Students and healthcare workers afflicted w/ COVID-19 share mental health tips

Throughout the country, health professionals and college students reveal ways they are combating the effects of COVID-19 on their mental health. 

According to the CDC, younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported worse mental health, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation. 

CDC suggests some healthy ways to cope with stress. By Molly Gundry

As illustrated in the infographic, the CDC suggests coping strategies with stress and mental health during the pandemic, such as connecting with others and taking time to unwind. Healthcare workers and students across the country, who have previously had the virus, point to ways that helped them cope during the quarantine. 

Health care workers

Debra Aplis, 53, a nurse at a Texas memory care facility, experienced some rough symptoms but ultimately recovered well from the virus. 

Aplis said throughout this pandemic, she experienced depression, mood changes and anxiety. 

However, Aplis found new ways to distract her from the global pandemic and the effect on her mental health. Aplis said she began music therapy, reading and watching music videos on YouTube. After recovering from COVID-19, Aplis donated her plasma for use by those battling COVID-19. 

College students

A Vanderbilt University freshman, Anastasia Franchak, 19, said she spent her entire quarantine in her room. 

Franchak is from Johns Creek, Georgia, outside of Atlanta.

Boiler overheats, scaring a family in Williamston

A boiler overheated Thursday night on the 200 block of E. Riverside Street in Williamston, alarming homeowner Patricia Murphy and her family. She said the home got “uncomfortably warm” before the boiler gauge burst. 

Murphy and her family made it out of the home safely. The home appeared to have no visible damage. 

“I started to feel the radiators,” said Murphy. “They were too hot to touch.” She looked down at the gauge on the boiler, and it had melted. That’s when Murphy knew it was time to dial 9-1-1. 

She said she yelled to her family the radiator had blown as she was on the phone with the repair company.

New indoor farmers market brings local products to Williamston

            Dan Kostecke keeps busy with his business, Guiding Light Garlic Farm, but felt like he wanted to do more to help local farmers. Over a year ago, he decided to open his first indoor farmers market, LFA Farmers Market, in Mason. Then in December, LFA Farmers Market & Micro Cafe came to Keller’s Plaza in Williamston. The LFA sells only locally sourced goods and products in this store in Williamston as well as its original location in Mason. Photo by Gia Mariano

LFA stands for Local Farm Alliance.

Williamston High School fights the vaping epidemic

Michigan made history as the first state to move toward a flavored nicotine vaping ban on Sept. 4, with other states like New York, Massachusetts and Oregon following shortly after. 

With an increase in vape-related deaths being reported across the nation, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) with the help of her Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun concluded that underage vaping constitutes as a public health emergency. 

Under Whitmer’s orders, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued rules detailing the ban, including the prohibition of flavored nicotine products in stores and online and misleading marketing strategies claiming the products are “safe.” Whitmer also ordered the Michigan Department of Transportation to outlaw vape advertisements on state billboards. 

Timeline of the 2019 Michigan vape ban. Graphic by Claire Heise. “As a governor, my No. 1 priority is keeping our kids safe,” said Whitmer in a statement on Sept.

Fireworks Glass Studio brings the heat with glassblowing workshops

Upon arriving to the seemingly small store on 119 S. Putnam St. in Williamston, regulars and newcomers are greeted with a blast of hot air to the face. Past all sorts of decorative items like vases, plates, Christmas ornaments and bowls is the cause of all that heat; four furnaces, some of them with a core temperature of 950 to 2,000 degrees.  

This was the image that owner Dave Porter imagined when he opened Fireworks Glass Studio on Sept. 21, 2007 in what used to be an old candy store. Growing up, Porter’s father was a chemist, and a trip to his work one day some 50 years ago is what got him hooked on his lifelong passion.

141 Design Company welcomes Christmas fun at Ho Ho Ho Workshop

Beginning Nov. 7 and going through the month of December, 141 Design Company in Williamston is spreading the Christmas cheer with crafty customers from all over Michigan with the Ho Ho Ho Christmas Workshop. 

The decorative piece, made of wood crafted at the in-building woodshop by co-owner Brian Deimling, interchanges seasonal colors on Santa’s greeting. With the O’s customized to look like his jolly outfit, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and a snowman resembling Frosty. Though this workshop is the first Christmas-themed one of the season, 141 Design Company has been holding other workshops all year, with customers painting designs like clocks, welcome signs and magnetic boards; all made by Deimling in his woodshop. 

141 Design Company’s Ho Ho Ho Christmas Workshop features this wood design crafted by owner and woodworker, Brian Deimling. Photo by Claire Heise.