COVID University New York

Char Adams, RacecarRadio, The Gotham Center for New York City History

COVID University New York (CVNY) aims to uplift the voices of communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and preserve the stories of these vulnerable groups in a historical record. We talk to students, staff, and faculty at the City University of New York community and dive into everything from death and essential workers to protests and theater. CVNY will serve as an archive and a way to remember the experiences of people whose stories won’t make headlines. CVNY is a co-production of Racecar Radio and the Gotham Center for New York City History. Share your story with us at:

All Episodes

Leaving home to move on to a college campus is all about new connections – living with roommates, going to classes, joining clubs, playing sports, socializing, dating… all of which, of course, are either severely curtailed or banned outright under COVID protocols. So what is it like to live in a dorm right now? In … Continued The post 9. The Residents appeared first on RacecarRadio.

Mar 4

18 min 19 sec

It’s 2021, and we finally have several viable vaccines for COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. They need to be manufactured, they need to be distributed… and even then very real cultural obstacles exist to vaccinating enough of the population to allow social distancing to end. In this episode, we hear from … Continued The post 8. The Vaccine appeared first on RacecarRadio.

Feb 3

27 min 25 sec

Many of us don’t often associate college with homelessness, but as many as 14% of CUNY students have no fixed address – some living on couches, and many relying on shelters or living on the street. How does someone manage to work and study with that kind of personal instability? What if you’re also trying … Continued The post 7. The Unhoused appeared first on RacecarRadio.

Nov 2020

23 min 29 sec

The 2020 presidential election is only days away, and everyone agrees the results are going to have momentous consequences for the country, but the importance of this election only serves to underscore serious systemic questions about participatory democracy in the US – who votes? who doesn’t? and why? and how? In this episode, we hear … Continued The post 6. The Voters appeared first on RacecarRadio.

Oct 2020

21 min 47 sec

Along with doctors, nurses, and first responders, COVID’s media “heroes” included an unlikely and previously unheralded group, the “essential workers” – custodians, supermarket employees, delivery drivers, and other solidly blue-collar, often underpaid and under-respected men and women who all of a sudden seemed to be the only ones holding society together. What has this sudden … Continued The post 5. The Essential Workers appeared first on RacecarRadio.

Sep 2020

18 min 37 sec

Theater is big business in New York, and central to its cultural identity, but the novel coronavirus has brought it to a standstill, and thousands of actors, directors, writers, technicians, and support staff are left scrambling to figure out what the next couple of years might look like, and if their industry will survive at … Continued The post 4. The Thespians appeared first on RacecarRadio.

Sep 2020

19 min 13 sec

Nursing homes were some of the first and hardest-hit centers of COVID-19 infection, and have remained extremely challenging places to live and work in the face of the pandemic. Queensboro Community College nursing students Adam Kern and Kristen Rodriguez have been on the front lines of this battle for months now, caring for the residents … Continued The post 3. The Caregivers appeared first on RacecarRadio.

Sep 2020

15 min 47 sec

Protesters marched for weeks following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The demonstrations sparked a national conversation about the role of police in society — and protesting in the middle of a pandemic. All this and more in my conversation with community organizer, and incoming Graduate Center student, Shadley and Brooklyn … Continued The post 2. The Protesters appeared first on RacecarRadio.

Sep 2020

15 min 41 sec

More than 160,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the country, with over 32,000 of those fatalities in New York. There’s no way to measure the emotional and financial toll so much death has taken on the nation. But THE CITY, a nonprofit news organization covering New York, is dedicated to honoring the thousands who … Continued The post 1: The Memorializers appeared first on RacecarRadio.

Aug 2020

17 min 46 sec