Jimmy’s Radio Project-Final

Host intro: With Covid-19 putting most human research to a halt, labs across the tri-state area are struggling to reopen their facilities. James Kyreakedes spoke to a research assistant about the impact the pandemic has had on their lab.

 

Ambi: nat sounds of typing on a keyboard

 

Track: I’m here with Zuzanna, a research assistant at a memory lab at Rutgers University, looking at biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. She is finishing a lab report, typing away in her suburban New Jersey home.

 

ACT: ZUZANNA: At the end of March all of our research activities were shut down completely until further notice. So, everybody has had to work from home, myself included. It’s been…there’s definitely been a lot of changes.

 

Track: Without any face-to-face interactions, her work day looks very different.

 

ACT: ZUZANNA: It’s definitely been a big transition for me personally, um I’m not used to just looking at data for 5-6 hours a day. It’s been a little exhausting honestly.

 

Track: Her lab was faced with new challenges since the pandemic, working with a high-risk population.

 

ACT: ZUZANNA: My job before was mostly testing and working face-to-face with the older participants usually in their 70s and their 80s, they’re now the most vulnerable population. So, we have had to plan what we’re going to do, essentially for the rest of the year, because we’re not sure when we’ll be able to see these participants in person again.

 

Track: Although skeptical, her lab is still hopeful about resuming research with the right precautions in place.

 

ACT: ZUZANNA: We’re definitely taking into consideration their age and the fact that even just getting to our location is going to be putting them at risk. So, for the past few weeks we are trying to plan a different testing site. We’re thinking of maybe moving our testing to a church nearby where there is a lot of room. So right now it’s really just a waiting game.

 

Track: Aside from the difficulties imposed by working with a high-risk population, the lab is going to have a hard time designating research assistants to test the participants.

 

ACT: ZUZANNA: Usually, in a research lab, half of the staff were undergraduate students who were looking for some research experience, but because all of these classes are now going to be remote, even in the fall, we lost almost half of our staff.

 

 

Track: Although some research has been put to a halt due to COVID-19, other research has been prioritized.

 

ACT: ZUZANNA: I do plan on pursuing a career in research, so this has definitely been an eye-opener for me. We have had a lot of budget cuts at our lab and I know that moving forward there is going to be an emphasis on Covid-related research, and maybe in the future even other medical research as opposed to what I am looking at now, which is memory and neuroscience.

 

Track: As of now most research activities at Rutgers University are on hold. Everyone is patiently waiting as we track the spread of Covid19 and wait for new information.

 

For Baruch College, this is James Kyreakedes in Sayreville New Jersey

Radio Interview and Script

Ambi: natural sounds of typing on a keyboard

Track: I’m here with Zuzanna, a research assistant at a memory lab at Rutgers University, looking at biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. She is finishing a lab report, typing away in her suburban New Jersey home.

ACT: ZUZANNA: At the end of March all of our research activities were shut down completely until further notice. So, everybody has had to work from home, myself included. It’s been…there’s definitely been a lot of changes.

Track: Without any face-to-face interactions, her work day looks very different.

ACT: ZUZANNA: It’s definitely been a big transition for me personally, um I’m not used to just looking at data for 5-6 hours a day. It’s been a little exhausting honestly.

Track: Her lab was faced with new challenges since the pandemic, working with a high-risk population.

ACT: ZUZANNA: My job before was mostly testing and working face-to-face with the older participants usually in their 70s and their 80s, they’re now the most vulnerable population. So, we have had to plan what we’re going to do, essentially for the rest of the year, because we’re not sure when we’ll be able to see these participants in person again.

Track: Although skeptical, her lab is still hopeful about resuming research with the right precautions in place.

ACT: ZUZANNA: We’re definitely taking into consideration their age and the fact that even just getting to our location is going to be putting them at risk. So, for the past few weeks we are trying to plan a different testing site. We’re thinking of maybe moving our testing to a church nearby where there is a lot of room. We can keep the windows open and stay six feet away with face shields and masks. But even so, there are still risks. So right now it’s really just a waiting game.

Track: Aside from the difficulties imposed by working with a high-risk population, the lab is going to have a hard time designating research assistants to test the participants.

ACT: ZUZANNA: Usually, in a research lab, half of the staff were undergraduate students who were looking for some research experience, but because all of these classes are now going to be remote, even in the fall, we lost almost half of our staff.

Track: With a lot of changes happening, Zuzanna had assumed a lot of new responsibilities in the lab.

ACT: ZUZANNA: Because they are a few people who have left the lab or who are leaving, I do have to take on some new responsibilities. I think the most difficult part is the training aspect so for example I’m learning how to administer fMRIs right now and its been really difficult to just picture how I am going to administer it to the participant without physically being there.

Track: Although some research has been put to a halt due to COVID-19, other research has been prioritized.

ACT: ZUZANNA: I do plan on pursuing a career in research, so this has definitely been an eye-opener for me. We have had a lot of budget cuts at our lab and I know that moving forward there is going to be an emphasis on Covid-related research, and maybe in the future even other medical research as opposed to what I am looking at now, which is memory and neuroscience.

Track: As of now most research activities at Rutgers University are on hold. Everyone is patiently waiting as we track the spread of Covid19 and wait for new information.

Photo Essay Ptich

Visiting Astoria, whether it’s to get a couple of frappes and some pastries at a cafe, ordering  souvlaki platters at restaurants, to going to the clubs on the weekends has always been a part of my big Greek family.

It’s a place where Greeks from all over get together and enjoy traditional Greek music and food. When walking down Steinway Street past many of the restaurants- the music and the conversation- it’s almost like I’m being transported back to my family’s hometown, Ptolemaida.

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, businesses and restaurants all over the country are struggling to stay open. Astoria being in Queens, one of the hardest hit areas, is especially struggling. Many restaurants, clubs, and cafes were forced to permanently shut their doors.

Restaurants that have been able to stay afloat are working very diligently to accommodate the current social environment. Where you would normally see cars parked in the street, you will now see makeshift tables and booths that restaurants have built so people can still enjoy eating out. Some have added huge plants and decorations that cover the less than appealing NYC background.

Today Astoria is a changed neighborhood. Everyone is wearing a mask and keeping their distance. You can still hear Greek music playing, but you will not see anyone dancing to it.