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Pandemic Reflections

Pandemic Reflections

A special series by WUWM's Maayan Silver. Maayan's stories air each Tuesday, beginning September 21, during Morning Edition 6:45 a.m. and 8:45 a.m.

This fall, WUWM will examine some of the life lessons people have learned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in a series called Pandemic Reflections.

We'll share the wisdom and, in some cases, changed perspectives, as the pandemic has been with us for more than a year and a half.

Maayan Silver will bring stories of people from a variety of backgrounds, including a former COVID-19 patient, a health care worker, those from different faiths and cultural traditions, people from the arts community and those who have experienced losses because of COVID-19. How have their lives changed? What have they learned? What can they share with others as they reflect on the impact of COVID-19?

Here are some of the voices you'll hear in the series:

Rima Shah, a practitioner of the ancient Indian healing system Ayurveda. She says the pandemic has compelled people to wrestle with anxiety and depression. She says it's important to confront that: 

Because if we really stay in that place of fear and hopelessness and despair, we're not going to get out of it, even if the medical profession starts to tell you, ‘hey, it's getting safer.’ How do we want to come out of this collectively and individually? What are we going to take [with us]? Are we going to live in the fear side, or are we going to cultivate faith alongside of it?

Milwaukee County Municipal Judge Derrick Mosley, a former COVID patient. He told Maayan he has always prided himself on having empathy for those who come before him in court. But the feeling of powerlessness he experienced as a COVID patient has amplified that empathy:

As a judge, you go into a courtroom, and everybody's looking at you and listening to you and what you say goes, right? But when you're sitting, laying in the ICU and the doctors aren't even coming into the room because of how precarious the situation is, they're calling you on the phone in the room to talk, you realize you control nothing. And so you trust your life to strangers.

Anya Ramos, a freshman at Marquette University. She was in high school when the pandemic hit and says at first she felt the loss of her in-person school, social life and other activities. But the slower pace allowed her to look inward and address her mental health challenges in a way she hadn't before:

It honestly made it way more accessible for me to just work on myself … I think the environment and the state of the world, they were very focused on mental health, because now people were taking it seriously, because, you know, adults were dealing with it. [So] it was easier for me to get help, and people would take [my mental health struggles] more seriously.