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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

Outbreak Wisconsin, a collaborative project by Wisconsin Watch and WPR, is following Wisconsin residents as they navigate life during the coronavirus pandemic. The residents will contribute diary entries, in the form of audio, video, text, drawings and photos of themselves, their families and personal and professional lives. That content will be supplemented by interviews and digital content to provide a full picture of how the pandemic is affecting all aspects of life in Wisconsin. 

Participants will recount what their lives have been like since mid-March, and especially how things have changed since Gov. Tony Evers issued the “Safer at Home” directive on March 24. That order effectively limited movement around the state, except for people deemed “essential” workers. 

The goal of the project is to share with our readers and listeners the stories of how the coronavirus, and the policies that have emerged because of it, are affecting Wisconsin residents. We aim to highlight flaws or failures in systems that existed even before the pandemic, but are now being laid bare. We will explore solutions to improve the lives of residents of our state.

We welcome your comments and suggestions regarding Outbreak Wisconsin. Please feel free to contact the project managers, Coburn Dukehart at and Bridgit Bowden at

Meet the participants

Mariah Clark, a blacksmith, tall-ship sailor and emergency room nurse.

Amy Moreland, a former Madison bartender who is making a career switch.

Bryan Voegeli, a dairy farmer whose family farm occupies about 1,300 acres between Monticello and New Glarus.

Adija Greer Smith, a Milwaukee baker and small business owner.

Beverly Blietz, an 86-year-old fomer senior living facility resident.

Jessica Barrera, a single mom who experienced underemployment during the pandemic and struggled to receive benefits.

Azul Kothari, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Julie Welch, a sixth-grade online teacher for the School District of La Crosse.

Paul Mathis, a Rib Mountain resident experiencing lingering effects from COVID-19, despite the fact that his case was a minor one.

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

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