Britny, Genesee County

Storyteller: Angela Wolfin

Britny is a 30-year-old health technician living in Genesee County. She is a wife and the mother of three young children between the ages of 10 and four. Britny works with area clients who have young children and babies that need assistance obtaining access to healthy food and medical services. Her job involves intake appointments for new clients and recertification for those already receiving benefits. Britny recalls first hearing about COVID-19 while scrolling though Facebook and reading posts about the toilet paper shortage as people began panic shopping.

When Governor Whitmer ordered schools to close, Britny suddenly had a childcare problem but it worked out when her mother had to start working from home. Her parents were then able to care for the children while Britny and her husband continued to work outside the home. But then Britny began to worry about seeing clients in the office and then going to her parents’ house to pick up the children because her mom is diabetic. The last thing she wanted to do was infect her mom. A couple weeks later she herself began working from home.

One week a month she is required to work in the office where she calls her clients and updates files. While in the office she is required to wear a mask except when eating and that is when she noticed a problem. Britny says that when she is talking on the phone, “My face just starts sweating. It’s awful. I get facial humidity and my glasses fog up.” She has also noticed that when out in public she feels the need to suppress coughs and sneezes because she worries people will think she has COVID-19 and go out of their way to avoid her.

Britny is one of the few people who feels her life has improved with the Covid restrictions imposed by the governor. Since she started working from home, she now has more time to spend with her family and less stress getting the kids to and from school. She has more flexibility on how she manages her day and less anxiety because she has very little contact with other people. Since the pandemic started, she and her husband have been able to buy a home and her husband found a better job. They have also been able to save money because they are not eating out and she rarely needs to put gas in her car.

There is one thing Britny has realized that she misses more than anything else, hugs. She no longer feels free to hug friends and family for fear of getting sick and spreading COVID-19 to others. Britny says she is a hugger and cannot wait for this pandemic to be over so she can hug her family and friends again.

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