Stephen, Midland County

Storyteller: Samantha Grywalsky

Stephen, who primarily goes by Steve, is a 49 year old City of Midland fleet mechanic. He works long hours on the night shift at the city garage. Steve is a very social guy, you can often find him drinking beer with his friends in the kitchen or playing pool on the table in the garage. He is a hobby skydiver, a car geek (specifically a lover of Dodge Challengers), and an outdoors-lover. Having the “party house” of the block, Steve has felt disconnected from his neighbors and friends, who are usually over every weekend. 

Steve has also felt particularly discouraged by the reaction of the news channels and media. Steve hates the contradictory articles and hypocritical celebrities through the pandemic, begging the public to stay inside but partying themselves. Steve has been appalled at the general public’s reaction to the pandemic, as he feels that COVID has become politicized too much. Steve believes that political quarrels need to be set aside while trusted medical professionals deal with the pandemic. 

Recently, Steve’s best friend, a Midland 911 operating station supervisor, was diagnosed COVID positive. Steve was scared for his friend and his family, as “small gatherings” no longer felt safe for anyone in his social circle. Steve has taken extra precautions at work to make sure he does not infect his own family. 

Being a social man, Steve was very friendly to those he met in public. He can make friends with everyone from the mailman to the party store employee to the cop writing him a ticket. Nowadays, that is not the case. Steve misses the smiles of strangers and being close to each other, like at concerts, lakeshores, or bars. Steve’s favorite part of the pandemic, however, has been the creative masks he sees in public. His personal favorites are the realistic looking ones that match the mask-wearer’s face, or the funny, creative, colorful ones. After the pandemic is over, Steve is excited to plan for a family vacation to Scotland. Steve hopes that everyone will do their part so that things can go back to normal and everyone can live their lives restriction-free again.

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