Seventh Edition: May 16-22
There are a plethora of changes COVID-19 has brought to our world. Developments are mounting daily, sometimes hourly. The Collegiate staff documented a few snippets of the things we’ve seen and heard. For this edition, we discussed how work has changed since all nonessential businesses have closed and the challenges faced with the unemployment system.
The Michigan Web Account Manager website
6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19
By Kellie Book
I haven’t stepped foot inside my place of work. I have been officially unemployed since early April. Since then, the only income I have received was the $1,200 stimulus check. I experienced a whole lot of confusion and frustration with the system: first I was denied, then that decision changed without my knowledge and all of a sudden I was approved, then denied benefits for an entire month because I hadn’t known that I had been approved. Then I reapplied, which was also a confusing process, and was approved again. Now, if everything goes correctly with my certification, I should get some income soon. It’s a good thing I can live with my family, or I would have been in serious financial trouble. Fingers crossed that everything gets straightened out soon, and that I can return to work at some point in the next month or so and stop jumping through these hoops.
My house in Wyoming
10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19
By Sabrina Edwards
I haven’t been working at my job since March 25. I work at a retail store that is still open, however, my family isn’t comfortable with me going to work everyday during the stay-at-home order when they’re all quarantining. I have applied for unemployment because I don’t qualify for any of the stimulus checks that were sent out. I got approved right away and didn’t have any issues with the online interface. As of right now, I’m hoping to return to work June 1. It is very strange not working for so long after working for five years. While I’m happy to go back, it’s also kind of sad because now I’ve gotten used to my quarantine lifestyle, but I will be glad to return to normal when this is all over.
11 p.m on Tuesday, May 19
By Allie Ouendag
I officially stopped working March 15 when restaurants and coffeeshops were ordered to close in-dining operations. As a barista at a local coffee shop my hours were pretty much slashed the week after food services were asked to practice social distancing just so the business could stay afloat. I know how hard people work to build small businesses and it’s hard to watch them struggle during this time, but their sacrifice is helping us all keep safe. I think the thing I miss most is seeing and interacting with new customers everyday, that was always my favorite part of my job. I am not going to lie, I don’t keep up with economic news as much as I should, but I have been hearing good news and bad news every other day so I am not sure what to think.
The Miller Compound
3:01 p.m.on Wednesday, May 20
By Jamie Miller
Now as I’m sure you know, or as I hope you know, many businesses are shut down leaving many without an income. But not yours truly, as I work for The Collegiate. That is my only job. In order to lose a job I would have to have had a job to begin with. And not counting The Collegiate I have no job. And thus my days have become very… predictable. Wake up, eat, shower, write, watch TV, go to bed, only to arise and do it again, just as the phoenix rises from the ashes, I shall rise the next day to repeat the cycle. And don’t get me wrong, I have no complaints. Life is good, however, for others life is not. So to those reading this please have patience for those wearing masks; for many are essential workers and we rely on their efforts to keep this city, state, and country running. And please for the love of all above, wear a mask as some are at a higher risk to the virus such as the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
Downtown Grand Rapids
8:54 p.m. on Thursday, May 21
By Brianna Wetherbee
I work at a law firm downtown. Although our office has been closed since the stay-at-home order went into effect, I have had to go into the building a few times. Given the nature of the work we do at the firm it is challenging to not physically be in the office. Being someone who appreciates routine and structure, it is difficult to not keep my normal schedule. I miss being able to converse with my coworkers, talking about our exciting plans for the weekend. Friday, Saturday and Sunday no longer have the allure that they once did. I miss interacting with the clerks at the courthouse and stepping away from my desk to get a latte at the coffee shop located within my office building. The simple, once seemingly mundane activities we do throughout a week will no longer be taken for granted.