Storyteller: Anna Bradford
Mary is 78 years old and lives in Midland, Michigan. She is retired and her main responsibility is maintaining her home doing tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Mary first heard about COVID-19 in early January of 2020 when things in China began progressing.
Mary’s life changed in the sense that she was strictly home-bound. Being an older adult, she wanted to be sure she remained safe and healthy. She was not able to see friends, go to church, and do things she normally would do. She tried to keep in touch with her friends, but struggled to find topics of conversation because nothing in her life was new. She recounts that for months her house was spotless because all she could do was clean. Mary felt that her life changed the most in the aspect of not being able to see family. She recounted that when the virus is everywhere, you have to do your part and stay home.
Through this pandemic, Mary gained gratitude and learned about the importance and necessity of having family and friends. She learned that for her to thrive, she needs to have human connection and not just communication through a phone.
Mary explained that staying at home all the time had an impact on her physical health. She has lost her mobility to move around because she couldn’t get out of her house and walk like she used to.
She found humor throughout the pandemic, and said that you have to find something to laugh at or else you’ll go crazy. One specific memory she recalled was when her and her husband would go for a drive and while he ran inside the store she sat in the car and watched as many people walked to the front of the store just to realize they forgot their mask. She mentioned that she would wave and chuckle along with them in understanding.
In the big picture of things, the COVID-19 pandemic taught Mary the importance of patience. She explained that it makes a difference when you’re used to doing so many things, until you’re no longer able to do them. It becomes apparent how much time you have when all you have is time. Things don’t have to always be moving and busy. Life will go on.