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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    Real Estate Agent Experienced Growth in Family and the Market

    5 months 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

    5 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

    6 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

    6 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

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    Adding Myself to the Priority List

    6 months ago

    Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

    With a child with underlying health conditions and her own health issue, Krista MacNeil, Clinical Director at the Victim Services of Durham Region, worried she or her family would quickly fall victim to the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe.

    “My youngest daughter has health issues that usually land her in hospital four to five times per year so the pandemic has created additional anxiety in terms of risk to her. We have likely been more isolated than most at times because of wanting to protect her. Luckily, she has remained healthy.

    “I... Continue reading

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    Another Spin in life.

    by Drester, 6 months ago
    A. I currently reside in Downtown Oshawa.

    B. No one in my family has contracted Covid

    C. I was working at a Graphic design firm. Employment there has become sporadic and not full time

    D. I found comfort in music. This promoted me to consider owning a record store

    E. I have moved forward with my dream of opening a record store. The comfort of music helped me through the pandemic is something I want to share with others.

    F. Going forward on this adventure of owning and operating a new business has pushed me out of my comfort zone... Continue reading

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    No Drama Drums

    6 months 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 months 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

    6 months 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, 6 months 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

Page last updated: 06 May 2022, 09:59 AM