Graphic by Desiree Tapia Graphic by Desiree Tapia

A Detroit woman shares her perspective on Gov.Whitmer’s stay home, stay safe extension after more than a dozen family members fall ill to COVID-19.

DETROIT, MI — Residents are divided on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in Michigan. With protestors storming the state Capitol, one Detroit grandmother is encouraging fellow Michiganders to stay home.

She’s seen 14 loved ones suffer from the coronavirus, some of who didn’t make it. 

The West side resident, who is Black, asked for anonymity amid Michigan residents brandishing automatic weapons, swastikas and Confederate flags just an hour north of her home. For the purposes of this article, she’ll be referred to as Mrs. West.

“I have an 18-year-old who was in college. The day after she left for spring break, she was told that she couldn’t come back,” she says, recalling Gov. Whitmer’s March 13 shelter in place declaration. Another adult child lives outside of the home with their own family.

Mrs. West’s daughter was never allowed to move back into her college dorm. She is now back in Detroit with her mother and 70-year-old grandmother, content to stay home to protect her family.

“I am content to stay right in this house or in my backyard,” Mrs. West says.

The West family is careful about contracting the virus after a family funeral led to the infection of over a dozen of her relatives in March. Three died.

Mrs. West’s message for her neighbors is blunt and pleading.

“I understand they want to get out but what’s more important, your health or being out in the street?”

Governor Whitner extended Michigan’s stay-at-home order through May 28.