Michael Michalski Oral History 2020/05/31


Title (Dublin Core)

Michael Michalski Oral History 2020/05/31

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Collection (Dublin Core)


Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Alexander Michalski

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Michael Michalski

Location (Omeka Classic)

United States

Format (Dublin Core)


Language (Dublin Core)


Transcription (Omeka Classic)

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

AM 00:00
Okay, so today's date is May 26 2020. And it is five o'clock pm, would you care to introduce yourself, tell us your name, what you do for a job.
MM 00:11
So my name is Mike Michalski. And I live in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, and my role, my position is a branch manager for a company called Migratory Bird management. And we primarily work we exclusively work in management of nuisance birds like geese and gulls, and we also do other things to protect buildings from for damage, so our work is really related to health and safety. Okay.
AM 00:42
Um, so how has COVID-19 affected your job and in what ways
MM 00:49
Well, fortunately hasn't affected us greatly as far as in loss of revenue. We've had a few customers that we've had They've had to save money and not utilize our services. But ultimately, it's made us be more stringent in and health and safety regulations. We as a company had adopted a COVID-19 strategy. And we provide that information to our
Alex Michalski Page 1 of 9 Transcribed by

customers. And certainly, on a personal level, and sanitation, washing your hands using a mass. All our employees have to wear masks when they're inside and outside. And there's a lot of protocols we need to follow with our customers for related health and safety in the COVID-19.
AM 01:40
Okay, so I know that you had to kind of work with state with local government, state government to get your your business considered essential. What was that? What was that like? Was that fight like? Was it difficult? Was he an easy process? Yeah,
MM 01:56
so we really fortunately Business is considered an essential business because what we do on a daily basis is protect properties from as I mentioned, nuisance birds, and that can be in the spring with nesting geese that are very aggressive and can cause conflict with people. And it's also related to dropping some geese, geese, droppings, or have a host of issues with them related health and safety like E. coli. So, really what we needed to do was just make certain by reaching out to a couple of agencies to see if we were considered an essential business, which we were. So that process was actually relatively easy for us getting the work done, it's been a little more difficult because of getting into properties and some of the restrictions were related to that. Okay.
AM 02:56
So has the pandemic affected the employment of people that you know And in what ways?
MM 03:03
Um, well, it's affected. You know, some people I know, like my brother in law has been furloughed because of his businesses related to travel and design and trade shows, and that's obviously been canceled because of the pandemic. So, yeah, we've had friends of our family and myself that have either been laid off or furloughed because of the lack of work, so it has hit hit pretty close to home with some of the people we know. Yeah,
AM 03:44
so what for you What have been the biggest challenges that you have faced in during the COVID-19 outbreak?
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MM 03:52
Um, I think it's just continuing to be Making sure that you haven't gotten lackadaisical. So making certain that you are washing hands and you are using sanitizers making certain that you do utilize your mask and you practice social distancing me, excuse me. Practice social distancing. And not get complacent. I think as long as this goes in water starts getting nicer. And you know, you start to think that maybe you don't need to do those things. But until they come up with a vaccine, I think we're going to have to somebody who continue to do this. And it's been also on a business level, making certain that our employees haven't gotten lackadaisical because, you know, when one of us gets sick, you know, it could cause our business to be suspended for a while. Okay.
AM 04:56
So I know recently with the support The Wisconsin courts striking down the safer at home order. Um, I know you still practice, you know, the the regulations that will show in place earlier. I'm seeing people around you, when you go to stores when you go out for work, not practicing this, how does that make you feel?
MM 05:21
Well is is you know, it's concerning because there's just so much of the unknown. We don't know. Typically, you know, if you relate this COVID-19 to the flu, as it gets warmer flu symptoms, likely heard of people getting the flu diminishes historically, but you just don't know what this new virus so it is frustrating at times to go to the grocery store and see people who don't have mass and you know, when are working in working with numerous people, whether it's building engineers or property managers, sometimes can be frustrating when you're, you know, when you're doing the six foot social distancing, PPC, people are kind of coming closer or not. So, you know, you just, it's just you have to be vigilant. And you just hope you can only control what you can do. And you just hope the other people around you are doing the same.
AM 06:20
Sure. So I'm kind of piggybacking off of that. How have your concerns with the COVID-19 and debit kind of changed since you first heard about it to where we're at now? Or I guess I should say, What concerns did you have to start with? And then how did they evolve over?
MM 06:38
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MM 06:38
Well, I think with most people at first you thought it was it was not that big a deal. And I think it was, Oh, you know, a lot of people me included thought was a lot about nothing. But as the weeks gone by and you start to see more and more of the country be affected, we start seeing the number of people, not just you know in the United States but across the country, and you start, you know, watching TV and you start to see people who are, you know, definitely dying from this and suffering from this, it becomes real to you. And you know, so it's really evolved, you know, it's gone from one to a nine one level of concern for myself and for people that I know. Okay. Yeah.
AM 07:26
Um, how have municipal leaders and government officials in your community responded to the outbreak?
MM 07:34
Well, I think, you know, there's always seems like in this day and age is always politics involved. You know, on a state level, our governor, I felt has taken appropriate action. And it's easy to be critical of him. But, you know, certainly he's a democrat and certainly Republicans have pushed back against So, I feel, you know, it's, it's something that I feel comfortable with the governor eavers has done. And, you know, I think it's it's easy to throw stones at somebody to do these things. But you know, it's closing on businesses and shops, and again, unfortunate our business is working. You know, maybe my attitude was a lot different if I was a small business owner was laid off from fertile so. And I think on a national level, it's, you know, it's politics as usual. Sure.
AM 08:38
Do you have any thoughts on how local state or federal leaders are responding to the crisis differently?
MM 08:46
What do you mean?
AM 08:48
Um, I mean, with the different reactions that we've seen with like, no Governor eavers
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taking it really seriously and other local leaders and then on that kind of national level. You see that
MM 09:00
Well, you know, I think I think I think most, you know, most government, people have taken it seriously. Some were slower, you know, could have made it our president was able to take this and fully embrace it. And certainly, you know, he's eager to get things back on because it's an election year. I don't know. No, I think that it was disappointing that it had to it was disappointing that in Wisconsin that the two parties couldn't talk about a resolution or compromise and I had to go to a court level. I think it's just it's a sad commentary. Yeah, sure.
AM 09:50
Yeah, I agree. I think it's difficult because you depending on where you sit, you want to criticize the other side for their decision. And it's very easy to but it's also very easy to understand where both sides are coming from because personally, like you mentioned, I agree with that safer home. I agree with the extension. I thought that was a good idea. But I also understand where other people are coming from willing to, you know, get back to work, right. Get that, because with small business owners, I mean,
MM 10:20
yeah, I mean, you know, walk a day in somebody's shoes or mile in somebody's shoes, whatever the saying is, it's easy for us to sit here in this household when, you know, my wife and I are working and still supporting us. And, you know, and say, well, it's, you know, it's an overreaction by other people to say that we should just open up the businesses and open the country back up. Again, if I was not working in, you know, the bills are mounting. I think I probably would sing a different tune. Okay.
AM 10:53
Um, so has the pandemic affected how you associate and communicate with friends and family and what are Some of those ways,
MM 11:01
I'm most certainly we're not, you know, seeing many people are very young people, you know, in our family. I don't know how it's going, you know, I think, I don't know what the
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new normal is going to be. Right. You know, I don't know if anybody's ever gonna shake anybody's hand. And I don't know if you ever it's got. It's gonna, I think could be a long time before you have, you know, big events, concerts and basketball games and football games and things without, you know, people being reserved about going have reservations about going to it. But yeah, I mean, I think, you know, obviously, with this COVID You know, we're not, you know, we're not leaving the house without having people over to the house. So it has affected us socially. Okay.
AM 11:56
You may not have an answer to this question, but in one Do you think that COVID-19 is affecting people's mental and or physical? health? I think that's a pretty complex question because we don't have all the details.
MM 12:09
Right. Well, I you know, I think, you know, I do believe that it's it's affecting people. People are tired of being in the house, people want to get out, they want to go, you know, I think it's good that they open up some of the state parks. So I think at one level, it's people are eager to get out. So now that we're able to do some of that, I think that's good. I think there's also just that level of uncertainty. Right. You know, as you mentioned earlier question, do you go out to a store and you see people who don't have a mask? Am I close enough from a too far my far enough away? But I do think I mean, this is not something that we can, we can't indefinitely, you know, be stuck at home, right? I mean, there is going to be concerns with people's mental ability, and things of that nature, if it doesn't get in game better, and I think until there is a vaccine, as you know, even if the, you know, the doctors and the experts say you're free to go, you're free to do whatever you used to do, or events, go to a football game or go to a concert or shake someone's hand, give someone a hug, I think until there's an actual vaccine that works. And people are going to be reluctant to do that some people can be reluctant to do that.
AM 13:27
Right. I think just kind of do address this question myself. I think with affecting people's mental health, I really, really think it depends on what your living condition is. Because I think with us, being four of us in the house, there's someone else that you can talk to face to face. And then if you're living alone, I think that would have a significant impact
MM 13:49
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in you know, people who have elderly parents or relatives like in nursing homes, right can't see them. You know, obviously with technology now, you can Do zoom calls and Skype and things of that nature. But I think it's gotta be harder on older generational people who may not be, you know, that tech savvy, who are really, really isolated who may need to count on somebody to take them somewhere or someplace.
AM 14:16
Yeah. But on the other hand, I'm just seeing what's going on in the neighborhood here. I think it's really improving. It might be improving people's physical health because when they can't go places, right, a lot of people are taking walks, long walks,
MM 14:31
more exciting. Life. Yeah.
AM 14:36
So what have been your primary sources of news during the pandemic, and how have they changed or have they changed?
MM 14:47
So I mean, primarily, you know, my news comes from, you know, cable news. And, you know, and the phone so that really hasn't changed. I don't think Anything about this coverage has made me change my opinion about, you know, the media or made me considered, you know, changing my primary cable news or local news to a different channel because of the coverage. Something has really impacted me at all. Okay.
AM 15:21
What do you think are important issues from watching the news that the media may or may not be covering, or may not be covering effectively enough? I
MM 15:31
mean, non COVID issues are related to COVID
AM 15:34
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AM 15:34
related to COVID. And on COVID. Anything that you think is is something that should be getting more attention from the media but isn't.
MM 15:44
I don't think I can think of anything. I mean, let's me I believe that in our new show, probably two thirds of it is cobit related. I don't think they've missed too much. So no, I don't think there's anything that I think they've missed, you know, probably case can be made that there's too much coverage. Okay, getting too redundant. Okay.
AM 16:13
Okay. Um, so just a couple more questions here. Um, has your experience transformed how you think about your family, your friends and your community? And how so?
MM 16:30
well, I think when it comes to our family, I think anytime you go through something like this year, you're thankful that everybody's healthy and safe. And I think, you know, we've spent a lot more time of course comb. Right. And I don't know we've necessarily spent we spent more time in the house I don't know who's necessarily spent more time together because of you know, Teenagers, young young men. And you know, so I think, I hope we've gotten to, you know, appreciate each other a little bit more. In certainly, you know, I think there's a level of concern for our extended family that everybody is healthy and safe. You know, as far as a community, I think sometimes I get more, you know, with people who are, you know, breaking the law or breaking the rules. You know, it's disappointing when you see, you know, people in big gatherings that wearing masks and all that I think that's really, that's something that's just disrespectful to people, and they've had some protests where people got together and, you know, I think that is I think that's just shows a lack of respect for people in general. Sure.
AM 17:53
Knowing what you know, now, what do you think that individuals, communities or governments need to keep in mind for the future One of the things that I noticed that I think should be kept in mind, personally, I'm going forward is what kind of surprised me was how underprepared. We were for something like this. So I think it's important to keep in mind that these words can happen. We need to.
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MM 18:19
Well, I think a good side is I think, as a society, we're probably hopefully more conscious of being, you know, can't you know personal hygiene, and I hope that that doesn't, you know, that doesn't wane as we hopefully get a vaccine. Right. You know, I think this in general, I think people are more conscious, whether it's going to be a business or, you know, store or whatever the case may be that, you know, we need to practice better hygiene, you know, we need to wash our hands. We need a hand sanitizer and, and I think, I think that's going to be something that's going to be a concern. People go to a restaurant or a store or wherever the case may be, and they don't feel that there's a you know, an adequate. There's not a hand sanitizer or someplace to wash your hands. I think that's going to affect that business moving forward. Yeah.
AM 19:14
Okay. Well, that is all the questions I have for you. Do you have any finishing thoughts? Nope. All right. Excellent. Thank you. Appreciate it.
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Date Accepted (Dublin Core)

2020/05/26 8:17:24 PM AST

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