In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities around the world have faced great loss and isolation. In particular, essential workers have been thrust into dangerous situations where they must risk the health of themselves and their loved ones. In this collection, we honor their efforts by sharing their stories on the front lines of the pandemic.

In addition to the voices of essential workers, this collection also highlights loved ones who have found new ways to connect with each other. Despite being miles apart, our new platform, StoryCorps Connect, allows friends and family to interview through the safety and comfort of their own homes. Read on to hear difficult and uplifting moments shared by the people around you.

Your story deserves to be heard. StoryCorps Connect makes it possible to interview a loved one remotely and then upload it to the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress. Learn more at StoryCorpsConnect.org.

‘We’re Like A Lifeline’: Postal Workers
Fight Fear To Work In A Pandemic

When Evette Jourdain was struggling to get back on her feet, landing a job as a postal worker in Palm Beach, Florida seemed like a blessing. Now the job carries with it risks she never imagined.
Read the full transcript here.

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"The bravest of us right now is absolutely terrified."
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For Old Friends, Hospital Work Brings New Challenges In COVID-19

With almost 400 miles between them, nurse Josh Belser and health-technician Sam Dow talk about their decades-long friendship and how they continue to support each other.
Read the full transcript here.

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“The most difficult part of this is losing my best friend.”
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After Surviving COVID-19, A Mom And Daughter Mourn Loved Ones

At Jackie Stockton’s 90th birthday party in early March, COVID-19 broke out in her community. Two loved ones did not survive. She speaks on how she keeps faith during this painful time.
Read the full transcript here.

They Don’t See The Innocence In You

Albert Sykes talks to his 15-year-old son, Aidan, about raising three Black sons in Mississippi, why they go to protests together, and what Albert’s hopes are for his son’s future.
Read the full transcript here.

Together
At A Distance

Due to his risk of COVID-19 exposure at the hospital, Dr. Roberto Vargas has been isolating himself from his wife, Susan, and their four young kids for two months.
Read the full transcript here.

 

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"It's like pieces of a puzzle that we're just now putting together."
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After 15 Years of Incarceration, Mother is Reunited with Daughter Due to COVID-19

In their first weekend together since Nia Cosby was incarcerated for mortgage fraud, Nia and her daughter, Chalana, reflect on their love for each other.
Read the full transcript here.

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“I visited him March 8th. I just got this feeling that I needed to go see him.”
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After Losing Her Father to COVID-19, A Daughter Reflects On His WWII Service

Hannah reflects on the life of her father, Army Staff Sergeant Emilio “Leo” DiPalma, who served as a guard during the first Nuremberg Trials.
Read the full transcript here.

We Have A
Driver’s Heart

Tyrone Hampton and Frank de Jesus are New York City bus operators and close colleagues. They’ve lost dozens of fellow bus operators to COVID-19.
Read the full transcript here.

You’re Stronger
Than You Feel

Dan Flynn travels across the country to serve on the national mortuary response team in the epicenter of the pandemic — New York City.
Read the full transcript here.

From the Archive

From doctors to college students to community members and leaders, discover the voices of participants from all walks of life as they share their stories in these full-length StoryCorps conversations.

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Teresa Wenum and Marisa Wenum

Mother-daughter duo Teresa and Marisa Wenum talk about graduating college during a pandemic, Teresa’s continuing breast cancer treatment, and how the family put together a virtual celebration.

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Rachel Pearson and Benjamin Laussade

Not only was Rachel Pearson working as a hospital pediatrician during the COVID-19 pandemic, but she also gave birth to her baby, Sam. She talks with her husband, Ben Laussade, about her experiences working, their son’s birth, and their hopes for Sam’s future.

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Air Gallegos and Omar Carrera

Colleagues Air Gallegos and Omar Carrera discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the Latinx community, and how historical inequities have been worsened because of the pandemic. Air talks about Canal Alliances and their work to end poverty, and reflects on an Indigenous creation story.

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Terri Hubbard and Sylvia Hardin

Parishioner Sylvia Hardin and Rev. Terri Hubbard reflect on how church services have changed during the pandemic, including their adaptation to online services.

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Santana Lee and David Easterly

David Easterly and his mentor, Santana Lee, discuss the challenges they’ve faced in both their personal lives and the community due to COVID-19. They reflect on their work with All 4 Kidz, as well as what it meant to participate in the Black Lives Matter protests.

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Soo Lon Moy and Ben Lau

In response to COVID-19, Soo Lon Moy and Ben Lau have had to adapt the Chinese American Museum of Chicago to a virtual landscape. Since the pandemic, they’ve had to rethink how they hold events, in addition to starting a fight against discrimination.

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Fred Roe and Nicole Molumby

Partners Fred Roe and Nicole Molumby reflect on how an initial introduction during group therapy sessions led to the two of them moving in together once stay-at-home orders were put in place. They share what they’ve learned about each other throughout their relationship.

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Cairo Dye and Henry Godinez

As schools moved online, Henry Godinez had to adjust to teaching theatre remotely. In an interview with his former student Cairo Dye, he speaks about teaching hybrid classes and how to bring theatre into communities around the Chicago area.

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Cassandra Gentry and Karen Gray

Grandparents Karen Gray and Cassandra Gentry discuss how they have worked to support their grandchildren during the pandemic. They talk about distance learning, the activities available to children during COVID-19, and family unity.

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Hashim Hesham and Hosai Hesham

Hosai Hesham asks her father, Hashim Hesham, about what it was like to perform surgery and treat patients with COVID-19. Hasim also reflects on his childhood in Kabul, and the differences he’s noticed between treatment in Pakistan and his practice in Baltimore.

 

To hear more about the lives of people during the pandemic, visit archive.storycorps.org and search for the keyword “COVID-19.”

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