring that all of the manufacturing documentation pertaining to the COVID-19 test kits is completed according to federal regulations. Due to the high demand for the antibody test kits, my workload and hours have increased significantly, so work-life balance has been a challenge. However, there are many people who’ve been laid off, so I feel fortunate to even have a job. And since I work alongside many brilliant scientists who disseminate facts and science rather than fiction, I try to relay this information to other people as often as I can to counteract the misinformation in the media.


On a personal level, I try to stick to my normal habits as much as possible, but I’ve had to make adjustments. For example, instead of going to the gym, I made a makeshift workout area in my living room. Instead of letting the unpredictability of the future consume and overwhelm me, I’ve focused on tackling one day at a time and being intentional about staying present-minded.

I miss seeing friends and family in person. I live in the Philadelphia suburbs and my entire family still lives in Rhode Island. I was planning to visit back in March, and I was devastated when I had to cancel the trip. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about them, and it’s difficult knowing it might be a few more months before I can see them again. But we’ve taken advantage of technology to find creative ways of “hanging out” online.

Silver linings? I’ve noticed random acts of kindness more than ever before. Last week, I saw a man buy an elderly woman her groceries when her credit card was declined. Events may be cancelled and social interactions may be limited, but we can still stay connected and lift each other’s spirits during the hard times.

I’ve also spent a lot more time in the kitchen. My girlfriend and I love the Food Network show, “Chopped,” so we recreated the competition at home by challenging each other to cook dishes with odd mystery ingredients.

With factories closed, less cars on the road, and fewer airplanes in the sky, air pollution has dropped significantly. It provides a glimpse of what our air quality could look like if we made permanent changes, like non-polluting cars. I hope this encourages our society to address climate change and other types of environmental degradation.