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An Example Of How 1 Family Is Coping With Shelter-In-Place Orders

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've been visiting families at home this week. And by visiting, of course, we mean calling from a safe distance. Andrea Johnson (ph) is 23. She works in human resources and is a student at the University of Maryland Global Campus. When we spoke, her daughter and her niece were having a snack and talking about going to school from home.

PEYTON: We FaceTime our teacher.

ANDREA JOHNSON: You FaceTimed your teachers? Do you like that?

PEYTON: Yes.

LOLA: They asked us questions.

JOHNSON: They asked how you were doing. Do you know what's happening while we're in the house?

PEYTON: No.

JOHNSON: You don't know?

PEYTON: Yes.

LOLA: 'Cause of coronavirus.

JOHNSON: The coronavirus, right.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Her daughter Peyton (ph) turns 4 years old this weekend. Her niece Lola (ph) is 6. Johnson is balancing their education with her own - 6 classes this semester and her full-time job. Like anyone sharing an office space, she and her daughter rely on communication.

JOHNSON: If it's not in my calendar, it doesn't exist, and she's aware of that. So she'll say - hey, Mommy, I want to go to McDonald's and get apple slices. I'll literally have to put in my calendar to remember her request, and then I let her know if I can meet those requests or not.

INSKEEP: Johnson has meetings to attend, and so does her daughter because the preschool sets up daily phone calls with the teacher. They've learned to respect personal space.

JOHNSON: She told me herself - she said, Mommy, you and your colleagues are too loud, and I can't hear. So sometimes she'll be in the living room and I'm in the dining room where I can see her. But we're still apart, and maybe I'll put in my headphones and she has on her headphones.

MARTIN: None of this is totally foreign to Johnson. Her college classes are already taught remotely. And she was a preschool teacher herself for three years.

JOHNSON: But it's quite challenging when you're trying to teach your own child. For some odd reason, I had 25 students and they were never as difficult as my one child.

INSKEEP: Johnson balances quiet time with rewards like s'mores or arts and crafts. Peyton and Lola seem to understand.

LOLA: Yeah, she has to talk to a lot of people on her job.

JOHNSON: What do you do when I'm working?

LOLA: Well, we just sit down and eat and play together. Like, once she's done with her work, we're going to do arts and crafts and Peyton is going to get her hair done.

JOHNSON: (Laughter).

INSKEEP: Getting the hair done - good thing to do. Andrea Johnson with her daughter and niece. She's balancing parenting, work and school at home.

(LAUGHTER) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.