Madelyn Jones had a 2020 like many Michiganders, needing unemployment and a new job. Here’s how she’s coming out of the pandemic even stronger than before.
MICHIGAN—The coronavirus pandemic has been a trying time for many in Michigan. But for those who have managed to keep a cool head and keep moving forward, it has also come with plenty of silver linings.
One Michigander who has managed to find the silver linings is 31-year-old licensed veterinary technician Madelyn Jones*, of Westland, who started off the pandemic by being let go from her job, yet still managed to come out stronger, healthier and happier on the other side.
“I initially lost my job in April,” she told The ‘Gander. “But I ended up benefiting from the COVID relief fund that was tied into unemployment.”
While losing her job was difficult and highly stressful, Jones immediately applied for benefits, and used them to pay off credit card debt and heal from the challenges of her previous job, where stress levels were high and there was no opportunity for advancement.
“Being unemployed, I was able to pay off credit card debt that’s been chasing me for a long time, I also have more money saved now than I have as an adult in a long time. I literally came out of it better,” she said. “At first it was a hard pill to swallow, I was in scary times, it was literally during the peak of the pandemic.”
Jones went back to work Aug. 4 and her new job, also as a veterinary tech, is much closer to her house, with financial gains, and more opportunity for advancement.
Veterinary Work During Pandemic Brings New Challenges
Since her new place of employment opened up, the challenges have only grown.
Taking care of animals during a pandemic requires a new set of skills and new regulations.
“Now we are not allowed to have clients in the building, it just makes things way more complicated,” she said.
“Normally they won’t sit in the waiting room, now they hand us the dog through these little corridors and we have to do all our communication through our phone system.
“Older clients really struggle with their phones. It takes twice as long to even get those patients into the building, and sometimes the animals freak out being away from their owners.”
Because the clinic was not able to take animals during the peak of the pandemic, spaying and routine vaccines were not allowed.
That has led to a backlog of multiple months, but it’s also been an opportunity for Jones to step into a bigger role. She was recently named head technician, and has worked to help alleviate the burden of extra cases.
“We’re super busy and behind because of COVID, but we’re also understaffed because of COVID,” she said.
“But the good thing is, I’m coming in there bright eyed and bushy tailed. My hope is that things calm down and we get to become a more chill clinic, because they’re definitely crazy right now.”
Despite the difficulties of wearing masks all day and not being able to see her co-workers’ faces, the pandemic has led to new memories and considerable personal growth.
Jones, who also works part-time as a yoga teacher, recalls a day where she and her co-workers were able to share a memorable moment seemingly out of a throwback episode of the classic hospital drama “ER.”
“I miss seeing people’s faces, my co-workers, I’ve only just met them during COVID and I’ve never seen them unmasked,” she said.
“One time I saw my co-worker in the parking lot, I took my mask off and she took her mask off. We turned and looked at each other through the car window.
“I rolled my window down and she rolled hers down and I said, ‘I don’t think I’ve seen your whole face before,” Jones said. “I told her that her smile was beautiful.”
* Madelyn Jones’ name was changed for privacy reasons.