Development Assistant/Professional Educator, Shannon Dalporto, San Luis Obispo, CA

“For me, every bad situation provides an opportunity to learn and grow. This is a hard one though. I think the fact that we are all going through this together makes things a little easier. Everyone can relate to this collective experience.”

Shannon Dalporto

(Editor’s Note: This interview was originally conducted on May 1, 2020)

Shannon Dalporto is an Orange County girl who fell in love with small-town life in San Luis Obispo — after graduating from Cal Poly in 2018, she just couldn’t bring herself to leave.

She has a full-time job in SLO at a school, where she says that she gets to utilize her creativity every single day — engaging in community outreach programs, assisting with special events, and building relationships with families and staff.

The school has felt the enormous impact of COVID-19. Luckily, the teachers rapidly transitioned to online learning. They provide a hybrid-model of education, where the students are at school (pre COVID) two days a week and learning at home two days a week. She says that they feel lucky to be in this unique position as the families already had previous experience with at-home learning and therefore the transition to full-time at-home learning wasn’t as drastic.

Shannon’s main goals include “bettering herself, and exploring things that she’s passionate about.” “The most important thing for me is to be happy. Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to learn (really learn) how to ride horses and connect with them. It’s probably my favorite thing to do and I only wish I was able to do it sooner. I have loved animals my whole life and look forward to exploring this further and seeing where it takes me.” Shannon says.

Read more about Shannon’s COVID Chronicle from the Central Coast, below:

Courtesy of @Shannondalporto

Where are you, and who are you quarantining with?

“My boyfriend and two cats! Plus all of the other animals on the ranch (chickens, goats, pigs, the occasional turkey). I moved into my boyfriend’s place for the quarantine! I’m on a small ranch where I get a beautiful view of Lopez Lake. It’s quiet out here which is lovely. I feel like there’s room to breathe and I can (sometimes) forget about COVID.

I love going outside and feeding the goats, chickens, or pigs. Ever since I got here I’ve been feeding them my vegetable scraps so they follow me around in the hopes of getting a treat. We decided moving in together would be a better option than being apart for (potentially) months on end.”

Piggies

What has your community been doing to fight the rate of transmission? Is this how you think the situation is best handled?

“SLO County has strict shelter-at-home orders. Most people wear masks out in public, some businesses require them to enter. It’s hard to say how to best handle this situation since it is so unprecedented. There’s a lot of information going around and it’s hard to know who is “right” and who is “wrong.” For now, I feel safer at home.”

What has been your daily routine so far during the pandemic?

“My routine has been VERY different than my pre-pandemic routine. I was always rushing out the door to work. Now I wake up slowly with no alarm clock, make my coffee, and open my laptop to start work.

My hours got cut due to the pandemic so I work until noon and then try to fill the rest of my day with something productive. Sometimes it’s yoga, sometimes it’s reading or crocheting (my new quarantine hobby!) On a good day we will get the horses out and go for a ride. That always makes me feel better! I feel lucky that we’re still able to do that.”

What’s the biggest challenge you think you’ve faced during this quarantine situation?

“It’s hard to say. Often I feel very grateful for my current situation. There are highs and lows that come with living through a pandemic and we just have to go with the flow as best we can.”

What have you been doing to keep your spirits up on a day-to-day basis?

“Moving! Whether that’s a 30-minute yoga flow or going for a ride, moving helps me feel saner amidst all the craziness. I’ve also been cooking a lot and experimenting with new recipes which is fun.”

Has this travel ban/quarantine situation impacted any important plans you had laid out for the near future?

“I’m in one of my good friend’s bridal party and her bachelorette party is scheduled for June. We aren’t really sure what’s going to happen! Her wedding is in August so we are playing the waiting game to see what the re-opening plan looks like and if we will be able to travel.”

Is there anything you feel that this experience has taught you/anything you’ve learned, that you’d like to share as inspiration for everyone going through this together?

“For me, every bad situation provides an opportunity to learn and grow. This is a hard one though. I think the fact that we are all going through this together makes things a little easier. Everyone can relate to this collective experience.

I’m trying to be more present during these times and use the extra time I have to focus on things I love. Connecting with others is really important right now so lean on those around you!”

Anything else you’d like to include?

“Be kind!”

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