The Challenges of Parenting During a Pandemic 2020-04-29
We've lost track of how long we've been in social isolation and parents are struggling. Even parents are regressed in some ways so chewing on your pen cap really tight or this high consumption of alcohol. That we're seeing I'm Lizzie. O'leary in for Tanzania Vega and today on the takeaway for Wednesday April twenty nine a look. The challenges parents are facing as many of us hunker down at home during the pandemic loss. How a landmark federal case naming students have a constitutional right to literacy? We also speak with the mayor of Jackson Mississippi to hear how his city and state are handling the corona virus and we round out the show with a tribute to our WNYC colleague who passed away. Richard Hake it is really people like Richard. Do Make It. You know the fire. Cyclo fireside chat aspect public radio first step parenting and place. We are many weeks in sheltering at home to slow. The spread of a pandemic and parenting is getting really tough. It's challenging under normal circumstances of course but add to that working from home plus homeschooling plus the stressors of living in a pandemic. And it's leaving parents dealing with anxiety stress and depression and we asked you to tell us the hardest parts of your days ours apparent right now and where you find moments of joy part of my day during this whole thing o'clock with my seven year old daughter and she's just finally go to worry she worries all day out all day. But you know she's got questions and online school and why can't we go there? And why can't we go here? Sitar arm essential working from home. Full-time my wife's essential working for a city full-time she's doing forty fifty hours a week. And when we're lying in bed and she seven and she finally lets go of all that just turn off the fleet but not just go away. The hardest part of Day was trying to hold pool a frustrated kindergartner. Who's trying to learn how to spell words while a three-year-old runs around the house and the best part of today was waiting with my kids to watch the grew Angels Thunderbirds Flyover Solo and Colin. Come Redmond Washington. The hardest part of my day today so far was leaving my teenager in an office. Depressed State and my elementary school child with the Tummy Ache to to my quotes essential job. My husband is home with them but he can't see cuddle as well as mom camp. This is Patrick. Colin from Holliston Massachussetts. Probably the toughest part of every day is just trying to balance my workload. I'm a teacher in Boston My wife's workload as a therapist and the needs of them my children the best part of my day today was explore in voice with my three girls under the age of six curiosity. Their engagement with nature's just so much fun to watch. Thanks to the many of you who called in with your experiences. We're GONNA talk a little bit about what parents are going through right now and where they can find help. Cheryl's Ziegler is the author of Mommy burnout. A doctor of psychology registered. Play Therapist and Jessica. Grose is the lead editor of New York Times parenting. Thank you both for being here. Thanks for having me so much for having me just want to start with you. Not only are you the lead parenting editor at The Times. But you've got two young kids at home. You had a tweet. That cracked me up You said prepping for home schooling week. Whatever turns out. I don't know what a trapezoid looks like How's it going over there? Every day is a challenge What I like to say is that it's not good days bad days. It's good thirty minutes and bad thirty minutes. So the mood is shifting rapidly. It's really hard. I learned over the weekend that I'm not equipped to do pre-school method. So that's how it's going Cheryl. There are so many different factors contributing to this moment being really hard on parents. What are you hearing? I would say you know? We've been through these stages of grief and what I'm seeing is that that initial denial of like. Is this really happening? Can I really do this? And then parents feeling like okay. I can do this short term but then as the weeks have gone on. It's like actually a really can't do this. I'm really over this. And everyone's gone through their stages of being in denial and then being angry and having to find someone or something to be angry at what. I'm seeing really this week. Right now is a lot of regression so seeing kids go back to former states that they used to be able to. Do you know potty training bed wedding sleeping in their own bed sucking their thumbs those kind of things so I'd say every week. We are seeing a different trend in what's happening with kids and families. Yeah I mean Sheryl. We talked on the show yesterday about the pressure to be productive right now and how hard that is living through a pandemic and how much harder it is for for parents. Who are you know wearing like eight different hats right now? How do we see the mental health effects of living during this code? One thousand nine zero play out in parents in particular so even parents are regressed in some ways so regression in an adult can look like you chewing on your pen. Capri tights or this high consumption of alcohol that we're seeing so we're seeing this stress manifest in different ways for parents and then we're also seeing parents going in and out of these grief stage cycles and that's what makes it complicated. Is that within one family under one roof. You might have people in different stages so they're experiencing different things and have different needs at the same time so it is complete and utter overwhelm. We see online counseling services upwards of two hundred percents we're seeing Zaidi medications being prescribed upwards of thirty percent and so we're really seeing it happening live but I also think there's a lot to come in the future Jessica. You guys have been writing a lot about how this all looks different. Depending on income level just frankly as parenting did prior to the pandemic. But how does that factor into how this moment feels in different households that long term effects that experts are worried about is really for under served? Kids who parents either. They're essential workers or the kids don't have the access they need to online learning. And so there's a lot of fear of them falling behind. There is a lot of fear that is legitimate based on studies that came out of Hurricane Katrina in World War Two that the impact on poorer children is might be really severe. I mean the Times just ran a report today that showed concern for a rising obesity rates. Because kids aren't allowed outside because the school day provides so much natural structure for kids. And that's not just obviously for poor kids. That's for all kids so I think that we're not even GonNa know the challenges that we're facing with our kids and our community is Intel six months a year. Five years from now Cheryl if you're a parent and you're feeling guilty right now because you've got to work or you know you can't give your kid undivided attention How should you manage that? Well I think one of the first things that parents can't hear enough is that they need to lower that bar and to think that parents are going to be distance learners teachers and they're going to also run the household plus try to keep food on the table. All of that's just not realistic. So I think what I have seen over. The last couple of weeks is that that message is starting to get people so I I would say you know. Get involved in terms of the school. School does indeed open in the fall. We you know advocate for review of everything that was missed in this final quarter. And just know that your kids if their mental health is really more important. I think right now than their academic functioning the fact that they see you as calm you meaning the parent they see. The parent is calm managing their own anxiety taking care of themselves having some fun laughter. All of those things are more important right now. I think if a kid can read Daily that's great. That's really important and you know. Every single kid is different. There are some kids who are who are thriving in this. There's also the kids that You know are on screens all day. And they don't do well with that they're such a variety. I think that parents just really need to understand that their kids are going to be okay. They are going to catch up if they need remedial work in the fall then so be it but really keeping the household feeling safe and calm. I think is of utmost priority right now. How honest should you be about kind of how serious all of this is? You know. I've been saying from week one that I think we need to be pretty honest with kids and I haven't changed my stance on that because I think you can communicate depending on the age of the child a little bit differently but I think it's really important to let them know that we are? I like I really like saying the kids. You're not stuck at home. You're safe at home. This is a health crisis. It's really important to understand that our actions make a difference not just for our own lives in our own families but for everyone around us and I do think that that's a priority what I will say this week as teenagers are probably getting The most Ansi and so I'm hearing a lot more of my teen snuck out. My team wants to see their boyfriend. Girlfriend really need to understand the potential health impact of of acting upon their their impulses. Right now jess. How does this fall differently on different genders? We're hearing a lot. That is falling more two moms and even if the chores and the responsibilities are divided equally. Moms feel a greater amount of emotional responsibility to maintain the mood of the family and also to keep everything organized on track. I think they feel a lot of ambient pressure from you know. They see people posting things on instagram about their perfect school setup and their kids driving and they feel like well. Why does my house look like a disaster area? And I still don't know what a trapezoid as and so I think that it is overall harder on moms but I do think it is pretty hard on involved. Dads as well. It's just not feasible to work and watch your children all day at the same time. I WANNA make sure. Also we're not losing track of the reality that there are a lot of parents who are doing this solo you know. I think it is really really hard on them. They are just taking it day by day but a lot of them. We were hearing them. Feeling burnt out weeks ago from the get-go was so overwhelming to have no no break no no additional support. I think that is really really really tough. Just when we think about potential structural shifts That could come out of this. Do you think that it may change the way work places? Think about parenting or even the expectations of parents in terms of what they are able to do kind of with and around their kids. I'm optimistic about it. Actually which is rare for me. I think just the appearance of children I mean. Dad's can't protect their work life in the same way that MOMS can't protect their work life. So kids are busting in on the zooms. Dads are getting interrupted in their work. The way that mom's traditionally have been interrupted in their work and I think management which you know statistically is still heavily male are seeing their jobs interrupted and upended by their children in ways that they tend to not because they're not at home all the time so I do think that there will be a greater amount of understanding and there was already shift among the generation of men who is in their twenties and Thirties. In terms of how involved they would like to be with their children and how involved they sort of demand their employers to allow them to be with their children. So I am mildly optimistic that this will shift Some structural stuff in the workplace in terms of the way employers. Think about men and women. There's a lot of data that shows when women become pregnant employers. Think of them as less engaged in less involved in their work. And I'm hoping that if anything that erases that prejudice or at least lessons of it Jessica. Grose is lead editor parenting for the New York. Times and Charles. Ziegler is author of Mommy burnout psychologist and registered play therapist. Thank you so much to both of you. Thank you so much for having me. We'll be hearing more from parents in the coming days if you want to tell us about your experience parenting during this time. Just give us a call. We're at eight seven seven eight my take this is the takeaway this week. Mississippi joined the growing number of states beginning to reopen their economies on Monday governor Tate Reeves Safer at home order. Went into effect replacing. The state's stricter shelter in place order while retail stores are now able to reopen as long as they maintained half capacity the order still urges residents to stay at home except for a central travel in Jackson. Mississippi mayor shook way. Antar Lumumba is handling the logistics of reopening his city. Last week he also used the emergency powers granted to him during the pandemic to suspend the open carry of Firearms Jackson until April thirtieth as we continue our series of conversations with local leaders about this moment Maryland. Mumba joins US MR mayor. Thanks so much for being here. Thank you for having me. Jackson is both the capital and the densest city in Mississippi. Where are you do you think in controlling the spread of the virus there? What other precautions do you think you need? to ensure the safety of your constituents right now we're still in the eye of the storm Here in Jackson just like most of the nation As the governor has issued his safer at home order It is my intent to Continue my stay at home order. A not only as Jackson the most dense population in the capital of the State of Mississippi. We are also the capital of healthcare so the decisions that are made statewide not only impact the city of Jackson or decisions. We make not only impact the city of Jackson it impacts the surrounding cities in in communities and so Right now We feel that that this order which allows businesses to go to fifty percent occupancy under the governor's or just is not sufficient and so we will maintain our order and the governor serves only a minimal standard Mayors of cities have the ability to provide more restrictive policy. So what you say supersedes what he says at this moment in terms of providing more strict policy It cannot be in direct contradiction so I cannot open up businesses that he has seen Necessary to close Nor would I want to But but we will continue to see restaurants in bars closed And in Jackson retail establishments will be closed. But for those that can provide curbside service. Are you talking to the Governor Right now? And has he consulted you at all before making these decisions? In recent days we have we have spoken. He invited me to the governor's mansion for a conversation with about one hundred mayors around the state Through much of this process I have desired a more frequent communication You know not because I. I think that I'm a special mayor out of the bunch of but because the challenges are Are particularly significant for the city of Jackson not only due to our size but due to the fact that the majority of our population is is a population that has been disproportionately affected by this virus. Jackson is a eighty five percent African American community And and the more that we can work in conjunction with the state to use state resources To use data that the state health department is Extracting is beneficial for us to have a a better point of contact approach to The efforts here on the ground. Yeah we know from demographics that more people of Color in Mississippi have been infected killed by the virus in white residents. How are you trying to address and mitigate that disparity well I think that first we have to recognize why the disparity exists Much of our response this covert nineteen pandemic has mirrored our healthcare system. We know on an average day In in this country There is great disparities between the access of healthcare for People in in black and brown communities in so This pandemic is different and so we saw it being necessary to take a proactive approach as city So we purchased through the combination of direct purchase in an agreement with local healthcare facility. A twelve thousand tests to be utilized throughout the city But for us we believe that testing while it is important and necessary it must lead to action and so we've also purchased what we call a symptom collector that allows people to log their symptoms. IT allows Our our partnership with the healthcare facilities To do a heat map so that we can identify which areas around our city are. Is this virus. Most prevalent in having a disproportionate effect. And then we can direct resources Direct healthcare and and also through a text message alerts Through other forms of outreach acknowledged to people how serious the pandemic is and how it is affecting them specifically right. They are in their neighborhood We've also purchased what we are also entered into agreement with local hotel You know an agreement which provides convalescence to may not have the opportunity to either quarantine because they lack shelter or the shelter that they do have With put other people in their family insignificant danger we also You know attempted to create a hotline for those people to call to be connected to personal health care physicians and we've created a warm line which is dedicated to those who are social who are having mental affects at this time with filling anxiety overwhelmed or depression and that that line has been has been utilized quite extensively in the last few days we've seen protests around the country demanding that you know different states reopen and on Sunday you announced the suspension of open carry of firearms in Jackson until April thirtieth. Why did you make that decision? Well we have a significant challenge in the city of Jackson as it pertains to illegal firearms In while I am not opposed to the Second Amendment rights to to bear arms of being a proud gun owner myself what I do have objection to Is the fact that we have limited the tools of law enforcement to determine good from bad illegal from a legal from illegal firearms? What the open carry law does in effect is a guns that used to be able to be seized through plain view Determined the character of those weapons whether they were legally obtained or or illegally maintain a has now been severely hampered in in in this hour We've suffered some very unfortunate instances in recent days when we already know that economic pressure is high Emotional tension is high which is verified by our warm line This is not the moment that we have tools or you know we create an environment which further creates fear in an anxiety in trouble. We've had the unfortunate deaths of both of five year old girl Who was shot in the head here in the city and a ten year old boy within the span of a week And and so I think that as leaders you know it's not simply it's not enough to simply offer our condolences to mothers and fathers And those people who have lost innocent loved ones to the hands of unnecessary gun violence. I think that we have to research data dive in deep and be prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to protect life of people. I absolutely hear you but at the same time. The Mississippi Attorney General has said you lack the authority even with emergency powers to make this suspension. The Mississippi Justice Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of State Representative against you. How do you respond to their criticism? It's no surprise that the Attorney General Sees it differently than I do? I think that's ultimately a decision or an issue for the courts to determine As I see the statue as it's written it absolutely gives me. That authority may be. The desire was not provide that type of authority to mayors but as is written that's what I see. A furthermore the individual who was fouled claim against the city of Jackson In my opinion lacked standing In in You know the situation is is not one that has in any way interfered with their rights. they are not an individual who lives in the city of Jackson nor do they experience the conditions which take place in Jackson And so You know to to hold this position and you're in it. What it proves is that we are more defensive over the idea of a gun. Then we are. The actuality of young people being gunned down in the streets of our city In in our city in and not by people who Even live in our city nor confront the challenges that we can try to say. You know this is as we've been hearing from mayors across the country a very tough time to be in a position of leadership. I guess I wonder how you doing on a personal level. And and what are you doing to take care of yourself right now? Well I'm fortunate that you know. Have the blessing of a loving family. A wife who is supportive of me in in many comrades in two little girls that that you know when I come home from a very long day You know run to run to the door and you know are are happy to see daddy and and you know everything happening in. The world is pretty much nonexistent to them But we have so many mississippians who are not in who are not similarly position That this is creating economic turmoil for them. this is creating emotional and physical Taking a motion on physical toll on them And so I think that it is important at this time that leadership not only provide brutal honesty to its its constituents But also provide a rational basis for hope and so we want people in Jackson Mississippi to not being Mayor Shukla. Antar Lumumba is the mayor of Jackson Mississippi Mr Mayor. Thank you so much for talking with us. Thank you for having me on Tuesday. Voters in Ohio finally cast their ballots in the state's primary elections. But instead of heading the box voters turned to their mailboxes. Instead in the first election of its kind almost everyone in the state was required to vote by mail. The Ohio primary was supposed to take place last month but due to Kobe. Nineteen hours before the polls open. The state postponed the election and closed down polls shifting to mail in ballots. Ohio is the first state in the country. Where both parties relied on mail-in ballots for their primary twenty one other states around the US have had to postpone their primaries including Wisconsin where we saw in-person polls kept open despite the pandemic joining us to walk us through how this process went. Is Rick Ru on Ohio? Politics and government reporter for the Columbus dispatch high. I walk us through what we saw right before the march seventeenth primary date. What what was the process like for the state to suddenly shift to postpone the elections. That process was pretty rushed. So the day before the march seventeenth primary Secretary of State. Frankel rose actually had a press conference scheduled in the morning. They cancelled it and later that day. The secretary joined Governor Mike Dewine at his daily press briefing on covert nineteen to tell us that they were taking steps to try to delay the election when the courts elected not to shut down the election The governor's administration Issued a health order shutting down the polls hours before they were set to open this Happening at Something like ten thirty eleven o'clock at night when polls are scheduled to open at six thirty. The next morning it was a rush process But they ultimately decided to shut it down and a week later the Ohio General Assembly came up with its By Mail plan. Do we know yet if the mail in ballot process was successful. I guess it depends on your definition of successful. We were expecting a pretty high Turn out election this year. Given that at the time the presidential primary in on the democratic side was still up in the air we Have or sixteen. Congressional seats are up for election in Ohio and In a heavily gerrymandered state. The primary often serves as the general election. They're predicting historic. Turn out when you look at the number of absentee ballots That have actually been cast to this point and they're still Many the that could roll in by by maybe eighth but We're talking about about a twenty three percent turnout will. We're some issues. We saw with Mellon voting. Would you hear from so voters told us that the the male in process was extremely slow and that was reflected in observed by the Secretary of state who asked at the last minute For help from the state's congressional delegation dealing with the US Postal Service to to speed mail delivery when they adopted this plan The expectation was that it would take one to three days for the different pieces of mail that needed to travel back and forth to to make it where they were going The Secretary of State's letter to the congressional delegation said that they were seeing seven to nine day Turn around Certainly I in a process where You're required to mail in your application. There's no online direct application the board of Elections Hester receive the application process. It Mail your ballot back and then you have to fill out your ballot and either mail it to the board of elections or drive to your board of elections and drop it off in a dropbox you can see where in a month If mail delivery is taking nine days or longer in some cases That would be a pretty turnaround. Rick ruin is no Haya politics and government reporter for the Columbus dispatch. Thank you so much for coming on. Thanks for having me last week the. Us Court of Appeals for the six circuit issued a ruling in twenty sixteen lawsuit by several Detroit Public School Students Against Michigan State officials in a two to one majority opinion judge Erico. Clay found that the students had their constitutional rights violated when they were denied. Access to basic education. And the decision isn't just notable for the city of Detroit today. The Supreme Court hasn't weighed in on whether education is a fundamental right in the United States but the ruling also comes at a challenging moment for public school systems as states struggle to raise revenue due to the Kobe. Nineteen crisis education. Funding may take a hit joining me now to talk about. The six circuit's decision is Sasha Ryan and education reporter for wd et. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for having me also with us. Is Justin driver a professor at Yale Law School and author of the Schoolhouse Gate Public Education? The Supreme Court and the battle for the American mind. Nice to have you with us as well but I had to be with you. Thank you just in the sixth circuit. Ruled THAT THESE DETROIT. Students were deprived of fundamental right to literacy. What factors in the system in Detroit? Did the majority look at to get to that decision. A really important question and the majority opinion by Judge. Clay cited three different factors The situations in these particular schools in Detroit were really quite egregious and Klay focused on the teachers. The great amount of turnover people teaching classes that they were not prepared to teach second. He spoke about the facilities the way that there is extreme heat and extreme cold and Some of these schools had vermin in them and people would encounter rodent feces so really agree just facilities and then finally the materials themselves. Many of the books were not sort of age appropriate for the student's meaning not the right reading level. And so these factors all culminated along with the demonstrated lack of achievement on standardized tests To suggest that the schools lacked the ability to have a fundamental right of access to literacy. Sasha what's the reaction to this decision been from people in Detroit as well as state officials? There's a new government now versus when this case was filed. There's definitely a lot of excitement and surprise amongst students and educators Education activist people who've been really paying attention to this case in the hopes that it could affect the quality of education not only in the city of Detroit but throughout Michigan. The government's response is really kind of interesting where we're waiting to see how the governor responds. She's now the named defendant in the case but this started under a Republican governor before her And so to see if she decides to continue to fight this case or looks for some kind of settlement. We don't really have a sign yet for house. She's going to handle this. You know social. I spent some time with one of the plaintiffs in this case back when this was filed and he told me some horror stories about conditions in the schools. How much have conditions changed if at all since this was filed in two thousand sixteen? And let's either been really big changes in Detroit schools since then. This case was filed just as the state was releasing control of Detroit City schools. So after this the Detroit. Public schools actually would cease to exist as the district that was educating students. And so now we have the Detroit school community district which was created by the state as a new district to educate students while Detroit public schools exist as an entity only to pay the debts that grew under state control. So there's a a new school board superintendent who have local control of the schools and have really done a lot of work to turn academics around to balance the budget to change the culture in the schools and so we do see significant changes but we still see a lot of the damage done under state control on the has to be fixed so while we have academic progress. It's really just a little bit of academic progress just in the Supreme Court has never issued a ruling on whether a basic education is a fundamental constitutional right but when we think about potential precedent for the sixth circuit's decision What is important to think about here? There are a couple of major supreme court cases that Judge Clay Interacts with the first is a case from nineteen seventy-three called San Antonio Independent School district versus Rodriguez which involved a lawsuit suggesting that students in poor areas received inadequate funding in comparison to students in property wealthy areas and the Supreme Court rejected that claim and made a big deal out of the fact of saying well. There was no absolute deprivation here. It was only a relative deprivation. The court encountered another case plyler versus DOE which was decided in one thousand nine hundred eighty two also out of taxes and their Texas sought to exclude unauthorized emigrants from public schools. In Supreme Court invalidated the Texas measures that you cannot exclude this people in one of the things that loomed large in the courts analysis was that to exclude children from school. Altogether would be to turn them into a subclass of illiterates and so in a significant sense. You can understand this recent decision as saying that in effect the children were attending these Detroit. Public schools are very much in the legacy of the students who had been absolutely excluded from schools in Texas and on the Supreme Court had entertained the idea about there being an inadequate education so inadequate as to amount to a constitutional violation and here in the face of egregious fact judge. Clay found such a violation. One of the things that seems important here though is that this is about due process that this is a floor sort of establishing I guess even access to participating in the economy rather than an equal protection case both different parts of the fourteenth amendment. How how would that apply potentially to other states with you know similarly troubled school systems that is going to be an important question going forward because the facts on the ground in these particular schools in Detroit were so abysmal. You could imagine people in other cities in the face of struggling schools but perhaps not as struggling as these particular schools in Detroit bringing these sorts of claims and other panels or other judges saying yeah. Things are not perfect in these schools but they are not as bad as Detroit and so that could serve to limit the applicability of the case and the challenge for lawyers who seek to bring these sorts of claims would be to say no these schools bear a rather strong similarity to the Detroit public schools and question. Sasha the kids in question here are primarily black and Latino state control for Awhile was resting With the state government led largely by White People in Lansing. How has race been discussed when it comes to state control of the school system? And what happens now? I think race has always been one of the big issues in this discussion. Definitely Detroit. Public schools are largely black schools. It's a largely black city. It's poor city and the very poor school district. V idea that people were coming in from outside of the city and judging the city and black governance in the city which is essentially what the state would have replaced is a big deal and the idea of restoring. Black governance has been really important. I think to the morale of the district state control in Michigan however it looked whether it was emergency management or financial oversight has been largely put in place in black and Brown communities on Detroit. Wasn't the only school district Detroit. The only city that had state control some black and Brown cities in Michigan have lost their public schools. Completely so race has been really really big part of this discussion. You know all of this is happening. Sasha in the backdrop of Cova nineteen. How have students in Detroit fared doing remote learning and does more money for the Public School System in Detroit even seem possible in the middle of this crisis so great question so as a vast digital divide here between since of the city and students outside of the city are students in surrounding suburbs Our splits removed really quickly to provide physical packets to support at home learning even while also really pushing the state to acknowledge that whatever happens educationally right now cannot count. It's gotta be considered enrichment because they're you know because I don't know I'm a parent like what can you expect from parents? So that happens last week. Lee City School district received funding from businesses and philanthropic organizations to provide tablets and Internet access to students to all of the students in the district in the hopes of being able to even provide just that enrichment to keep students engaged and in a position where they could possibly learn things before returning to the classroom whenever that happens. But it's a really kind of Tadic. Mix and a lot of the responsibility has fallen on teachers to check in visually with students out to call all of the students in the district. And just find out what's going on how they're doing how their families are doing and if they are learning at home and I don't think we really have a good sense for what's happening in homes and what kind of learning is getting done and I don't think we will install. We do. Get back into the classrooms. Sasha Ryan is an education reporter for wd at and Justin driver is a professor at Yale. Law School thank you both very much. Thank you thank you this week the takeaway and WNYC our home station in New York City where we're produced lost a friend and beloved co worker. Richard Hake died in his home from natural causes at age. Fifty one was the morning edition host on WNYC and before that he was the local anchor of the takeaway since the very beginning of the show in two thousand eight. Here's his voice from our very first show twelve years ago yesterday this is WNYC Good Morning. I'm Richard Hake in. It's our new news program the takeaway morning edition can be heard on. Ama Twenty also at seven o'clock this morning right here on ninety three point nine in local news. The Sean Bell case is still making headlines. This Monday morning relatives spoke out of here at the station. Hake was a mentor to many a leader in the newsroom and at the front line of the Union where he worked as a shop steward for years most of our takeaway team from producers to board operator's to hosts has worked with and learn from Richard for listeners. He was a voice of comfort and reassurance during uncertain times and many of you may have a Richard Hake in your own communities and can relate to the special place of a morning news host in our daily lives I spoke with Shumita Basu of reporter host and producer for WNYC news and Aroon Venugopal also reporter and host for WNYC who have both guest hosted here on the takeaway. And a rune worked alongside Richard in the newsroom. For nearly fifteen years I asked him why audiences felt so connected to Richard. He's great looking guy and he's like you know like in nineteen fifties like movies star in his dashing and I think when you first experienced that you would think like oh he's intimidating presence and reality is that he had this incredible ability to To make you feel at ease. He was very at ease in his own skin. He had this kind of like warm in his voice. And he had this warped in his body language and just naturalness. That made you feel like you're going to be taking care of. There's an an all comey in that process. That draws you from being like oh I've got these facts and figures that people need to know to something different to saying like. Oh He's excited. And and you kind of forget about the rest of the world and I think that's what really kind of a transfer people at home and a lot of that. You take for granted when you go through like day after day ever listened to public radio just your routine something you just kind of take for granted. I think it is really people like Richard who may get that kind of you know. The fireside glow fireside chat aspect of public radio. She made you know he also helped train you to sit in the big chair and build rapport with a huge audience. His audience was was the biggest of any during the day on. Wnyc what do you think it takes to make that connection with an audience and have them think of you as their radio friend. Oh Richard was so good at that. I think it's a combination of things. One thing that Richard was so so good at was making listeners. Feel like he was just speaking to them is just you and him at the table in the kitchen. And you don't say anything. Don't worry keep drinking your coffee. He's going to tell you everything he'll tell you the news. We'll tell you the weather he'll tell you how to dress before you step out the door that day and that's that's very intimate and when you recognize that intimacy as the host. As the speaker of those words That unlocks ability to to deliver it in that intimate way. Richard was so good at that at sort of recognizing the singularity of the listener. Yeah and I think he. He knew that it wasn't enough to be just some sort of abstract idea of the perfect informed and informing personality you know like his willingness to kind of reveal and a little bits unsolved to curious to be surprised by things. I mean. There's this this is great. Sort of like Tape going round last couple of days in these in these tributes of of Riding the roller coaster coney island and you can just kind of gamers screeching wonderful. We are on the world famous cyclone built in nineteen twenty seven. It's now celebrating. Its seventieth birthday and we're on the way up eighty five feet above the Atlantic Ocean in Coney Island here on my right as we go up I can see the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the Manhattan Skyline and here we go. It says remain seated. Because the big drop eighty-five eight hearing. It is so amazing because it just you know this screech from this series US castor Kinda guy whatever and nothing you know not at all that kind of person of course but you know what could have been this very serious in sort of this automaton presence he was. He's a human and funny in those in those little ways just enough to make you feel like Oh. This is going to be fine. You know you're going to spend time with children in the city. They lost so much. There's so much pleasure to be taken in the city and you know and you know with each other really. I want both of you to tell just a little something you want people to take away from people who may not know of Richard or maybe they have someone who sort of their own Richard. Hake at their home station. What should people take away from? Richard's life and career. What you want them to walk away from this remembrance thinking about he leaves behind a legacy of such professionalism and Camaraderie. He was a person who could have just done either of those things really well but he did them both so well. He was exceptionally great at what he did as a broadcaster and he was also exceptionally great to his colleagues around him and Both of those things are things that I think. A lot of us have learned from in the newsroom and have changed the DNA. Our newsroom. Change the way that we are good to each other and check in with each other. You know Lizzie there. Some of us have known each other a long time and of wirt. Wnyc or public radio longer than by far longer than any anywhere else we've worked and there's a reason for that. I think and it's it's because there are people like Richard You do ask. Shumita said you know. How's it going you know? How are you like you know who show you that they care and are invested in you and I think what's made a painful This experience very sad for a lot of us is that you know we we. We couldn't be there for him. You know I it's been. It has been really nice. I think the fact that we been reaching out to each other and remembering Richard and better times And it's also very painful And I think for me it's also It's an occasion to kind of ask you know moments like this. Who ARE WE TO To one another you know what is our responsibility. You know what we owe each other you know in the end as soon as normal. Whatever that means comes back you know so. I think if there's one question I'm asking myself is when we remember Richard. How do right by? And how can we be that for one? Another aroon vinegar Paul and Shumita our reporters and hosts for WNYC and longtime friends and colleagues of Richard Hake WNYC morning edition host. Who passed away last week at the age of fifty one of natural causes should meet to Aroon? Thank you so much for this tribute and just taking the time to talk about Richard with me. Thank you was a ruin sending you love thinks back to you back thank you can buy. Lucy Paints too much. Richard Hake was part of this shows extended family. We offer our condolences to his loved ones which include our colleagues here at WNYC and all who are grieving. During this time and on a related note Shumita Basu will be hosting the takeaway starting next week for the last month. Tenzin of Vegas maternity leave. Thanks so much for listening today and every day I'm lizzy leary and this is the takeaway Oh.