Heather Perrault Oral History, 2021/12/07


Title (Dublin Core)

Heather Perrault Oral History, 2021/12/07

Description (Dublin Core)

Heather Perrault is an Eau Claire, WI resident and currently works for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections as a parole officer. In this interview, Heather talks about her experience with COVID and how it affected her life as a stay-at-home mom/ pseudo-teacher for her kids as well as her job that she rejoined about halfway through COVID. She also talks about how COVID has affected her family and friends in terms of their physical and mental health and how the people she oversees as a parole officer may be affected by COVID as well. Heather also gives future generations advice on how she thinks they should look at information about the pandemic in the future.

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Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)


Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

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Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Elizabeth Raddatz

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Heather Perrault

Location (Omeka Classic)

Eau Claire
United States of America

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abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

Heather Perrault is an Eau Claire, WI resident and currently works for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections as a parole officer. In this interview, Heather talks about her experience with COVID and how it affected her life as a stay-at-home mom/ pseudo-teacher for her kids as well as her job that she rejoined about halfway through COVID. She also talks about how COVID has affected her family and friends in terms of their physical and mental health and how the people she oversees as a parole officer may be affected by COVID as well. Heather also gives future generations advice on how she thinks they should look at information about the pandemic in the future.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Elizabeth Raddatz 0:03
So today's date is Tuesday, December 7 2021. At 11:10am. As of right now there are 49,002,475 cases in the US with 785,655 deaths. In Wisconsin, there have been 889,078 cases with 9,128 deaths. Wisconsin has a thrown back full vaccination rate of 59.6%. So, hello, if you wouldn't mind stating your name and sharing like a little bit of demographic information like race, ethnicity, age and gender to begin with.

Heather Perrault 0:47
Sure. My name is Heather Perrault. I am 37 White, Caucasian, born and raised in Wisconsin. I work full time. I have three kids, I'm married. I have a master's level of education so good for demos.

Elizabeth Raddatz 1:12
Yes. So what are like the primary things that you today do like on a day to day basis like job kind of extra curricular activities?

Heather Perrault 1:24
Yep, I work full time for the state of Wisconsin Department of Corrections. And I participate in running about three to four days a week. My mom and I hang out with my kids a lot to do some faith based activities as well.

Elizabeth Raddatz 1:43
Awesome. Um, so where do you live in Wisconsin? And what is it like to live there?

Heather Perrault 1:51
I live in the city of Eau Claire, in the East hillside neighborhood to be exact. I enjoy it. I really like Eau Claire. There's a lot of things that it offers. I originally grew up in a small town of Turtle Lake, which has only about 1000 people. No stoplights, that kind of a rural kind of situation. And so Eau Claire, it feels like the big city, but everybody says it's still small. And so for me, it's perfect to have everything I need, but also still small.

Elizabeth Raddatz 2:23
When you first learned about COVID-19, what were your like thoughts about it, and have they changed since first learning about it?

Heather Perrault 2:32
Um, I guess I wanted to be cautious and pay attention to what the CDC was recommending. I remember wiping down my groceries before I put them in the cupboard and the refrigerator in the freezer and, or like leaving packages outside for I brought them in for a couple days. I remember doing that initially, I took those first two weeks of the stay at home order very seriously. But after that, it's been very relaxed, I will wear my facemask. When businesses request me to. And at work, I have to unless my door shut so shut right now. So I'm not wearing my mask. But when I meet with clients, when I walk out of my office door, I have to wear my mask. And so I have been. And I haven't had any issues personally with wearing masks. My kids wear masks at school and they're fine with it. I don't have any-I haven't been picketing or anything like that to where I don't want masks, I do you believe they help. I think people washing their hands and covering their cough is even more important. And they should have already been doing that long before the COVID pandemic. But there's also this element of well, I'm kind of over, it to where things are just getting more loose with- however, there's new strains that are coming out. And so people still need to be cautious and, you know, practice precautions. And I think those who didn't used to wash their hands before the COVID vet pandemic are probably still not washing their hands now. Those who were anti vaxxers before are probably still anti vaxxers. Now would be my guess I don't know what those statistics are. My kids have their flu shot, but they have not gotten their COVID vaccine, even though two of the three are now eligible. My husband and I have gotten our vaccines. And we were actually in the first round. He's military and I work for the state of Wisconsin and so being frontline people, we are kind of mandated to get our vaccine, though I- I was a willing participants, so I can't say that I was forced into it, but it was very much- Mike was forced. He didn't have a choice. But I had a choice. I still have a choice. If I wanted, I, I could be non vaccinated here at work, but then I would have to get a test every week. And it just- they're making it to where you kind of want to get your vaccine. I haven't gotten my booster yet either, though, I do plan to at some point, I just have been very relaxed with it. Am I- Am I saying things that you want to hear?

Elizabeth Raddatz 5:25
Yeah. I'll kind of go in, go into the vaccine topic a little bit. Since you're kind of on that. Did you have like any major side effects, like you or anyone, you know, have side effects to the vaccine?

Heather Perrault 5:41
In my personal family? No, I, you know, you hear stories about people who are laid up and they get sicker than they were when they had it. And thing, just all sorts of you hear stories. But me personally, or within my household, we did not have any reactions we didn't have, we actually haven't had any positives in our house either. We've had a couple of the close contacts where the kids had to quarantine. And sometimes we're, you know, we got a stuffy nose. So we went in and got tested. But we've always had negative tests in our house. And I'm talking like the five of us that live in my house. Yeah. When my husband and I got our vaccines, we you know, our arms are sore. My husband was a little lethargic. But overall, it's no different than getting any other vaccine probably.

Elizabeth Raddatz 6:29
Um, so I, you had just said that, like, no one in like, your immediate family really has had, like, major sickness with COVID. But, um, do you have you known many people who have gotten like, sick because of COVID.

Heather Perrault 6:47
I've had, like extended family members who've had positive tests. And some of them want to even otherwise known, they were positive. Other than that, they had to get tested. And then I found out they were positive. And then I've also had ones where they were sick enough that they, you know, had to lay down for a couple of weeks and live lost their taste and smell and, you know, it disrupted their day to day, but no one in my, in my immediate or extended family have been hospitalized due to the pandemic. However, people in my community that I know, ex curricularly, I guess, or socially or, you know, acquaintances, I know of acquaintances who have been hospitalized. And then, like, directly, like, I know that person and they're in the hospital. As far as deaths from the pandemic, specifically, I only have heard about, like, friends of friends who have- who have died, specifically due to the pandemic. And, and so that's, you know, at that point, you're three times removed, and we all know people like that. So I don't classify that in my brain as being affecting me, I guess it I mean, it does, obviously, but it's, it's not a direct effect. Yeah.

Elizabeth Raddatz 8:02
Um, so, um, we just kind of like talk a little bit about physical health. But in what ways do you think COVID-19 is affecting people's mental health as well? Do you have any thoughts on that?

Heather Perrault 8:15
I suppose the the social isolation for people who need to be socially active and available. And then the other kind of mental health component would be when you do have family members who are sick and or pass. Mental health really plays a part in that. People who you hear about getting sick and dying, and oh, they should have had the vaccine or they, you know, could have been home more often. And they weren't or, you know, all of those regrets and guilty feelings, maybe even anger. Things that people need to work through. Feeling like it's not fair, feeling like oh, what else? I don't know. Yeah. Different feelings, like blaming the vaccine or blaming the pandemic or blaming the president, or, you know, it's everyone else's fault. Kind of, uh, but but directly, are you asking me directly or am I just like, hypothetically talking about the world now?

Elizabeth Raddatz 9:21
I mean, if you have like, other people’s examples, that'd be great, too.

Heather Perrault 9:25
Uh, well, the biggest one that's on my heart right now is I have a friend whose sister did not get vaccinated and ended up positive and she was eight months pregnant and she lost the baby. And that was partially she was on the fifth she had a fever. She was in the hospital, and then the baby's heart rate disappeared and then she had a stillborn and so that a lot of people are directly attributing to the mother not getting vaccinated and therefore being even sicker than she could have been- even sicker than she needed to be that they look at that as a preventable death of this. Baby, the mother recovered and she's fine. Oh, there's the emotional of losing her baby. And so that's it, but at the same time, like, I mean, people have stillborn, you know, all the time, like, Yeah, who's to say that? That's because of COVID? Who's to say that? That's because the mom didn't get vaccinated? Maybe she would have got vaccinated, and she still maybe could have ended up in the hospital? Statistically, probably not. But maybe. So you know, with that kind of thing, it's just hard to know, but the close family members, so I'm friends with the sister have just a lot of mixed feelings as far as how to handle that and move forward, rather than looking backwards and playing the blame and the guilt and the anger and the confusion. And there's an element my friend had had said that she felt controlled, because she couldn't say certain things to certain people, because they were keeping certain things secret. Whether or not she was vaccinated, whether or not this happened, or that happened from other family members who have opinions. And, and so that one kind of example. Is is, is that's just an example. It's probably kind of unique, but also yeah, that's that was on my heart lately. Um, other examples are way, way back in the beginning, I had a friend who works in the medical field, and she outright was like, masks don't really work. I don't know why we're all wearing them. This has nothing to do with anything else. So. And it was interesting to me because she works in a medical field, she wears a mask every single day of her life and or, you know, her working day. And so, so that was interesting from her perspective of, sort of being so outright, like, I'm only gonna wear a mask when I need to, otherwise I'm not going to. So and then, depending on, you know, travel, going into rural areas, people usually don't really wear masks all that much. But then you go into more of a city area, like to Twin Cities, for example, and that could just be Minnesota to Wisconsin, but it's more so like hometown to Metro area, rural versus metros, but I've observed the metro areas, mostly people are wearing their masks, whether it's required or not, people still just kind of do it. But then you have more people and so that makes sense. When I have gone into places where there is a larger crowd of people, I do feel uncomfortable, and I would like to wear my mask. When there's less people and you're not really elbow to elbow, elbow to elbow shoulder to shoulder then I don't feel like I need to wear my mask, I have felt comfortable in places not wearing my mask in public, when there's tall ceilings or like I said, we're moving about and there's not very many people. So in my brain, I
just justified to myself as to my comfort level.

Elizabeth Raddatz 13:08
Okay, um, so I'm going to kind of circle more so back to the beginning and ask you a couple questions about employment and your job. So, um, before COVID-19 Like, what was your day to day, like, job cycle sort of thing. And then I'm going off of that, how has it changed because of COVID.

Heather Perrault 13:33
Interestingly, I, I had this job in the office, in working for a few years, and then I left it to be a stay at home mom. And so, at when it started, when the shutdown is happening, I was a stay at home mom, and I became a homeschool mom. And so my day to day was staying home making food cleaning the house, playing with the kids, setting up playdates. You know, just being active, and then it and then it went to homeschool. And then I had to be very creative. We did the Zoom classes, when my daughter had her birthday on Zoom. So very, very different. And then I started back with my position in August of 2020. And the shutdown was in March of 2020. So I had, what, five months of COVID of being a stay at home mom COVID. And then excuse me, I went back to work in August and at that point, the state of Wisconsin had already implemented a lot of emergency parameters and going virtual with the when they never even offered that option historically, even as an option, let alone as a mandate. And so by the time I came into the state of Wisconsin, they kind of had all the the kinks worked out as much as they could, from what you know, March and April what that look like and And, you know, meeting with clients and when so as a probation and parole agent people come into our office and they report to see their agent, you know, they you think of it like a movie like, Oh, I'm gonna go see my PO I'm gonna go pee in a cup. And you know, my PO is gonna throw me back in jail. That that is what I do. That is my job. Actually, an officer just walked by my door right now open that guy and goes, so Oh, hold on, didi. Something like that. Now, okay, sorry. Oh, yeah. Do you need something when you're done? Oh, thanks. Okay. So um seeing if I'm on Zoom, okay, sorry, if you click on my door. What am I doing right now? What is you were talking? Oh, so now with an apartment, people can can report on Zoom video on FaceTime on Google DO, you know any number of video methods so we can still see the person and verify them they can do a home visit or a home tour using the video where we like drive to their driveway, but we don't go into their house. Instead, historically, we would go into their house and get a tour. We've actually now gone back, since July, we started having people come back into the office, we started going back out and doing home visits in their house now. Things like that. So things have gotten way, way looser now that the vaccine is out and the Department of Corrections is not looking at at all going back to at home working or mandating people to not come into the office. We have big signs up saying like, if you're having any symptoms do not come in, like we still have that precaution, where I'm still catching myself doing a lot of video visits when people say Oh, I'm sick, I can't come in. So then we switch it to a video visit for that reason, but it's not a mandate anymore. The the mandate is in person as much as we possibly can.

Elizabeth Raddatz 17:06
Okay, and then what concerns do you have about the effects of COVID-19 on your employment and the economy that just broadly?

Heather Perrault 17:17
I guess, personally, and this is really not based on anything other than it just feels like the government is hemorrhaging money. The government is paying for all the testing, the government is paying for all of the vaccines, the government is paying for all the handouts and all the entitlement programs and all of the extra money and extra funds and the unemployment benefits and just there's so much money being given and being covered, that I do have concern for our economy in the future, how are we going to come back from this. But maybe it's already part of the budget, and they're allocating it from other places. And it's not just they're pulling money out of trees? I don't know. I mean, maybe maybe it's not making a greater deficit. But I fear that it might be on the bottom line of like, the overall value of the dollar. As far as my job, I mean, I work for the state, and I have job security, because there's always going to be people committing crimes. So I'm not worried about losing my job for that reason. It wouldn't be because of the pandemic, it would be for many other reasons. So yeah, that for me, personally, that's not an issue. But I know there's a lot of small town, or small business owners, for example, or people who are already struggling before the pandemic, and then they just can't keep afloat, during and post pandemic. So I recognize that there's a lot of people who are struggling. But I also have seen a lot of programs and resources, specifically to help those kinds of people and hopefully, and I'm hoping that they reached out and they got the resources that were available to them.

Elizabeth Raddatz 19:00
And do you know, a few people like in that situation where it's like they, their like job is- was or is in jeopardy because of the pandemic?

Heather Perrault 19:13
Honestly, no, um, I know of, like friends of friends who I've heard about who, you know, I'm hairdresser and I can't go to work because, you know, all this reason or a dentist friend who she's like, I can't do dentistry out of my garage, so I couldn't work when we have the shutdown. You know it but at the same time, like that family that dentist family is doing just fine. Like they were able to recover from it, get whatever resources they needed, but also I mean, they make a crap ton of money, so you know, they're fine. And then, like, like, hairdressers, they don't make dentistry money. So I'm I can only assume that they're probably having a little bit more of a challenge. But I don't I know of people who own businesses like that, but not directly in my circle that We talked about finances. So I honestly don't know. I have some businesses in, in my extended family where like my uncles and my grandfather, they own businesses. And from what I can tell, there hasn't been any, any fallout from that.

Elizabeth Raddatz 20:13
That's good. Um, so switching gears a little bit again. So you did mention before, like your family, and like how you guys have been like affected by that. But would you mind going a little bit deeper in like how like your day to day activities have been affected by COVID. And even like, if you could go a little bit more into like, homeschooling, quote, unquote, or Zoom schooling.

Heather Perrault 20:38
Yeah. Um, so when I went back to work, my husband then became the the at home schooling, parents. But this school year, compared to last school year, the kids had iPads this year, and more teaching, curriculum and like rubrics and like, more guided by the teachers. And so and then they were also in school. I think at the end of last year, they were in school for, you know, four days a week or two days a week or something there was like this off and on, I guess, sorry. Okay. So let's, let's summarize. It's stressful, and unplanned. And we are not made to be homeschool parents. But when I was a stay at home parent, and that was kind of my job, and then the shutdown happen, I embraced it for me. And it was awful. But at the same time, it was something that in that moment, that's what I chose. And when I went back to work, that was not because of the pandemic, that was because I had certain timeline within to reinstate, and then get my position back with my senior status and my sick leave. And, and so it was just the right time, it had nothing to do with a pandemic, it just was a coincidence. So when I went back to work that was just for functionality of the plan to go back to work anyway. But nonetheless, the shutdown happened, stay at home, mom, homeschool, we, yeah, I created my own charts, we had color coding system, and I made it made it work. There's a lot of yelling and shouting and crying. And, you know, some days were better than others. And then, and that was the very beginning. So it was like we were all in this together. And I even I did a lot of doorstep drop offs. And like, I would call it delivering smiles. We got the school lunches, the bag lunches, that would be like, what we did for the day was we would go get our school bag lunches. And then the bags from the previous lunches, I would put little trinkets or chocolates or random Dollar Store gifts in them, and then go drop them off to my friends. And so we'd go get our lunch and we'd go drive around. And so I would see friends at their doorstep. And say hi, and stay six feet away and keep the door shut. And I did that for several months where we would, that would just be what we did. And that was my way of kind of staying social without being social. And then I am part of a running group. And we were able to stay running the whole time. And it was very different. It was we tried to do zoom workouts, and then we would go run and then come back to the zoom at the same time. Like we would run in our own area. So I actually started running with my dog when I normally don't, or didn't, and I don't anymore because now we're back to like the group running. And yeah, and then when I went back to work, Mike started the at home school. And he did not like that, again, we're not made for that. And I felt like I had it harder though because I was at the beginning. And he was at the point where it was like, they figured out how to work everything. But at the same time the kids were strung out like they were done with it at that point, they want to go to school, they want to see their friends. It's easier to listen to somebody that's not your parent. And we tried to do dance class. My daughter was in dance class when the the shutdown first happen. And then it was a virtual dance class. So she was dancing in her bedroom watching the zoom. And she had a really hard time doing that. Though I if I was her, like my own personality. I feel like that would be amazing to just dance in my room. But at the same time, I could totally acknowledge the need to be in the classroom like in the studio with all the mirrors and yeah, so I did I answer your question. I'm totally baffled.

Elizabeth Raddatz 29:39
Yeah, pretty much. I'm just I'm out of kind of curiosity, like how old are your children?

Heather Perrault 24:45
Oh, right now, nine, eight and three. Annabel just turned eight. Yes, two days ago. So and then the boys are both turning their next age in March. So it's Wait, you know, there's that two month period where Annabelle is really close in age to Alexander to Asher, whatever. So, so usually, so when they change, it'll be 10, eight, five. But right now it's 9, 8, 4. I said three, but it's for Alexander is four, and he'll be five. He's in 4k right now. Yeah. And then April's in second grade and Asher is in fourth grade. Okay. So yes, sir. Yeah. And yeah, my husband is Air Force Reserve. So he's a stay at home parent, but he does the Air Force Reserve, you know, the one weekend a month, two weeks a year thing?

Elizabeth Raddatz 25:35
Yeah, yeah. So has the COVID 19 outbreak affected how you associate communicate with friends and family like in what ways like, I know, you talked about like the the door zap thing. But like, I guess more what I'm curious is like, has it like strained or strengthened your relationship with like your friends and family.

Heather Perrault 25:57
I have an app called Marcopolo. It's like video, video, video messaging. And that has 100% completely kept the social life active. I have a couple of group threads of different groupings of friends. And- and then Facebook Messenger, I have one thread on there, of like a grouping of friends. And so just being able to stay active with communication to any level, whether it's a video or just messages where we send funny gifs to each other, just whatever. Just being in community in those grouping group threads has that right there is what has kept my sanity and helped me through all of this. And as well, as you know, coming into work every day, I guess, and or going running or my day to day stuff. But definitely, things are much different. I have a friend who still picks up her groceries won't go into restaurants. Or when I say pick up like the curbside, or she'll have them delivered or you know, things like that. I do a lot of online shopping, but I think I already was anyway, I still go to the grocery store and get my own groceries, I go down the aisles and bring the kids in, that part hasn't really changed. The first, you know, few months, it was like, We got to be cautious. And okay, make sure you follow the arrows down the grocery store aisle, but all the arrows are gone. And everybody's just out running free and ramped anyway, already so.

Elizabeth Raddatz 27:29
So I should have asked this earlier when I was talking about your job. But, you know, sometimes ideas strike you. And so I had a question I would like to ask, I'm going back to your job. I'm like, so has the pandemic affected like how busy work has been to you like have you seen like, more people needing to like come in on parole and everything or?

Heather Perrault 27:55
Kind of? Yeah, it there's, there's a balance there. Sometimes people do better when you're more hands off. And you just let them kind of self correct. And so there's an element of beauty that people have been able to just kind of be better and improve on their own. Then there's also the added element of people using the pandemic to their advantage, and to their manipulation, where even to this day, they'll say, Oh, I'm sick, and then we send them away. But are you really sick, like really. And so it's just another way for them to kind of get away with what they're already doing. And in that case, if again, they'll either self correct, either grow up and work out of it. Or they're going to get arrested and get new charges. And as far as statistics on whether or not there's more crimes being committed this year, compared to two years ago? I don't know, I honestly don't know. Because there's I mean, I keep a full caseload. So I just pay attention to what I'm already doing. And people are going to do what they're going to do regardless of if there's a pandemic going on. And so, my perspective is, is in the end, the pandemic really hasn't made anything worse or better. It's just different. It's just, you know, maybe people are supervised less, they're getting away with things more, maybe, but even if there wasn't a pandemic going on, those are the people that are probably still going to be out running rampant anyway. It's just in a different way a different fashion, different kinds of lies, different kinds of bad choices. So and that's just me speaking, that's not for the department. I don't know what the big statistics are.

Elizabeth Raddatz 29:42
Um, so kind of going into information that you had like ways you've been getting your information or what have been your primary sources of like news during the pandemic.

Heather Perrault 29:53
I don't watch the news. So terrible things like Facebook and SNL Weekend Update and friends, sharing things. Tik Tok terrible, terrible resources like that. And so I because I don't watch the news, I don't get primary, you know, sources, then I try not to share that information. He's I know that it's very biased from wherever I'm getting it from. So, yeah, sometimes in conversations Oh, I heard this. I heard that. You know, I hear things that's that's my primary source.

Elizabeth Raddatz 30:33

Heather Perrault 30:34
It's not valuable at all.

Elizabeth Raddatz 30:37
I'm so kind of going towards government. How have you believe that your municipal leaders and government officials in your community responded to the outbreak.

Heather Perrault 30:53
I think Eau Claire county, city of Eau Claire is following CDC guidelines to a tee they are being as cautious as is recommended, and I appreciate that the state of Wisconsin similarly is less cautious than the city of Eau Claire, for example, but I don't mind it at all. I have not been bothered by it. I feel like if, you know if anything they should be looking at, you know, the CDC and some other you know, the major components of health and public safety. Because if they don't trust them, then who would? And why not. And so I 100% in mind with anything that our local municipal people have been ordering or not ordering, mandating not mandating. I think it's kind of atrocious the way people overturned the Wisconsin mandate on a technicality. And that is just on one hand, it's- it's sickening, that people would go through that much effort to do that. Just because they don't want to wear a facemask. It really bothers me. But then on the other hand, I 100% also believe in the constitution, I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in pushing for what is right. And if it, you know, again, it was on a technicality, but at the same time, it was overturned legally. It was a it was legally overturned. And and so, you know, that makes sense. It that is okay. So the fact that it got overturned doesn't bother me, because legally, it wasn't mandated the proper way. They didn't go through the right way to do it. And, but the fact that people got so upset and wanted to pursue overturning it, like the emotional stuff behind it is just like, Why? Why are people wasting their time on that? But I know there are some people who can't wear face masks for many, many reasons. And so, I don't know, personally, I guess my mother says she can't wear a mask, but I don't know. I think that's self induced. A whole other thing?

Elizabeth Raddatz 33:14

Heather Perrault 33:15
But, um, you know, so I want to acknowledge those reasons, but there was always there was always those exceptions in the mandate anyway, so again, doesn't matter. I feel like you're not answering your questions.

Elizabeth Raddatz 33:28
Definitely are. Okay. Um, do you have any thoughts about how local state or federal leaders are responding to the crisis definitely, differently?

Heather Perrault 33:45
So, that question, um, well, I guess I kind of touched on that on how, like the state is a little more lacks than the county, or the city or whatever. And, you know, they're all, they're all public officials, so they have to go with their constituents, they have to go with what the public wants, and, you know, their party lines, and, you know, then it becomes political, I guess, is what it gets down into. And then at that point, I kind of take a hands off approach with feelings and opinions, because a lot of times I don't look deeper. Like I don't read the news, you know, I don't look deeper into certain components of things that I feel like if I don't know enough about it, I shouldn't have an opinion about it. But it makes me feel good that Eau Claire is a city that mandates masks in their buildings. And the state of Wisconsin, like staff, we have to wear masks. And you know, in schools or wear masks on school buses or masks, however, sometimes it's like, oh, well, why can't it just be optional? Why can't it just be optional, and in some places it is. But what I have found is where is optional people just wear it. And then that's when the government has to come in and police things and govern things. In general, just in nature. That's why there are laws is because people abuse the privilege of freewill. And so why can't it be optional? Well, it's because then people won't. And so then we have to require it. So.

Elizabeth Raddatz 35:18
Okay, awesome. I have one final question for you. And that question is, so since this is kind of going online, on some archival sites, um, is there any, like advice or anything you want to say to future people, generations, whatever, that when they look back on this might want to, like, think about, does that question make sense?

Heather Perrault 35:49
Yeah, um, you know, just kind of looking at this as a time capsule. And when people look back on this, you know, what is there to be learned from all of this? I guess my, my takeaway, or whatever is, look at the research, look at direct resources and direct accounts. Not just certain biased, things that, you know, filter and cycle through emotional headlines, but to look at the actual peer reviewed science, and go with what the science says, and the science changes, it changed from the beginning, and it's going to change and, you know, it continues to change as we get new, newer studies and updated statistics, and that people should be willing to adapt with the new studies and the new research, the new statistics, and therefore having new requirements, or mandates, or loosening mandates, or changing mandates. I think the pandemic can be kind of related with smallpox, and the Spanish flu, and some of those other kind of epidemics that happened in history. And many of those are, you know, completely gone, because of vaccinations because of vaccine requirements. And so just looking at that, and again, I didn't actually look up history, I just, it's just one of those things, everybody knows, like, you don't have smallpox anymore. I mean, we do, there are some those breakthrough ones that happened because people don't vaccinate certain people don't vaccinate, clearly, I'm not an anti-vaxxer. But, you know, so like, those are the things that, you know, or like, there was this huge push that, oh, vaccines cause autism. And turns out that wasn't a peer reviewed science, scientific study like that. Those are the things that there might be those anecdotal things were one time or 10 times these, these unique cases happen where there was a negative impact. But that can't be, it's not statistically significant, it can't be the reason to not vaccinate or to, you know, create some sort of a rule for everybody. If, you know, if it's a small percentage that is not impactful to the rest, then we need to look at what is impactful for the rest. It's so just to pay attention to the, to the science, science is good. And, you know, let that dictate that, you know, if it's a true empirical research study, it has actual implications, and we need to go with that. And a good empirical study will have acknowledge their own limitations. And, and so by acknowledging the limitations, that brings value to the overall study, where some of those other ones, they don't acknowledge the limitations, and it's not peer reviewed, and there's just a lot of things that are problematic with that. And those seem to be a lot of times what cycles through as as the headline. And so I guess my advice is just to not get so emotionally wrapped up with headlines and to more focus on the science, which I'm assuming is what the CDC is all about. So I'll just go with them.

Elizabeth Raddatz 39:19
Just um, thank you so much for being here today and doing this with me. Um, I hope you have a great day as well as you know, the holidays coming up.

Heather Perrault 39:30
Thank you, same to you. I hope this is good for you. It are so I guess I'm curious if there's going to be like, Heather pearls said this. And then here's a quote for me like that kind of stuff, or is it more just a summary and like, how, how is my name being used? I guess more so

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