Lexie, Bay County

Storyteller: Karissa Kowalski

Lexie is 18, and from Bay County. She was in her senior year of high school when the pandemic hit. She works in a small gift shop, and goes to a university nearby, where she is completing her general studies, working towards a biology major. She also owns two cute doggies, a shipoo, and a maltipoo, respectively. Since the onset of the pandemic has occurred, after listening to the news and hearing about it everywhere she went, her life has changed a significant amount.

Lexie has been staying home a lot more than usual, and recently her college classes have switched to being completely online, even though some of them had been in person before. Her doctor’s appointments have also been a bit different, because every month she goes in for infusions for the condition she has. The medical professionals there now text a link to complete a health screening before she enters the building, and everyone has to wear a mask. The privacy curtains when you get into the room are always closed. The whole process just seems very secretive, much more than it used to be. Her family purchases takeout for dinner frequently, and on occasion they have groceries delivered to their house through an online service, because there’s times where they don’t feel safe anymore. Coronavirus incidents are on the rise again, which makes her family even more anxious. After receiving the groceries and anything in the mail, she and her family take the extra steps to ensure no one gets ill, by washing each item with care.

Though COVID-19 is a very unfortunate happening, and at times it can seem as these tough trying times will last forever, and that all hope for normalcy is lost, Lexie has gained a few insights from being a young person in this historic event. She has realized just how many germs are out there, and uses better practices by protecting herself from getting seriously ill, in addition to the fact that she aspires to go into a medical profession. Her appreciation for family has also increased, as her relatives are generally pretty close knit as a group. That’s not to say it isn’t sad or disappointing, because Lexie has also been deprived of the understanding of the usual freshman university student experience. Not to mention how much it hurts when you put sanitizer on already dry hands!

It’s also had a hard hit with her extended family, as an uncle of hers suffers from a disorder, and it was difficult to get him admitted into the hospital because of the irregularity of his lapses, and the health care staff was already overwhelmed with the amount of people packed inside. For the longest time Lexie had been uneasy, due to the uncertainty of what would happen next concerning the virus. Her family had planned to go to Florida last spring break, but for obvious reasons it was cancelled as it was highly discouraged to travel anywhere out of state. On the bright side, the annual trip they take to Tawas in July did still happen, which was pleasant news for them. The biggest lesson she has gotten from the disaster is to not take life for granted and to enjoy every second you have on this earth, because you never know when something bad could result.

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