Explore the Archives
A Journal of the Plague Year Arizona Collection Australia Boston Bronx Community College New York Brooklyn College New York Canada Las Americas Lockdown Staten Island New Orleans Oral Histories Philippines Sacramento Community Based Organizations Southwest Stories Teaching the Pandemic The City College of New York

Collected Item: “Coffee Shops and a Sense of Normalcy During COVID-19”

Give your story a title.

Coffee Shops and a Sense of Normalcy During COVID-19

What sort of object is this: text story, photograph, video, audio interview, screenshot, drawing, meme, etc.?


Tell us a story; share your experience. Describe what the object or story you've uploaded says about the pandemic, and/or why what you've submitted is important to you.

When COVID-19 started affecting Kansas City, little changed at first. We wore masks, used hand sanitizer, etc., but life went on as normal otherwise. As the virus progressed, we closed our offices and I started working from home. One of my pre-COVID rituals was a trip to Broadway Cafe close to my house for a great latte or macchiato. At least this ritual was still intact. Then, the coffee shops all closed. It sounds silly to say this affected me even more than going into the office. It was my normal routine for so many years though...that a trip to the coffee shop served as an anchor for feeling life would go on, regardless of how far the virus progressed.

The audio file attached is my espresso machine at home. I now buy coffee beans for the house, grind them, and pour shots of espresso to drink straight or craft into a macchiato or latte. The sound of my machine grinding beans, pressing the grounds into a puck, and then pouring into shot glasses still did not replace the coffee shop, but it did become an anchor to help me adjust when I needed it most.

Today, our coffee shops are open for pickup service. Between that and still pouring my own at home, using their beans, life is good. I look forward to a post-COVID world where the local roasters and coffee shops continue to play an important role in my personal sense of normalcy and the social health of our collective neighborhoods.

Use one-word hashtags (separated by commas) to describe your story. For example: Where did it originate? How does this object make you feel? How does this object relate to the pandemic?

Coffee, COVID, Kansas City, Missouri, HST 643, Arizona State University, Sensory History, Broadway Cafe, Normalcy, Coffee Shops

Who originally created this object? (If you created this object, such as photo, then put "self" here.)

Derrick Leggett

Give this story a date.

Click here to view the corresponding item.