Covid-19 Milwaukee Oral History Collection
This collection focuses on the near past, with interviews of those impacted and working around the COVID-19 Pandemic. Interviews cover how COVID changed everything from voting to airports to medical work, changing professional and personal lives for the foreseeable future. Collecting these stories in the midst of the pandemic provides unique insight into how historical events are seen at the time they occur.
Dr. Jessica Hoff is a Technical Administrative Supervisor in the Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics Department at Wisconsin Diagnostics Lab. Dr. Hoff describes the nature of her work with COVID Testing, for which her lab (and she personally) was one of the first in Wisconsin to create a test, as well as how the pandemic has affected her regular work schedule and family life.
Jenifer Taff is a Milwaukee Public Schools Social Worker and creator of the “This Is Ridiculous” sign prominent during the April 2020 primary elections. She goes through how the pandemic has drastically changed her work, as well as her story surrounding the sign, highlighting her frustration with the judicial process that necessitated her to vote in person rather than her requested absentee ballot.
Amanda Polzin is an urban landscape and architecture photographer in Milwaukee. She describes how her work and life had changed during the COVID pandemic. She cites that the city felt “empty,” but that technology allowed her to both capture history and stay connected to her family.
Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport Director Brian Dranzik describes all of the changes made to the flying experience due to COVID, its effects on his industry, and how it changed his personal life.
Erin Cronn is a Public Health Nurse for the Cudahy Health Department. She goes through her early life and eventual foray into the realm of Public Health, helping during the H1N1 crisis, and eventually her experiences combating COVID and administering the vaccine. A major theme of her experience with COVID has been her plea for people to believe her, as she says she never thought that so many people would do what she considers to be the “wrong thing.”
Melanie Lang is a current Marquette University Biomedical Sciences student. Lang largely goes through her school experiences in the midst of the COVID pandemic, as well as her work as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a hospital near her hometown during breaks. Her experience serves as a solid representation of what the pandemic was like everyday for medical practitioners, as she emphasizes the feeling of responsibility and duty that comes along with her training.