As of this morning, the death toll for Michiganders who have died from Covid-19 currently stands at 16,218. And for many of us, those statistics represent a loved one, friend or colleague taken from us far too soon.

The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted our lives in a multitude of ways. Things that many of us took for granted— like hugs, celebratory birthday dinners, vacations, and lunches with colleagues — were no longer considered safe. The transition to online schooling required some of you to become homeschool teachers while juggling work and other household responsibilities. In addition to the risks to our physical health, Covid-19 took a toll on our emotional health. There are many unsung heroes of this crisis, and I salute all of you who found the strength to keep moving even when times were tough.

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