Coping With Quarantine: Production manager and parent Charlie Root

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Coping With Quarantine is a recurring feature that examines how people across Greater Lansing are being affected by the coronavirus. City Pulse aims to interview a diverse cast of residents who are adjusting to a new lifestyle under the measures taken by Michigan to curb the pandemic. If you are interested in being featured, please contact ashleycitypulse@gmail.com

SATURDAY, March 28 — Charlie Root, 40, DeWitt, is the creative services production manager for Michigan State University’s Residential and Hospitality Services. Root leads a team of graphic designers and writers, and ensures material printed by MSU’s RHS is correct and submitted by deadline. Given the computer-centric nature of his profession, Root is one of many Michigan residents now working from home, performing his daily tasks with a Windows laptop. His wife, Karin Root, is also an MSU employee working from home through the pandemic.

Charlie and Karin Root are parents of a 9-year-old, and with schools closed statewide their home is now a nexus point of child care, education and office work.

“We don’t really try to occupy every single minute of our daughter’s day with educational experiences,” Charlie Root said. “We’ve started using timers. Every hour or so, we make sure she takes a break from whatever fun she’s having to work on some math or reading. That systems works well for us.”

Root’s daughter attends Herbison Woods School in DeWitt. Root said the school has been very helpful in providing resources, and have been in frequent contact with parents. His daughter’s teacher set up a website via Google that’s regularly updated with educational activities.

“It’s something we go to when we’re trying to get her to do something productive,” Root said. “It has a lot of different resources, worksheets and writing prompts.”

In addition to the Google site, Root’s daughter’s teacher does a livestream every Tuesday and Thursday. The school’s librarian also does livestream read-out-loud programs every morning at 11 a.m. Outside of school activities, there’s a lot of “YouTube and video games” in the Root household.

To pass the time and get a break from his work responsibilities, Root likes to walk his dogs. He’s also becoming adept at jigsaw puzzles and bread making.

Root and his wife have been following the global coronavirus pandemic since February, and made it a point to prepare supplies ahead of time. “It was stuff we were going to buy anyway — we just bought a little bit more of it,” he said.

Root appreciates the people in his social circle that are taking caution and following CDC guidelines to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. “As long as everybody takes it seriously and keeps doing what they need to do, we’ll get out of this and be okay,” Root said.

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