Mert Erden Oral History, 2021/09/24


Title (Dublin Core)

Mert Erden Oral History, 2021/09/24

Description (Dublin Core)

Danny Rollo interviews Mert Erden about life during COVID-19 from its beginning to current times. Mert discusses the feeling of being depressed during lockdown but reveals his more positive outlook on the pandemic as he believes that society has greatly improved as time has passed. Mert also talks about the actions of the United States government in response to the pandemic.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Creator (Dublin Core)

Contributor (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)

oral history

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)


Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Collection (Dublin Core)

Linked Data (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Date Created (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Danny Rollo

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Mert Erden

Format (Dublin Core)


Coverage (Dublin Core)

March 2020-October 2021

Language (Dublin Core)


Duration (Omeka Classic)


abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

Danny Rollo interviews Mert Erden about life during COVID-19 from its beginning to current times. Mert discusses the feeling of being depressed during lockdown but reveals his more positive outlook on the pandemic as he believes that society has greatly improved as time has passed. Mert also talks about the actions of the United States government in response to the pandemic.

Annotation (Omeka Classic)

0 Danny Rollo asks Mert Erden if he consents to being interviewed; ME provides consent; DR question to EM: What did you do after the initial shutdown in March of 2020? ME answer: stayed at home, focused on hobbies
1 ME explains feeling stuck during lockdown; DR question to ME: Did you or any close family or friends contract covid? ME answer: no family members or friends contracted covid; ordered groceriels online
2 EM explains that he has had some friends get the virus because of the delta variant; people with the vaccine have gotten the virus. DR to ME: Can you elaborate a bit more about your feelings towards the pandemic? EM answer: initially excited about being home
3 EM explains how not being able to be with friends was depressing; challenge of being in same house with same people doing same things; will always remember way that he felt. DR question to EM: Are you satisfied with national response to covid and planet's response to covid?
4 EM answer: most people don't realize repercussions of shutting down; thinks things could have been handled better, especially regarding quality of information; world leaders did what they could.
5 EM thinks world leaders did the best they could do. DR question to EM: How have your feelings and views changed about the pandemic and the way it was handled? EM answer: government has done a great job making sure people can get the vaccine.
6 EM thinks society has connected more through pandemic; pleased with progress.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Danny Rollo 00:02
So I have to ask, do you consent to be interviewed?
Mert Erden 00:08
I do. I do.
Danny Rollo 00:10
Can you tell us when you're being interviewed?
Mert Erden 00:14
I'm being interviewed September 24th at 4:13pm.
Danny Rollo 00:20
Okay, so first question, what did you do after the first shutdown happened with COVID, March 2020?
Mert Erden 00:28
Okay, so one of the initial things that I did was, I was staying at home, I couldn't really go outside to
friends, I couldn't really see other family members, anyone else; I was just kind of secluded in my own
home. So I mean, there wasn't really much to do per se, so I mainly focused on my hobbies. I mean,
like, I wanted to do programming, so it gave me more time to do that, but as time kind of went on, I
realized that, like, yeah, it was great in the beginning, like, shut down and everything, like, I can do
whatever the hell I want. But then as time went on, that enjoyment kind of plateaued, and it came to a
point where like, Oh, my God, like, I'm just stuck. I don't know what to do, and there's nothing else to do
because everyone's just scared out of their minds, and they don't know what to expect. So I mean, like,
I mean, that was kind of the first things that I did.
Danny Rollo 01:25
Yeah. Yeah, gotcha. Um, moving on. Did you or any close family or friends contract COVID?
Mert Erden 01:36
Thankfully, no one in my family nor my friends contracted COVID because we were really careful about
it, so no one really went to anyone's houses, and when it came to groceries, and like, just ordering, like getting stuff, was mainly online. So there was zero to minimal contact in that aspect. But recently,
actually, now that like, the Delta variant's out, I've had a couple of friends get it. And it really is
unexpected, like some, some people just they don't, they get the two dose vaccinations, and they're
like, Oh, I'm, I'm doing great, no problems, but then within a day or two, just the tables flip. And before,
you know it, they have Delta, or they have something, and they're just coughing like crazy. And then
they have to be quarantined for next two weeks, and it happens, like in the blink of an eye. So it's pretty
scary. I'd like to say.
Danny Rollo 02:31
Yeah, it is. You're speaking a little bit about now, but could you elaborate more about your feelings
towards the pandemic? Like, you know, fear, angst... Can you kind of delve into that?
Mert Erden 02:44
Yeah, um obviously, initially I was really excited, really happy about, like, just being home and kind of
doing my own thing and trying to focus on what I'm doing outside of school. But as time went on,
especially as I was indoors more, I didn't really have friends, and like, being able to hang out with
friends, it was... it was a really depressing time for me; I feel like it's a very similar experience for other
people. too. You don't really have much to do, you don't really have like, I'm also being in the same
house with the same people doing the same things, just running in those same cycles and motions.
You kind of lose your mind. So now, I think like now that the pandemic's kind of chilled out a bit, it's
gone a lot better, you're outside more, chill out more. But I mean, to this day, like, I'll never forget the
way that I felt, and I'm sure that no one will either.
Danny Rollo 03:43
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Shifting a little bit. Are you satisfied with the national response to COVID and the
global response to COVID? Is there anything that you think both we could have done differently in the
U.S. and as a planet?
Mert Erden 03:59
Yeah, um, I mean, obviously, global leader, like looking at from the perspective, like citizens, we always
want, like, it's gotta happen immediately, no problem. Like, this pandemic happened, a couple of 1000
people got it, shut down, shut down, shut down. But most people don't realize the actual repercussions
behind it because shutting down an entire country, just kills the economy. And most people don't look at
it from that perspective, so I mean, for me, personally, I think that a lot of things could have been done
better, especially in terms of notifying people more, getting more information out, giving more accurate
information out rather than just a bunch of news outlets kind of confusing people with certain things
because some, some sources you don't know if you can trust it or not, and you're kind of stuck in the
middle. So out, in one part, I wasn't satisfied but on the other part, I feel like world leaders did what
they, what they like they're also humans too, so they need to react like us. So I understand where
they're coming from, and I think that they did the best that they could do.
Danny Rollo 05:11
Gotcha. So, over the course of the past year and a half or so how have your feelings and views
changed about both the pandemic in general and the response to it?
Mert Erden 05:23
Um, I mean, I think especially with the situation with the vaccines and whatnot, I think that the
government's done an amazing job in terms of implementing it and trying to get as many people to get
it. I also feel that companies I know, for example, Uber, they started giving free rides out to people in
order to get their vaccines. So I mean, collectively, I think we, as a society, have grown, like, really kind
of connected more than ever, in this situation. And I feel that right now, where we stand today is quite
amazing. I feel like, people were still, like, back a year and a half ago, none of us knew what the hell
was gonna happen. We were not sure are we going to be stuck in our house for the next two, three
years, you know, so seeing this now, like, see it slowly recede, like, despite the Delta situation, seeing
all the cases receding, seeing people actually go out there and take action for this, for COVID, it's, it's
quite the improvement and I'm really happy to see it.
Danny Rollo 06:34
Yeah, that's great to hear that your emotions are more positive towards it now. Yeah, I mean, those,
those are my questions. You use yours or had this... me with the same ones?
Mert Erden 06:49
Um, so let's end this one then, and let's start a new one. Right?
Danny Rollo 06:54

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This item was submitted on September 28, 2021 by Mert Erden using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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