Coronavirus Personal Narratives

Sarah Rose / GPB News

Tuesday, March 31, marks the yearly International Transgender Day of Visibility. This year is a little different, however, because it's fairly difficult to be visible when we're all stuck indoors practicing social distancing.

I've been a reporter at Georgia Public Broadcasting now for about seven months. In the time I've been here, I've rushed to the scene of a plane crash, reported on meteor showers and spoken to community leaders I watched on television as a child. This job comes with the privilege of getting to know communities across Georgia in a deeply profound way.

Jade Abdul-Malik / GPB News

I was barely in high school when I saw the trailer for Contagion. My family and I were at the Starlight Drive-In watching a movie I wish I can remember. The only thing I can recall from that night was Gwenyth Paltrow convulsing on the floor and the quick reveal of several people who fell sick from a deadly pathogen. 

I’ll never forget the panic attack that followed. With a wet face and snotty nose, my breath hitched as I tried to explain to my parents how afraid I felt. I don’t want to get sick and die. I don’t want you to get sick and die. I don’t want to see anyone get sick and die.

Skylar Nicholson / GPB News

During the first week of March, I did not understand the extent to which many people across the country might have already come into contact with the coronavirus. Instead of stocking up for groceries, a group of students and I, from the University of Georgia, continued on with travel plans for spring break. For nearly a year, we’ve had plans to take a cruise to celebrate our May graduation. As we kept an eye on the news, we did discuss the situation, going back and forth.

GPB News Digital Manager Ellen Eldridge listens to President Donald Trump with headphones on while working from home Friday, March 13, 2020.
Meredith Eldridge

I honestly thought the kids would be thrilled. No school for two weeks and it’s not even vacation!

But my 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son have not been immune to the recent talk — everywhere — about coronavirus.

They both immediately started crying. Real tears.

At first, I wasn’t sure whether they were joking, but I quickly realized reality had hit them. School closing made the virus more real. Closer to home, literally.

Josephine Bennett

When you work in the “news business” it can be extremely difficult to take time off. There’s hurricane season, election season, and now the coronavirus. Months can slip by as you wait for the “best time” to plan a vacation or a trip to see the people you love.

I had booked a trip to Connecticut to see my 95-year-old mom who is in a nursing home — before the pandemic.