Stories of the pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, communicate, and live. Everyone has faced different struggles and triumphs throughout this time yet our community has remained #DurhamStrong through our resilient spirit. What is your story?

Stories of the Pandemic is a project to help us connect and build community recovery and healing. We are calling on you-our community-to share your unique experiences with us. Sharing your stories of success and challenges helps us stay connected. No matter the experience, good or bad, we are examples of staying #DurhamStrong.

You can write a story, share a photo, video, or artwork and connect with other members of the community to learn about their pandemic experiences. Every story is important. Your story is important.

Be sure to review the guidelines below and the FAQs on the right side menu before you get started!

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, communicate, and live. Everyone has faced different struggles and triumphs throughout this time yet our community has remained #DurhamStrong through our resilient spirit. What is your story?

Stories of the Pandemic is a project to help us connect and build community recovery and healing. We are calling on you-our community-to share your unique experiences with us. Sharing your stories of success and challenges helps us stay connected. No matter the experience, good or bad, we are examples of staying #DurhamStrong.

You can write a story, share a photo, video, or artwork and connect with other members of the community to learn about their pandemic experiences. Every story is important. Your story is important.

Be sure to review the guidelines below and the FAQs on the right side menu before you get started!

Story Guidelines

There are guidelines for what can be published. Please be sure to read our Terms of Use before posting. 

By sharing your stories, photos, videos, or artwork you consent to the Region of Durham using your submission in Stories of the Pandemic as well as any future Regional promotions and materials.

By clicking "Create" you are agreeing to the Stories of the pandemic Terms of Use, including the Region's right to modify any submission prior to publishing, and to not publish content that does not meet the conditions of the Terms of Use. The Region has the sole right to determine what it wishes to publish. 


Notice of Collection Statement

The Regional Municipality of Durham will be collecting, using and disclosing any personal information submitted with the upload of your story, picture, video or artwork for the purposes of administering this community engagement project and will handle it in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.56, as amended. 


Get started below! 

Content Warning: Stories of the Pandemic may include material that is harmful or traumatizing to some audiences. 

Support is here if you need it, visit durham.ca/mentalhealth for more information.

Note: The submissions page will not refresh after clicking "Create". Please wait until you receive a confirmation email before re-submitting. 

Hello, 

Thank you for sharing your story with us! Please allow up to 1 week for your story to appear on the website.

-Stories of the pandemic team

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    No Drama Drums

    5 days ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    Octavio Alonso, a resident of Newcastle of Cuban heritage, went viral even as the Covid-19 virus spread around the globe. Alonso, a Nuclear Mechanical Engineer with 30 years experience, had decided to upload some videos of him drumming away in his basement, during his breaks from working at home.

    “I love music, you can say it is my passion. I like playing drums, percussion in general. Last year, 2020, on Mother's Day my older granddaughter took a video of me playing some drums and I posted it on Facebook. On Father's Day we... Continue reading

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    A Time to Re-evaluate

    6 days ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    Bernie Leroux is a Professor of Media Art and Design, and Educational Developer for Indigenous Learning at The Centre For Teaching and Learning; both positions at Durham College. He lives in Brock Township.

    “Through this I have re-evaluated everything, but prime among them are renewed concepts of prosperity and personal success. Suddenly, with all the restrictions, I have changed my sense of values connected with relationships and personal growth and this has provided a deeper appreciation of what is valuable in life beyond material possessions.”

    “Close family members and close friends offer solace... Continue reading

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    Two Things Can Be True

    11 days ago

    Note: This story was submitted on behalf of the original storyteller, with their permission.

    My experience during the pandemic has been privileged. I am not a front-line worker; I am not working in a hospital setting dealing with the horrors of intubation. I have a supportive employer, who has consistently understood shifted hours, the occasional meeting with a child on my lap, and who checks in on my mental health. In so many ways, I have been lucky.

    This said, it has not been easy. Days are very long. I am not someone who avoids hard work, but this is... Continue reading

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    A Leap of Faith in the Pandemic

    by Vivian Job, 20 days ago

    In March 2020 I was so excited about the new job at the Region, but also had a lot of mixed feelings after chatting with my prior boss. Lots to consider with the change he said, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that this job was the right fit for me, also knowing that I’ll be closer to home, and won’t have to travel all those long, lonely roads again was a plus. I had just returned from Jamaica to visit my nephew, a medical student at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, and I was blessed to... Continue reading

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    Our Hands Tell a Story

    21 days ago


    Note: This This video was submitted on behalf of Hillsdale Terraces long-term care home, who created the video.

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    Quarantined - March 2020

    by Monica Fox, 24 days ago

    Remember when the pandemic was officially declared? I do. My family and I were in Cancun, Mexico for March Break and when we returned safely, we quarantined for the first time. We had no idea what we were doing and it was hard. So I started to blog about each day, to help ease the pains. Here is one of them for your reading pleasure.

    Day 1 Quarantine Log

    Started off strong with lists, two pots of coffee and ambitions to do many things.

    First parent meltdown shortly after youngest child woke up.

    Made masks.

    Had waffles and played online... Continue reading

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    Learning to put myself first

    by Taz, about 1 month ago
    This pandemic has taken a toll on a lot of us. I feel like this pandemic break was good for me , I was only off for 3 months and luckily was able to go back to work full time. I was able to work out more and spend more time for myself and taking breaks when I needed too.

    this pandemic gave me the opportunity to spend the extra time with my grandmother before she passed so I’m trying to take the pandemic as a blessing in disguise to spend the extra time with her. When she had to... Continue reading

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    A new beginning...at the Region!

    by LamaLama, about 1 month ago

    The pandemic landed suddenly in my life.

    As a small business owner I was accustomed to working very long hours, and absolutely savored in the time I was able to spend with my family. We were on holiday during the March break, and were scheduled to have a long awaited week of fun. Upon our arrival at our destination we settled in, had a relaxing first night, and just before bed received an email that the resort we were attending was closing, effective immediately.

    In a panic I began to think how this would affect my business, how would we... Continue reading

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    Learning to work from home

    by Anonymous, about 1 month ago

    My office had never worked from home before the start of the pandemic. And then all of a sudden, we had to learn how to. In the beginning, it was exciting to have the flexibility to sleep in a little longer in the morning and wear jeans and slippers to virtual meetings. But as the pandemic extended, working from home became something I had to learn how to do properly. For me, some days it is hard.

    When you're in the office, you can count on your colleagues to get you up from your desk and grab a coffee. At... Continue reading

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    Challenge: COVID birthday street party??

    by Ilona, about 1 month ago
    At the beginning of the pandemic, we had no COVID vaccine. We tried to use our masks and social distance. One Spring day, we drove home. Our little street was full of cars. This was unusual. Coming to our home, we found our driveway blocked with a large truck. People were on the street. It's was a birthday party with more than 30 people on our little street. We walked quickly into our home, for safety.
Page last updated: 28 November 2021, 16:12