For The Second Time | -19,’20 | Issue No. 34

The trip’s been long, strange, severe, and sanitized, but the real PPE is the friends we made along the way. So this week we’re reconnecting with them, to hear how life’s gone on since the last time we spoke, and how their stories continue after our episodes end. And though we wish that we could climb right through the telephone line, still we’re reunited and it feels so good. This week we’re catching up with old friends.


“It Becomes a Mental Thing”
by Khyriel Palmer

Back in May, we spoke to Brooklyn resident Mavis Palmer about her experience contracting the Coronavirus and we were offered some insight on what it’s like to survive the debilitating disease. This week, we called up Mavis to see how she’s doing, and what she’s doing to get her life back on track. 

“They Protect Their Community”
by Shirin Barghi

La Colmena is a community-based organization working with undocumented day laborers, domestic workers, and other low-wage immigrant workers through organizing, education, culture, and equitable economic development. In April, Executive Director Yesenia Mata told us about the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis on the undocumented community amid ongoing ICE raids. This week, she gives us an update and some good news. 

“What’s Happening in the Subways”
by Sachar Mathias

Train operator Chris Murrel called us in April to tell us about the “new normal” he found himself in when the city shut down because of the pandemic. With the city slowly opening back up, he calls us to say he’s still hanging in there.

“Much Less Optimistic”
by Charlie Hoxie

Producer Charlie Hoxie revisits Dr. Vincent Racaniello, the virologist from Columbia University who really loves viruses. When we spoke to Dr. Racaniello in May, he was pretty optimistic about the situation. Fast forward to this week, his outlook is a little less rosy. 

“To Predict People's Ability to Survive”
by Emily Boghossian

Two months ago, we produced a story about medical resource rationing under covid, and the ableist guidelines that states have been using to allocate care in the US. This week, we checked in with one of the people we interviewed -- Director of Advocacy at the Center for Public Representation, Alison Barkoff -- to talk about how the fight for disability rights has progressed, and where it’s headed next.

“Playing Ping Pong as Immunity Fades”
by Sachar Mathias

We first met Mert Erogul, MD -- an emergency room doctor in a Brooklyn hospital  grappling with COVID-19 -- back in March. He’s checked in regularly since, with stories from the field and news from the front, but it’s been over a month since we last heard from Dr Mert, who this week sets a very different scene.

“I Miss You. I Love You”
by Shirin Barghi

Former BRIC Vice President, Betsy Smulyan, calls to tell us about her new job as the Interim Executive Director at Heights and Hills, an organization that supports in-home aging. With a staff consisting of Brooklyn-based social workers and volunteers, the organization has dedicated itself to helping homebound seniors through the Covid crisis.


“Weekend Weather with Junior Meteorologist Giff City” was produced by Emily Boghossian, Taylor Cook, and Lauren Germain. Brooklyn USA’s “Messages From Over Here” are produced by Voltron.

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See you on the other side, in Brooklyn, USA.

Brooklyn, USA is produced by Sachar Mathias, Emily Boghossian, Shirin Barghi, Khyriel Palmer, Mayumi Sato and Charlie Hoxie.

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