Michelle, Plainwell

Storyteller: Paige Timpe 

As a mother to me and my younger sister, Michelle is a 45-year-old woman who spends her days working as a purchasing supervisor at Summit Polymers in Portage, Michigan. She oversees all the purchasing department and supervises all the purchased goods for an automotive company where they assemble interior car parts. 

Michelle first heard about covid in early March of 2020 from the news and social media. As COVID-19 has progressed, her workdays became much more challenging. She has dealt with major staffing shortages as people chose to take unemployment instead of work. Along with COVID-19 slowing things down, it also affected the purchasing field which limited supplies and caused longer delivery times for parts. Although work has been tough, she has gained more money from all the hours of work she has put in. She has also saved money by not eating out as much and not having to spend money on entertainment because most places were closed due to COVID-19. 

One huge thing that Michelle has lost is her husbands (my fathers) grandpa due to COVID. He was recently put in a nursing home where COVID-19 cases spiked. He caught the virus, and his body was too weak to fight it off and he sadly passed away. She has also lost a lot of quality time with close and extended family. 

Throughout the pandemic Michelle struggled with having to wear glasses with a mask, but quickly changed to wearing contacts where it made her day-to-day life at work so much easier. 

A funny moment that happened during COVID-19 was around Christmas when we couldn’t see family. We made a big zoom call where we each opened all our presents that people got us. “The best part was when the little grandkids would try to talk to the camera but would be so close that all you could see was their foreheads,” said Michelle. 

Overall, the COVID-19 Pandemic has taught Michelle to appreciate all the normal freedoms we take for granted. Appreciate the time you have with your loved ones because you never know the last time you will get to see them. 

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