Two years ago this month, Michigan’s first stay at home order took effect.
To curb the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered Michiganders to hunker down unless they were doing something deemed essential.
Those restrictions have since been lifted but, for many, an old way of life may never return.
Greater Lansing students and residents look back on where they were that first day the stay-at-home orders went into effect.
Erica Green, a junior studying social relations and policy
“I just got back from my econ class. I was living in Case Hall and all my friends got together and we just talked about if we were actually gonna go home, and then we did.
“I thought that we would come back after, you know, for exams, when they said that we would … I definitely didn’t anticipate going home from my dorm forever that freshman year.”
Rose Jangmi Cooper, a Lansing-area singer and actor
“When the pandemic started, it felt like everybody was like, OK, ‘Yeah, let’s pull it together, let’s make things happen that’s, you know, kick this pandemic’s butt.’ But as time went on, you saw people fighting over a piece of cloth, like piece of cloth over your face.”
Philip Apol, lead chaplain and director of the spiritual care services at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital
“Once COVID hit, the hospital, which had had been a public space with volunteers and family members, it became a kind of eerie ghost town.”
Rosalinda Calley, a resident from Portland, Michigan
“My brother is Ramiro Jose Mata and he passed away from COVID.
“He was 45 years old. He was a corrections officer. … It was a very difficult job and he didn’t like it. But it afforded him a lot of overtime and he was able to be there for his kids.”
Listen: Michiganders on how the pandemic’s changed their lives