Covid-19 Stories Blog

COVID-19 COMMUNITY STORIES

These stories have been kindly shared by ordinary people in our and your community. They form part of our resources for teachers and community / youth workers seeking to process the events of Covid-19 within their schools, community projects and well-being settings. We are inviting written or oral contributions from people of all ages and all sections of our community so do please share this page freely or download our E-POSTER. For more info and to give a voice to your story please download one of the following forms:

       Worker perspective        Personal perspective        Child Perspective

For detailed questions that help with putting a story together, either your own, or those of people you are working with / interviewing, please download one of the following sheets. They can be edited to suit your specific purpose.

Questions - worker       Questions - adult / young person       Questions - child / young person

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"As a Primary Deputy Head I am keen to source real accounts of different people’s experiences of life since lockdown due to the coronavirus. It is vital for pupils to hear about these experiences to support their understanding of how others have and are coping and to develop empathy with different people."

Nigel Watson, Coldean Primary School, Brighton 

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Thank you to East Brighton Trust for funding this project.

 Some names and places have been altered to protect identities.

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My name is Roy, I work as a live sound engineer – the man behind the mixing desk at concerts and gigs whose job is to make the performance sound good. All of this work is reliant on an audience being present. When the lockdown happened all shows stopped, and with them all of my work; adapting to the situation whilst still doing the same job is basically not possible.

Roy at "Trading Boundaries" gigIn many ways what I do is a bit different from most jobs in that it is closely interleaved with what the musicians do. For many musicians, especially those who do what they do out of a love of their art, not being able to play together is like losing a limb. Maybe there is a bit more creativity happening as people try to find ways to record together over the Internet but, for many people, that creativity is a face-to-face interaction which does not work on a screen.

One other thing that contributes to the problems faced by lesser known acts is that the music business went through a major upheaval in the digital age. Without a physical product (CD / vinyl etc.) there is no control over the distribution of music. You can share a song via MP3 in an email and the artist gets nothing. Streaming services, especially Spotify, pay little back to the artists so many small acts survived by doing live shows and that is precisely the thing that lockdown has finished.

Encounters are rare these days although I did drive out to a venue to sit in the garden with the owner and the lighting technician I work with to discuss the future. For the venue owner Covid-19 has also been devastating although he is able to access some Government resources to retain some of his staff. In the case of the lighting designer and myself our work is supplied as self-employed contractors on a show by show basis so the Government help did not allow him to pay us. To keep me occupied, I have had to fall back on DIY – I rebuilt our front door and discovered skills I did not think I had.

Shows do not happen out of the blue. Bands have to plan tours, book hotels, make sure that all the people involved are available, rehearse and generally engage in a big logistical exercise. Cancelling all the shows up to Christmas is a major blow for the bands, the technicians and the venues. The same is true for theatre and anything that involves  performance.

By Roy, June 2020

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