Welcome to the Apodcalypse

Sunday, April 5, 2020 - 12:00pm

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“To protect the health and safety of our communities and minimize the spread of COVID19, U-M is making changes to classes, travel, study abroad and large events on our Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.” wrote President Schlissel in an email sent out on March 11. Starting March 15, all University of Michigan classes will be conducted online. Ok. But, wait, what about those who don’t have a laptop? And what about the study abroad kids that can’t catch a flight — did you know Trump is banning all travel to Europe? Also, what about my work study job? Will I get paid?

Coronavirus can easily (and rightfully) be qualified as a period of “uncertainty.” There are more questions than there are answers —and it’s incredibly unnerving. Every few hours cases double, triple. Every few hours it spreads into a new country. Every few hours hundreds of people die.

Perhaps the scariest part is that there truly is so much we don’t know about COVID-19. The availability of tests is limited, we’re running low on supplies and space in medical centers, and we don’t have a cure. If you come in contact with the virus, you could be an asymptomatic carrier for several weeks, unknowingly spreading the virus. Every day, when you turn on the news you hear President Trump and the appointed action team brief the public on the national response, and every day the President contradicts the recommendations from the CDC, as he claims the country is investing in more medical supplies (which we are grossly short of).

Everyday it's the same unanswered questions. Overall, the United States was not prepared for this pandemic. The world wasn’t prepared. And neither was our university…

Now, states are going into lockdown, with California being the first to do so. Soon enough Michigan followed as of Monday, March 23rd, 2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a highly anticipated “stay home, stay safe” order, which directs Michigan residents to remain indoors except for “essential" purposes such as grocery shopping, pharmacy, critical manufacturing, walking a pet, or traveling to or from a residence. As of now, the order will be in effect until April 13th, 2020, and bans all gatherings of any size outside a family home.

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Three weeks ago, we were all just coming back from spring break. The idea that school would be cancelled seemed extreme and unlikely. Nonetheless, these are crucial measures which need to be taken seriously in order to flatten the curve.

It’s an impossible time. You’re scared for your family and friends, but you can’t actually comfort them, at least not physically. Now, when your everyday routine consists of debating whether or not to change out of your sweatpants, it's hard to feel like there is a real purpose (especially when it comes to virtually attending a lecture)

We’re all affected — to varying degrees – and we’re all scared. But, we from The Michigan Daily podcast section believe there is still a purpose. We may not have the same access to audio or have all our teams in Ann Arbor to produce these podcasts. But we’ve gotten creative, knowing there is still a purpose — or more appropriately, a need — to report on how COVID-19 has affected culture as a whole. From University of Michigan students, at home and abroad, to the sports and entertainment industries, to small businesses and lower-income communities, everyone has been affected differently. And this is what these four podcasts look to address.

Welcome to the Apodcalypse, a limited series brought to you by The Michigan Daily podcast section: this is Arts, Interrupted, The Daily Weekly, Pass the MiC and Highway to Hail... here we go.

The episode was produced by Audio Engineer Gibson Gillett-Behrens, Executive Producers Sonya Vogel, Sam Small, Ben Katz, and Rashika Rao, and all of the amazing music was produced by Dustin Kellerman. Thank you to Lindsay Calka for creating the cover image for this limited series! You can find the WHOLE series here!