Rebecca, Midland County

Storyteller: Adam Jean

Rebecca Jean is a 19-year-old Michigander who has bounced back and forth from Midland to Kalkaska due to her inability to attend in person education at The University of Michigan. She planned on getting a job but then COVID-19 interfered with her plans to do so. She now spends her days balancing heavy loads of schoolwork and helping her grandparents with housework.

She was first impacted by COVID-19 was in early 2020 when she was given a 24-hour notice to evacuate the U of M campus and begin online instruction. According to Rebecca that was, “a very shocking and frightening experience” because she had heard about it in the news, but it did not quite seem real until she was forced to a new home because of it. The biggest change is Rebecca’s life was being kicked out of campus and having to live with her family once again. When prompted, Rebecca shared that she gained something from COVID-19, she learned how much she appreciated her in-person classes. She also came to a better understanding of her mental limits and health as the vicious combination of heavy schoolwork and stress of COVID challenged them. Rebecca also shared that she had lost some pieces of her life due to COVID. She feels that she missed out on a good bit of her college experience and mentioned that her grades have taken a bit because of it.

One experience that Rebecca relates to the pandemic is that she noticed that people are less inclined to crowd each other. She appreciates this because she feels more anxious when near a large group of people. Rebecca promptly said no when asked if anything funny has happened during the pandemic.

She may not have gotten any humor from the pandemic, but Rebecca did learn an especially important lesson; “Your health has an impact on you and those around you. It should be normal to take responsibility to protect others by being safe”.

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