Jennifer, Bay County

Storyteller: Sage Simon

Jennifer is 41 years old and lives in Bay City, MI. She is a Registered Nurse in a cardiology unit at the local hospital. Recently though, her unit had turned into a full-fledged COVID unit and has been nonstop filling with new patients.

Jennifer was informed in the first week of March on the new virus in an educational meeting through work. The meeting was only a preparation for the employees and to be aware of stopping the spread if/when patients came in with it. The following week the state had gone into lockdown and the many changes that came with it.

The biggest change that came to Jennifer’s daily life was the lowered number of patients that were being accepted for treatment and surgeries; this led to her being allowed a two-week furlough in which she had taken. Once she returned to work, everything was full force and worse than when she left. She didn’t have much to expect but neither did anyone else. Compared to those around her and the nations reactions to what was all to affect us, she still led a normal life with the necessary cautions that came. She gained a new knowledge of the virus and how quickly it can affect the communities that we live in. With that knowledge, she took advantage of the time that she was given with her kids and husband and how close they became during trips that they took and events that they had. One final thing that she had gained from COVID, unfortunately, was COVID itself. Jennifer did note that she did lose out on her social life outside of work and how she lost out on time with family like her parents.

Everyone had different experiences that stood out to them, but Jennifer’s was how challenging it was at first to wear a mask for 12 hours a day. The masks had left marks on her face and pulled on her ears and she remembers the relief she felt at the end of the day being able to take them off.

After all that had happened, Jennifer learned how precious life is after watching the trauma that had affected the patients, and the importance of enjoying and being thankful for time with her loved ones.

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