COVID-19 enters year three. How has it changed you?
March marks year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many Vermonters are feeling relief that lockdowns and many of the precautionary measures have ended. We're transitioning out of the emergency and into a world of vaccines, boosters and living with the virus. As we mark this milestone, Vermont Edition asks, How has the pandemic changed you?
This hour, we ask you to reflect on how the coronavirus has affected your job, your living situation, or your outlook on life. Are there any lessons you are taking from the pandemic? How are you showing gratitude to the people who helped you through this time, like a doctor, or nurse, or a loved one?
Our guests are:
- Hannah Pick, Putney Food Shelf executive director
- Robert Dugreneir, president of the nonprofit West River Community Project at the West Townsend Country Store
- Interviews with several students at South Hero's Folsom Education and Community Center
- Jane Berry, a Fairfield foster grandmother who volunteered as a foster grandparent during the pandemic
- Aaron Martin, chef/owner of Plateand Umami in Stowe
- Eric Mallette, executive director of Rutland's Paramount Theatre (note, the Paramount Theater is a VPR underwriter)
- Plus, we'll share several comments from a recent Reddit thread on this milestone
With all the hardship and loss, some are looking on the bright side. Pick said Friday the Putney community came together during the pandemic, and her organization received more money from grants and individuals that has improved the food shelf.
"I think that's the takeaway for me, for sure," Pick said. "When we are needed, the community rises to meet our needs."
Aaron Martin talks about the challenges of keeping his Stowe restaurant Plate open during the pandemic and his disappointment in seeing other restaurants in his community not survive. He started a takeout-only restaurant, Umami, in order to help keep the first one afloat.
Even now, as COVID-19 case numbers fall, he said staffing is hard.
"I've learned that you never know what's going to happen day to day and that it's a habitual adjustment," he said. "We do what we have to do to make it happen every single day."
Broadcast live on Friday, March 11, 2022 at noon.