Joey, Saginaw

Storyteller: Jaden Derleth

Joey is a 23-year-old, 3rd-year college student who attends Saginaw Valley State University. Pre pandemic, Joey worked full time at a daycare and was taking classes. He regularly went out with friends, participated in many school functions, and traveled back and forth to his hometown to see his family. In early March, when he first heard of the virus, Joey’s life was flipped upside down. Joey was attending Disney’s internship program working in Orlando, Florida as a cast member.

Following quarantine, Joey’s internship was canceled forcing him to move back to his parents’ house. This was especially hard for him as his family was the only people he stayed in contact with after moving away. Joeys mental and physical health were not something he was keeping up with at the start of quarantine. This was something he knew he had to change. Quickly, Joey took advantage of the stay-at-home order. Home workouts, running on the long dirt roads of his hometown, and the many fresh vegetables of his mothers’ garden helped him through these times.

Through this pandemic, Joey has learned a lot. The pandemic itself taught Joey to live his life and to not focus on the negatives as much. As I said before, he gained a lot from the pandemic as well, a healthier lifestyle is the biggest thing he gained. Independence is another gain from the pandemic, having to leave friends behind at Disney and living with his parents made him realize he will be the only constant person in his life. A small inconvenience he’s noticed is “maskne” (facial acne from masks). He’s ready for the day when we all can leave the house without masks and gather in large groups again. Just like all of us, Joey is taking this pandemic one day at a time.

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