From the Source podcast: Listen to voices of the Pittsburgh region amid the coronavirus outbreak

Hosted by Jourdan Hicks
Produced by Andy Kubis


The coronavirus has changed us, no matter what class, race, gender, age we represent, in Pittsburgh and beyond. Each week, the Pittsburgh nonprofit news outlet PublicSource will bring you voices and personal stories of people in our area who are coping with changes brought about by the pandemic. PublicSource delivers stories for a better Pittsburgh, so if you care about our region's communities, schools and businesses, this is the podcast for you.

To support PublicSource, please donate here.


teachersEpisode 10: The counselor and teacher finding hope and growth in kids

More than two months into quarantine, it remains unclear when or how children will return to classrooms. How will they be evaluated? Would they be prepared to pick it up and start working on math and spelling? How would they cope with 'time lost' and be able to reconnect with their classmates and teachers? On this episode, a Wesley Family Services school counselor and a Pittsburgh Montessori teacher give us a glimpse into their students' lives now and how the adults are feeling about it, too.

Link to transcript

Selena EisenbergEpisode 9: Turned off by tip-baiting, the Pittsburgh-area Instacart worker went solo

Many consumers are relying on delivery workers to shop for and deliver their groceries to protect themselves during the pandemic. With increased demand, some customers have been making their orders look more appealing by adding big tips and then reducing or zeroing it out after the job is done. On this episode, Selena Eisenberg, who is also a mom with ambitious career dreams of her own, shares the personal toll of being baited and how it prompted her to strike out as an independent personal shopper.

Link to transcript

third-grader Felix WodzakEpisode 8: The advocate whose social media followers are helping him help the homeless

Since the pandemic began to affect Allegheny County, Lorenzo Ruilli has been hiking under bridges and through urban brush to help the homeless. On this episode, learn how he is putting together bags of food and hygiene products and why he does it.

Link to transcript

third-grader Felix WodzakEpisode 7: The Lawrenceville 8-year-old with a podcast and lots of pandemic thoughts

What does a kid make of a historic event that is affecting people throughout the world? On this episode, third-grader Felix Wodzak shares what he understands about the effects of the coronavirus, the history of past pandemics and what's getting him through the days stuck at home.

Link to transcript

Episode 6: The postal worker with a calling to serve his East End customers

The U.S. Postal Service is in danger of bankruptcy at a time when their service is considered 'essential.' While postal workers are delivering important items, like prescriptions and mail-in ballot applications, they're also a source of some comforts — either by delivering less essential items for lifing up people's spirits or just a familiar face. In this episode, Thomas Jackson is that familiar face, a postal worker of nearly two decades with a route running through the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of East Liberty and Lincoln-Lemington.

Link to transcript

Episode 5: The new mom balancing her happiness with sadness over altered expectations

Bringing home a newborn is challenging, and that's why so many new parents lean on family and friends to help them adjust. But this support is near impossible during a pandemic, without taking risks. In this episode, Pittsburgh North Side resident Bethany McLaughlin shares about her time so far with newborn Cleo and the toll it's taking on Cleo’s grandparents.

Episode 4: The food bank employee helping to get food to people during a pandemic

You've seen the footage of the cars in lengthy lines for food bank distributions. Now, hear what it's like on the ground during a pandemic. On this episode, an employee of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank tells us how they are working to safely get food on the tables of those in need.

Link to transcript

Episode 3: The nurse worried for her peers on the front lines

In our lifetime, there has not been a more scary time to be a nurse. On this episode, we’re hearing from a Pittsburgh-based nurse who is not on the front lines but has a lot of insight into the experiences nurses face. Theresa Brown teaches nursing at the University of Pittsburgh and also authored two books about the profession that pull back the curtain on the experiences nurses face in their daily work.

Link to transcript

Episode 2: The high school senior singing the coronavirus blues

Final exams. Prom. Graduation. Right about this time of year, these would be the milestones for high school seniors in the United States. For Pittsburgh CAPA student Jordan McNeal and other seniors across Pittsburgh, and the nation, these highly anticipated events won't happen because of the coronavirus. On this episode, Jordan discusses how the school cancellation has affected him and his classmates and looks ahead to attending college at one of the most competitive music schools in the world.

Link to transcript

Episode 1: The hair salon owner shocked by which billers would and wouldn't help

The coronavirus has devastated Pittsburgh's small business owners. Dana Bannon, the owner of a Millvale hair salon, is one of them. On this episode, she talks about closing her doors and calling all the places she soon owed money to, money that she wouldn't have.

Link to transcript