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Take the Mic: How two Seattle teens created an audio time capsule of pandemic life

Sumeya Block, left, and Anabel Lee, right, are friends who teamed up to create a podcast about life in Seattle during the pandemic.
Parker Miles Blohm
/
KNKX
Sumeya Block, left, and Anabel Lee, right, are friends who teamed up to create a podcast about life in Seattle during the pandemic.

Life has shifted in dramatic ways this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Two teens in Seattle — aware that they’re experiencing history in the making — decided to document those changes and produced a podcast about COVID-19 life from the high school point of view.

Anabel Lee and Sumeya Block are both 15 years old and attend The Downtown School. They recorded how things like going to the grocery store or celebrating a birthday transformed almost overnight. They also interviewed a cross section of friends, some of whom downplayed the seriousness of the virus, and others who shared their worries about spreading the virus to relatives.

“We wanted to capture that perspective — especially from teens in Seattle — so that we have that time capsule of what it felt like for being in high school or being a kid during this,” Sumeya said.

final_the_impact_of_covid_19_mixdown.mp3
Listen to the complete podcast from Sumeya Block and Anabel Lee. It's called "The Impact of COVID-19."

Anabel and Sumeya submitted their story as part of KNKX’s Take the Mic youth voices project.

The series has included stories from a young cheerleader who has been practicing at home after her season was interrupted, a high schooler in Tacoma who shared his happiest moment in quarantine, and three high school students who described their personal experiences with racism and reactions to the worldwide protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

KNKX wants to hear from more young people for the Take the Mic project. Here’s information on how to submit.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.