Storyteller: William Stark
Max Michalski is a nineteen-year-old college student at SVSU. When his world became confined to his household, he was devastated. It all started in mid-February when FOX news was reporting breaking news on China having an outbreak of a new disease. This new information had blown over his head. He had never imagined that it would spread worldwide and effect billions of people. At the time he was still in high school. The online schooling was not mandatory with everything being so new to everyone. Max had loads of free time but he never knew how to spend it. These were some of the longest months of his life.
The biggest transition in his life was being away from the gym. His physical activity did not suffer. Although he says it was harder to find motivation to exercise, he was just as consistent as he was pre-pandemic. Resorting to air squats, pushups, pullups at the local playground, and running were his ways of going gym free. His lack of interactions with friends was a big factor in his mental state. FaceTime became a regular way to interact with friends, except when he was lucky enough to secretly get together. Hypotheticals often crossed his mind which never put him in a good mood. He thought about what would have been his 2020 senior year track season and Europe trip. He was sure that his team would have gone to states. They would of ran the 4 by 400 meter. Andrew Neumann, Austin Reinbold, Keegan Kinsella, and him could have and would have taken home the gold. Europe being the other hypothetical always gets him anxious for the virus to be gone because the trip is rescheduled for the soonest time possible. It was supposed to be his senior trip. Max did not find much amusement in this pandemic however he said, “I had seen someone at a restaurant with a face shield and a mask on. In between bites of their burger, they would pull there mask down then put it back up. I found it to be quite amusing.” This is one of the very few times he opens up about there being a positive to this pandemic.
With many setbacks and negative effects that the pandemic had on Max he claims that he is stronger now. Both physically and mentally. He claims that when opportunities were stripped away from him, he felt defeat. Over the course of time, he reflected on himself and what he was really grateful for. His ability to forgive hardship was tested and mastered over the recent months.