PAW reached out to alumni who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis or are affected by it in different ways. Here are some of their contributions; more essays will be published here and in PAWs print issues. Write to us at with your own story.  

Theola DeBose ’96 finds frustration in homeschooling her four children, but also an unexpected gift in the time together.

Jesse Max Creed ’07 watches Los Angeles build on his work housing homeless veterans during the pandemic.

Emily Nichols ’99 adapts her emergency medical staff to COVID-19, moment-to-moment, and takes inspiration from first responders.

Elyse Graham ’07 turned to TikTok and YouTube, costumes and humorous performance to keep her college students engaged.

Marty Johnson ’81 pivots his development and environmental nonprofit in Trenton to protect residents from the coronavirus.

Jacklyn E. Bruce ’99 teaches students in her Richmond public school district to learn from periods of historical disruption. 

Lauren Edmonds ’10, a nurse in a New York intensive-care unit, struggles to maintain perspective when “no cough is benign and no symptom innocuous.”

Anthony Shu ’16, marketing coordinator for a Bay Area food bank in California, confronts overwhelming need since sheltering-in-place began.

Amanda Satterthwaite ’10a physician in New Orleans, Lousiana, wishes she felt like she was “saving lives instead of supporting organ systems until I can’t support them anymore.”

Constance Hale ’79, a California journalist and author, adjusts to a locked-down world, racing to Costco in nitrile gloves and wishing she could keep her mother company.

Frank Langfitt ’86, NPR’s London correspondent, learns how to tell stories from the pandemic, on foot and bike, using a 10-foot extendable boom microphone.

Jane Hirshfield ’73 tells her story of inner struggle through a poem, “Today, When I Could Do Nothing.”