Item

Mark Kompsie Oral History, 2020/12/08

Media

Title (Dublin Core)

Mark Kompsie Oral History, 2020/12/08

Description (Dublin Core)

C19OH

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Creator (Dublin Core)

Event Identifier (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)

oral history

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Collecting Institution (Bibliographic Ontology)

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Curatorial Notes (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)

12/06/2021

Date Modified (Dublin Core)

03/23/2022
03/24/2022
04/27/2022
05/14/2022

Date Created (Dublin Core)

11/11/2020

Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Brice Vircks

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Mark Kompsie

Location (Omeka Classic)

Madison
Wisconsin
United States of America

Format (Dublin Core)

video

Language (Dublin Core)

English

Access Rights (Dublin Core)

01/01/2021

Duration (Omeka Classic)

00:35:36

abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

Mark Eugene Kompsie is a longtime resident of Madison, Wisconsin, and a graduate from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. In this interview, Mark discusses the differences in COVID-19 responses between Madison and Eau Claire (Wisconsin), the impact of COVID-19 on his personal life, employment, and mental health, what he believes needs to be done in order to help America heal from this pandemic, and current events such as the 2020 presidential election and the impact it has on the future of dealing with the pandemic.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Unidentified Speaker 00:00
- later.

Brice Vircks 00:03
Okay, it is currently Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 7:16pm. The total COVID-19 stats for the United States are a total of 10.4 million cases up 140,000 from the previous day, and 241,000 deaths up 1.5 thousand from the previous day. And in terms of new case, in terms of local cases to Wisconsin, we have a total case, total number of 294,000 cases with up, being up 7000 from the previous day, and a total 2500 deaths, up 76 from the previous day. So, figured we just start here, tell us your name, ethnicity, race, gender, all that basic demographic stuff about you.

Mark Kompsie 00:51
Alright, my name is Mark Kompsie. I'm Caucasian, I'm 23 years old and I identify as male. I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin. On the west side, I'll say. Yeah.

Brice Vircks 01:09
Okay, and what do you do on a daily basis? Do you, do you, where do you work? How much do you travel? That sort of thing.

Mark Kompsie 01:17
Ah, at the current time, I am in an interim between jobs, I'll say that, so.

Brice Vircks 01:24
Alright, alright. And then I would say, let's start at the beginning of everything. Where where you when everything shut down, when all the lock downs happen? Let's start with where are wh-where were you at?

Mark Kompsie 01:37
Let's see, I remember hearing about the COVID pandemic at the time. Earlier this year, this was back when I still live with my father, this was in, was it Manning in Wisconsin? I previously worked at Catalent in Madison. And I think the lockdown started around March, April. So at this time, I was actually in the process of trying to move out of my father's house and get my own apartment with a roommate in Madison. So that made it very interesting. I think right around when the lockdowns happen is, was in the months that I actually had moved into my new place where I currently am right now in Madison, Wisconsin.

Brice Vircks 02:23
Actually, I kind of I kind of want to elaborate on that further. Did you get any special, were there any benefits or specific struggles with moving in, in the middle of the pandemic?

Mark Kompsie 02:33
Ah, specific struggles? Yes. You know, I like looking, you know, at the interiors, the apartments, I would like to you know, try to rent. But because of the COVID pandemic was writing a lot at that time, most people didn't allow in person visits. So we kind of had a go for virtual tours, and that's when they started happening actually was around the time I was moving out. And, yeah, it was a struggle. But um, once me and my roommate did secure a place it was pretty nice because, I believe they did reduce the security deposit amount and gave us like a free month of rent, which which was pretty nice honestly, I'll admit so.

Brice Vircks 03:17
Alright, trying to get here-

Mark Kompsie 03:18
It was a very, very weird timed moving but it worked out, somehow, thankfully.

Brice Vircks 03:25
And I was meaning to ask, were you around the time the pandemic hit, were you traveling at all?

Mark Kompsie 03:33
Travel?

Brice Vircks 03:34
Going on your daily life?

Mark Kompsie 03:35
Hm? No, I was just in my daily life. I think by the time we heard about the lockdowns, I was in the middle of work at the time, so I didn't really hear about it till my lunch break. I think that day.

Brice Vircks 03:48
Okay.

Mark Kompsie 03:49
So.

Brice Vircks 03:50
And have you, you, you giving some background information, anybody listening here, you are a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, correct?

Mark Kompsie 03:58
That is correct.

Brice Vircks 03:59
And you've been Have you been to Eau Claire since the pandemic started?

Mark Kompsie 04:04
I have, yes indeed.

Brice Vircks 04:06
So in saying it, since you've been to Eau Claire since panics pandemic started, I guess. I think it'd be interesting to hear the differences between Eau Claire and Madison in terms of COVID responses and attitudes. So I guess to start off, what are the like the some of the noticeable differences between Eau Claire Madison, with you know, smaller city being Eau Claire and the bigger city being Madison.

Mark Kompsie 04:31
So in terms of attitudes, I feel like Eau Claire and Madison are on the same page honestly, I'll give them that. Most people are agreeing to you know, wear masks obviously. According to the mask mandates. What is it we're very, pretty much compliant when the Evers, what is it, that stay at home order was issued. And, you know, I feel like the same for Eau Claire, you know, we're both college cities. Um, in terms of responses, I feel like Eau Claire-Madison had a similar response. And personally, I don't think that's a good thing, understanding that Eau Claire is a smaller city, you know, being on lockdown for a shorter period of time. I'll be it's still not great, I would be able to more, be more understandable that, however here in Madison, you know, we have the same thin except we have a bigger city, we have more moving parts, we got more people traveling doing carpools, etc, etc. We have a, because we're a bigger city, I feel like we have, you know, a larger diversity of the types of jobs that, you know, we do here, types of people that live here. So. Oh, considering that we are a bigger city and all I feel like more precautions definitely should have been taken.

Brice Vircks 06:03
Okay, so the responses between Eau Claire County and Dane County have been pretty similar. So I think I would have thought at first that living in the state capitol meant, you know, you're at the heart of the government. You thought, I think that yeah, regulations would have been a little tougher there. But you feel-

Mark Kompsie 06:17
I would I would have thought so too, honestly, when it first hit. But I look at the timeline and what's been happening, especially with the Evers vs. Wisconsin legislature, when they shut down Evers, what is, stem, stay at home extension? That was that was the main thing I noticed,

Brice Vircks 06:36
Okay.

Mark Kompsie 06:36
And I thought something was gone a little miss, so.

Brice Vircks 06:40
Okay. And I would say in terms of, I don't know, going, Madison is a pretty big tourist town, so have, in Eau Claire, a lot of problems have been that people have been going to bars, people have still been going out their daily lives. Like, you know, COVID isn't here. Would you say that problem is reflected in Madison, people go into bars, people going traveling?

Mark Kompsie 07:02
Oh, of course, people still do all that same stuff here, definitely. Um, I live on the west side of town. So I'm not even close to downtown or the Isthmus where capital is, however, I have been down there a few times. And I have a few friends who go to UW Madison, who go to school there. And, you know, been, they're just driving around, like, visiting friend at least say hi, for a tiny bit a moment while I'm taking care of business in downtown. You know, I see tons of college students going to the bars, they're still open., you know, some of them aren't even wearing masks, which is I think is ridiculous. So, I see similar similar sort of actions being taken here, yes.

Brice Vircks 07:48
Okay, so say similar attitudes between Eau Claire and Wisconsin, I mean, Eau Claire and Madison. So, I guess we're gonna, I'd like to move on to some job questions. So I guess to start off, where were you when, where did you work when COVID hit, cuz you mentioned earlier that you're kind of in between jobs right now. So I'd like to go.

Mark Kompsie 08:10
So at the time, I worked with Catalent, full name Catalent Pharma Solutions. They are a bio-manufacturing company here located on the west side of Madison. And what they do is they work with clients, other bigger pharmaceutical companies, who contract Catalent to produce what is it? Dru, what is it, bulk drug substances and and biosimilars, so.

Brice Vircks 08:40
Okay. And did any of that work, I know you might be under an NDA when saying this,

Mark Kompsie 08:47
Sure, of course.

Brice Vircks 08:47
Can you say what, did you work directly with anything regarding the pandemic?

Mark Kompsie 08:52
Yes, we have. You can find this on Catalent website, it's public information. But um, what is it some Catalent sites have been working on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, I'll say that.

Brice Vircks 09:04
Okay. So that information is not allowed to be public as of yet?

Mark Kompsie 09:08
No, no, it's public. It's on the website.

Brice Vircks 09:10
I mean, the stuff on the website is but-

Mark Kompsie 09:12
Yeah, that's all public information, I can say this.

Brice Vircks 09:15
Okay. Okay. Okay. And then, I guess, to go off from there, what were the immediate changes that you when, you went back to work in the middle of the pandemic, what were some of the immediate changes in your work that happened besides working directly to COVID vaccines?

Mark Kompsie 09:31
Let's see. Our, Catalent was very prompt and I think took a good response to when the pandemic hit. So personally, we w, that we followed Evers stay at home orders, so I believe all the employees got like, you know, the papers printed out like saying, you know, we're all a, what is it necessary employees to work for the company, especially since we're working on the vaccines, or just about to start to, you know, where essential, essential workers is what we considered. We got those just in case we were ever pulled over, let's say, while we're traveling during the morning or on our commute back home. About half of our site was able to work from home. And they kept on doing that for months. And by the time I had left my position at Catalent, there were still most of the employees at the site, were able to work from home. So considering my speaks of position at the time, I had to always show up at work. So I'll just say that.

Brice Vircks 10:39
So you were the, the essential, essential worker, pretty much?

Mark Kompsie 10:43
Yes, yes. I wasn't allowed to work from home, considering the nature of my job. So.

Brice Vircks 10:49
Alright, and then if you're comfortable talking about this, you did COVID impact you leaving your job?

Mark Kompsie 10:56
Ah, I will say yes, yes, it has a bit. A lot of that leads into a lot of stuff. I can't say about the company, but I will say yes.

Brice Vircks 11:07
Okay, so more a little more personal stuff. Would you say COVID added on, like, everybody's dealt with this, but like that added mental baggage?

Mark Kompsie 11:14
Oh, of course. Yeah. Okay. All right. It all it all played into my leaving of my position.

Brice Vircks 11:20
Okay. And then, does anyone you know, how is the employment of anyone else, you know, been affected by the pandemic?

Mark Kompsie 11:28
Oh, let's see here locally. Most of my friends, who are currently employed, have kept their positions I haven't heard too many bad things. However, I do know, when the pandemic first hit, I will say one at one of my family members won't disclose, lost their job temporarily and had to stay home for a while. They worked in a more hands on job, And so working from home wasn't an option, and so the business had a temporary shutdown for a while but they've been they opened back up and he started working for them again.

Brice Vircks 12:10
Alright, alright. So pretty much a lot of people have either held on to their employment or they've been deemed essential. Pretty much?

Mark Kompsie 12:19
Yeah, thankfully, thankfully. Yeah. So.

Brice Vircks 12:22
That. Alright, and then, I guess going off that going off to people, you know, your family or friends, I guess, how have your personal activities been affected by COVID? You know, social interactions, visits, you live in a big, Madison's big tourist city, how has that affected your daily life, I'd like to talk about that a little place.

Mark Kompsie 12:43
Well, most of my personal hobbies, I will admit, take place in indoors, so those haven't been infected too much. However, when I go to visit my father, you know, always, you know, want to be careful around him. He's starting to get old, back when the back when the pandemic you know, first hit, he had to go in for a second amputation on his leg. And that was the scariest thing, especially being in, he had to be in the hospital and stay there a few few days, and then go to another treatment center afterwards for a few weeks. So I was really scared, you know, not not being able to see him him going through this super scary operation. Um, you know, I'm always careful when I visit my father, especially, I'll say that, um, as well, if I ever want to go visit my grandparents, you know, they're, they're also getting really up there in age like, I know, I'm a prime target to be, you know, targeted by what is it getting COVID, due to my nature of the work at the time moving around a lot. And just me being younger, being more willing to like, go out shopping, etc, etc. Just because I have more stuff to do. Usually, usually I'll say that. So I haven't visited a lot of my family and quite a few months. And I'll admit, that kind of sucks. But I know it's a good thing, because I'm doing it just to watch out for their health. Because I never know when I may get COVID, I live with a roommate, who and I never know if he may get COVID either of us may be asymptomatic. So I always want to take the most precautions I can.

Brice Vircks 14:23
Yeah, doing your part. Living in, I'd say living in a big city like Madison, especially where it's such a hot spot of COVID you want, you want to take all the precautions you can so I can see it's good keeping your friends and family safe. Would, seeing is this is one of the challenges that resulted for many Americans in this pandemic. What are some other challenges that you've faced, like economically or socially as a result of the pandemic?

Mark Kompsie 14:54
Let's see. Ah, economically, I haven't had too many challenges personally, and I haven't heard anything from my immediate friends or family, which I'm very thankful for. However, socially, like going out to visit friends now just isn't a possibility. Was, I, I personally, so my hobbies include meeting up with people, and like, you know, playing, you know, board games or card games, etc, together, so, and a lot of that you can't really do online. So some of my interactions with some my friend groups have been strained recently, for sure. Since we haven't been able to meet up, everyone's been having busier schedules, and we all wanna take our best precautions not to get each other sick, because who knows who might be. So.

Brice Vircks 15:46
I would say that this this video recording itself is almost a testament to pandemic living, because otherwise, we'd be able to do this interview in person. But now we're doing it over Zoom, which is, you know, exploded because of the need for doing this stuff online. So going off your social interactions, you talked about your friends. You mentioned earlier that you know, stu, students at UW Madison. How has that affected you seeing them, your relationship with them? Especially, you know, those who may or may not be foreign exchange students at the university?

Mark Kompsie 16:21
Mm hmm, oh, let's see, a lot of our interactions I had with my UW Madison friends was in person. And it was usually me going to them. So dow I down at the UW Madison campus actually. And but I haven't done that, like I said, in months, ever since pandemic it was I know, you don't Madison has over like 2,000 confirmed cases among the students and faculty, I believe. Quite a large numbers, and so, you know, I'm trying my best to play, play and hang out with them, you know, try any video games online, you know, talk with them online, etc. Use social media. But, you know, I'm the kind of person where I really do need to see my friends and family in person from time to time just to keep my mental stability in check. So it's been hard. And I know a lot of other people can attest to do a test of this as well.

Brice Vircks 17:24
Yeah, no, I think I think that speaks for a lot of us here. Because I mean, we're all like that we all want to see our friends. But sometimes even in Eau Claire, we got to stay cooped up, because it's just been, it's getting bad and it's been getting worse out there. As of today. Did, did you mention, I think I know this more from our personal interactions, but you are friends with foreign exchange students at UWA?

Mark Kompsie 17:50
Yeah, yeah.

Brice Vircks 17:50
How was-

Mark Kompsie 17:51
One of, one of my friend's families lives over in Malaysia, for example, so.

Brice Vircks 17:55
Okay, so were their experiences at the university in America affected all it all by the pandemic?

Mark Kompsie 18:03
Oh, yeah, I mean, probably. I mean, I know, one of my friends was really worried like, when the pandemic hit his family, his family's living over in a different country. And because of the travel sanctions we have set in place, I don't think he was allowed to go visit his family. And he's, he's been here since, you know, he still goes to UW Madison does his online courses. But you know, I haven't talked to much with him, how that has really deeply affected his feelings. So.

Brice Vircks 18:33
Alright, just want to touch in there. So we talked a lot about your social interactions here. Have the people around you, been responding in a similar manner to you in the pandemic is in, you know, wearing masks, social distancing, and doing these online interactions through Zoom, social media, video games, etc?

Mark Kompsie 18:53
Oh, oh, yeah. Thankfully, I'm really happy that my friends and especially my roommate, have been keeping up to date with how to, on the response to the pandemic, especially. Um, you know, I always wear my mask and when I go out in public, you know, always remind my friends to especially, you know, if they do if we do need a visit, like, Hey, bring them mask, I don't know where you been one of my friends just got a new job, especially so I don't know where he's been going all the time. Um, social distancing, I think is the hard one to maintain, for sure. Like keepin' on a mask, I feel like that's pretty easy. No visiting like, you know, yeah, sure. That's pretty easy as well. But is there is a need to visit you know, keep the mask on, but also remembering to social distance, especially one year like with your family, you want to give them a hug. You know, especially, my father misses me, so I call him like basically every day. So just keep in touch. So.

Brice Vircks 19:57
Would you say that issue with social distance thing is being supplemented by living in a city like Madison?

Mark Kompsie 20:07
I feel like it makes it, it depends on where you live in the city, but I feel like it makes it harder. So cuz I know the west side isn't as densely populated as downtown, or the East Side per se. So, based on where I live in the city, I think it's made it a little easier on what is it, I always gotta make sure if I do see someone coming out of my apartment complex, I'm just going to step out in the way and let them go before I even go in. So especially when getting mail, like I always, like open the door, and I see someone and I'm like, Okay, I'll just, I'll just wait a second, you know.

Brice Vircks 20:47
So, your you and your, you know, your friends are doing this. Do you feel as if there is, in Madison, that people are not doing enough to flatten the curve?

Mark Kompsie 21:00
Yeah, I mean, of course, there's always a certain group of people. What is it, I feel like some of the younger people even like our age, I would say the college age, you know, like I said, I've seen them. Now go to these bars. I've heard about some people going on, like, you know, the spring break trips, which really suck, a lot of people still love to visit here. And I really see that reflected in the behaviors, especially among people our age, I would say, honestly, so.

Brice Vircks 21:31
You mentioned people visiting Madison, Madison being kind of a tourist town, would you say that these, would you say that tourists in Madison are contributing to the problem, to the COVID expansion in city?

Mark Kompsie 21:46
I mean, yeah, of course, if people are visiting the city, and you know, they're coming from like, another state, or even another country, I feel like that's a very scary thing. You know, um, I do agree that, you know, there should have been like, a longer lockdown. But, you know, if if someone's traveling to Madison for say, you know, I would only hope it's for like, very urgent or necessary reasons, family visits, hospitals, etc. Work business that's deemed necessary. But just for tourist activities, I feel like it isn't quite appropriate. So.

Brice Vircks 22:28
Everybody knew everybody needs to do the job to, you know, help us get through this thing. And, you know, just just going downtown Madison doesn't, going bar hoppinh just doesn't seem like a smart, doesn't seem like a smart thing. I understand that sentiment. So, before I move on to my, I was gonna ask some political questions here, before I move on to that. I do want to ask one more thing. If you're comfortable with this. Can you, has anyone you know, gotten COVID?

Mark Kompsie 22:56
Has anyone I know gotten COVID? I don't,I don't actually believe so. Um, yeah, as far as I can say, uh, no. So.

Brice Vircks 23:09
Okay. So moving on here. I guess I want to hear about your opinions personally, regarding the pandemic. What are your biggest concerns with this pandemic? If you want to start locally, statewide, nationally, start wherever you want, and then we'll go from there.

Mark Kompsie 23:28
Well, locally, of course, I'll be worried about my friends and family. I guess this more personally. But, ye, just sometimes, like I know, especially my grandparents, they live over on the east side. It's a little more densely populated, but they live in a pretty old neighborhood, I'll give them that. Um, now with my grandfather being more stay at home do this health conditions, that leaves it only to mainly my grandmother to take care of him and take care of any business that needs to be taken care of outside of the house. So I'm always, you know, worried for her especially. Same with my father, especially since he's a double amputee and probably have some underlying health conditions. And I know he's a man who likes to go out and do a lot of things, you know, I'm always keeping them in my thoughts. Um, yeah. What is it? What is the next statewide? Statewide I think my biggest concern was, well, I'll say was, was that um, was the one that Wisconsin legislature shut down Evers extension on the state at home issue. I think that was a very big deal, honestly, because I mean, look, take just take a look at most any other country in the world. They took the proper responses as best as they could And a lot of them are actually on the decline now when concerning COVID-19. Meanwhile, here in Wisconsin, especially, especially Wisconsin, we're getting more and more cases. You know, I know the La Crosse is getting a lot from what I heard, Milwaukee's getting a lot, downtown Madison, it's going crazy as well. So and then, um, nationally regarding the pandemic. I just gotta say, if we, if we actually did have our, what is the national pandemic response team? That would have been great. However, due to what, is it, President Trump's order, they, you know, got disbanded, I believe it was. So.

Brice Vircks 25:48
Okay. So, going off that, what are your opinions on how the government itself has handled the pandemic, pandemic? You brought up the, you know, the pandemic team that got dis, that got broken up by the President. So if you want to go through this nationally, locally, like same thing, or if you just want to say in general, how you feel like the government has handled the pandemic, that'd be great to hear.

Mark Kompsie 26:06
Yep. Yeah, overall, what does it I feel like our government has done a pretty poor response, overall to the pandemic, though the only I feel like the only person I could say that I actually tried to give it there. most locally, I'll say locally, here in Wisconsin, is, what is it Governor Evers. Well, I agree with him, you know, mass mandate is great, lockdown, lockdown is good, you know, we need to, you know, shut down the bars, like I said, like, I see these college students going out to the bars. And you know, there's 2,000 confirmed cases among the students and faculty, as crazy, like. So I think, Evers response was good. The Wisconsin legislature did not have a good response, you know, we shouldn't be so lacks, and letting people just go to, you know, these non essential businesses, honestly. ike, even me and my roommate, we see people going out to the gym, like, right across the street from us. And we keep saying more and more, you know, people go into that. And like, I mean, that's, that's, that could be good now. But like, I'm always worried. Let's see.

Brice Vircks 27:31
So going on that, would you say, compared to, you know, the you think the governor is trying to do his best in that state legislature? Just-

Mark Kompsie 27:38
Yeah.

Brice Vircks 27:39
-doesn't seem to, they can't come to a consensus to keep going to the court striking down his orders.

Mark Kompsie 27:44
I felt like that, honestly. Yeah. I haven't been keeping up with it too much in the past month or so. But.

Brice Vircks 27:52
Okay. Would you say that Dane County, like, you know, county that Madison's in would you say that the county itself had a stronger response to the state government?

Mark Kompsie 28:01
Ah, yes, I would agree, honestly, because Madison is the second most populated city in Wisconsin, and considering the amount of cases we have compared to, let's say, Milwaukee, or even a, if you go look up at Oshkosh, or La Crosse, I think, overall proportions, not as bad. So it could be better, it always could be better. But, um, I feel like, you know, there's a good culture here in Madison, among the people, I'll say that, to try to keep the pandemic under control as much as they can in their power. So.

Brice Vircks 28:42
Okay, and then let's get to the, you know, the big thing, you already talked about it the national government?

Mark Kompsie 28:49
Oh, yeah.

Brice Vircks 28:51
I don't know, if I want, I'm not gonna ask you if you think their response is poor, but what do you think that they should have don, instead?

Mark Kompsie 29:01
It's just like, you know, keep up the lockdown, honestly. Try to enforce it, you know, to, you know, follow almost any other country in the world. Like I said, look at them, most of them are doing better than compared in the past few months, which is great. You know, if we had a proper response, if we had a pandemic response team, I feel like we could be at the stage most other countries are, even at this time are in like the next couple of months. However, with our current response, I don't, I feel like this is going to go on for maybe even like another year or longer. There'll be tons of lingering effects that will last many years for sure. So.

Brice Vircks 29:47
Well, we've talked about what you think the government should do. What, you know, all that stuff. They've tried enforcing these orders. But one thing that's come up time and time again, is people being resistant to these orders now-

Mark Kompsie 30:00
Yeah.

Brice Vircks 30:01
April and May, there were protests at the skate state capitol against Evers's stay at home order. They believed that it was shutting down the economy and doing very harmful things. And since, you know, you live in Madison, albeit on the west side. Not exactly. You're still really close to downtown.

Mark Kompsie 30:20
Yeah.

Brice Vircks 30:20
How did you feel at the time about those protests in in your city?

Mark Kompsie 30:27
Ridiculous. Like, are you kidding me? Man, I, you know, what is it? I graduated with a BS in microbiology, comprehensive, myself. So I really understand the importance of, you know, vaccines, a proper response to an epidemic and pandemics. And, you know, we, we've talked about it in our courses at UW Eau Claire, where, how do you deal with these so and so called anti-vaxxers, etc. And this is a similar sort of thing. You know, some people don't believe COVID is real, some people don't believe COVID as big as a threat as it actually is. And, you know, I would say, these, these, these sorts of people do make it a really big challenge to confront, like how to actually resolve the pandemic, and how to actually handle this whole situation. So.

Brice Vircks 31:26
No, I can understand that it's frustrating, especially.

Mark Kompsie 31:30
Oh, yeah.

Brice Vircks 31:31
Like, especially when you look at the rest of the world, South Korea, Japan, a lot of you know, a lot of Asian countries that wearing a mask is just normal to do when you're sick. So yeah, when you see them doing fairly well, relative to us, where we have people actively resisting this and making it more second, it's better especially-

Mark Kompsie 31:50
I feel like I feel like America doesn't have a super strong culture, at the time, at least, of looking out for one another, and that sort of public health field of view. So I do agree with the more was Eastern countries like Japan and South Korea, you know, wearing a mask when you're sick, to stop spreading your disease to other people is a good thing. And I feel like we could learn a thing or two from them about that.

Brice Vircks 32:20
So taking everything we've just talked about here about local responses, national responses, statewide responses, did that, I don't know if I want to say change, but did it further influence you and how you voted in this recent election about eight days ago?

Mark Kompsie 32:37
I wouldn't say it changed how I voted. Further influenced, it's just like, I don't think I was going to vote any other other way but this really, you know, set it in stone. So yes. It really drove it home. Because the other side at least

Brice Vircks 32:52
You believe that they have a you know, set in stone plan for fixing this even through all the resistance?

Mark Kompsie 32:59
Mm hmm. Yep. Yep. Yep.

Brice Vircks 33:01
All right. So we're getting into the final part of this interview here. I was wondering, we already talked kind of touched on this a little what, what needs to change statewide and nationally to heal from the pandemic, in the in, you know, going with the election. I guess, I would like to say this, um, what do you think President Elect Biden needs to do once he takes office?

Mark Kompsie 33:27
Put back together the national pandemic response team, because I do think I do recall it was during Obama's presidency, that him and Biden worked together to put that team together. And that would have been great if we had that honestly. So we need that back. I feel like that is one of the number ones especially um. Yeah, it, just really reinforced the lockdowns. Yes, I agree. You know, we've been to lacks. And he before, like, when we did the lock downs, I mean, look at the cases and, you know, look at the amount of people who have it anywhere in the US, it wasn't as bad. And now that it's gotten worse, you know, wouldn't now especially be the best time to do a lockdown? Like, you know, it's just, this is something that don't really don't really get. So I feel like, obviously, it's too late now to stop all the damage that's been caused, but we need to do our best as a nation to stop any further damage from happening.

Brice Vircks 34:31
So you need to come together kind of echoing the words of what the President Elect President Elect is saying, we need to unify we need to keel as a nation together.

Mark Kompsie 34:44
That's what every other country has done. So.

Brice Vircks 34:48
So would you say you have any closing statements regarding everything that we've talked about so far today?

Mark Kompsie 34:59
Not really, I feel like I've expressed most of most of what I wanted to, I think I've got my point across. So.

Brice Vircks 35:06
All right. Well, I'd like to thank you for doing this interview with us today. I think that your perspective from living in Madison, living in the center of our state government has added, you know, a lot to someone who, you know, for people listening in from the Chippewa Valley. So, I'd like to thank you for showing, showing up again. We can talk after this in, in, interview for any other questions you have. And yeah, thanks for, thanks for doing this.

Mark Kompsie 35:32
Of course, thank you to you. It's been a pleasure.

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