Interview Completed on September 19, 2020
After completing this interview, I reflected on the answers and their deeper meaning. One of my first thoughts was that COVID and this pandemic as a whole holds different meanings for everyone. For example, I interviewed an academic, somehow who looks at the bigger picture behind events or decisions. Their interpretation often holds a lot of pessimistic views, so questions such as asking about hurdles they faced during this period proved difficult to answer and resulted in some agitation in tone. The answer I received to asking about hurdles was, “Jobs. The capitalist system sucks and this pandemic proves that it needs to be completely overhauled. You have people with advanced degrees who can’t find work and have to volunteer their labor in hopes of making connections that will lead to pay. Free labor is a joke. It completely shakes your confidence and makes you second guess what you want to do in life. Mentally, this has been horrible.” For others, hurdles may have been simpler such as missing the simplicity of our day-to-day lives prior to the pandemic, but neither answer is less valid.
Another thought I had with completing this interview focused on the role of media. I would argue that everyone believes media has played a role in the pandemic, but the split is on whether this role has been positive or negative, or even a combination of both. I asked my interviewee, “What are your impressions of the media coverage of the pandemic, both currently and before it arrived in the United States?” For this, I tried not to bring my own answer into this question by asking in a certain tone. The answer given was, “It’s not the media handling things poorly, except for some. It’s our leaders who aren’t making good decisions for the nation as a whole. Media is just easy to blame. International coverage before it arrived, I think, did a decent job, but no one really knew what we were in for. Now people essentially think the pandemic is over and ignore updates and information media tries to provide.” This answer, I believe, shows part of the great divide in interpretation currently in the United States. It does provide some balance in blame pushed on the media, but seemed the not answer the question fully. In retrospection, this is the question I asked that I believe most needed a follow up question. The answer was not specific enough to gage the meaning.
Overall, I believe the interview successfully answered my questions and showed how the pandemic has personally impacted people. It also showed how within one interview, tone can change fluidly with the types of questions asked. To me, this also demonstrates how transcripts of interviews can lose aspects of the interview in comparison to listening.