Dr. Suzanne Wagner

“So I think that that is one of the many ways in which this pandemic period has changed the way I think about my surroundings.” Question is, are you more comfortable being surrounded by buildings or surrounded by trees? If I had answered this question a year or two ago, I would definitely have said I’m more comfortable surrounded by buildings. I’ve always thought of myself as an urban person. I grew up in South East England, I’m used to houses being really close together, joined together,in fact. I’m used to streets being crowded and I love cities. I love exploring cities and I love knowing how cities work and I love getting into all the little neighborhoods and all the corner stores and all the different cultures that particular neighborhood in cities have. Just, in general, I think I’m urban in orientation. But, over the last year, I have been forced to go outside more. There were periods during the lockdowns where there was nothing else to do except go out for a walk and that’s what our family did regularly, we got up in the morning and walked around our neighborhood and then on the weekends we would find some place to go in a park or in a forest and we would go on much longer walks. And we’ve been doing that so often that I’ve come to really love it and and value it to the extent that it feels strange sometimes now to be in a building, I really like being outdoors. And I definitely wouldn’t have said that about myself a couple of years ago. So, I think that that is one of the many ways in which this pandemic period has changed the way I think about my surroundings.

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Dr. Betsy Sneller

"This is actually the third time I've been in the secretary of state's office during the pandemic." I just got back from the Secretary of State, my husband and I moved back to Michigan in November. So it was time to get our plates changed and our licenses updated and I — just as a very short story here and absolutely blown away by Michigan’s Secretary of State. This is actually the third time that I’ve been to a Secretary of State office during the pandemic. The first was in June, in Massachusetts when my license had expired and we weren’t sure yet when we were going to move to Michigan. So, it was — I had to go to the Secretary of State and in Massachusetts to the RMV and get my license and my license plate updated. And there were no appointments. The closest appointment was like 3 weeks out, 2 and a 1/2 hour drive away in Cape Cod. So I went, I took half a day off of work to drive to the DMV and the line that I had to wait in, even though I had an appointment, it was like an hour and half line outside the building, to get into the building was an hour and half line. And as it turned out there was a form that I needed but didn’t have printed off because it’s a pandemic and we don’t have a printer and we weren’t able to make it to FedEx or whatever to print off the form. So it was essentially a wasted half day that I drove 2 and 1/2 hours each direction. Came back a week later and it was the same deal. I had to wait in line. In fact the line the second time that I went to the RMV in Massachusetts was so long that they had two security guards outside to direct people into the line. Like there was a line, to get into the line, to get into the building. And today, I had an appointment at Michigan DMV for 3:30 appointment. I showed up and I was really expecting it to last until 6 p.m. at the earliest. But it is now it was 4:02 when I left the DMV. I got out with our plates updated, registration and my license all done. It was the smoothest operating DMV I literally…

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