“Some people actually used welding masks to look at the eclipse.”

This audio contains language that has been redacted in the transcript but not in the audio file. Did you see the eclipse during the middle of the day several years ago? What made you think -- or what did you think about it? Did you get special eclipse glasses to watch it happen? Yeah, the eclipse 20, was that 2016 or 17? Yeah, I definitely remember that. My company actually took the day off of work. Basically. We kind of had a party. We went to a big park in Ann Arbor. It was close to a river and probably was the Huron River. I don't remember a hundred percent, but we did tubing. I think. And of course general barbecue stuff. Like hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, potato salad, stuff like that. As I recall. And yeah, the eclipse I remember that being weird. It was a little weird. It honestly made me feel connected to people from the past because, like today, you know, there's a tendency to feel like as modern people we’re so smart with science and everything, but with something like that eclipse happens, like it's just dark in the middle of the day and it's weird as h***. And it's like, it's been a few years. So I don't remember exactly but it was darker than just clouds going by. It's like, whoa, what is happening? Like it was unsettling a little bit. And yeah, I definitely remember the funny, the funny eclipse glasses cuz obviously the sun is very bright. And if you look at it for a long time, you could potentially damage your eyes. So yeah, they were -- I don't remember what was super special about them. I think they were just dark. I don't remember if the polarization of the lenses mattered. The main thing was it just being dark. I'm pretty sure. Kind of like when you're – if you were like welding or something, you wear the face shield and you don't want to look at the super bright light similar. I remember seeing pictures of some people actually used welding masks to, to look at the eclipse. Similar like approach and technology there. But yeah, the eclipse several years ago. Great times.

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“I didn’t really realize the severity of the situation.”

I was looking back to the pandemic. Oh, was there a moment that I realized it was going to be a big thing? I honestly don't really know if there is a moment when I think it was a going to be a big thing. I don't think I'm really the right demographic for that question 'cuz I'm a weird demographic. I'm not quite an adult and not quite a child either. I'm like in the middle, but I think -- I don't know. I was definitely, I knew from the beginning that it wasn't something to be taken lightly. Like I was not in school for the last couple days, when uh last couple of days before all the Michigan schools closed, but I, I was kind of worried. And then I just didn't, to be honest, I didn't do anything when I was in the early stages of the pandemic. Because I would just stay inside and just really study for my AP exams. Oh, wow yeah! But study for the AP exams that were coming up. And then, yeah, I'd hop on video calls with my friend and just cram for those tests which actually did pretty well on, but yeah. Pandemic, yeah, like I said, I don't really know a time when I realized it would be a good idea because I mean, a big thing. I don't know what I'm talking about “a good idea”. A big thing because like, that's kind of, it's -- for me I just sat through it long enough and now it's just a big thing. Like I never, there was never a point where I was like, oh, this is going to be over tomorrow or like this is already over. I think I was a bit skewed because in the middle, I did go to Interlochen and I had live schooling my junior year of high school in 2020, 2021 that year. Where like we I mean we all had to wear masks, we had to social distance, but it was like it was, it was different and it felt more normal. So, now wearing masks all the time, doesn't really bother me, and it doesn't really -- it honestly doesn't didn't really feel real when I went back to my house after going there for the first time -- going here for the first time, going to…

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“Maybe one day we won’t be thinking about COVID all the time.”

I wanted to talk today about COVID again because it's reared its angry head in our lives again. I'm watching numbers that positivity rates have been going up in our area. My mom called me last night to tell me that she tested positive yesterday and I know that COVID isn't necessarily a big deal. Testing positive isn't necessarily a big deal. My parents are both triple vaccinated. My dad just had his, his second booster. But it just sucks when it, it comes close again. I had just seen my mom this weekend. We -- my parents live up, up north. And so we had actually driven up. And then up near them, drove back down with my parents to watch my son's soccer game and then drove back. So spent four hours in the car with my parents on Saturday. So now there's that anxiety again of exposure. Worrying about “I'm a little stuffy this morning. Is it allergies? Is it something more?” I know that I've been triple vaccinated as well, but haven't had COVID after being vaccinated. Makes -- still makes me feel more apprehensive. I know that most people -- that COVID is kind of here in that most people do just fine with it. But I've also had -- I think that I come from a biased spot that my experience with COVID was not great. That I still feel like a year later, I haven't returned to, to the level of health, to the level of fitness, the level of energy that I had before. And I'm sure there's many factors that go into that. And then the experience we had with my sister-in-law who was on a ventilator and on ECMO, and we didn't think was going to make it. It definitely makes me stress more with it. And I also feel like, maybe I've talked about it before, in the beginning there was a clear path. You knew what to do. Now I feel like, well, I've been exposed, but I don't think I'm supposed to do anything different, but I feel like I should do something different. That, you know, that was pretty direct exposure. And I know vaccinations decrease intensity of illness but they're not perfect in that certainly can still catch, catch it. And I don't want to expose anybody else but we also have to live our…

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