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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    Taking a Few Extra Stops to Appreciate the Journey

    2 days ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca


    Although Doug Smart co-founded a punk rock record label during the pandemic lockdowns it was the silence of the city around him, ironically, which he will remember as the game changer. The Oshawa-raised Smart currently works part-time for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in Toronto; he did lose some other work positions he had held but took the opportunity to embrace new ventures.

    “I took a GREAT deal of comfort and solace in how quiet the city had become. It was a blessing to be able to move about the city with such... Continue reading

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    Big Changes

    by APrescott, 26 days ago
    This pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Events were cancelled, gatherings were postponed and weddings were done through Zoom. For me, it brought about big changes in my life.


    On October 14, 2020, I started a new job in the planning field. It was a field of study that I was interested in for many years. It was a huge change meaning that I was going to be living on my own. The pandemic did not stop me from starting a new job.

    As time went on, I learned to become independent and patient with others. I... Continue reading

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    Nascent maddness

    by Pollyanna, about 1 month ago
    It’s about my journey through this pandemic with a real sense of fear and anxiety. I am bio polar as well and living in south Oshawa after being homeless leaving a 15 year relationship. I faced some hurdles I tell you.
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    North Durham resident looks forward to new beginnings.

    about 1 month ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    Sagen Pearse is a funeral director. He and his wife live in Sandford, just north of Uxbridge. They are expecting their first child. Pearse is also a musician. He has recorded, and won awards. His day job also has its rewards, even during this most trying of times.

    “I work at a funeral home; I have been at the same location for ten years now. The pandemic made us adapt quickly to an ever-evolving situation. At the height of the pandemic the sheer number of families we were serving was four times the... Continue reading

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    The Show Must Go On!

    about 1 month ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    Before her move to Toronto, Vietnamese immigrant Thao Nghiem lived in Oshawa as a student at Durham College. She was enrolled in the Music Business Management program and upon graduation became one of the executive directors for the OMAs, Durham Region’s Music Awards.

    “When the pandemic hit Canada in March 2020, we were about to run our award show in April to announce the award winners together with a lineup of music performances. Due to the close down for almost everything, we also had to cancel our in-real-life event. This decision affected... Continue reading

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    Governing Local During a Global Crisis

    about 1 month ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    Working remotely in Brock Township was the order for Ward 4 Councillor Cria Pettingill. Balancing staying apart from with staying a part of her constituency necessitated a maturation in local governance.

    “I live in Sunderland countryside. Quite a few family members living in the States or Europe have had Covid-19. A couple long haulers too but mostly everyone getting off pretty gently.

    “I was working at municipal offices, council chambers previously, now everything is from home. It works very well and we have developed terrific methods for sharing the space and making sure... Continue reading

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    Real Estate Agent Experienced Growth in Family and the Market

    about 1 month ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: www.slowcity.ca

    Chris Vale is a realtor at Keller Williams Energy in Oshawa. He became quite busy, not just at work as the real estate industry took off, but also at home with a new baby.

    “I got into the real estate industry in Sept of 2019. Obviously the pandemic hit shortly thereafter. We really didn’t know how things were going to play out. When the first lockdown hit, we didn’t know if housing sales were going to collapse or not. They did for a very very short time. What happened afterwards, nobody could have... Continue reading

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    Brooklin Chef’s Pandemic Recipe, Add a Bunch of Time to Family

    about 2 months ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    Chef Christian Pritchard has an optimistic take on the Covid-19 pandemic. No one in his Brooklin-based family contacted the virus and his work provided him with challenging new opportunities, which he welcomed

    “I will always look back fondly of the time we, my wife Kim and I, got to spend with our kids and dog. Every Friday night my son Lochlan and I jammed live online calling it “Friday Night Funk”. I played bass. He played drums and Kim and Liléa, our daughter, used their iPhones to project this event at 8PM every... Continue reading

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    Remaining Optimistic and Hopeful

    about 2 months ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    Birdwatching became a pastime for Dean of Trent University Durham GTA, Scott Henderson, who had only just been hired to watch over the expansion of the university at its location on the Oshawa/ Whitby border.

    “As the head of a university campus, it is always a busy job, with a lot of unexpected elements. COVID has added an entire other layer of public health regulations, pivoting to online teaching, dealing with new issues around tech, around social interaction, Zoom etiquette etc. Overall it has been relentless as there are constant adaptations to the... Continue reading

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    Hidden Talents

    about 2 months ago

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

    In September of 2020 I left the corporate world and took a position of Resident Care Aide (RCA) at Fairview Lodge. Although the work was very different, working with the elderly had long been a passion of mine and I soon fell in love with the job and each of the residents. The reward of enlightening someone’s day through simple conversation, activities and day-to-day assistance was something I had never experienced in the corporate world. While many of the relationships and experiences will stay with me... Continue reading

Page last updated: 25 January 2022, 10:17