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Compiled By: Patricia Justice

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The Transom Radio Specials (Series)

Produced by Atlantic Public Media

Most recent piece in this series:

Pandemic ER: Notes from a Nurse in Queens

From Atlantic Public Media | Part of the The Transom Radio Specials series | 59:00


War correspondents are charged with reporting from the frontlines. Putting themselves in risky situations, documenting, and sharing what they see for those of us who are not there to see it for ourselves.

Kate O'Connell is a radio producer and a registered nurse who lives and works in New York City, where the coronavirus hit with force. In addition to working in an ER in Queens, Kate has also been chronicling her experiences with the overwhelming reality of this pandemic. About the experience, Kate says, "Honestly, coming home and writing about what I was seeing was torture. Re-living the scenes I had just left, each story reminded me of a real person, often a person who had just spent their last minutes of life with me and a small band of dedicated strangers, who for all our training could not SAVE THEIR LIFE. That is a shitty, shitty, low feeling, a heavy feeling, a decimated landscape to paint." Despite the difficulties, Kate stuck with it and steadily sent dispatches over six weeks.

We've been featuring Kate’s audio letters on Transom and in our podcast all along, and have just compiled them into an hour for public radio stations via PRX, produced with Samantha Broun. We can't say this is an easy listen, but it's an important one. We're grateful to Kate for doing this so that the rest of us might hear and know what we otherwise wouldn't be able to.

Produced for Transom.org  


Transom.org  channels new work and voices to public radio, with a focus on the power of story, and on the mission of public media in a changing media environment. Transom won the first Peabody Award ever granted exclusively to a website. Transom.org is a project of Atlantic Public Media which runs the Transom Story Workshops and founded WCAI, the public radio station in Woods Hole, Mass.

Support for this work comes from National Endowment for the Arts 


National Endowment for the Arts