Photo courtesy of Christopher Schultz Photo courtesy of Christopher Schultz

Christopher Schultz had to get a second job to make ends meet during COVID until federal stimulus money kicked in.

Being isolated and stuck inside is something a lot of the clientele at Game On, a video game retailer in Saginaw, may have thought was an appealing notion. But Christopher Schultz, an employee at the store, said he and others have had their share of isolation during the pandemic.

He said he is happy things are returning to normal, even if normal is still a little different. 

Early in the pandemic, Schultz said the pandemic was jarring to his social life. He missed his friends. He missed his family. But things have begun to change. 

“But as COVID fatigue grew and vaccination became prominent in my circle things went back to normal,” he told The ‘Gander. 

The pandemic wasn’t easy for Schultz, a lifelong Saginaw resident. When the pandemic began, his employer was one of many businesses that closed temporarily to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. When it reopened, it was operating with only curbside service for a period. Schultz took on a second job, working the third shift at a nearby Meijer store to compensate. 

“Things have gone back to normal more or less since the business restrictions have lifted, we only mandated an in-store gaming suspension for a few weeks recently when a player showed up knowing they had a pending covid test and decided to come anyway,” he said. 

Schultz said he felt hopeful about things getting better until the Delta variant became more prominent, causing a spike in new COVID-19 cases and increased spread. 

More than 1 million people in Michigan have tested positive for the coronavirus. Of those, more than 20,000 have died from the virus. But those numbers are much lower than what they may have been had three safe and effective vaccines not been developed to protect people from the spread. 

Schultz, who is vaccinated, said he’ll also be open to getting a booster shot when he qualifies for one.

Being back to normal looks a little different these days. The Saginaw Game On doesn’t require its customers or employees to wear masks, but Schultz said most of them do, anyway, to take that extra step in keeping people safe. 

Most people have been open to safety measures, he says. 

“People who claim their rights are being infringed upon are more insufferable and dig their heels in, but the average person seems to just be going with the flow,” he said. “It’s actually been a boon for the business. 

“Stimulus money and being stuck inside is good for nerds and what we sell,” he joked.