Item

Darcy Brossow Oral History 2020/05/22

Media

Title (Dublin Core)

Darcy Brossow Oral History 2020/05/22

Description (Dublin Core)

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Public History Seminar Covid 19 Project

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Creator (Dublin Core)

Event Identifier (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

English
English
English
English
English

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Collection (Dublin Core)

English
English

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)

07/14/2020

Date Modified (Dublin Core)

10/21/2020
11/17/2020
02/24/2021
03/08/2021

Date Created (Dublin Core)

05/22/2020

Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Karen Kilby

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Darcy Brossow

Location (Omeka Classic)

54451
Medford
United States

Format (Dublin Core)

Video

Language (Dublin Core)

English

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

*This transcription was created using AI and is not considered an official or complete transcript*

KK
Alright this is the oral history interview for the public history seminar class. I am Karen Kilby and I am interviewing Darcy Brossow. The date is May 22, 2020. Around 3:02pm. So, and I live in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Darcy Where do you live?

DB
I live in Wisconsin.

KK
What is your job?

DB
My job is working with cheese. We don't exactly process it but we make it from like these big blocks of cheese down to like the shredded cheese, the slice cheese or like little portions

KK
Where do you work at?

DB
Marathon Cheese Corporation

KK
and you're still working there now you haven't been laid off or anything. Like that?

DB
No, we haven't been laid off. I'm what you considered an essential employee because we work with foods.

KK
And how has the COVID-19 affected your job? Have they put like sanitary conditions in place, that sort of thing?

DB
Yes, they've implemented a lot of stuff. We have workers that go around like sanitizing every surface that they can sanitize. And then they have it where we're starting at work at different time frames. So it's less congested when we're trying to clock out with like the time clocks, and then in the break rooms, they have different break periods that each line has to follow so they don't get too many people. And then they also have like plexiglass that they put on the tables so that people don't get infected. I guess you could say

KK
So did they have to cut people or did did they actually hire more people during this time period?

DB
They actually cut a lot of people. We have what they call like, like, temps like temporary employees that they hire through like different agencies. They cut those back. We usually have college kids during the summer they cut those back. But since like the governor reopened the state, they're actually coming back in now but before like between March and April, they cut all those employees.

KK
Have you or anybody, you know, been sick with the COVID-19?

DB
No, actually in Wisconsin, just recently, in Taylor County, they've had one case and that's it like every other county in the state has had at least one or two, but we've been really fortunate not having any

KK
Have there been any challenges that you had to face during the outbreak?

DB
Really it just more I have to say it's more mentally challenging because with the media and everything, you're wondering what's true when it comes to like, either the symptoms, the causes behind it and everything. So you're just kind of sitting here wondering, like, what can I actually go out and do versus do I just stay at home and, you know, hope not get infected kind of thing.

KK
Let's see here. so what concerns do you have about the effects of COVID-19 on your job.

DB
I really don't have any because like I said, we're an essential employee or literally consensual employers, and we really haven't had any cases. So it's just pretty much going about your daily life.

KK
Do you have any concerns about like the effects of the COVID-19 on the economy or society?

DB
I personally haven't really looked into it and that's my wrongdoing, I guess you could say. But right now I round here. Everything's kind of getting back to normal with like, the jobs and everything but I feel bad because I've heard like different stories about like, small store owners and everything going out of business and stuff and Like I wish we could help especially with like the farmers and stuff too.

KK
Have you seen them actually dumping milk or anything like that like unheard of in Wisconsin?

DB
I I haven't really seen anything but then again like our dairy industry has been going down quite rapidly lately, but I also heard like it affects like, not just like the dairy part of it, but like the meat part of it too. Like they've had to get rid of like pigs and cows and stuff in order to supplement

KK
Yes, there could have been short supply for marathon cheese or they've been able to fulfill demand like that.

DB
They have been able to fill the demand. We've been actually getting more cheese in than what they have out because I'm pretty sure when like the whole COVID started everybody kind of bulked up on everything. thing. And then now that it's kind of going away, they have to use that. So it's kind of just steadily like the the work still there, but it's kind of decreasing at the moment before it kind of hits steady again.

KK
Have you noticed any of the businesses around town that have for sale signs now that they've seen that they're going to be closing?

DB
Actually, no, not, not around here, like I said, because we didn't get hit that hard by it. And I think most of our businesses around here actually stayed open. Because most of them were essential businesses.

KK
Mm hmm. Sounds like some of the smaller businesses had to close their doors for a while or do like curbside pickup.

DB
Yeah, um, a lot of the food places had curbside pickup. One of them was like subway, they kept doing you just either had like an app and then internet or you call them and they fill it out and you go to them and be like, this was my own They'll give it to you at the door and then on the way you go

KK
see? Um So how's it affected you? The quarantine affected you personally? What do you feel about it?

DB
I don't know I've heard so many different opinions and like different things because I had one person at work that's like totally into it and saying like, if they have like any cases they're out they've done their will and everything. But then I've had other people at my workplace that said, they think they've already had it before like the whole scare, because they seem like the symptoms are the same. And that most of us are probably immune to it. So I've had like both ways, but me personally, it doesn't really affect me much. Kind of like small town living you don't really get a whole lot

KK
like in your day to day life, like you don't mind that you're gonna have to stay home more often than not that sort of thing.

DB
Sometimes it bugs me because I don't like staying at home. I'm an introvert. I don't like too many people, but I like going out and doing things. And that's the hard part. Especially when you want to go out to like a park or something and they're closed. I know that's one of the big things was like my husband and I, we want to go out to this one Park and when we went out there, there's like so many people and it's like, No, thank you. So we just kind of went back home and did whatever there I know sometimes. Did a lot more housework, though. More than I ever really wanted to.

KK
Um, how's it you seen affect the community mentally, like, Are people tired of it? Are they enjoying it? That sort of thing.

DB
I'm pretty sure that everybody around Taylor County in Medford is sick and tired of it, like, bad. I've seen so many posts on Facebook from my friends list saying that they think the governor's an idiot that they can wait for this like the whole state to open again. They're pretty much saying Enough is enough.

KK
Yeah, that leads into my next question here. Like knowing what you know, now, what do you think that the government could do better for the future when handling the pandemic?

DB
I honestly don't know. Because like, for us rural areas, we don't get a lot of stuff and it's easier to like, Best Buy Because it's like an airborne disease and like us and you know farm country and everything, there's not really anything there within sight. But if you have like a big city or whatever where you know you have like all these air systems that go through like a skyscraper look at how many people can get affected through that way so like definitely a big city life is way different than out here in the country. I guess that's all like cuz I honestly don't really know a lot about politics and stuff and I haven't been reading up on it.

KK
They're saying like the maybe the local government around there was, could handle it better than in some of the bigger cities maybe? Well,

DB
I think more of the bigger cities didn't. All I want to say like didn't handle it well, but like a lot of the smaller cities could have definitely given up some like there. Like medical units, you have to like the bigger cities instead of trying to be like, oh, something like that maybe? I'm sorry.


Well, you're fine. You're fine. You're good. Um, and probably my last question here has How is your experience transformed how you think about your family and friends and community like how what your relationship is with them as it fractured together as it kind of brought you apart, that sort of thing.

DB
I guess that I'm not a people person. So I honestly don't do a lot of stuff with my community. I just kind of do my own little thing in my own little world. So I don't know exactly how like the community is doing and stuff. Or I'm just kind of indifferent to it. But when it comes to like my family and stuff, it was decent enough. I actually work with my mom and my aunt, so I got to see them. quite a bit. And then the thing is we got phones, we got texting, we got, you know, zoom Skype. So it wasn't a complete loss way better than what I would have been like, you know, let's say, like 70 to 100 years ago where you don't have any of that and you're left at home wondering at least this way you can like talk and communicate even though you're not right there.

KK
Has, how has it affected like between you and your husband? Have you been getting on each other's nerves or viewed as a bribe posted together if you're feeling comfortable to answering that?

DB
Well, with like a lot more time at home, he just does his own thing and I do my own thing, because one of you that closely gathered, you know, you're gonna butt ahead sometimes, whether you Like it or not, so, it's kind of nice just when you have like a nice house where you can be like, okay, here's this space, here's my space. And you know, when we want to hang out together or do things together we can but if you know, if we have to like, okay, here's your corner, my partner, no touch.

KK
Anything else you would like to add or say to the project here? Oh,

DB
someone like this. The people that actually got laid off actually earned more than the essential workers by working because they got for like a unemployment their regular, like, unemployment, but each week they got $600 on top of that, for me in like one week, I make like $1,000 Well, I get every two week paycheck. So like that two weeks. I get thousand dollars. Some of these families were raking in over 1200 dollars every two weeks. So that probably helped a lot with like businesses too.

KK
Does it upset you or are you happy about that?

DB
Well, I'm happy that I got to like people that needed it. But I'm also upset with like the people that are just sitting on on employment that don't do anything and they got them anyways. That's the only thing. You know, it's like every government you have, like, you know, its flaws. And that's one of like, the bigger ones. I know my husband was joking around with me. He's like, you know what, I want to get laid off so I can make this much money.

KK
Yeah, I'm sure that's what some people probably feel.

DB
Yeah. I know like at work, a lot of people were like, they want to get laid off so bad so they could actually get There's extra money. And then not only there's this one guy that worked in it have like a whole week layoff but they were sometimes having like, a Friday off here or there. This one guy put in unemployment for that Friday. He got like $100 for that one day. But then he also got $600 on top of that, just because he was unemployed for that day. Yeah, so in one day, you're lucky if you make like $150 he made $700 for one day.

KK
And then that no, you could actually do that.

DB
Yeah, because if we're sorry.

KK
Go ahead. Oh,

DB
if your work voluntarily, like, lays you off for that, even like for unemployment, as long as like, you know, you could work but it works. If you can get off they'll pay for that. And they kind of switched up the unemployment because they got rid of like, Oh, you have to be unemployed for a whole week before they pay you. But since with like the COVID they changed it to like, having. Yeah,

KK
I see. I believe that concludes our interview here. Unless you feel like you have anything else to say.

DB
No, I've just kind of like a small town hick girl.

KK
All right. Thank you Darcy. Yep.

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