Storyteller: Emilee Green
It was early March of 2020 when thirty-four year old Katie of Saginaw, Michigan received the news that she was getting the career promotion she’d been working towards for months. Her excitement would turn to confusion and concern in the coming days brought with them the announcement of COVID-19.
Katie doesn’t remember the exact moment she heard of COVID-19, but she does recall the sheer speed of just how quickly her sense of “normal” life disappeared. “I do recall the first time that it really sunk in that it was very serious, which was about the second week of March. This is the time that Delta suspended its in person operations, and the Bay City St. Patrick’s Day Parade was cancelled.”
Katie works at Delta College in the FInancial Aid Office as a Customer Service Advisor. She works on processing students’ financial aid, as well as assisting students with the financial aid process, a job that has her spending long hours within the walls and halls of Delta College – somewhere she hasn’t seen the inside of for months now.
Katie was assigned to work from home during the beginning of the pandemic, and has operated her job entirely from her own home ever since. “It’s definitely been a big change.” she tells me. Immediately before COVID-19 hit, Katie had transferred from the Delta Nursing Office to her new position. Things didn’t transition so smoothly when COVID-19 took the world by storm.
“I am grateful that I still chose to start the position even remotely, although it does still feel weird that I am a financial aid employee that has never worked a day in the office. I went from getting up and going to work everyday, running errands, going to restaurants without a second thought. Now, working at home everyday, day after day with no reason to leave the house anymore, I have definitely had periods of feeling stir crazy.” It’s safe to say she isn’t alone. Katie feels a loss of connectedness to others being cooped up in her home and tells me how communication and connection is hindered when only done through the phone.