Watch Focal Point: Interview with President Stanley, Spartans find new ways to stay safe, the Class of 2020 adjust to year cut short

On this special edition of Focal Point, we interview President Samuel Stanley about how the coronavirus affects Michigan State students and the university’s plans moving forward. It’s not just college students who are forced to stay home from school; meet high schoolers finding new ways to make memories their senior year. Facing shortages of protective equipment, find out how some Michiganders are adapting and finding new ways to make hand sanitizer and face masks. All those stories and more on Focal Point.

Lansing prom shop is determined to have something for the seniors

High school proms all over the state have been canceled because of COVID-19, meaning seniors are missing out on one of the last special nights they had left with all of their childhood friends. But a Lansing business is making it their priority to give them that night back — eventually. Pierre’s Bridal, Prom and Tuxedo is used to seeing its upstairs prom section full of high school girls looking for that special dress from March to June. But now the store is empty and temporarily shut down. Co-owner Sarah Samson got the idea to still hold a prom somewhere, just a little later than most high schools had originally scheduled, for seniors in the Mid-Michigan area.

We’re still answering the calls

Whether here in Michigan, or in Ledyard, a small town in southeastern Connecticut, emergencies don’t stop just because the rest of the world has stopped. “Whole COVID-19 virus has completely changed how the emergency services respond to emergencies, medical emergencies in particular,” Saccone said. The Gales Ferry Volunteer Fire Company has been Tony’s home away from home for 20 years. He’s been a firefighter for 40 years, spending some of other time as a firefighter on the Groton Naval Submarine Base. He’s survived Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, but he’s never seen anything like this.

High school seniors struggle with spring sports canceled

Lake Orion High School senior Lilly Snyder had waited until her senior year to start on the varsity softball team. She was called up as a freshman and sat back watching the upperclassmen take the field, and she did the same thing her sophomore year, and the same thing for her junior year. This was going to be her year until life threw a nasty curveball her way. Many high school athletes, including Lilly, were holding out hope that the Michigan High School Athletic Association wouldn’t cancel spring sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A few weeks after postponing all winter sports tournaments, it seemed inevitable that both winter and spring sports would be canceled and the MHSAA made it official on April 3.

Grabbing Life By The Bow

Four days a week, the Freihofer household fills with sound. Caroline Freihofer has spent 34 years of her life giving back to young violinists by teaching lessons out of her home to 18 students. From ages three all the way to 50, she works with a wide variety of experience levels. Usually, there is steady student traffic all the way up until the late evening. But after Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order to shelter in place for the state, she is grabbing life by the bow and taking on a whole new challenge.

Laying down quilts to sew masks

After leaving the health care field to raise a family, Sharla Horton thought her says of masks were over. Now, because of Covid-19 she is making them herself. As the cases of coronavirus continue to increase the supple of PPE is running low. This is when Horton used materials from her quilting business to start sewing. “I just wanted to help,” Horton said.

For college seniors, getting a job seems out of reach

Getting a job is hard enough for college seniors and when a worldwide pandemic is thrown into the mix, it seems almost impossible. Gloria Kobler has applied to 100 jobs in the past three weeks alone and has had several interviews canceled, and even a job offer rescinded. For many companies, hiring new employees is on hold, putting many college seniors and graduates in a tough place as they enter the job market. As many states continue to enact stay-at-home orders, it’s unclear as to when many of those entering the job market will be able to start working.