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Examining the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on Michigan families

Posted at 7:58 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 07:58:30-05

WXYZ's 7 UpFront takes a closer look at how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting families in Michigan.

The Michigan League for Policy is one of the non-partisan institutes that are helping make a difference through policy changes in our state.

CEO Gilda Jacobs agreed to an interview.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"The pandemic really shined a light on the shredding over the last number of years of our safety net system," Jacobs says. "A lot of it was very deliberate, quite honestly over a period of years. And then all of a sudden when you have the economic crisis that we have right now, you have the health crisis that we have right now, everybody, hopefully, wakes up to say what we have in place to help people really is inadequate, it's really not enough."

"One of the things we're looking at is not just the short term fixes, which are enormous and have to be done, but what are the long term fixes that we need to make as a state, what are the systematic changes that we need to make so that, God forbid, there's another crisis, we're going to be more prepared," she says.

"None of this is anybody's fault, when you think of the services and the needs that need to be met because of this," Jacobs says. "The mental health crisis is terrible. We have more suicides. We have more people that are overdosing on drugs, there's more alcohol and drug abuse, there's more domestic violence. Those are really significant problems. In fact, there was just an article that I read today that the number of homicides were up in Detroit, and it's clearly attributable to people are stuck together in their homes and tempers flare, you can't get out of your home, and bad things happen when you get unnatural situations like we have right now."