Detroit Stories Episode 4: ‘Resilient Detroit’ (PODCAST)

The pandemic changed all of our lives. Here’s how it affected those on the front lines.

(1:40) We look at the pandemic through the lens of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “shock cycle,” which evaluates a community’s response to trauma. We begin with phase one: preparedness. 

(2:58) After some testimony from Laura, a woman quarantining alone, we hear from Kelly, an emergency room nurse on the front lines of treating patients. We then meet Nicole, mother of four who’s helping her kids with remote learning, and her son Sean. Later, Sam, the general manager at PAO Detroit, a restaurant that opened just before the pandemic hit, tells us his story.

(6:15) We learn about phase two: the impact. Kelly, Nicole, Sam and Laura discuss when the reality of COVID-19 life set in, the challenges it presented, and how they each adapted to this “new normal.”

(16:28) The third phase, disaster management, is exemplified in Sam’s testimony of how PAO helped Detroit, and Detroit helped PAO back; Kelly’s story of neighbors and communities rallying around first responders; Laura’s reflection on the new opportunities for connection that came from the crisis; and Nicole’s affirmation that we are all truly “rising from the ashes.”

(21:33) Phase four: recovery. We reflect on the ways we’ve all lived through the pandemic together and the persistent resilience of Detroit.

Reporting by Casey McCorry, Maggie Bickerstaff and Emily Mentock; narration by Emily Mentock; production by Ron Pangborn

Listen to ‘Detroit Stories’ on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify . Podcasts also will be posted biweekly on