Student doing Arts and Crafts

Meadowbrook Blog

Voices from the Pandemic - Aleena B.

For this project, 8th-grade English students recorded interviews with adults in their lives through StoryCorps Connect, a pandemic-focused version of the ongoing NPR series. Then, following the example of Eli Saslow (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and brother to Craig Saslow) in his ongoing "Voices from the Pandemic" photojournalism series in the Washington Post, students transcribed their interviews and wrote their own "Voices" narratives in the voices of the folks they interviewed. These short narratives are focused on what the 8th-grade students found most compelling during their interviews, and as you'll see, they're quite powerful.

Aleena B. - Going Back to the Basics

Maybe we should have listened earlier, things got out of hand because we all thought “it’s just that, it will pass.” We did not think of how grave this pandemic will be. The casualties are not just the patients who have the virus, but those who have other conditions who are not being seen. Patients who need to go to the hospitals either get turned away or dismiss their conditions.

Filipinos are generally obedient. Everybody is already educated enough to be safe. Some people cannot get accustomed to wearing their masks, but we have people walking around the clinic reminding them. “Please pull up your mask. This is for your safety and our safety.”

I think now, the mask and face shield is already a law. It’s a social and moral responsibility to the people around you. Yesterday I was in the mall, and I saw; there were mask police. I saw a shopper with their face shield up, because he was texting and he couldn’t see, and he was really reminded to put it down.

I work in a mall-based practice. I see general consults and LASIK patients. Initially, when the pandemic struck, we were on lockdown. People were staying home from March into May. Financially, I got worried. “How long will this last? When is this going to stop? When will this improve?” We used to give free meals on busy days, we cut that down, and the employees understood. If you are employed in a company, it’s better to be cut down on benefits, than to be bankrupt. 

All that matters now is family and health; they’re priceless. I don’t need nice clothes, because I can go to work in just my scrubs! Quarantine has taught me how to value what’s really important in my life. What you really need is just what’s around you.