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Pandemic

Spring 2021

Circles

Almost a year has passed since the pandemic stalked its way around the globe. It’s astounding to me how so much could get turned around and topsy-turvy so quickly. Across the country and Washington state, though, we’ve witnessed people persevere in the face of tragedy and hardship, finding hope and sharing comfort.

It’s a struggle everywhere. We spoke to Cougars around the world about their pandemic experiences, from Nikola Koprivica (’10 Intl. Busi.) in Serbia to Nicola Perera (’15 MA English) in Sri Lanka, and many countries in between. Their stories reflect our own in the United States, and it comes back to adapting … » More …

Red cross volunteers joined in Pullman's celebration of Armistice Day in 1918, wearing masks.
Winter 2020

Stories from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

It’s just a small part of the transcript. But it’s stuck with Washington State University archivist Mark O’English.

He’s listened to dozens of hours of the tapes. And Helen McGreevy’s short discussion of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and her beloved George at Washington State College always gives him pause.

“There’s just something in her voice when she talks about him,” he says.

McGreevy was 77 in 1978 when she was interviewed for the Whitman County Historical Society’s oral history project.

She talks about her beau George like this: “One young man that I had gone with quite a bit, the young (Wieber) boy, had the flu and died … » More …

Carrots and other produce
Winter 2020

WSU, small farms, and the pandemic

“This pandemic has exposed every weakness in our food system,” says Nicole Witham, statewide coordinator of the Washington State University Food Systems Program. “It has exposed every supply chain issue”—especially early on.

“Food wasn’t showing up at food banks,” says Witham (’10 Int. Des). “Grocery stores were experiencing shortages. All of a sudden, our team was doing food-system response work,” including involvement with a statewide task force.

When lockdown orders first went into effect, Witham says, Washington state’s small farmers “lost all of their restaurant accounts and many of their wholesale accounts right off the bat. Many had to switch to online farmers market platforms or online sales.”

While traditional … » More …