Brandy, Midland County

Storyteller: Sasha Tadajewski

Brandy first heard of COVID-19 when her step-mother’s open heart surgery was rescheduled in February. The hospital she was supposed to get her surgery at had been classified as a Covid-only hospital, and she did not receive this very important surgery until late July.

In March, when things started heating up, this mother took her camper, her three children and headed North to Atlanta, Mi to keep them safe. When campgrounds were shut down due to a state-wide shutdown, Brandy had to head home. It wasn’t safe, though, for her oldest son, a type one diabetic, to return to a home where his dad left every day for work. At this point, her family had to make the tough decision for her fourteen year old son to stay with his grandma in Alpena for nearly twelve weeks.

During this time, their only communication was through a phone. He returned home to his family during June.

Once school started up, Brandy made the decision for all of her children to use online schooling to keep her eldest protected the best she can. This means that she became the teacher for a first grader, a fourth grader, and a freshman in high school. Brandy says that she has gained “a deep, profound respect for educators. I would never be able to teach an entire classroom when I can barely handle my three.” Brandy tried to hold a job from home to help with bills when her husband’s hours were cut, but between her children’s school and running a household, it became too much.

In her opinion, the pandemic will never be over. Brandy thinks that COVID-19 will be similar to influenza: “What people don’t understand, this isn’t leaving, this is going to stick around and we will always have precautions we need to take. The first time the flu happened, I’m sure people were waiting for it to be gone, look at it now.” Brandy thinks Covid will return seasonally and give us a “Corona season” much like flu season.

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