Central Michigan University
$1,500 Scholarship and Hearst Medallion
Michiganders find themselves about halfway through 2021 while watching COVID-19 cases steadily decline. Reported cases have consistently decreased for several weeks, with a current seven-day average of 373 new cases and 30 deaths as of June 8. It is the lowest seven-day average since July 2020. In May, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its mask guidelines so fully vaccinated individuals two weeks from their final coronavirus vaccine “no longer need to wear a mask or physical distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules or regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” Even though numbers are declining and guidelines are loosened, remnants of the past year and a half linger.
Licensed fitness instructor Kristin Pfauth leads people in a Pound outdoor fitness routine, a cardio workout that implements “drumsticks” and quick arm movements, June 8 on The Blue Bridge in Grand Rapids, MI. City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation started 12 weeks of outdoor fitness classes to take advantage of the weather while the pandemic comes to an end, Pfauth said.
Grand Rapids resident Emily Doyle enters a city bus June 8 on Pearl Street in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. When the city discouraged the use of public transportation last year, Doyle said it made it difficult to function in the city.
Grand Rapids resident Tyler Hamersma, an account manager for Applied Imaging, sits at a picnic table June 8 along Monroe Avenue in Grand Rapids, MI. Hamersma said that doing work outside away from the office is "like a blast from the past" even though the federally mandated quarantine was not so long ago.
A sign advertises open positions June 6 at Big Boy in Grand Rapids, MI. In February, Michigan began experiencing a worker shortage which many employers accredit to the pandemic.
Grand Rapids resident Preston Green was working for temp agencies when the pandemic became a reality to everyone in the United States last year. He has struggled with substance abuse and mental health his whole life. Preston said the pandemic only worsened his struggles, and when he began feeling "enslaved at his $11 job," he decided to be homeless.
Barber Andrew Theile gives Grand Rapids resident Spencer Lickteig a haircut June 8 at Foremost Barbershop in downtown Grand Rapids, MI.
“I moved to Grand Rapids in the beginning of 2020, so the city looked like my apartment for a long while,” Lickteig said.
(From left to right) Deb Fryling, Lisa Render, Harley Swan-Gravelyn, 9, and Michelle Swan watch Disney's Cruella June 7 at Celebration Cinema in Grand Rapids, MI.
Van Andel Arena sits empty June 8 in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. The arena will not host events until August 2021. As of June 8, more than 54 percent of people in Michigan over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Israel Nino and his daughter Ariana, 2, walk behind the right field fence during a Whitecaps game June 8 at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, MI. It was the first game of the season played at full capacity.