Michigan residents weigh pros/cons of self-isolation and social distancing

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LaDonna Floyd, a Southfield resident and Senior Domestic Relations Specialist at the Third Judicial Circuit Court, works from home.

Floyd is not alone. Three-fourths of the employees in Michigan work in industries deemed “non-essential” according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order on March 23 to close “non-essential” businesses until mid-April. Bridge Magazine’s analysis of data from the U. Bureau of Labor showed essential businesses represent only 1 million of the state’s 4.3 million jobs. 

“I really miss my network and support system,” said Floyd in a text. “Talking on the phone and texting isn’t the same.”

This time away from work has been a hard time for Floyd and her family.

Floyd wrote: “We haven’t been able to visit family and friends, go to work, school, worship service, extracurricular activities, social activities, plan or go on vacation, my daughter’s 5th-grade trip and activities have been canceled.

“It’s reduced our household income by half due to my husband being self-employed. Several friends have lost family members and loved ones.” 

To stay positive, Floyd looks forward to get-togethers. 

“My coworkers have a happy fun date planned as soon as we get the go-ahead,” said Floyd. “And I can’t wait to see my family.”

Wendy Clark, an employee in patient accounting at St. John Providence Health System, now Ascension Michigan for 20 years, also works from home and sees positive and negative benefits to remote working.

“Working at home has allowed for a steady paycheck to come in,” said Clark in the email screenshot below. “I am saving on gas due to not commuting back and forth from home to the office. However, staying at home all day has caused an increase in the utilities and the food bill.”

Screenshot of email from Wendy Clark, saying how the outbreak has affected her day-to-day schedule and activities.

Missing the human connection

Kamari Peeples, an Oakland Community College student, is looking forward to going back to having fun with her friends and family. Practicing social distancing has forced her to realize she took certain activities for granted.

“Being inside for several days has me missing parts of the world that I never paid attention to,” said Peeples via text. “I miss family that usually stop by.” 

Video of Kamari Peeples explaining how the virus has impacted her family. Video provided by Kamari Peeples.

Peeples is not the only Michigan resident looking forward to regaining human connection when the outbreak is over. Skye Taylor, a 19-year-old Michigan resident, is looking forward to traveling to spend time with family in another state.

Felise Washington, a freshman at Michigan State University, shares how her family has changed since social distancing has been in effect.

“The first thing that I am looking forward to after this pandemic is taking a road trip down to Tennessee,” said Skye Taylor via text. “My mom is from Nashville and our family lives there. We were planning on going in May, but as the days were going by we thought most likely it was going to get pushed back.”

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