Chicago-area landlord Derrick Rowe had to sell three properties and borrow against his retirement to make ends meet this year.
Among the countless mundane moments from the past year, there are so many stories of heartache, renewal and gratitude. So, we wanted to know: How has living through a year of pandemic isolation changed you? What have you learned?
Author Jian Ping added winter swims to her routine, and it has been magical.
Evanston resident Susannah Pratt discovered an appreciation for the quiet routine of family life in quarantine.
Librarian Brittany Drehobl helped move services online and learned just how essential her work is to the community.
Writer Stan Engelsen’s emergency room experience brought back memories of losing a loved one to AIDS in the 1980s.
Elementary school teacher Mel Georgiou created a club for gamers to help her students connect and discovered her own value as an educator.
When activist Jorge Valdivia lost his brother to COVID-19, who lived his life to the fullest, Valdivia was inspired to apply to grad school.
Northwestern professor Michelle Buck grappled with physical distance from her mother, who has advanced dementia, and her infant granddaughter.
Ellis Curry, 9, says despite the stress of this year, she’s learned gratitude for family and friends.
Writer Suzanne McDonough, whose immune diseases make her especially vulnerable to COVID-19, felt comfort in a world of masks and caution.
Chicago artist Yvette Mayorga used acrylic, nails, collage and rhinestones to make this painting, on display in New York City.
WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times investigated promises made in 2013 to students and communities about what to expect after their schools shut down.
Four years ago, Chicago tried an alternative to mass closings of underenrolled schools. Is this a path forward as the city’s enrollment continues to drop?
Mayor Brandon Johnson says he opposes closing schools and our investigation shows they didn’t help students or communities. We explore the alternatives.
The Sun-Times and WBEZ found that school officials failed to protect these welcoming schools and the $155 million invested in them over time.
Chicago closed 50 schools in 2013, saying this would help students. But our analysis shows little changed academically for the affected kids.
The mayor promised the 46 buildings left would get a second life. The Sun-Times and WBEZ visited every building and community to see what happened.
The city said the students would be better off, their new schools transformed and the closed buildings would be reborn as community assets.
Curious City spent the morning at two Chicago-area vaccination sites and spoke to people who’d just gotten a dose of the vaccine.
We’ve lived through a year like no other. Here’s what it looked like in Chicago and around the world.
Mental health challenges. Isolation. Reusing PPE. What three health workers learned from Illinois’ first coronavirus surge.