Stories of the pandemic

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Check out the story board below to read stories of people from across the region.

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!

Check out the story board below to read stories of people from across the region.

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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    Social Issues in the Spotlight for Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter

    5 months ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    Uxbridge resident, Tania Joy, is a co-founder of the Springtide Music Festival. She is a graphic artist as well as a recording artist. In 2021 she released her sophomore EP “I Will Stand”, and won Songwriter of the Year at the 2021 OMAs. Her track ‘Planks and Marietta’, about a racist incident in her local community, was also nominated for Durham Song of the Year.

    The pandemic pulled back the curtain on many atrocities that are happening in Canada and across the world today affecting BIPOC and LGBTQ2+ communities. It will... Continue reading

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    Investing in Yourself, Physically as Well as Financially

    5 months ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    Janine Mocaiber and her partner, Igor, of Oshawa Brazilian Jiu jitsu and Fitness, are martial arts practitioners and competitors. It is a lifestyle as well as a sport for them so the pandemic related curbs on their training impacted them deeply. They looked inwards for the strength to cope as athletes always do.

    “Resting and listening to your body helps. Being in shape and having the ability to properly recover helps as well. I personally light the candle at both ends but I have always done this and can maintain it to a... Continue reading

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    DrumSong : The Beat Goes On

    by Maureen Daigle, 5 months ago

    Two years and counting this pandemic has definitely impacted my life. Music feeds my soul and as a senior amateur musician I have had to get creative to keep music alive.


    Pre pandemic I enjoyed volunteering at Hearth Place, a cancer support center in Oshawa. I created a program called DrumSong that introduced participants to djembe (an East African drum), hand drumming, simple songs, percussion, occasional ukulele and guitar. It was a joy that was both healing and fun!


    With Covid the center had to shut down in person programs. Fortunately there is a beautiful park Oshawa Gardens steps away... Continue reading

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    Keeping Live Music "Alive" During The Pandemic

    by Grant Bucosky, 5 months ago

    The first few months of the pandemic were real tough on Maureen and I, not being able to perform our music when all our community engagements evaporated due to lock down restrictions. We had just returned from a couple of great months, street performing in Mexico and were on an emotional high only to be shut down a few days after our return to Oshawa.

    Like other musician friends, we were stuck inside, unable to do what we truly loved; performing live. Many used the down time to record new material, produce You Tube videos and perform via live streaming... Continue reading

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    Taking a Few Extra Stops to Appreciate the Journey

    5 months 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, 6 months 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, 6 months 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.

    6 months 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!

    7 months 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

    7 months 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

Page last updated: 10 Jun 2022, 09:27 AM