How I Spent My Pandemic
  • John Seven
9 episodes
COVID-19 is one of the most sweeping shared disruptions in modern America. Whether you're terrified of the virus or refuse to wear a mask, your life has probably felt its impact. Author and journalist John Seven uncovers people’s personal stories about how they cope with the pandemic and lockdown. Uncertainty might reign but clarity can be found in the lives of real people when you leave the headlines and political agendas behind and ask people to talk about their own experiences in the pandemic.


How I Spent My Pandemic: Brian Walker
2021 Jan 1833m 18s
Brian Walker is a singer/songwriter in Philadephia who performs as A Day Without Love. He’s also the host of the podcast Dreams Not Memes. Brian speaks to John Seven about his approach to living through lockdown, an outlook that taught him just because the world seemed to come to a halt that didn’t mean his own creative abilities had to do the same.
How I Spent My Pandemic: Whit Taylor
2020 Dec 1439m 2s
Whit Taylor is an Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist and contributing editor at The Nib, but in 2020 she added another role to her repertoire — mother. John Seven talks with Whit Taylor about her experience of not only giving birth during the original height of the pandemic in the spring, but how raising a newborn during the pandemic has been very different from what we think of as normal, and has also presented challenges to her creative life.
How I Spent My Pandemic: Joe Aidonidis
2020 Nov 3036m 4s
When filmmaker/videographer Joe Aidonidis saw the pandemic disrupt plans and obstruct opportunities, he pursued another course — continuing his work documenting the opioid crisis as it existed in his home in Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts. Making a documentary during the pandemic offered its own particular challenges and Aidonidis speaks to John Seven about jumping those hurdles and the state of life for people with an opioid addiction during COVID-19.
How I Spent My Pandemic: Angelina Lucento
2020 Nov 3057m 1s
Here in the west, the exact pandemic situation in Russia isn’t always clear, but Angelina Lucento, assistant professor of history and art history at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, has had a ringside seat to the response in her city as well as Ukraine, where Lucento was on a research trip when the pandemic began. Lucento got much closer to COVID-19 than she ever expected and she talks to John Seven about that experience and more, offering insight into the pandemic response in Moscow.
How I Spent My Pandemic: Andy Myers
2020 Nov 1635m 29s
Master sommelier, beverage director for Chef Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup, and connoisseur of metal Andy Myers had some pretty big plans for 2020, but when the pandemic hit and Washington D.C. went into lockdown, it became obvious that the year was not going to be what he thought. And so adjustments happened that ended up creating memories that were different from expected, but still special. Myers talks to John Seven about one memorable night in particular as well as working at Andres’ community kitchen during the pandemic and how he looks forward and into the uncertainty from ground zero in Trumpland.
How I Spent My Pandemic: Joe Ollmann
2020 Nov 1031m 10s
When the pandemic hit and the writing was on the wall, cartoonist Joe Ollmann found  himself trapped in his home in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. And that was pretty okay. The author of graphic novels like Mid-Life, Happy Stories About Well-Adjusted People, and The Abominable Mr. Seabrook talks to John Seven about working on his upcoming graphic novel during lockdown, bonding with his teenage son, and encounters with chatty Americans. Find Joe Ollmann online at
How I Spent My Pandemic: Emily McMehen
2020 Nov 0236m 31s
Toronto-based filmmaker and artist Emily McMehen’s travel-based creative lifestyle had already been disrupted before the pandemic hit when she found herself struggling to rebuild after a brain injury. McMehen speaks to John Seven about how the work she had to do because of that injury and the restrictions of the lockdown combined together in  unexpected, symbiotic ways. Find Emily McMehen online at
How I Spent My Pandemic: Ali Benjamin
2020 Oct 2633m 4s
Author Ali Benjamin was as surprised as anyone when The Thing About Jellyfish, her 2015 novel for children, became a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award. Five years later, she found herself contending with a pandemic while working on a novel for adults, juggling family life with concerns of getting her book done by the deadline, as well as facing new, unpredictable roadblocks to her political activism. In this episode, Benjamin talks about how she found a balance during an unprecedented worldwide event. Find Ali Benjamin online at
How I Spent My Pandemic: Paul de Jong
2020 Oct 2436m 58s
Experimental musician Paul de Jong is known for his work as one-half of The Books, which presented de Jong’s compositional work and complex cello playing within an aural landscape of spoken audio collage and other sounds that nearly nine years after the band’s final album still stand as a body of work like no other. Since then, de Jong has released three solo records that take the aesthetic of The Books and expands on it into other often darker territories. In this episode, de Jong speaks with John Seven about how his creative life in many ways transitioned seamlessly into lockdown life during the pandemic, how he’s prepared his kids for circumstances just like these, and how he looks forward creatively into an unknown tomorrow. Find Paul de Jong online at
More episodes may be available on the podcast’s website.