The Distance: Coronavirus Dispatches

'The New Normal': Life Six Months Into the Pandemic

Listen to 100 stories from people living during the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 2, 2020, 9:10pm
People look out to the street from their windows during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Six months into the global coronavirus pandemic, we’re still seeing cases rise. World wide, COVID-19 deaths have passed 500,000, with over 10 million confirmed cases.

“This is the new normal,” World Health Organization chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated this week at a virtual news conference. “The critical question that all countries will face in the coming months is how to live with this virus.”

At VICE, we’ve been asking people all over the world that same question. In our podcast The Distance, which launched in early March, we explore how the pandemic is changing the way we live right now. It’s a podcast about uncertainty and human connection and features short, first-person stories -- from a doctor at the Rikers Island prison complex in New York City, to a dominatrix based in Bali, to a #BLM protester in Belgium.

A hundred episodes in, the world is still changing and it’s clear that this pandemic is going to be part of life for a while. So VICE Audio is going to keep telling these stories.

Beginning on July 8th, we’ll be shifting to a longer format— and releasing a new episode on Wednesdays each week.

Until then, check out a few stories from the first 100 episodes below, and follow The Distance.

Home Health Aid

Flo is a home care worker in New York City, where she’s afraid every time she walks out the door.

Giving Birth, Alone

In New York, Elaine has to deliver her baby alone during the short-lived ban on birthing partners.


In Italy, Riccardo plays an elaborate game of imagination with his three-year-old son Alessandro while isolating in their apartment.

Navajo Nation

Dr. Sophina Calderon tends to patients in the Navajo Nation, which has the third-highest infection rate in the US.


Kennedy grew up and now works in the largest informal settlement in Kenya, where people are struggling with basic needs like food and water.

The Seal

In isolation in Washington state, Spencer has an unexpected quarantine buddy -- an elephant seal named Elsie May. This story was reported by Erin Slomskipritz.

Abandoned in Brazil

Cosme lives in a favela in Rio de Janeiro and says the government is not testing people in poorer neighborhoods. Reporting by Mariana Simoes.

Hip Hop Canvasser

Latoya is a fundraiser in Oakland, California, trying to figure out how to convince people to give her organization money to fight white supremacy over the phone during COVID-19.

Listen and subscribe to the Distance: Via Apple Podcasts | Via Spotify | Via Stitcher or anywhere else you get your podcasts.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.