Andrew, Essexville

Storyteller: William Stark 

Andrew is a nineteen-year-old who attends Delta College. He has hobbies which include music, fitness, and hunting. At the very beginning of the pandemic, he was wrapping up his senior year in high school.  There was great fear in his mind when he first heard about COVID-19 in China. He was playing cards at his uncle’s house when it appeared on television. The ideas of the unknown put him on edge. Upon the shutdown, his life was put on pause. This offered him more time than he could have ever imagined to focus on things that really mattered to him. 

All of this free time and what to do with it he constantly asked himself. As he asked himself the same question to himself repetitively over and over, he branched out into many different things that pre-pandemic would have not particularly interested him. Learning the mandolin of all things was the first thig he set off to do. A few weeks in and he could play a few simple songs and scales. His father AJ Neumann is a teacher. Thus, with everything being online AJ had much more liberty with his time. He and Andrew spent a good half of April working on the cabin that was left behind after the passing of AJ’s father/ Andrew’s grandpa. His grandpa did not pass due to Covid-19. When he was 83, he began suffering from constant seizures. After being hospitalized multiple times he finally passed in February of 2020. This place meant a lot to them and they had plans to make it their second home. Many things were to be done. They shingled, re-carpeted and cleaned out the garage. According to him it was quite the undertaking. While they filled their time with work on the cabin, Andrews mind was constantly thinking about the annual hunt in northern Ontario Canada.  He loved this trip more than anything. The pandemic put him out of his element and created new experiences that he would have never had otherwise. 

Andrew is now going to his finished cabin regularly and enjoying it in the way in which his grandpa had. Not going to Canada has given him more time to hunt locally. The mandolin is still something that he practices regularly. All of these things would have never been a part of his life if it were not for this drastic change in lifestyle. The more time spent with his father has brought them closer together through the renovations of the cabin. Covid-19 has pushed him out of his comfort zone and made 2020 a year for him to remember.  

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