About

Amidst a Pandemic is a blog that contains stories of people from different parts of the world, describing life during this global pandemic. In a world where technology provides solace to billions in maintaining interconnectivity, Amidst a Pandemic aims to strengthen that bond by acting as a platform where people from all around the world with multitude of different perspectives can share a glimpse into each others lives during the coronavirus (COVID-19). By sharing these stories, we hope that they will inspire a sense of solidarity and empathy in a world that is currently driven into isolation.

A Note from the Founder

In making Amidst a Pandemic, I wanted to create a platform where people could share their experiences during the coronavirus and an outlet for those who stumble upon Amidst a Pandemic to understand how real people all around the world are dealing with this virus. By sharing these stories, I hope they inspire connectivity in a world that is currently deprived of it. I believe that it is absolutely vital to get an understanding of a multitude of different perspectives in order to truly understand the battle that humanity is fighting.  

The Founder

Natasha Leong

Hi! I'm Natasha. I'm a senior at Deerfield Academy, a boarding school in Massachusetts, and I was born and raised in Hong Kong. At Deerfield, I am a head tour guide, an advancement ambassador, the graphics editor of the school newspaper, the co-chair of the Asian Student Alliance, and an active contributor to Deerfield's visual arts and theatre programs.


I created Amidst a Pandemic at a time when I felt most alone— right after having to unexpectedly make the 24+ hour journey back to Hong Kong after my school switched to online learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year due to the coronavirus. Since coming home, I have been working tirelessly on Amidst a Pandemic and searching for people to share their stories. Amidst a Pandemic really means so much to me, and I'm really excited to share what I have with you! 

 

Meet the Team

 

Siobhan Kelley

Writer & Interviewer

Hi! I’m Siobhan Kelley. I am a current sophomore at Deerfield Academy, and I live on Great Diamond Island in Maine. I joined Amidst a Pandemic because I felt helpless during a time of uncertainty, and I wanted to contribute to something that could help raise awareness about how this pandemic is impacting people’s lives. I am excited to be part of the team as an interviewer and writer. At Deerfield, I participate in dance all three terms as a part of the Advanced Dance Ensemble. I love cooking and writing, as well as spending time with my wonderful friends & family.

Cam Nguyen

Writer & Interviewer

Hi! My name is Cam. I’m from Hanoi, Vietnam and currently a sophomore at Groton School. During these past few weeks I have occupied myself by arranging an advanced jazz suite of The Pink Panther and hanging with my parents and sister. In school, I enjoy Science and Social Studies. Otherwise, I love learning about current events and starting unnecessary debates.

Tony He

Writer & Interviewer

Hi! I'm Tony. I'm currently a sophomore studying at Deerfield Academy but I am originally from Shanghai, China. I joined Amidst a Pandemic as a writer as I believe that stories are a powerful tool to connect with one-another during difficult times such as these. I hope that by sharing stories from my community, that I can bring a positive impact to others.

Debi Chakrabortti

Writer & Interviewer

Hi, I'm Debi! I am currently in eleventh grade at The Loomis Chaffee boarding school in Connecticut. I was born in London, moved to New York, and then to Hong Kong. I wanted to be part of Amidst a Pandemic because I saw an opportunity to create some unity during a time when many people may be feeling powerless. For me, it's important to remind people that their story can be heard and empathized with, hopefully we can ease some of the pain and frustration.

Abi Brooke

Writer & Interviewer

Hello! I’m Abi and I’m currently a year 12 student studying at The King’s School Canterbury, a boarding school in the UK. My passion is science, but I’m also involved in the King’s Dance Company and various other sports. I grew up in Beijing, have been living in Hong Kong for the past 5 years. Growing up in different places and often being so far from my friends has further emphasized the importance of staying connected— especially when things get tough. This inspired me to become a part of Amidst a Pandemic because at times like these we have to stay in touch. With what is happening elsewhere, it is all too easy to get caught up in your own bubble! Hopefully through my position as a writer and interviewer I can share many different experiences that perhaps you were unaware of.

Mary Blake Zeron

Writer & Interviewer

Hi, I’m Mary Blake! I am from Dothan, Alabama. I am a current junior at Deerfield Academy where I am on the Center for Service and Global Citizenship board, co-leader of the ukulele and bongo club, member of the Student Planning Committee, and cheerleader! I also enjoy giving tours, writing for the school newspaper, and promoting the literary and arts magazine on the communications board. During these trying times, the virus pushed me into my home and away from my friends, physically. I felt disconnected, overwhelmed, and powerless. Right now, everyone in the world has something in common that they can relate to- COVID-19. I joined Amidst a Pandemic as a writer and interviewer because this platform can unite people across the globe with stories that need to be listened to and shared. I am thrilled to be part of the team and connect people through Amidst a Pandemic!

Naomi Katayama

Writer & Interviewer

Hi, my name is Naomi. I am a junior at Hong Kong International School. Although I was born and raised in Hong Kong, I am Japanese-American. From the early transition into online school due to the Hong Kong protest, and the months-long social distancing as a result of COVID-19, I felt inspired by the concept of Amidst a Pandemic and joined the team as a writer and interviewer. Through sharing, I hope these stories help promote a sense of solidarity and resilience within the global community.

Ellia Chiang

Writer & Interviewer

Hi! I'm Ellia and I am a junior at Deerfield Academy. I love traveling around the world, writing poems and short stories, and spending time with my family and friends. I have always been passionate about wanting to make a difference in the world and to impact the community around me, which is one of the reasons why I joined Amidst the Pandemic as an interviewer and writer. At Deerfield, I play hockey, write for the school's science magazine, and am on the nutrition committee.

Elly Wolhardt

Interviewer

I'm Elly, currently a junior at Hong Kong International School, and a member of the outreach team for Amidst the Pandemic. I'm involved with mental health advocacy through my club, 60%, and climate organizing through a coalition called Polluters Out. Both are prominent issues and extremely relevant during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Having been social distancing since the end of Chinese New Year, I truly see the value of a project like this, bringing people together and giving people a space to be vulnerable during a time of crisis.

Victoria Sin

Writer & Interviewer

Hello! I'm Victoria, a corgi lover and sock collector, born and raised in Hong Kong. I'm a freshman at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada so I'll be doing Zoom University for at least this first semester— but I'll still be hopping on a plane and flying halfway across the world amidst a pandemic really, really soon, which I'm both nervous and excited about! I stumbled upon AAP's profile on a random day in quarantine, and since then, its mission has really resonated with me. I hope to be able to share some hope and love to all our readers through our stories. :)

Hans So

Writer & Interviewer

Hi! I'm Hans. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and I study in the U.K. If I had to explain myself in six words, those words would be "smiley, lively, alert and flammable." That's only five words. Oh well, I guess I should have thought of that before I started writing. Too late now. I also have a net worth of a whopping £0 (or $...). You and me, we're pretty alike. You should read my stories. :)

Jess Best

Writer & Interviewer

Hey, I'm Jess! I'm from the Central Coast in Australia, and I'm a writer and interviewer for Amidst a Pandemic. I've been writing my whole life but I especially love poetry slams and of course, a good novel. I think that during the COVID- 19 pandemic one of the best ways to help each other is to share stories– for community, escapism, and to make each other feel less alone in such an isolating time. Amidst a Pandemic is a great place for that. I also love reading, music, history, oxford commas, and general tomfoolery.

Wendy Ramku

Writer & Interviewer

Hi :) I'm Wendy and I'm studying Philosophy and Literature at the University of Warwick. I currently volunteer at a bookshop and am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to be a member of the team! Social distancing means that I have had plenty of time alone with my thoughts, thus birthing both a new burst of creativity and a desire to talk to people about what they have been doing amidst a pandemic (get it?).

Retired Team Members

Lily Zeng

Writer & Interviewer

Hi! My name is Lily and I’m a current sophomore at Deerfield Academy, originally from Onalaska, Wisconsin. I am excited to be a part of Amidst of Pandemic because not only do I love writing, but I also hope to share some voices and stories that may not have been shared otherwise. I’m excited to see how people from around the world during this crisis can be connected through journalism. At Deerfield and at home, some of my interests include dance, psychology, cooking, and playing with my dog!

Alina Fowler

Writer & Interviewer

Hi! My name is Alina. As a junior at Hong Kong International School who was also born and raised in Hong Kong, the Coronavirus has posed a great threat not just to me, but also my home. I've watched fearfully as the virus has quickly spread through Hong Kong and throughout the world. As an international student, who has many relatives and friends living around the world, I joined Amidst a Pandemic as an interviewer and writer because I'm passionate about sharing different perspectives on the impact of this virus worldwide.

Michelle Zimmermann

Writer & Interviewer

Hey, I'm Michelle! I'm a junior at Deerfield Academy. I was born in Los Angeles, but I grew up and live in Singapore. I play varsity volleyball for DA as well as club year-round, and it's my favourite thing to do. I'm a writer and interviewer for Amidst a Pandemic. When the COVID-19 outbreak began, my world was split in two: the seemingly normal New England school campus, and family at home in China going under lockdown for fear of the virus. Although quarantine may make us feel distant from others, I want to use our platform to share stories from around the world to unite us during this unstable time, and perhaps provide a light at the end of the tunnel.

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