Do medical professionals finally get a break?

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The past two-plus years have been incredibly difficult for everyone.

From the restaurant industry we love so dearly to the many Americans who have seen mental health struggles magnified as the stressors and social isolation took hold. But perhaps no industry and its workers has been more adversely affected than health care.

While it’s hard to constantly read about the pandemic everywhere we turn, the unfortunate truth is it’s been the dominant story in our world for the past 26 months. While there’s plenty of promise it is finally starting to shed its prominence in the news cycle as other consequential events take shape, we couldn’t publish another health care issue without mentioning the coronavirus.

Thankfully, writer Sam Easter took a fascinating approach to the story of nurses and hospital support staff who have been living the nightmare for the past two-plus years. Whether COVID-19 is a serious issue to you or not, one thing is sure: It is very serious for those in the hospitals who deal with the virus on a day-in, day-out basis as they treat those afflicted with the illness. The raw stories Sam uncovered are well worth the read.

While the pandemic grabbed most of the headlines, plenty more was underway in the health care field. We turned Jesse O’Brien loose to see what the incredible medical research industry in Grand Rapids is up to now.

Outside of the health care pieces, which are scattered throughout the magazine, we also check on the food truck scene in West Michigan. These businesses on wheels have some really fun events scheduled throughout the summer. And downtown, there’s a new retailer hoping to usher in an expanded era of shopping in the city’s center.

A new seafood option opened in Grand Rapids over the winter, so we paid a visit to Beacon Corner Bar, which also has some great happy hour deals. For the next hot date night, stop in at Knoop, a rooftop bar that has stylish vibes and great drinks.

And now that we’re into warmer weather, try a refreshing salad recipe that checks all the boxes and some of the margarita options I laid out in the back of the magazine.

Now, go enjoy that beautiful spring weather!

Featured contributor: Jesse O’Brien

What do you enjoy most about West Michigan in the summer?

Sometimes, it feels like you can stretch 30 hours out of a West Michigan summer day. There aren’t many places you can go hiking in the morning, spend the afternoon by the beach, catch a concert in the evening and swing by a bonfire at night. And there always is a chance you might get to experience fall, winter and spring in that same timeframe.

Where are you eager to check out this summer in Grand Rapids?

For one, I can’t wait to get back out on a patio with a pint. But this will also be the first summer where my 1-year-old golden retriever has developed some semblance of coordination and obedience, so I’m looking forward to taking him out in nature a bit more this year and maybe testing out his lake legs.

This story can be found in the May/June 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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