Jarod, Saginaw County

Storyteller: Phyllis Schmitter

Jarod was a junior in high school when the pandemic hit. COVID-19 came out of nowhere, starting as vague whisperings of a pandemic from abroad hitting America to the entire school district being shut down. This change turned his world upside down, instead of going out and enjoying his junior year with activities such as Drama Club and Robotics. For a while, there wasn’t even online school, just days upon days of hanging out with friends online and doing nothing and slowly falling into a weird depressive funk. It was nice to stay inside, but it just wasn’t nice to be forced to stay inside all of the time.

Without a school routine to keep him sane or any friends he was able to go and see, his mental health fell. The days turned into a blur and even though he was constantly around friends the days were meaningless. His own main friend group also seemed to split apart under the depressive pressure of quarantine, two of them splitting off and away from everyone else even though nothing really seemed to have changed from how things normally were since they always talked online anyways. His entire social dynamic changed over the course of spring, leaving everything confused and raw.

Overall, Jarod has had rough pandemic, to put it lightly. From the ever-encroaching sloth of doing nothing to the social turmoil in his personal life, everything has just been strolling downhill with no signs of stopping. Going out once and while, although this happened incredibly sparsely, was a liberating experience for him. The introduction of a schedule in his life has helped him greatly and hopefully with the end of the pandemic his life can return to a more normal and sane state like he was accustomed to.

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