The Media School

Indiana small businesses struggle under effects of COVID-19

April 28th, 2020

Seven years before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ellettsville resident and IU student Genna Weisheit taught herself to make watercolor jewelry, small paintings set in resin. Then, she moved on to stamped jewelry, pressing messages like “Mama Bear” and “Fearless” into metal bracelets. Two years ago, she learned metalsmithing from online tutorials.

She started her Etsy shop, Sunflower Moon Studio, to sell her creations. In addition to her job as a supervisor at the Indiana Department of Child Services, the online store provided her extra income.

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Bloomington business gets creative to ease economic struggles from COVID-19

April 28th, 2020

Erica Sagon used to craft lighthearted social media posts. Now, each morning the director of communication for Cardinal Spirits posts the number of bottles, canned cocktails, and cocktails to-go customers need to purchase via carry-out that day for the business to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With every order, customers are also given a free bottle of Cardinal’s new, homemade hand sanitizer.

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‘Uncertainty is Opportunity’ for Bloomington residents to recycle during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 28th, 2020

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, IU senior Maggie Hunter focuses on avoidance. She works to master the art of avoiding grocery store patrons on rare Kroger outings. However, her recycling practices became something to avoid as well.

“I can’t get on campus, and my apartment doesn’t have recycling, and I can’t really drive it to the Bloomington recycling facility,” she said. “So, I feel like a bad human.”

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Local farmers worry about their businesses under effects of COVID-19

April 28th, 2020

Twenty-year-old Bloomington resident Gabbie Hetrick was sad to find out that the farmers’ market was going to be different this year. With the spread of COVID-19, the weekly outdoor farmers market will be virtual. She doesn’t think she’ll use the new online market system. 

“Even though I want to support local businesses, it’s more of an inconvenience to have to do that online,” Hetrick said. 

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Bloomington first responders face front line of COVID-19 pandemic

April 28th, 2020

Despite the additions of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the gallons of hand sanitizer positioned around the police and fire stations, Police Chief Michael Diekhoff says first responders are increasingly at risk of exposure as COVID-19 makes its way into Bloomington.

“We’ve had a couple of officers say that their spouses don’t want them coming in and infecting the family,” he said. “Some of them have found other places to live.”

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Minority groups affected by COVID-19 receive discriminatory responses from healthcare system

April 28th, 2020

Preetha Sai Pamidighantam thinks her mom, Madhu Pamidighantam, experienced discrimination at a hospital because of her skin color when she was tested for COVID-19.

“I feel like she was brushed off and sent back home because they didn’t take her seriously enough,” the dark-skinned Indian said. “I don’t know if it was because she wasn’t able to express how she was doing in an understandable way. Or there were other like internal biases that were showing up.”

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Monroe County Public Library ‘physically closed but virtually open’ amid COVID-19 pandemic

April 28th, 2020

Sara Plotkin, a former student teacher at Bloomington’s University Elementary School, said the Monroe County Public Library closure due to the coronavirus pandemic worries her. She thinks it will intensify disparities between her students of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

“The library is such a great resource for all students to extend their learning beyond the classroom,” she said. “With the lack of resources available due to COVID-19 at school and at the library, I worry that students who relied on the library will begin to fall further behind, only widening existing learning gaps.”

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Racism against the Asian community increases during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 28th, 2020

While IU sophomore Michelle Lie has yet to personally experience racism during the coronavirus pandemic, she has witnessed it online. Messages and videos containing xenophobic rhetoric, such as blaming Asian individuals for disease and wanting to ban them from the U.S., are being posts posted on social media throughout the pandemic.

 

“I try to avoid the content as much as possible,” she said. “But I realize that it brings me a greater sense of awareness. So, it is important to see.”

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Bloomington city councilwoman Kate Rosenbarger aims to make Bloomington more sustainable through transportation

April 16th, 2020

On a bleak, drizzly Monday afternoon, Kate Rosenbarger arrived at Bloomington’s City Hall wearing her bright yellow backpack and grey helmet. On a day when most people would have driven their cars, Rosenbarger rode her bike to work.

“I am not some kind of heroic cyclist,” she said. “I’m just a regular person who’s trying to make my way in the world by biking around.”

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Retired IU professor Pamela Walters brings custom-fit slow fashion to Bloomington

April 16th, 2020

Pamela Walters learned to sew from her mother and grandmother.

She would watch, side-by-side with them, as they pieced together the fabric on their dining room table or stitched garments on the flip-top sewing machine in the corner.

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