Chronicling COVID | Michigan Radio
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Chronicling COVID

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There are over 370,000 people in Michigan who have finished both doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

"I kind of feel like I'm a little bit of a superhero," said Jamina Washington, a labor and delivery nurse from Ypsilanti. She got her second shot of the Pfizer vaccine in early January.

"I just want to walk around, flashing my card like it's a badge of honor or something to have completed our doses."

If you live in a part of Michigan that has COVID vaccine doses, and you’re in a priority group, you might be trying to make a decision right now: Is it time to get the shots?

But if you’re someone who’s had a complicated relationship with establishment health care, it may not be so simple. Donna Allen-Brown checks all those boxes.

Phil Roeder, Flickr Creative Commons

For so many teachers right now, trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine can feel like a distilled version of everything that’s been so stressful and challenging about the last 10 months: Nothing’s working the way it’s supposed to.

Courtesy Michelle Matiyow

More than 13,000.

That is the tally of lives COVID-19 has taken here in Michigan as of Sunday.

We don’t talk as much about the other people we’ve lost over the past ten months.

Tracy and Matt Godbold, co-owners of The Rusty Nail in Carson City in mid-Michigan's Montcalm county. The Godbold's moved to Michigan from Arizona to take ownership of the restaurant in 2019.
Courtesy of Matt Godbold / Courtesy of Matt Godbold

It’s been a long, hard pandemic for restaurants. Michigan has banned indoor dining at restaurants twice to try and slow the spread of coronavirus -- once at the beginning of the pandemic and again in November. The second ban is still in effect through at least January 15.

With public health restrictions limiting their business for much of the past year, restaurants have struggled to stay open for business. A December study from Top Data and Zenreach indicates spending at restaurants at the end of 2020 declined 11% from January of last year. 

Courtesy photos

More information is coming out about the potential long term symptoms of COVID-19. The CDC recently put out a list of the long term effects of the virus. And post-COVID treatment centers are growing in number.

It’s being called “Long COVID.” For people living with it, there are a lot of unknowns.

Master Sgt. David Eichaker / Air National Guard

The state’s prisons have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 50% of Michigan’s prison inmates have been infected by the virus.

As inmate Debra McDaniel notes, "The United States wasn't even prepared for this, let alone a correctional facility."

Detroit mom still recovering from the spring wave of COVID-19

Dec 10, 2020
Nicole Vaughn, 50, is a single mom of five adopted kids. Back in March she came down with COVID-19 and was hospitalized and put on a ventilator.
Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press

We’re in the middle of a second wave of COVID-19 here in the state, but the reality is some people are still recovering from the first wave back in the spring.

Adobe Stock


The coronavirus pandemic has hit western counties in the Upper Peninsula hard this fall. The population of Delta County is about 36,000. There have been more than 2,500 cases of COVID-19 and 60 deaths.

Chris Anderson is with the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba’s downtown. He says the pandemic caught them by surprise. They did not see the surge of cases in the first wave of the infection in the spring.

A couple smiling at the camera. The woman has a feeding tube.
Courtesy of Becca Meyer.

Michigan now has more than 378,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday, Nov. 30. Many of those who are sick will come out of this okay. But some, like Rebecca Meyer, will suffer long term effects, what doctors call "long haul COVID."

Meyer lives in Kalamazoo. She was a healthy 31-year-old when she got COVID in March. It’s been eight months since then.

And she’s still sick.

The number of people in Michigan hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to rise. Already, many hospitals are stretched to their limit.

Our reporters have been speaking to frontline health care workers, and today we want to bring you the voice of Elise Pavlige. She’s an ICU nurse at Mercy Health in Muskegon, where inpatient cases have gone from less than 50 to more than 130 just this month.

woman takes a photo in the mirror of her and her two kids getting ready in the bathroom
Courtesy of Danielle Dix

For many people, 2020 is an ongoing collision of difficult, stressful situations. As COVID-19 cases surge in the state, Michigan Radio is talking to Michiganders about how the pandemic is affecting their lives.

Danielle Dix works the third shift at a West Michigan hospital. The Grand Rapids mom has a second job in retail. All the while, she's trying to keep her two children on track in online school.

Nurse Kate Beauchamp wearing PPE.
Courtesy Kate Beauchamp

More than 3,800 people in Michigan are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Deaths from the virus are rising as well. As cases continue to rise across the state, we’re talking with folks who have been personally impacted by the pandemic.

Among those hardest hit are health care professionals.

young woman wearing glasses and smiling in front of a yellow background
Courtesy of LaToya Henry

As COVID-19 surges to new highs in Michigan and nationwide, Michigan Radio has been speaking with people deeply touched by this pandemic.

One of them is LaToya Henry. She’s forty-four years old, and lives in Oakland County’s Lathrup Village. When COVID hit her in March, things got bad fast.