In this interview, Mary Murphy, the Nancy L. Buc ’65 Pembroke Center Archivist, and Amanda Knox, the Pembroke Center’s Assistant Archivist, interview each other about their early experiences with COVID-19.
Murphy and Knox begin by discussing the first time they heard about COVID-19, or Coronavirus. They explain how the virus was impacting their work and how they still did not realize the severity of it until Brown University began sending regular email communications. They also recall the first time they went shopping to stock up on supplies. They describe an emergency staff meeting held by the Pembroke Center’s Director, Suzanne Stewart Steinberg, packing up their office in preparation to work from home, and worrying about the number of students relaxing and working on the Pembroke quad. Knox mentions how the pandemic could interfere with her summer wedding plans, and both Knox and Murphy liken the pandemic to September 11, 2001.
Murphy and Knox go on to talk about the clothing they wear while they work from home, how their schedules changed, and their new exercise routines. They also address grocery shopping, grocery delivery, and sanitizing groceries when they get home. Additionally, they share stories they’ve heard on the news of other people impacted by COVID-19, as well as potential plans for if they become ill, and how Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is trying to assist families with childcare. They close by noting that Brown’s 2020 commencement was postponed, and being thankful for the work they can continue to do with the Pembroke Center.