Stories of COVID™

Stories of COVID™

By Veronica Kirin
Tired of the news fear mongering? Listen to real life. COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is an unprecedented pandemic affecting every aspect of our lives. We are living history. Join me in exploring what this paradigm shift means in the past, present, and future. Be interviewed about your COVID experiences: storiesofcovid.co/
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Veronica Kirin is an anthropologist, author, and entrepreneur. In 2015 she set out to study the 50 year paradigm shift brought by technology by interviewing the people who had lived through a century of change. In 2018 her book, Stories of Elders, was released.
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BONUS: Final Messages #3
I end each interview with the same question:  Knowing that books outlive us, what message do you want future generations to have about this time?  The answers are saved for these special bonus episodes.  They are thoughtful, uplifting, and apt.  Enjoy. Participants quoted: Anthoney Pavelich Viktor Fonic Amy Thome Natalia Mok Hunt Walker Dianna McNary Mustakim Hasan Meghan Bunchman Megan Sanchez Nelson Cooper
18:23
June 5, 2020
29. Nelson Cooper — Closures Across Asia
Nelson Cooper is a resident of San Francisco, but was on an extended trip across Asia when COVID-19 began its spread.  As the news hit, he went from one country to another, wondering if he was safe, how bad it was, and what he should do next.  One day things were fine, the next day they weren't, and he saw it over and over.  Finally, in Bali, he had to make a decision:  return to San Francisco where things looked grim and he'd be without health insurance, or stay in Bali, away from loved ones and without access to specialized medical care. Learn more about the project, sign up for an interview, and support healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
11:54
June 4, 2020
28. Megan Sanchez — Alright, Family!
This episode's title is taken from a hilarious story told during this interview.  Megan Sanchez lives in Washington, DC.  She had been in quarantine for five weeks at the time of the interview.  Sanchez honestly shares how the pandemic, quarantine, and the shifting landscape of her work has affected her and her husband. Learn more about the project, sign up for an interview, and support healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
11:38
June 2, 2020
27. Meghan Bunchman — In the Media
Meghan Bunchman is a Media Entrepreneur, in that she both teaches students who are entering media and PR careers, as well as works with media outlets.  In this episode, she provides insight into how the media is benefitting from the pandemic, whether intentionally or not, and how to manage your information. Learn more about the project, sign up for an interview, and support healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co 
13:28
May 29, 2020
26. Mustakim Hasan — Mounting Frustrations
Mustakim Hasan lives in Bangladesh.  He owns two businesses, one of which is shut down and the other which is waning.  He has chosen to continue to pay his employees despite the lack of cash flow to help stem the economic cascade due to the pandemic.  As he speaks, he conveys the frustration and fear that he is experiencing, as we don't know when this will end or when we'll be safe again. Learn more, sign up for an interview, and support healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
09:17
May 28, 2020
25. Hunt Walker — The Emotional Toll
Hunt Walker lives near Aspen, Colorado.  He traveled early in the pandemic, not realizing its potential effects.  During this interview, he conveys how unusual the pandemic is in that many of us don't remember when we first heard about it, unlike other seminole events of our lives.  He goes on to convey the emotional toll it is having on him, despite his being financially and physically secure. Learn more about the project, sign up for an interview, and support healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co 
10:52
May 27, 2020
24. Dianne McNary — Blurring Old Divisions
Diane McNary lives in Slovakia.  She works primarily with the Roma people, a group that has historically been discriminated against.  Earlier in their work together, the group Diane works with asked to learn to sew.  Diane and her team thought at the time that sewing would be useful for daily life, and that was all.  But as COVID-19 entered their lives, their sewing skills took on a new life, that of creating masks for the rest of the region.  Through their efforts, the group that Diane works with has received outreach and kindness in ways never before seen. If you would like to support their mask making efforts, go to: https://www.classy.org/campaign/dianne-and-shane-mcnary/c101655 To learn more about Stories of COVID™, to sign up for an interview, or to support healthcare workers, go to:  https://storiesofcovid.co
12:00
May 21, 2020
23. Natalia Mok — First News in China
Natalia Mok was in Guangzhou, China, when the first news of the virus released.  For a time, she wasn't sure what was real.  The media in China wasn't revealing what was happening in Wuhan, and she was getting second hand reports from friends abroad.  Finally, Wuhan locked down, and Natalia knew things were very serious.  She chose to fly to Malaysia for the duration of the pandemic, where she felt safer to weather the storm. Learn more, sign up for an interview, and support healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
09:30
May 19, 2020
22. Amy Thome — Getting Sick Abroad
Amy Thome is a digital nomad and world traveler.  The lockdown hasn't affected her work very much, as she has been working remote for four years, but the halt in travel has.  She left for Bali only days after she learned about COVID-19, and fell ill while abroad.  In this episode she conveys the lessons she has learned from the pandemic, both of herself and of the world. Learn more, sign up for an interview, and support healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co 
08:54
May 18, 2020
21. Viktor Fonić — Walking Across the Border
Viktor Fonić is a digital nomad and entrepreneur.  He found himself in Serbia onboarding a new employee when the pandemic hit Italy, nearby.  As things got worse, he realized he would need to get home to Croatia so he wouldn't be trapped alone in a foreign country.  That decision came nearly too late.  His flight got delayed twice, then canceled, and busses ceased to operate across borders.  He was left with one option — walk across the border. Learn more about the project, sign up for an interview, and support healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
13:35
May 15, 2020
20. Anthoney Pavelich — Family Across Borders
Anthoney Pavelich lives in Mississauga, Canada, but much of his family is located in the United States.  He worries about getting to them if they were to get ill.  Anthoney also shares what life is like to be working from home with a partner, and how we can learn from the frustrations of instant gratification no longer being available to us. Learn more about the project, sign up for an interview, and support healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
09:47
May 12, 2020
BONUS: Final Messages #2
Each interview is defined by a specific set of questions so they remain consistent.  I always end by asking what final words they wish to impart on the generations that will read the Stories of COVID™ book — likely people who will be born long after we're gone.  These messages don't make it into the regular episodes, and so every 10th episode is a bonus episode with these special messages from the previous ten participants. They are: Ned Gould David Tiesma Mershon Niesner Gregory V. Diehl Adam Hallett Carol Wilson-Tiesma Joanna Dreiling David Astudillo Lauren Kay Wyatt To learn more about the project, sign up for an interview, and support frontline workers, go to https://storiesofcovid.co
20:45
May 11, 2020
19. Lauren Kay Wyatt — An Unexpected Move
Lauren Kay Wyatt is founder of Love Renegades and helps individuals and couples improve their relationships.  When her trip to Los Angeles got canceled due to the impending shut down, her husband suggested they go to Hawaii instead.  What was intended as an alternative two week trip and deepening of their love has turned into a cross-country move, full stop.  When they are able to travel again, they will sell their house in Austin, Texas, and permanently relocate to Hawaii. Find out more abut Lauren here:  https://loverenegades.com Sign up for an interview and support healthcare workers here:  https://storiesofcovid.co
11:29
May 8, 2020
18. David Astudillo — International Students
David Astudillo was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and is living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to go to university.  In this episode he conveys how international students in the United States (and likely elsewhere) are 'stuck', unable to go home, unable to finish school.  Many are housing at their universities alone, totally isolated.  Watch David's submission to the Quarantine Film Festival here:  https://vimeo.com/403122346 Watch the Stories of Elders Documentary here:  https://storiesofelders.com Learn more, sign up for an interview, and support frontline workers here:  https://storiesofcovid.co
12:23
May 7, 2020
17. Joanna Dreiling — Driving Cross-Country
Joanna Dreiling is a life coach living in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She first heard about the pandemic while at Christmas Dinner in Virginia.  Soon after, during a spring visit to her family there, the country began to shut down, and she had to drive back to Michigan on eerily empty roads.  Joanna also advocates for reducing social media contact, or, at the very least, choosing to engage with it intentionally for the sake of one's mental health. Learn more about Joanna at https://joannadreiling.com Sign up for an interview and support frontline workers at https://storiesofcovid.co 
10:37
May 5, 2020
16. Carol Wilson-Tiesma — Online Professorship
Carol Wilson-Tiesma is a French professor at Grand Valley State University.  The transition to online classes has been a tough one, which she explains in detail.  Student participation is down due to the awkwardness of technology, and some simply don't show up at all.  She's not sure how she'll grade them if they don't do the coursework, since the fairness of the situation is in question.  Carol also shares as a mother her concern for her children during this time, and the difficulties they are experiencing. Listen to David Tiesma's episode:  https://anchor.fm/stories-of-covid/episodes/11--David-Tiesma--Community-Compassion-ed72pm Learn more, sign up for an interview, and support frontline workers at:  https://storiesofcovid.co
10:22
May 3, 2020
15. Bob Johnson — Psychology of Pandemic
Bob Johnson resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He is a practicing psychologist who originally interviewed for my first book, Stories of Elders, describing the affect of technology on our culture and society.  In this episode he similarly describes the affect of a pandemic on our globalized culture.  Eloquent as always, Bob is optimistic and shares his hope for our future. Find his Stories of Elders podcast episode here:  https://storiesofelders.com/podcast/episode-18-bob-johnson/ Learn more about the project, sign up for an interview, and support frontline workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
11:05
April 30, 2020
14. Adam Hallett — Sheltering in Europe
When Adam first heard about the pandemic while living in Portugal, he had every intention to return to Chicago.  But as things unfolded, it became clear that sheltering in the Netherlands would better serve his needs.  In this episode, Adam observes how the Dutch government is handling COVID-19, how travel has been disrupted, and the new level of preparedness his company is facing in order to continue to make sales. Learn more about the project, sign up for an interview, and support frontline workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
12:12
April 28, 2020
13. Gregory V. Diehl — Publishing & Preparedness
Gregory V. Diehl is a serial author and founder of Identity Publications.  He is also an avid traveler and expat.  Gregory currently lives in Armenia, and sheds some light on how that country is handling COVID-19 through regional checkpoints.  He also describes the preparedness he typically manages simply due to living in a village which now supports him comfortably during the scarcity of the pandemic. Find his publishing company at https://indentitypublications.com Learn more, sign up for an interview, and support frontline workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
12:14
April 27, 2020
12. Mershon Niesner — Stages of Grief
Mershon Niesner lives in Florida.  She aptly observed that, as the shelter in place recommendations set in and her social life closed, she experienced the stages of grief.  At the time of her interview, she had just adjusted to the constraints of the pandemic through the use of technology to stay in touch with friends and family. Mershon also discusses how strange this defining moment in our lives is — that it started so gradually, unlike other moments like JFK being shot or 9/11. I first interviewed Mershon for my first book, Stories of Elders, in 2015. When I met her for that interview, she gave me a book of affirmations she had written. She continues to write and support others in her community. You can learn more about her in the book:  https://amzn.to/2MRGEug Learn more, sign up for an interview, and support frontline workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
09:20
April 25, 2020
11. David Tiesma — Community Compassion
David Tiesma lives in Western Michigan.  In his interview, he describes how the pandemic unfolded in his region, how he slowly realized how serious it would be, and the role of technology in keeping communities together.  At the end of the episode, David describes a neighbor that he has been reaching out to.  Someone who is in extreme isolation due to the pandemic.  I hope his story is an inspiration to you to do the same. Sign up for an interview, support frontline workers, and learn more at https://storiesofcovid.co 
08:29
April 24, 2020
10. Ned & Darlene Gould — Regimenting the House
Long time followers of my work will recognize Ned's voice.  He was featured in episode 14 of the Stories of Elders podcast and gave a significant interview contribution to my first book, Stories of Elders.  He is well known for having worked on America's first spy satellites during the Cold War, and his military background shows as he and his wife, Darlene, manage COVID-19 as an at risk population.  In this episode, Ned speaks about sourcing news, and how he and Darlene ensure their house stays pristine during the pandemic.   Ned's Stories of Elders episode:  https://storiesofelders.com/podcast/episode-14-edwin-gould/ Ned in the Stories of Elders Documentary:  https://vimeo.com/318284021 Learn more, support frontline workers, and sign up for an interview at https://storiesofcovid.co
08:22
April 23, 2020
BONUS: Final Messages #1
Each interview for the Stories of COVID™ archive and book includes a final question asking for thoughts and messages for the future generations who will be looking back on this time in awe, with curiosity, and perhaps in need of answers as we are with the Flu of 1918.  Not every individual episode contains the answers, and so in these special episodes (every tenth episode), we look back on the previous nine interviews and the participants words for our youngers.  Learn more, sign up for an interview, or purchase apparel that supports our frontline workers at https://storiesofcovid.co Participant order: Michael Canas Anita Tkalčević Brynn Canary Brianne Luginbill Rebecca Thomas Laurie Cable TJ Bodnar Elisha Fernandez Elyssa Fernandez
14:29
April 21, 2020
9. Elyssa Fernandez — Be Kind
Elyssa Fernandez is the sister of Elisha (featured in the last episode).  They both interviewed for Stories of Tech, my book now on hold for this project.  Elyssa is 16 years old, and lives in Fort Worth, Texas.  She has seen bullying due to people blaming those that look of Chinese descent, and bad behaviour in stores.  But she also has seen a lot of good, and calls to others to try to be kind during this trying time. Elyssa and her sister Elisha are the founders of Wholly Art, an organization that provides materials to other youth to shape positive self esteem.  Find more here:  https://whollyart.com/ To sign up for an interview or to support our frontline workers, go to https://storiesofcovid.co
07:03
April 20, 2020
8. Elisha Fernandez — Entrepreneurship On Pause
Elisha Fernandez lives in Fort Worth, Texas.  I originally interviewed her for the follow up book to Stories of Elders, called Stories of Tech, which focused on Generation Z's experience of a world full of technology.  That project has been put on hold for Stories of COVID™.  She is already experienced at age 17 as an entrepreneur, and conveys both the support and the struggles she's experiencing during the COVID economy.  Learn more about Elisha's work at https://whollyart.com Learn more about Stories of COVID™, ways to support our frontline workers, and sign up for an interview at https://storiesofcovid.co 
08:05
April 14, 2020
7. TJ Bodnar — Teaching From Home
How are our teachers coping with COVID-19?  How do we ensure children don't get left behind in their education, and have to re-take their levels at the start of the new school year?  TJ Bodnar provides insight into his online classroom in this episode, as well as reminds listeners that it's okay to feel the pressure to change with this new era. Learn more about Stories Of COVID™ and support our healthcare workers at https://storiesofcovid.co
09:54
April 13, 2020
6. Laurie Cable — From the Hair Chair
Laurie Cable is the daughter of Onalee Cable, one of the women I interviewed for my pervious book, Stories of Elders. https://storiesofelders.com/podcast/episode-20-onalee-jean-cable/  She lives in Detroit, Michigan, and describes the weight of fear and concern carried by us all.  Laurie has decided to do something about these hard times, despite her own fear and trepidation.  She began a video series on Facebook to simply laugh at her "quarantine hair", and hopefully make others smile for just a moment.  Based on the comments one can read on each post, it seems to be working.  You can find her posts here:  https://www.facebook.com/laurie.cable.3/videos_by  Sign up for a interview or purchase apparel supporting our front line healthcare workers here:  https://storeisofcovid.co 
09:17
April 11, 2020
5. Rebecca Thomas — Shaping Hope
Rebecca Thomas lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She worries how the school shut downs will affect her son's education, and is hopeful that this may be a chance for exploration and development.  Rebecca also shares her effort to act calm and confident in public while adopting new measures to keep others safe so those around her feel empowered to do the same.  Ultimately, she is hopeful.  Her final message encourages listeners to do what they can to not succumb to fear through connection and trust. Learn more and sign up for an interview at https://veronicakirin.com/stories-of-covid
08:40
April 10, 2020
4. Bri Luginbill — Working Remote
Bri Luginbill works for a sheriff's office, a place not known for remote work.  Yet, during this time of upheaval, she has witnessed immense support for both the staff and from the community.  In this episode, Bri explores how workplaces are shifting to remote work to keep their employees safe, how exhausted people seem as they go through this paradigm shift, and her hope for the future. Learn more and sign up for an interview at https://veronicakirin.com/stories-of-covid
12:13
April 7, 2020
3. Brynn Canary — Community Banding Together
Brynn Canary lives in the university town of Bloomington, Indiana.  When Indiana University closed, half the population of the town went with it.  The businesses and resources that thrive on the university population are suffering, but overnight, the town came together to support each other.  Brynn's interview is one of striving for the best during extremely trying times.  In their interview they also share concerns for their great-grandmother, who, at the time, was on her deathbed.  How might a family handle such a situation, when a funeral might endanger everyone?  Brynn has since shared with me that she passed away, and they have decided to plan a memorial of life when COVID-19 has passed. Learn more and sign up for an interview at https://veronicakirin.com/stories-of-covid 
11:52
April 6, 2020
2. Anita Tkalčević - Travel and Earthquakes
Anita Tkalčević lives in Zagreb, Croatia.  On March 22, 2020, a powerful earthquake shook the foundation of the city, destroying many of the old buildings, and forcing a people in quarantine out of their homes.  Anita had just returned from travel in Germany, and describes her travels during the pandemic, as well as trying to stay isolated despite the earthquake thrusting her from shelter. To learn more about these interviews, or schedule one for yourself, please go to https://veronicakirin.com/stories-of-covid Follow along on social media @vmkirin
08:58
April 2, 2020
1. Michael Canas - An Unexpected Reprieve
Michael Canas lives in the Greater Los Angeles region.  For him, COVID-19 has been both a blessing and a curse.  He was laid off by both his jobs, but has also found a new kind of peace because of it.  In this episode we explore staying in touch with loved ones and how we might use shelter-in-place to our benefit. Learn more about Stories of COVID and schedule an interview at https://veronicakirin.com/stories-of-covid 
08:49
April 1, 2020
Stories of COVID | Trailer
COVID-19 is affecting every aspect of our lives, from work to community, from supply chain to global communication.  How does technology play a role?  And how will this affect our culture after the worst has passed? Learn more and sign up to be interviewed at https://veronicakirin.com/stories-of-covid
00:49
March 31, 2020