Part three of the photo-documentary series “Life in Quarantine” features an Oklahoma City woman who admits she failed to take COVID-19 seriously at first.

Tiffany Ryan, 32, Oklahoma City

(Ryan  works at CSI services as an administration bookkeeper and Caeli’s Sweets Eats & Bar as an assistant manager. She was interviewed March 29.)

I’m not afraid to admit that I didn’t take this coronavirus very seriously in the beginning. I just thought that it was an epidemic far, far away.

Soon, it was Europe, Canada, and home … so close to home. No longer an epidemic, but now a pandemic and it’s coming on strong and fast.

God came to mind. Lent season. There’s always a rhyme to his reason, right? I was never worried about myself, but about all those lives that had already been affected, and all those that will be.

My parents and sisters came to mind. Then, my staff, and all my friends and family in the service industry.  Going from three jobs to just one.

I feel fortunate that I’m still able to carry on a bit further than a lot of my peers. In the last few weeks, since our bar had to close doors, I did my best to support others through social media posts and trying to support as much as I can. I finally hit a wall.

In trying to stay strong and supportive for others, it wore me down. I was emotionally and mentally drained.

This is a time for everyone to come together, but when looking through posts on social media, there are still those out there looking out for themselves. 

The only thing I want to say is, please be kind to one another. Look out for your elders and elderly neighbors. Remember, when you’re hoarding, you’re taking away from children, elders and your medical and military personnel who are unable to get to the stores because they’re unable or on the front lines for you.

Dany Varghese is a freelance photographer in Oklahoma City. His photo-documentary series “Life In Quarantine” expands on the project launched on his Facebook page Dany Varghese Photography. Contact him at

The Coronavirus Storytelling Project is a collaboration between the Oklahoma-based Inasmuch Foundation, the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Watch to help state journalists who have been furloughed or displaced as well as those in struggling community news organizations. The Inasmuch Foundation has pledged $50,000 to launch the project and provide five $500 grants to those accepted into the project each week for the next four months. Apply here. Stories and photos are available for republication with appropriate credits. To republish, contact Mike Sherman at

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