Neumann University project collects, shares stories of people's lives during the pandemic

By KYW Newsradio 1060
ASTON, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — We all have stories to tell about the pandemic and life in quarantine, and a Delaware County university is now sharing hundreds of those tales.

200 people so far, from all over the region, country and world, have shared their coronavirus stories with Janis Chakars, associate professor of communication and digital media at Neumann University in Aston, Delaware County. The tales are shared on the university radio station and on social media, as a way to keep us in touch.

"We decided to do it because campus is closed and we were socially isolated and everybody was quarantined, and media is a way you can experience community even if you’re not physically together," explained Chakars. "So we thought, 'Why not use our radio station to bring people together while they’re forced to be apart?'"

Chakars said the stories range from funny, to sad, to life-changing.

"A young woman was describing how her dad was quarantined at his work and she hadn't seen him for weeks," he recounted. "Her uncle died and she was scared to leave the house. She just got a job at a nursing home which is like the most dangerous place you could possibly go now. But she was really happy because she had bills to pay."

The stories run an average of 2-4 minutes and range from barking dogs to people talking about loved ones lost during the pandemic. Once the pandemic ends, the stories will be collected and stored in the university library.