Jessica, Saginaw

Story Teller: Daniel Leon

Jessica is a 31 year old who is currently working and living in Saginaw, Michigan. She works at a hospital as a CNA where she assists patients with care, performing vitals, and other routine procedures. Her first introduction to Covid-19 was on social media however, officially was introduced at work where they received a crash course on precautions with this new mysterious virus. On her very first day working at the hospital, the floor became a covid unit and has been taking care of the covid population since, with significant changes to her daily life having taken place such as wearing N95 and surgical masks while at work on top of wearing them in public. To top things off, her work is short staffed while surrounded by death where there could be multiple deaths in a shift. 

Jessica has been repeatedly isolated by friends and family that are too afraid to go near her and is constantly disinfecting her work items, clothes and everything in life seems to have become more of a chore in an effort to stop the spread of the disease. This has brought many mental challenges to Jessica, as she continues to feel distanced from the ones she loves while staying in the fight to stop the spread of the virus. Changes took place after she contracted Covid, although being mild symptoms, she states her taste and smell have never been the same. Despite the struggles at work, she has gained a lot of knowledge from the new experiences at work and has a better understanding of the pandemic and just how scary it really is for their patients. 

Jessica states it is hard to believe it happens until it affects you personally or your loved ones and she has learned to slow down and enjoy life, never taking anything or anyone for granted. She was very moved by seeing how some people have truly shown their true colors during this pandemic and how selfish people can be. She shares how quarantining has affected her as she loses contact with people and after losing two family members for reasons unrelated to Covid, it feels to her like they are almost in hiding and not completely gone. Her mental health has taken a nosedive which in turn has caused her to lose sleep as she continues fighting to protect her community and has lost a little bit of faith in humanity as people are arrogant to the pandemic. In a brighter aspect of the pandemic, she says how she finds it funny trying to explain technology to the elderly such as FaceTime as they struggle to figure it out and thinks it is harder to read people’s facial expressions with their masks on. Jessica continues working in the hospital and helping to keep our communities safe until the pandemic comes to a halt.

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