Megan Halverson, Christian service coordinator at Badin High School, is pictured with Badin students who performed community service last year at Solsberry Hill in Indiana. Four service trips planned this summer may be in jeopardy because of the coronavirus. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

Living through coronavirus: A Journal-News series about how our neighbors are living and coping

Everyone in our community will be affected by major changes in the coming weeks and months because of the coronavirus.

Journal-News columnist Rick McCrabb is documenting those stories with a series of personal profiles about how our neighbors are changing, adapting and living through these times.

Do you have a story to share, or know someone who does? Click here to jump to a form and submit your information that will be received privately by the Journal-News.

Here are the stories we’ve told:

D.J. Harper, restaurant operator

A Game Knight in Hamilton, Ohio

He decided to take steps to improve the food desert for local residents. He took bulk food orders for meat and other items and called Sysco and placed a large order. He sold the food at his cost.

The first order went “really well” and Harper plans another order for Friday. Orders can be placed on A Game Knight’s Facebook page, he said. He called that the “simplest way to order.”

Read D.J.'s story »

Eddie Planck, school bus driver

Eddie Planck

These are not good times in the Planck house.

Eddie Planck is out of a job, his wife will lose her job at a daycare center this week, he has two children to support and he misses the students who ride on his school bus, all casualties caused by the coronavirus.

Planck, 35, is a bus driver for the Lakota Local School District, and although he’s only been on the job for two years, he has become attached to the students he interacts with twice a day.

Read Eddie's story »

Latrecia Simmons and Joshua Reese, scheduled to be married

Latrecia Simmons and Joshua Reese

Latrecia Simmons said she will have “one heck of a story to tell” when people ask about her wedding.

Simmons and her fiance, Joshua Reese were supposed to get married and have their wedding reception April 11 at a Butler County banquet facility.

But like about everything else, the coronavirus pandemic has changed those plans.

Read their story »

Joel McDonald, trash collector

Joel McDonald

Joel McDonald touches what the public has tossed away.

And that includes used tissues and paper towels.

As a trash collector for Rumpke Waste & Recycling for 15 years, McDonald has changed the way he views some items through concerns about coronavirus.

Read Joel's story »

Jeffrey Jena, comedian

Jeffrey Jena

A Butler County comedian is paid to make his audience laugh, but Jeffrey Jena sees nothing funny about the coronavirus or the government’s response to the deadly disease.

Read Jeffrey's story »

Megan Halverson, teacher

Megan Halverson

Megan Halverson remembers a conversation she had with her teenage son about the significance of the coronavirus.

Eli, 16, a sophomore at Badin High School, told his mother: “This is crazy. You know how people in your life say, ‘Remember where you were on 9/11?’ Or, ‘Remember what you were doing when the Challenger exploded?’ This is the historic moment for me.”

His mother certainly agrees.

Read Megan's story »

Cora Thompson, teacher

Cora Thompson

Monday was the first day of at least two weeks that Middletown students will be taking classes remotely to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Thompson said some of her students don’t have computer access at home so she’s unsure how the lessons will be taught.

Read Cora's story »

Jenny Azwol, waitress


Azwol is a waitress at Gracie’s, a family-owned restaurant in downtown Middletown. Her reaction to Ohio closing restaurants and bars?

“Oh crap this is real now,” she said.

Read Jenny's story »

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