As our Foxfire fellows gear up for a unique summer of socially distanced oral histories, we’ve encouraged them to investigate how the coronavirus is impacting Appalachia. In this third part, new Foxfire Fellow Zain Harding interviews local business owner Holly Harding.


One of the greatest impacts on the world that will go down in history is the coronavirus. Also known as COVID-19, the coronavirus has taken a toll on not only people, but the businesses run by people as well. Many stores were closed for a period of time to keep workers from getting the virus and transmitting it to others. I sat down with Holly Harding, local owner of Holly’s closet, to see what she had to say about the virus and how it has impacted her life.

When I think of the coronavirus, or someone mentions it, I get sick of just hearing about it all the time and how sad it is. I just get tired of hearing about it. I do think that a cure will be made. I also feel that there will be experimental drugs. I think that they’re even using [them] now. I know someone in the hospital right now that they are doing some experimental stuff on right now.

 I do think that our community will be able to pack up and move on. I think that this is a sign of the times. I think that no matter what, we have to move on because we have no choice, especially if we want to live and be able to provide for our families. I, myself, take precautions, like whenever I am handling money. I always sanitize afterwards, or go wash my hands. I have seen some other people, at Wal-Mart and stuff, they wipe down the buggies. Even though they have been sprayed down, I take extra precaution and I take and wipe the buggy down too. I sanitize my hands no matter what, after every little thing. I’m doing okay with responding to the virus. I just worry about my family and I hope and pray that the Lord keeps them out of harm’s way. We, as a family, don’t go out right now. I don’t go out to socialize, have parties, or have fun. I stay at home to make sure my family is taken care of and hopefully they won’t get this stuff. 

When I first heard of the coronavirus, it made me sad, made me depressed, scared, anxious, worried, all wrapped up in one. A lot of people in my community are saying that this is all a hoax, but I’m here to tell them it’s a real thing, and a lot of people have tried to do the right thing. A lot of people, though, don’t think it’s necessary to wear a mask, but I do. I ask that people wear masks before they come into my store. 

The coronavirus made a big impact on the world. People are not spending money as they used to, which is putting a damper on my business. People are not spending money because they are afraid of what’s going to come next. Are they going to be able to pay the power bill or light bill, or be able to have food to eat?

To conclude, Holly brings up many great points. Many businesses and everyday people are suffering from the pandemic. Meanwhile, we all are going through the same aspects of life currently. Overall, all of us should be able to move on from COVID-19 because we have to in order to live on. To me, I feel that soon enough, the coronavirus will be in a history book being taught to generations to come. The world will move on and return to a fairly normal existence, however, the virus will still be active. All things are capable of becoming immune to anything. The virus could mutate and become a new disease that captivates our nation as a whole. For now, all we can do is hope that doctors and scientists will be able to create a cure for everyone in the near future.