An OPED piece of mine that ran in Chicago Tribune

I'm impressed with the way so many people are coping with changes in Olson Library. On Friday, August 28, I recorded a thank you note from myself to the library employees and patrons and to the many groups on campus who help us stay safe as possible. I shared the message on the Olson Library Facebook page and in an email to library staff and faculty.

My mother, aged 95, lives at Brookridge Heights assisted living in Marquette. She has always been an incredibly social person so it was very hard on her when complete isolation was imposed, so that even her meals happened alone in her room and no visitors were allowed. Fortunately Brookridge added some activity staff to help with Zoom and Facetime calls and finally, in July, started allowing socially distant parking lot visits.

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I went to visit my son Adam on January 20th, 2020. He teaches English in Daegu, South Korea. He wanted to show me Asia so we also visited Thailand and Kathmandu, Nepal before my eventual return to Marquette on March first. During my visit I could see the South Korean's response to the pandemic and contrast it to what I expected and experienced in the United States upon my return.

Our front window

This is a short memoir of my experience during the Pandemic as a young woman living in Marquette, Michigan and working as a college instructor. It focuses in particular on my thoughts and feelings, as well as dealing with a medical condition I have been diagnosed with.

A Facebook group, Hearts of Hope, Yooper Strong, was started on March 25, 2020, described as "a fun activity for families or anyone to get out of their homes to take a ride. Keeping social distancing in mind, decorate your front door, your front window, all your windows, whatever you want! Bring some love into our world and join in!! Make a game out of it to see how many houses you can find 😊 " There are now more than 20,000 members

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Images of face shields and negative pressure intubation canopies to help local hospitals fight the pandemic.

"Come outside to wave to neighbors, visually check in with each other, provide comfort and safely interact while social distancing." #marquettemoment - Mayor Jenna Smith

A movement began in early spring to placed colored hearts on the windows of your house to give kids extra incentive to get outside and do something fun, via a "heart hunt." We would walk around the neighborhood with our six-year old son and count how many hearts we could find.

This is a sign a made for my window at my South Marquette residence. I live near several businesses and thought this would be highly visible to many people.

Messages of hope seen in the window of a residence in South Marquette

I started this cross-stitch project on March 16, 2020. That was the day that the Marquette Regional History Center where I work closed for the shutdown. I worked on it throughout the shutdown and finished it on July 4, 2020. It’s the Lower Harbor ore dock (DSS&A #6) and contains 24,960 individual stitches (each square is 100 stitches).

I went to Meijer in Marquette to grab toilet paper and it was completely barren. This was in March before the Stay at Home order even passed. At that time it felt like a hoax still.

A quick story about my quarantine experiences and how I documented them.

The masks that I sewed myself were clumsy and untidy, even though they were adequate. Instead, I usually wear a thin buff (commercially made). It's easy to keep around my neck and pull up when needed.

I tried sewing my own mask using materials available in my house. My sewing skills are limited, as were my supplies. This used two layers of pillow case with ties made from an old t-shirt.

Former NMU Archives student assistants, Jaime Ganzel and Miranda Revere, visiting Marcus Robyns at Mehl Lake, Gwinn, Michigan. Practicing the social distance greeting. 

This image of my wife (Tammy Wills) at home during the governor's "Stay-At-Home" order.