WGBH News has reporters all over the state gathering information and keeping us up-to-date on the latest through their reporting for In It Together, a nightly radio program and podcast airing every day at 7 pm on WGBH.
We’re also interested in hearing from you directly, which is why we’re launching The Check In — where you get a turn to share your story during the coronavirus pandemic. Once a week, reporter Tori Bedford will join In It Together host Arun Rath to discuss these perspectives and connect people across the state. We want to know how you're coping, what your day-to-day looks like, and what you're struggling with during this time. We're also looking for any bright spots, so if you have a positive experience to share, please let us know!
If you have a story to share, or you just want to reach out and connect, please send a short voice recording to email@example.com and put “THE CHECK IN” in the subject line.
On Friday’s episode, we heard from:
Valerie Lute, a Cambridge resident who has been self-quarantined for a week now. She got sick and had coronavirus symptoms, so she called multiple medical professionals, but they didn’t give her much direction besides staying home and avoiding contact with others.
“They told me to remain self-quarantined, but that there's no way that me or the people that I live with can get tested for this,” Lute said. “There's a lot of people that I know in this situation right now, the nurse I spoke with at my doctor’s office said she's been taking calls from people like me all day.”
Lute wanted to issue a reminder to young people who experience any signs of illness: Self-quarantine immediately, or you might be putting others at risk.
Tara Sinclair lives alone in Quincy. She owns a small business and doesn't know if it's going to survive the economic impacts of the pandemic. She also has medical problems and she doesn't know if she'll be able to deal with them because they aren't urgent, but above all else, she says she's having a really hard time with social isolation.
“I haven't been this lonely and isolated in a long time,” Sinclair said. “I don’t have any pets, I don't have anyone in my house to talk to. I only have social media, phone calls, and texts. And it’s not enough.”
Sinclair followed up a few days later with a second voice memo, reflecting the feelings of a lot of Massachusetts residents who are angry with Tom Brady for leaving the New England Patriots for Miami.
“Tom Brady, did you have to kick us when we're down?” Sinclair said. “We're stuck inside on a gray St. Patrick's day, you couldn't have waited one more day? 20 years, and this is how you're going out? Not cool, Tom. Not cool at all.
Niko Andreadis is traveling home to Rhode Island from London, where he was staying. He just got word that he’s been fired from his job at a restaurant in Rhode Island with no notice due to the pandemic, so he'll be living at home with no income for the foreseeable future.
“Having to move back home for the first time in eight years, it’s kind of that classic millennial thing, like millennials moving back home, and I didn't think that would happen to me,” Andreadis said. “I’ve been pretty self-sufficient for awhile, but one pandemic and one loss of a job, and you’re [done.]”
Nicole Doak started a facebook group to deal with the crisis in Framingham and she says she's seen volunteers reaching out to help people with everything from grocery delivery, to wifi support, to childcare to teaching Spanish lessons.
“It's a really good feeling,” Doak said. “There's just community support, and people saying that this is kind of restoring their faith, and giving them hope. It makes them happy to be a part of this community.”
Josh Friedman is a freelance musician who does gigs and touring, which have obviously stopped, but he also teaches, so he’s moved all of his lessons online.
“I sent an email out last week asking for everyone to switch to virtual lessons, and it looks like everyone is doing that,” Friedman said. “So far it looks like I can keep teaching for the time being, as long as the internet still works.”
Mara Dolan lives in Concord, she founded Left of Center, which is an organization that helps elect Democrats in Massachusetts. She says she has a solution for people who are feeling lonely or missing parties.
“Social distance parties on Zoom! They're the greatest thing,” Dolan said. “We're doing all this work online, we're having all these teleconferences, why don't we have parties online, too? And it's great, you get to see the person’s face, their expressions, introduce friends to one another, I love it!"
If you'd like to share your experience with us, please send a voice memo to firstname.lastname@example.org.