COVID-19: Changing Our Lives | March 18: Looking for normalcy
Sometimes we have to look a little harder, but there is still room for thankfulness in an ever-changing world.
Author: Brian Dugger
Published: 6:32 PM EDT March 18, 2020
Updated: 6:42 PM EDT March 18, 2020

TOLEDO, Ohio — On Wednesday morning, I recorded a video call with my colleague and friend Melissa Andrews. We wanted to let people know about this blog, but we wanted to answer questions that some of our viewers had too.

And then, everything changed.

It has been one thing that has been very frustrating as a journalist: the news is changing almost by the minute.

One viewer wondered about the Jeep plant. Gov. Mike DeWine's orders about limiting groups of people did not pertain to factories. Auto workers were continuing to report to work.

But then Wednesday morning, a worker at the Fiat Chrysler assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., was diagnosed with the coronavirus and production was shut down. Literally within Mel and I talking about auto workers, Chrysler shut down its Toledo plant. All of the Big Three automakers shut down production.

On Saturday, there were 13 reported cases in Ohio and 33 in Michigan. Today, there were 88 in Ohio and more than 100 in Michigan. It's overwhelming how quickly conditions are changing.

However, Mel and I agreed on our call that we are trying to look at the positives. She is relishing the fact that she can now be at a stay-at-home and a working mom. My family bought a puzzle on Tuesday night. For years, technology and smart phones pushed families apart.

Maybe now, we have a chance to reconnect with those that we love.


  • The World Health Organization says confirmed global infections have now surpassed 200,000.
  • NBA superstar Kevin Durant and three of his New Jersey Nets are diagnosed with the virus.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announces that employers should now take the temperature of those employees who come to work.
  • The city of Toledo says no evictions will be allowed until at least May 1.



COVID-19: Changing Our Lives | March 18: Looking for normalcy

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Life Goes On
Small business truckers protest electronic logs in Lima

I bought 12 rolls of toilet paper today. Life is good. I was a bit worried about this toilet paper thing. It is funny what becomes important in such a short period. How far have we fallen where we are scrounging for toilet paper? 

I got home from work (not working from home yet) and had just enough time to make dinner, start a load of laundry, and clean the litter box. After dinner, it was off to the airport to pick up my wife and daughter. I have never been this worried about anything before. I just want them to be home.

The drive up to Detroit Metro was uneventful. What I saw on the road was mesmerizing. There were 18-wheelers as far as the eye could see! They were equally distributed between the northbound and southbound directions. I have been traveling home to Michigan from all points in the Midwest for the past 35 years and I have never seen so many truckers on the road that I witnessed tonight. 

This does make me wonder how long the supply chain can run at full throttle like this before man and machine begin to falter. This COVID-19 thing is teaching us a very hard lesson. That is, we are beginning to learn what is important to keep things running. It is not sports, it is not Hollywood. It is the hard-working people who grow, produce, and deliver the goods so that we can purchase and live our lives.

  • Joe Peltier
Chapter 2

Chapter 2

For Better or For Worse
Wedding Cake Number 2

Friday, we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.

“For richer" - I’ve got a great husband (most of the time).

“For poorer" - friends and family are staying home and not celebrating with us.

“In sickness" - doesn’t get much worse than a pandemic.

“In health” - we seldom get sick. I’m upbeat and I only had to start blood-pressure medication last year. 

“Until death do us part” - he doesn’t have to die, just occasionally leave me in a room by myself. If not I’ll consider mariticide … but never divorce.

I love you, Cliff! 

  • Madonna Mallett  
Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Anatomy of a Nightmare
BGSU Presidents Day Open House
Amy Steigerwald

The Anatomy of A Nightmare 

The weekend before the last week of in-person classes at BGSU, I had woken up multiple times in the night from the worst possible nightmares that my mind could create.

I had always been an anxious kid, and sometimes when my mind runs wild, it can make the worst scenarios in my dreams. They're always post-apocalypse scenarios, ones with me as the last person standing. They vary on the type of catastrophe and the story of how things got to the way they were was always hazy. There's always an empty feeling I have in my stomach whenever I think I'm the last person around.

I'm always alone.

The thing is, no matter how bad the dream can get, there is always the moment in which I wake up to the reality I know. Once I open my eyes, there is this monumental tsunami wave that crashes into my stomach and I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it was all a dream.

As the coronavirus slowly started to flip the switch on the BGSU campus, I wasn't coping well. I was seeing everything that I had planned completely change overnight. The nightmares continued for the rest of the week. I woke up on Saturday, March 14th to no tsunami of relief.

Instead, I woke up to the feeling of my stomach being dry like a desert.

  • Adeline Rivero

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