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Concordia journalism student captures moments of kindness during the COVID-19 crisis

Pamela Pagano’s YouTube series features Montrealers looking out for each other
April 15, 2020
By Ashley Fortier

As the COVID-19 pandemic grows in scope and scale, the simple act of watching the news can be terrifying. But amid the climbing number of cases, the panic buying and the pleas from public health officials to stay home are countless stories of human kindness.

Pamela Pagano is a third-year undergraduate student in Concordia’s Department of Journalism and the founder of Kind Time, an online video series featuring interviews with community members in Montreal and beyond. Each one focuses on acts of kindness, in an effort to spread positivity and entice others to do the same.

Pagano had been planning her project for months before the COVID-19 outbreak hit Canada. She hoped to launch on April 4, using a full set, professional lighting, a camera crew and a lineup of in-person interviews.

With social distancing measures now in place, her focus has shifted to capturing conversations with the people helping others during this crisis. She films them with her iPhone and a $30 microphone, conducting daily interviews over FaceTime and then posting them to YouTube.

One video features Maycie-Ann St-Louis, a freelance model and dancer who has been giving hip-hop classes over Instagram live.

Another showcases Stephen Voyce, an award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and actor. He is releasing a single called “What’s Going On” at the end of the month, with all the proceeds earmarked for UNICEF.

Casandra De Masi (BA 16) is digital communications officer for the McGill University Health Centre Foundation. In her interview with Pagano, she pays tribute to the frontline workers in the health care sector — from nurses to doctors to researchers to maintenance staff.

“They’re trying to keep us safe and healthy right now, and they’re doing a great job under exceptional circumstances,” De Masi says.

She and her colleagues started an online campaign to make sure these essential service workers know how much they’re appreciated. She’s inviting people to post messages of thanks and solidarity on social media using #healthcareheroes, which the foundation is amplifying over their various platforms.

De Masi hopes that anyone who sees the messages, whether they work in local hospitals or elsewhere, will feel the love. And from Pagano’s perspective, that’s what Kind Time is all about.

“I’m sharing conversations with the people helping others during this crisis and, in turn, sharing kindness — my favourite word.”

Do you or someone you know have a story to tell about acts of kindness during the COVID-19 crisis? Contact Concordian Pamela Pagano on Instagram if you want to be part of a future episode of Kind Time.



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