Public service in the US: Increasingly thankless, exhausting

  • Bill Mathis packages THC products in Hazel Park, Mich., on April 29. A former teacher, Mathis has taken a new job in Michigan’s newly legalized cannabis industry. The pay is better, the hours more regular, the stress less, he says. No longer does he worry that he’ll catch COVID-19. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — He scurries through his apartment, downing a quick mug of coffee, brushing his teeth, feeding his pet rabbit, Auggie, before leaving. Not so long ago, Bill Mathis would have headed to his high school classroom to discuss great literature like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Odyssey” with his freshman.