I have cerebral palsy, a disorder caused by a lack of oxygen when I was born. As a student at City Connections, I’ve learned to be more independent through real-world experiences, like navigating the city and working with professional social media teams.
PublicSource asked several questions about how Pittsburgh should move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic in wide-ranging interviews between April 6-12 with the city’s four Democratic mayoral candidates. They each had a different take on when to get vaccinated, how to bring back the city’s workforce and whether to close streets to provide more outdoor seating.
Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. Editor’s note, trigger warning: The essay discusses suicidal ideation. If you or someone you know are struggling with suicidal ideation, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), or message the Crisis Text Line at 741741. The programs provide free, confidential support 24/7. The author's full name is being withheld to protect his privacy.
Laurie Sloan and her husband have always known they wanted to have a big family. The stay-at-home mom, who is now pregnant with her fourth child, didn’t let the pandemic stop their plans. “We were stuck at home and hanging out together and it was kind of fun watching all the kids be close in age and play together,” she said.
Sloan, who is now expecting a son in June, thought being pregnant during the pandemic would allow her to spend more time preparing for his arrival. “I thought by the time the baby was here, life would be back to normal,” she said. “That’s obviously not going to happen.”
For Sloan, pandemic pregnancy has been bittersweet.
Health systems that prioritize people who are able to go online for hours, hunting for scarce vaccine appointments, are creating barriers for vulnerable people who often have spent most of their lives pressing their noses against the window of a healthcare system that doesn’t seem to care about them.
PublicSource is publishing a list of the locations that have either been shut down or have received citations on three or more visits. And we have created a searchable map and database, so residents can look at whether the restaurants in their neighborhoods have been cited or have been abiding by regulations.
Several Pittsburghers living with HIV told PublicSource the COVID pandemic echoed many of the scariest and most dangerous parts of living through the HIV and AIDS epidemic, including confusion about the science, social isolation, a reluctance to adopt public health measures and a lack of leadership from the president of the United States.
We talked to five people in the Pittsburgh area who have had to reckon with addiction during the pandemic, either because they are struggling themselves or because their loved ones have suffered through it. They shared stories of a crisis within a crisis.