Project 2021, part 23: Reidsville couple trying to return to normalcy amid pandemic economy

Project 2021

When the pandemic started, like most Americans, Evan and Katie Tanner thought the COVID adjustments would be over within a reasonable amount of time.

“I think once we hit August, when people realized schools weren’t opening back up…it was like, ‘Oh, crap, it’s at least six more months,’” Evan said.

He is an associate pastor at a church in Greensboro and Katie is a hairstylist. They do fine, but there are some downsides – particularly for Katie being self-employed.

“With this job, you don’t have benefits. You don’t have paid time off. You don’t have an at-home option,” she said.

But they learned to adjust to what had become that dreaded two-word phrase: “New Normal.”

“You’d be surprised what you could get through,” Evan said about what he and Katie learned over the past 18 months.

Katie sees how it has affected other families more deeply than her own.

“It’s kind of like a smaller, more modern version of The Great Depression for a lot of people,” she said.

They have yet to get vaccinated, partially because they are in their twenties, and healthy and not in a high-risk group. But, mainly, it’s about fertility since they haven’t had children yet.

“Our main thing was fertility,” Evan said about getting the vaccine. “We want as much research on that as possible.”

See how the calculus on that is different now versus before the pandemic in this Project 2021 report.

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