Victoria Hansen

COVID-19 Anxiety

By Victoria Hansen

b311131f-faae-485f-affb-2d55e14dca34If you're feeling anxious about the coronavirus pandemic, you're not alone. More than one third of Americans think it is affecting their mental health, according to a recent study by the American Psychiatric Associaton. Social distancing to stop the spread has shut down cities and left million without jobs. Many who are working, are working from home, tackling technology, homeschooling kids and cooking all the family meals. Daily life is different and stressful. "I think a lot of people are experiencing that they feel even more challenged and expected to do more and more at the same time,"...

MUSC Creates 3D Printed Protective Mask Anyone Can Make

By Victoria Hansen

Various stages of the mask and filter cartridges showing the progression.If building a personal protection mask that could be mass produced to fight the coronavirus pandemic was a puzzle, Joshua Kim was determined to figure it out. The 25 year-old is the Senior Designer and Program Coordinator with the Department of Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. “That moment was an epiphany moment,” says Kim. “It was a great moment.” It was the moment Kim realized he could use an air filter, like those commonly found in home improvement stores, to build a respirator for a mask mimicking the N95 now in demand. “They filter out viruses too," says...

Charleston Enacts Stay At Home Ordinance

By Victoria Hansen

King Street in downtown Charleston following the statewide closure of restaurants and barsThe city of Charleston has become the first in the state of South Carolina to enact an ordinance requiring people to stay at home for the next 14 days, except for necessary trips like to the grocery store or pharmacy. The ordinance also closes all non-essential businesses. Mayor John Tecklenburg says he decided to put the ordinance before the city council Tuesday night for emergency action because the Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced the coronavirus pandemic is in an acceleration phase across the state. "This means that there is significant community spread,"...

Charleston Restaurants and Bars Try to Survive Despite Coronavirus Closings

By Victoria Hansen

Outside Stella's restaurant in CharlestonVacant parking spaces stretch on, along empty sidewalks in downtown Charleston. A lone man drags his luggage as he easily crosses typically bustling King Street. It’s quiet; too quiet. This is Charleston post coronavirus. Down the street off upper King, the owner of Stella's Restaurant Steven Niketas breaks a sweat. He’s anxious about the recent, emergency order from the governor closing restaurants and bars statewide. But he’s also busy, at least for the moment, packing bags for take-out orders. That’s all that’s left. He's surrounded by empty tables, some with chairs stacked on top. “We’re...

Coronavirus Pandemic Creates Stress for Small Business Owners and Self-Employed

By Victoria Hansen

Cacky Rivers holds the veil of a bride as part of her small business Cacky's Bride + Aid.You can hear it in her voice. Cacky Rivers who routinely eases the anxiety of brides on their big day is nervous. "My dad said recently, 'This too shall pass', and that's what's kept me going." Her voice trails off. There's a long pause on the other end of the phone. The "this" Rivers is referring to is the Coronavirus pandemic that has spread across the globe leaving a trail of death and economic uncertainty behind. “It's a very scary situation," Rivers says. She likens it to a hurricane, but worse. Cacky is a small business owner in the Charleston area with a unique company called, “Cacky’s...

Charleston Braces for Coronavirus as Busy Tourism Season Begins with Cancellations

By Victoria Hansen

The Volvo Cup Open on Daniel IslandIt's not the typical thick, green coating of pollen that has people scrambling indoors this spring in Charleston. Instead it's something much more serious; a highly contagious coronavirus with a spiky crown, prickling communities with fear and prompting the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic. But like the pesky pollen, the new and potentially deadly virus is striking at the start of Charleston's busy tourist season. "I think what's driving the fear and angst in the general individual is the unknowing," says Michael Schmidt, Ph.D. He's a professor of microbiology and immunology at...

College of Charleston Acknowledges its Past with the Center for the Study of Slavery

By Victoria Hansen

Dr. Bernard Powers founded the Center for the Study of Slavery at the College of CharlestonAs the College of Charleston celebrates its 250th birthday, at its center is Randolph Hall. Built in 1820, students still gather here. Less prominent, an organization that tries to help the school comes to terms with its past, the Center for the Study of Slavery. "You are sitting in the office of the center right now," says Dr. Bernard Powers. He founded the center two years ago after retiring from the history department. The Center for the Study of Slavery is part of a consortium of more than 40 universities that studies the impact of slavery on schools and communities. "When you think of...

Families Still Question Mother Emanuel Donations Despite State Inquiry

By Victoria Hansen

Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston has been the focus of a SLED inquiryFelicia Sanders held her granddaughter so tight, she feared she might suffocate the child on the church floor, as a racist gunman they had welcomed to bible study executed nine fellow parishioners one by one. Bullet casings scorched her legs. She watched helplessly as her son Tywanza, just feet away in a pool of blood, took his final breath. Sanders and her granddaughter survived the massacred that claimed nine lives that night by playing dead. "This is the child who was underneath her grandmother as those 77 shots rang out," says attorney Andy Savage. "This is the child who heard those shots...

Innovative Recyling Facility Offers Promise and Raises Questions

By Victoria Hansen

Outside RePower South recycling facility in Moncks corner adjacent to the Berkeley County LandfillImagine a world without recycling bins where what can be repurposed is; and discarded items that are typically left at landfills become fuel. That's the world RePower South, a new recycling company, wants to build. "There's a layer of that waste stream that we're taking in and creating a fuel," says a Repower South cofounder and CEO Brian Gilhuly. "It is renewable, clean fuel that is used by industry and utilities." The company set up shop nine months ago in a community in need of a new recycling facility, Berkeley County. There, garbage trucks pick up all the curbside trash from homes, no...

Charleston Artist Honors Our Nation's Veterans

By Victoria Hansen

"Bunker" depicts homeless veteran Dennis of California as if he is surrounded by gunfire.Charleston artist Mary Whyte secretly scoured the country painting portraits for seven years as part of her latest project, "We the People". Her ambition is as extraordinary as her subjects; our nation's veterans. "I really believe our truest Americans really are our veterans," says Whyte. Known for her watercolor paintings depicting American life, Whyte became part journalist part historian for her latest venture. She knew she wanted to depict a variety of veterans from each of the 50 states. But she wasn't exactly sure where to find them. So, she stopped by the chamber of commerce in...

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