Janel, Bay County

Storyteller: Anna Norfleet

Janel was 50 years old at the time COVID-19 struck the world. She lived in Kawkawlin, Michigan with her husband and two of her children, Janel also had another son who was attending college a few hours away at MSU. At the time she was a self-employed optometrist who co-owned a two practices with her husband Thomas Norfleet. Janel first heard about COVID-19 from her local morning news channel TV5 sometime in January or February. She went from working at her office seeing patients and driving kids around for sports to temporarily having to shut down and halt in her typically daily life.

Janel has both gained and lost things due to this virus. Something that she has gained is treasured time with family, family dinners that were previously difficult with conflict practices and schedules became nightly. Janel has also lost things due to COVID-19; she had an originally loss of income due to shutting down but has since regained that and has also lost personal contact with extended family members and friends. Janel noticed a specific sensory detail that has arose due to COVID-19 that has impacted her life. Since she is an optometrist masks fogging up due to glasses has become a major issue, one that people rely on her to solve even when she does not have an easy solution. On a more positive note she has had the opportunity the experience a funny situation where she and her siblings had to try and get all 10 of them, ranging from 50 to 70 years old, on to one zoom call. Janel states that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic she has leaned many things but the most prominent one is the new knowledge of how easily we can conform to a new normal.

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