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New beginnings: Two Anne Arundel residents talk about personal changes amid a public pandemic


Two Anne Arundel residents with widely different backgrounds shared their views of putting down new roots in Anne Arundel County, just as the new pandemic surge began to sweep over the region.

At Towsers Branch dog park on Monday, December 20, Debra Marciniak of Millersville brought her two Australian Shepherds Julio and Bruce to get some exercise. The Anne Arundel County Community College nursing student has exciting plans for the new year. She expects to be starting a new job as wells as getting married.

“My year was really good,” she said.”I finished my first semester of nursing school. That was exciting and fun.” She said she was looking forward to spending the rest of the year off with her dogs, sharing her Christmas with her small family, and continuing to make wedding plans for next year.

“I’m just looking forward to the new year,” she said. “I’m going to be working at Baltimore Washington Medical Center as a student nurse. I have always just had a passion for people, particularly the elderly. I have a passion for vulnerable populations.”

She said between work, school and wedding plans, she’s been busy.

“It was challenging, but very rewarding,” Marciniak said. She said just planning for her 2022 wedding was like a job in itself.

Her and her fiance hope to put roots down in Maryland. She likes the state for its beauty and many diverse opportunities, she said. But she knows the Millennial generation faces some serious challenges with putting roots down in Maryland.

“One downfall to Maryland is that it’s very expensive,” she said. “I think Millennial are going to have difficulty finding housing and buying a house because everything is so expensive at this point.”

A day before the record was set for the most COVID-19 cases recorded in the state, Marciniak was hopeful the coming year would see the ebbing of the pandemic.

“I think we’re on the back end of it hopefully,” she said. “Now with this new variant though, we’re not really sure.”

She felt fairly comfortable on Monday about meeting with her family for Christmas, since all were vaccinated, but she was concerned about others who might be more vulnerable.

“I do think there’s a concern for those who have not been vaccinated," she said.

Playing with Marciniak’s two shepherds at the park were the two Boston Terriers of David Eisenstat from Gambrills. The lively pooches were bundled up in coats, making a merry pair.


Eisenstat is a retired school teacher who recently moved from Arizona. He was a bit less bullish on his 2021 saying simply, “It was complicated."

He said he had moved six times in the last ten years. Although retired, the pandemic had disrupted his work life, he said, as he had been putting in time as a tutor for students in need.

“I taught for a few years throughout the moves,” he explained. “Then the pandemic hit and nobody would let me in their house to tutor.”

Although he indicated remote learning can be effective for some students, it not to the preferred way to teach children. Effective teaching relies on “feedback, interaction, being their and motivating,” he said.

“It’s (remote learning) quite probably better than nothing and quite probably not as good as in person,” Eisenstat commented.

He described himself as a realist, not a glass-half-empty guy, nor half full. He got his Covid-19 booster shot, though he knows there’s no guarantees.

“Science is science,” he said. “It’s the best we got. Quite frankly the medical community has an extremely good record with vaccinations. That’s why we don’t have small pox.”

After traveling so much, he is looking forward to his time in Maryland.

“It’d be nice if there was a little less pandemic going on,” he said. “I love it here. I’m from, most recently, the desert, so the trees are nice. I look forward to 2022.”

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