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COVID Demoted

COVID Demoted

By Sur Place Media
A rapid response podcast, featuring interviews with people under quarantine in areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this podcast is to rapidly disseminate first-hand accounts and unfiltered voices of real people living through the pandemic. Please excuse any poor quality in the recording. If you have a story you'd like to share on this podcast, please contact
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Awareness of death is not everyone's favorite pastime. An interview with the Ernest Becker Foundation.
Do you feel numbed by reports of pandemic death tolls in the hundreds of thousands? Do thoughts of mortality make you reach for a distraction of any kind? There's a good reason that death is uncomfortable to think about. We all have to face it some day. Ernest Becker gave this problem a new dimension in his 1973 book The Denial of Death.  In this episode of COVID Demoted we interview Deborah Jacobs and Lyla Rothschild of the Ernest Becker Foundation about death anxiety in the time of COVID.    
June 15, 2020
Understanding trauma and suffering in the time of COVID. Interview with psychologist Dr. Steven Reisner.
We speak with psychologist Steven Reisner about the nature of trauma and suffering during the global pandemic, to tease apart the individual and societal factors at play. Steven Reisner, PhD is a psychoanalyst and political activist in New York. He is a founding member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, Advisor on Psychology and Ethics for Physicians for Human Rights and past President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. He was a leader in the successful movement to prohibit psychologists from their central role in abusive CIA and military interrogation and detention processes. As a result of these efforts, psychologists were removed from detention operations at Guantanamo Bay in January 2016. Dr. Reisner has been a consultant on issues of trauma, torture, political violence, disaster and resilience in the face of catastrophic events for the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the International Organization for Migrations and other international humanitarian and mental health organizations, and has consulted in Haiti, Kosovo, Kurdistan, East Africa, and for the French Ministry of Health. Check out Madness, Steven Reisner's podcast at
May 29, 2020
Santropol Roulant: How a Meals on Wheels Program is Continuing to Support the Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Jean-François Veilleux is the Communications Coordinator at Santropol Roulant. The Roulant’s Meals on Wheels program delivers fresh meals to Montreal’s community of seniors and people with low mobility or loss of autonomy. Instead of pulling back their services as the pandemic started to gain momentum in Montreal, Santropol Roulant decided instead to continue to deliver meals and even push themselves to deliver more meals to more clients throughout the pandemic. Jean-Francois shares some of the challenges the Roulant has faced since the start of the pandemic, as well as how the community is coming together to continue to support those who depend on the program. If you want to learn more about Santropol Roulant or make a donation, please visit
May 6, 2020
The Need for Disability Justice and Support for Chronic Illness in a COVID-19 World
JD Davids is a writer and HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health advocate based in New York City. He is currently working on a book titled “The Cranky Queer Guide to Chronic Illness.” In this episode, JD talks about why people with disabilities might be at a higher risk for coexisting and secondary health conditions, how to practice disability justice in a COVID-19 world, and how to help people living with chronic illnesses and disabilities who are being particularly challenged during this difficult time. Learn more about JD Davids and his upcoming book at, or find him on social media @TheCrankyQueer.
May 4, 2020
A Pandemic Literacy Game Plan: How to Think Critically in a Time of Media Overload
Jessie Curell is the Director of Hands On Media, which offers media and digital literacy training for students and educators in Canada and internationally. In this episode, she shares with us the four steps of her Media Literacy Game Plan, which includes how to engage with media and think critically in a time where media is very present, and very heightened.
March 31, 2020
How a Montreal Mutual Aid Facebook Group is Helping Connect People and Build Solidarity
Rachel and Aaron are two organizers with the emerging Parc-Ex Montreal Mutual Support Group, which connects resources to needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aaron and Rachel share with us what the group is being used for, and what their hopes are for the group as it continues to grow and serve as the link between Parc-Ex residents over the coming days and weeks. You can find the Facebook group through this link, and various resources such as a Coronavirus Resource Kit, self-care tips from a nurse, freelance artist resources,  and more in this public Google Drive.
March 28, 2020
Episode 2. Faraway so close: Coronavirus in Italy [Recorded March 14, 2020]
Part 1: Coronavirus in rural Tuscany Tiziana and Giorgio live in the rural area between Siena and Grosseto, Tuscany, not only far away from the epicentre of the Italian epidemic, but even distant from villages and towns. Yet their immediate families live in the provinces of Bergamo, dramatically hit by the COVID-19. Affected by the severe restriction set by the government, and in close communication with the land of their origins, they try to make sense of an event that suddenly and quickly became history of their country.  They answered about how easily one can get infected, how the restrictions were received and accepted by the population, and what they hope for the future.  The interview ends on a hopeful note, witnessing how all around them nature is responding to this unusual and unexpected situation. Part 2: To catch the unexpected as a chance. Covid-19 in Bottanuco Lombardia is the Italian region most affected by the Coronavirus. A month ago (21 February 2020) a 38 years older was taken to the first aid at the hospital of Codogno for a sever case of pneumonia. It was Italy first official case of COVID-19. Since then the casualties only in the region of Lombardia are 3095 on a population of 10 millions.  Yet even in Lombardia the situation varies from town to town. In certain villages coffins are so many that there is no room to stock them, and need to be transported away by army trucks. People are left to mourn their departed without the possibility of a funeral, and are left with the sound of the ambulances as only requiem.  At the same time other towns have been almost spared by the epidemic. This is the case for Barbara’s town: Bottanuco. Barbara shares with us her process to generate a new daily life and the careful attention for the unexpected surprises revealed by unexpected situation. Her words offer an inspiring suggestions of how to catch the unforeseeable as a chance. 
March 25, 2020
Episode 1: The challenge of getting tested for COVID-19 in Washington state. One woman's story. [Recorded March 14, 2020]
Alison lives in Seattle. Her son tested positive for COVID-19 and they are now under quarantine. In this unedited phone conversation, Alison shares her experience of Coronavirus coming to Washington state, and how she got her son tested after his school was shut down. This interview was recorded on Sunday, March 15. Note: This is a mostly un-edited phone conversation. The purpose of this podcast is to rapidly disseminate first-hand accounts and unfiltered voices of real people living through the pandemic. Please excuse any poor quality in the recording. If you have a story you'd like to share on this podcast, please contact  
March 16, 2020