Roxane, Alpena

Storyteller: Eden Zann

On March 16th, 2020, Roxane was cleaning teeth at a local dentist office in Alpena, MI. In every room the hygienists had on different news channels: CNN, Fox News, and The Today Show. Normally different news would be streaming in each room, but on March 16th every channel was taken over by the same news: COVID-19. 

For the next week everyone was watching out for the crazy symptoms of this virus, of course no one thought that they were going to get it. Was this deadly virus from China really going to spread into our small town? 

Yes, it was. People were not going to go back to school, sports, or their jobs for months. The state of Michigan was shut down. You could only leave your house for essentials such as food and medical emergencies. Most people had to file for unemployment, except the essential workers- who we are so thankful for. 

When Roxane’s office shut down her life changed. Somewhat for the good, but a lot for the not so good. Roxane could not visit her parents, in-laws, siblings or friends. She missed out on watching her kids play sports and she had to cancel trips she had been working so hard for. However, with the bad you can always find the good.

The light at the end of the tunnel for Roxane was gaining so much time with her family. She got to slow down and focus on herself. From doing yoga and walking daily Roxane is feeling so healthy. Quarantine gave her many opportunities to read news books and cook new meals. She enjoyed being with her family and working on herself. 

Roxane had a full summer and fall back to work with extreme precautions after the Michigan quarantine was lifted. PPE was also hard to come by, which became a struggle at some points. Masks were miserable for everyone. Roxane said that for some reason she thought the masks made it harder for her to hear her patients. “I realized I am a big lip-reader, I may rely on it too much.” 

Now it is December 1st, 2020. After months of working, Roxane’s office has just closed back down again and she refiled for unemployment. Our town has over five hundred positive cases and the COVID floor in our hospital is full. Our state has not completely shut down yet, but restaurants are only allowing take out at this time. Little by little more restrictions are getting applied to our state. 

The pandemic has made Roxane realize that slowing down and spending time with her family is her favorite thing to do. “I especially enjoyed every moment of time I spent with my daughter, as I knew she would be heading off to college soon.” Time with family is irreplaceable. Sometimes you need a break in life to catch up and realize all the good that surrounds your everyday life. Family means everything to Roxane- she is sure to be cherishing every moment of her time with the people she loves the most. 

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