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Arts & Culture

Montana Students Explore Their Family's Pandemic Experience

Illustration of a family wearing masks, standing together.
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In the spring of 2020, Anne Bailey and students at the Montana Media Lab at the University of Montana School of Journalism invited middle and high school students to record themselves talking with their families, friends, teachers and elders about this unprecedented time in their lives.

What were they feeling? What were they worried about? How did they think the pandemic would end? Listen now to find out.

In one conversation, sixth-grader Noah of Valier, Montana, asks his grandparents: "What do you hope happens as a result of this virus?"

"I hope that people can kinda realize that, you know, we really don't have a lot of control over things. You know, we like to think that we do, but we really don't, and I think this makes that very evident.

"And then also that people will have different priorities, because when you're just at home you're not just out going and buying this cute thing or, you know, you just gotta get what is really important in your life. There are so many things we think we need and we don't. And when we're at home all the time, we figure that out.

"And I think we all need to realize that you can think you're young and healthy and that you're gonna live forever, but boy, you know, you can end up dying. Hopefully, people will kinda realize that they need to live each day knowing that, you know, they could get sick and die the next day, or next week.

"So enjoy each day that you're on earth."

Listen now for more spring 2020 perspectives on the pandemic from Montana students.

(Broadcast:  Documentary Special, 1/24/21. Listen on the radio Sundays, 4 p.m.)