RAF Mildenhall Airman maintains resilience amid COVID 19
By Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper, 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 09, 2020
RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Resilience is the ability to withstand or adjust to challenges. All Airmen learn a little something about that in their journey to becoming members of the United States Air Force.
Technical Sgt. Emerson Nuñez, 100th Air Refueling Wing public affairs noncommissioned officer in-charge of community and media relations, and his family increase their resilience through a balanced schedule of telework, family activities, recreation and physical distancing, during a two-week quarantine at their home.
“The challenge has been to maintain a structured schedule during this experience,” Nuñez said. “We do our best to make time for all the necessities of normal life, work, family and play.”
Teleworking allows some Airmen and working family members to continue to get their jobs done while maintaining a safe distance to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
“I’ve been doing everything I can to try to help benefit the mental health of the community,” said Rhonda Nuñez, lead fitness instructor at RAF Mildenhall and Emerson’s wife. “I have been concentrating on posting and conducting virtual workouts to uplift spirits and motivate as many people as I can.”
For some, teleworking allows families to spend more time together.
“I enjoy being at home with my family,” Tech. Sgt. Nuñez said. “We both work full time so it’s rare that we can both be present at the same time, we are building stronger family bonds during this experience.”
Finding time for recreation can be a crucial piece of the puzzle to make the COVID 19 experience as pleasant as possible.
“We fill our day with as much as we can like: board games, working out, and playing with our dogs,” said Kaileena Nuñez, Rhonda and Emerson’s daughter. “It has been great to spend the extra quality time with mom and dad.”
The act of physical distancing can be an integral measure to help slow the spread of the virus, however, it could put a strain on families.
“Virtual connectivity helps a lot, especially for the kids,” Rhonda said. “They are able to see their friends and go to school online. It helps boost their social interaction and I think they feel better afterwards.”
This outbreak has been a challenge, but there might be a silver lining to this cloud.
”The COVID-19 pandemic is truly testing our resilience, but it has also given us the opportunity to reflect on our mental health, knowledge of base resources and the importance of our ability to adapt and bounce back in the face of adversity,” said Jack Sweet, RAF Mildenhall Community Support Coordinator. “The skills that we have learned over our lifetime, as well as in the last few years, have equipped us well to be able to not only adapt but to overcome and grow from this experience.”
RAF Mildenhall has multiple agencies which work together for community support such as: Spouse Resilience, Airman and Family Readiness Center, Key Spouse, First Sergeants and other base helping agencies.
For more information, please contact Jack Sweet, RAF Mildenhall Community Support Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ronald Draper, RAF Mildenhall Violence Prevention Integrator, at Ronald.email@example.com