Stories From The Other Side

Blog overview

This blog series tells the stories of a range of people living in different parts of the U.S. during the current pandemic. It gives an insight into their experiences, lives, hopes and fears, and how they cope.

Rumblings Among the Dispossessed

By Sjors Roeters

  Shelter in place, they ordered. Stay home, they said. Tonight I have neighbors for a change. I’m new on the block. I parked my van next to a family along the Pacific Coast Highway, half an hour west of Los Angeles. The stuffed garbage bags outside their beat-up car indicate that they’ve been living …...

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Dutch doctors in the epicenter in New York City

By Jaap Jan Boelens and Leontine van Elden

  Every evening at seven o’clock we listen to the tens of thousands of New Yorkers cheering in support of all the healthcare workers and other essential workers in emergency rooms, outpatient clinics and nursing homes. Our kids are proud of us: “They are cheering for you too!” When we moved to New York City …...

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My Life as a Dog

By Leon Neyfakh

  I had gotten pretty good about feeling lucky even before all this happened. But I’m now more conscious of my luck than ever, both in terms of the big picture – I am young, healthy, self-employed – as well as all the circumstantial reasons that have allowed me to experience the pandemic not as …...

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Quiet Spring in Rock Creek Park

By Bas Blokker

  Rituals Every morning my editor calls from the Netherlands. We discuss what we think is happening in the United States, what we’ve read or seen, and what could be a topic for me to write about. He used to call from the Amsterdam office of the national daily NRC Handelsblad, a four-storied workspace in …...

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All In All We Be Blessed

By Michael Martin

  After leaving the Netherlands ten years ago my family and I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina where we still rent an old red-brick parsonage adjoining a Moravian church. Directly across our street is an elementary school and around the corner a middle school; within a couple of blocks you’ve got two more churches, a …...

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False Reassurance

By Casper Thomas

  Life under lockdown in Washington DC has quickly led to new habits. The daily late-afternoon walk ranks in the category ‘pleasant’. The Corona-crisis has turned parts of DC into what sometimes resembles a Southern European city: countless people just going around the neighbourhood, stopping for a chat. People on the streets instead of cars. …...

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How We Live Now

By Russell Shorto

  My wife and I both work from home. We live in a small town in the mountains of western Maryland, which is always quiet. So: not much change. Except that our 10 year old is no longer in school, and our 19 year old is back from his first year at university. Both of …...

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A Stage Set without Actors or Audience

By Brian Rose

  As a photographer, the concept of sheltering in place is foreign to my instincts, but here in New York, in the midst of this invisible infectious storm, we have been ordered to stay at home. However, we are permitted the liberty of taking walks as long as we maintain the requisite social distance of …...

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Celebrating a Birthday – via Zoom

By Deborah Frieden

  It was time for my first social distancing Happy Hour. On the block where I live, in Oakland, California, my neighbors stepped out onto their porches or front yards with a drink and we all toasted each other from a safe distance. My husband and I live at the bottom of a hill. So …...

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At Sea Without A Captain

by Kim Wehle

  The question of how America is dealing with COVID-19 warrants a response on at least three levels: the personal, the political, and the ethical. On a personal level, the feeling in the United States seems to toggle between anxiety and fear on the one hand and, by some reports, indifference on the other. I …...

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Can New York City Lose its Twinkle?

by David van der Leer

  Questions are typically more appealing to me than the right answers, but tonight I realized I am yearning for answers to questions I had been avoiding for weeks. It is 9 pm and I am standing on the roof of my apartment building in Chelsea. We are sandwiched between the skyline of the Financial …...

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