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Curious City

WBEZ Chicago

27
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84
Plays
Curious City

Curious City

WBEZ Chicago

27
Followers
84
Plays
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About Us

Ask questions, vote and discover answers about Chicago, the region and its people. From WBEZ.

Latest Episodes

Farmers Like Me Are Seeing Crop Prices Drop — But We're Resilient

As the state and the city take new steps to reopen life during COVID-19, we're releasing our last episode of Life Interrupted, a weekly series about daily life in Chicago during the pandemic. On this last episode, we meet Kate Huffman, a sixth generation farmer. Despite the economic uncertainty right now, she says farmers will come through.

4 MIN23 h ago
Comments
Farmers Like Me Are Seeing Crop Prices Drop — But We're Resilient

I Survived Tuberculosis In The 1950s, So I’m No Stranger To Quarantine

At the beginning of the 20th Century, a global public health crisis hit Chicago—a widespread outbreak of tuberculosis. The highly contagious respiratory disease spread easily from person to person and attacked the lungs. Without a vaccine or a cure, doctors attempted to treat positive cases with sunshine, fresh air and by quarantining the sick away from the general public. Chicagoans who couldn’t afford to go to a private facility were sent to the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Peterson Park, which back then was at the edge of the city. At the age of 12, Lillie Campbell was taken away from her family and quarantined at the MTS, where she remained for three years in the 1950s. She’s now 74, and she says that experience stayed with her and even inspired her to go into the medical field. While some Chicagoans are showing signs of quarantine fatigue after just two months under the Illinois stay-at-home order, Campbell recounts what it was like to live through the TB outbreak and how it has prepared her for the pandemic the world is living through today. What follows is an edited transcript of Campbell’s recent interview with Curious City. How did you find out you had TB? It was a very ‘hush hush’ disease—you didn't talk about it if you had it. You were considered very lowly, very unclean, like you were dirty. I think my teacher was one of the first people to begin to notice [I was sick] and they didn't let me go back to school. The thing I do remember most was the doctor who treated me, and he said to my mother, ‘I've seen this before.’ My mother was just heartbroken. She didn't cry, but she was very visibly shaken. [The doctor] let me spend one last night with my mother and my brothers and sisters. He explained to her that the whole family would have to be tested. She had to bring me to [the sanitarium] that next morning. We didn't talk the whole way. There was really nothing much to say. What was it like to be in quarantine at the MTS? I was there from when I was 12 until I was 15. I was isolated. You couldn't go outside. Your nurses were afraid of you. They were very kind to me as long as my mother was standing there, but the moment she left, all hell broke loose. And we had to learn quickly—you're on your own. And I had to realize that it's either do or die. You had to get cards that had certain color codes—like everybody strived to get a green one [because] that meant you could go outside. You could not socialize with other people, other children, so you grew up very fast. What kept you going? You know, I’ll never forget that my dad--he sent me a poem. It was called “If” by Ruyard Kipling. And he wrote it out by hand and I'll never forget it. And it stuck with me. Lines like: If you can meet with triumph and disasters and treat those imposters just the same. If you can wait and not be tired by waiting...or in being hated don’t give way to hating. The whole thing was just encouraging, just the fact that he said don't hate someone because they hate you, to take a disaster and make it the best that you can. The whole thing spoke to me because I needed encouragement. I needed to know that what I was going through wasn't the end of me and I had to faith in what my parents had given me and have faith in God and to hold on. And I got through. So that part to me was crucial. Given your experience, what advice do you have for people? We're acting like we're in a barbaric age. We're mad. We want to blame the mayors and the governors. We want to stand at city halls with guns. You need to learn to sit quietly [and] just do what you need to do. This isn't gonna last forever. It's gonna get better. If you sit back and say, ‘OK. I'm in this. I don't like it, but it's gonna be okay. I just gotta hold on. I'm almost at the door ... And after a while, we'll be OK.’ This isn't just the United States’ problem—this is the world's problem. Wherever it came from, whoever started it ... it doesn't matter. What we have to do—and

19 MIN4 d ago
Comments
I Survived Tuberculosis In The 1950s, So I’m No Stranger To Quarantine

I Thought Ramadan Would Be Depressing This Year — But It's Been A Blessing

In today's episode of Life Interrupted:Deanna Othman looks forward to sharing meals with friends and family during Ramadan. Now, she’s relying on faith to get her through isolation.

5 MIN1 w ago
Comments
I Thought Ramadan Would Be Depressing This Year — But It's Been A Blessing

Why Is Chicago Still Seeing So Many New Cases Of COVID-19?

The Illinoisstay-at-home order was supposed to slow the spread of COVID-19. So one Curious Citizen wonders how so many people are still getting sick.

15 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Why Is Chicago Still Seeing So Many New Cases Of COVID-19?

I'm Bringing A Baby Into The World In the Middle Of A Pandemic

In today's episode of Life Interrupted: A first pregancy is normally filled with a lot of excitment but also a lot of anxiety. So what's it like to bring a baby into the world during a global pandemic?

4 MIN2 w ago
Comments
I'm Bringing A Baby Into The World In the Middle Of A Pandemic

Has The Stay-At-Home Order Improved Chicago’s Air Quality?

With less traffic on the roads and some businesses shut, one Curious Citizen wonders if the air we’re breathing is any cleaner.

7 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Has The Stay-At-Home Order Improved Chicago’s Air Quality?

Our Daughter Is A Nurse On The Front Lines Of The Coronavirus Pandemic

Life Interrupted is a new weekly series from Curious City about daily life in Chicago during the pandemic. In today's episode, as their daughter treats COVID-19 patients in intensive care, Suzie and Bob Pschirrer wonder if military families feel the same mix of pride and fear.

5 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Our Daughter Is A Nurse On The Front Lines Of The Coronavirus Pandemic

Who Created The Cook County Forest Preserves?

Around the turn of the century, the great American wilderness was disappearing. That’s when an architect named Dwight Perkins devised an ambitious plan to save Chicagoland’s natural treasures — by creating the state’s first forest preserves.. Over the next 15 years, Perkins would weather legal battles and partisan squabbling in pursuit of his vision.

11 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Who Created The Cook County Forest Preserves?

I Started Sewing Clothes For My Barbies — Now I’m Sewing Face Masks

Life Interrupted is a new weekly series from Curious City about daily life in Chicago during the pandemic. In today's episode, Lucy Keating first learned to sew on her grandmother’s Singer sewing machine. Today, she’s reviving her skills to make masks for COVID-19.

3 MINAPR 30
Comments
I Started Sewing Clothes For My Barbies — Now I’m Sewing Face Masks

Looking For Quarantine Recipes? Try This Chicago-Invented Dish

Two Albany Park chefs turned a Chinese-Korean chicken dish into a signature Chicago food. Listen to the history, then go to wbez.org/curiouscity for recipes to make at home.

3 MINAPR 26
Comments
Looking For Quarantine Recipes? Try This Chicago-Invented Dish

Latest Episodes

Farmers Like Me Are Seeing Crop Prices Drop — But We're Resilient

As the state and the city take new steps to reopen life during COVID-19, we're releasing our last episode of Life Interrupted, a weekly series about daily life in Chicago during the pandemic. On this last episode, we meet Kate Huffman, a sixth generation farmer. Despite the economic uncertainty right now, she says farmers will come through.

4 MIN23 h ago
Comments
Farmers Like Me Are Seeing Crop Prices Drop — But We're Resilient

I Survived Tuberculosis In The 1950s, So I’m No Stranger To Quarantine

At the beginning of the 20th Century, a global public health crisis hit Chicago—a widespread outbreak of tuberculosis. The highly contagious respiratory disease spread easily from person to person and attacked the lungs. Without a vaccine or a cure, doctors attempted to treat positive cases with sunshine, fresh air and by quarantining the sick away from the general public. Chicagoans who couldn’t afford to go to a private facility were sent to the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Peterson Park, which back then was at the edge of the city. At the age of 12, Lillie Campbell was taken away from her family and quarantined at the MTS, where she remained for three years in the 1950s. She’s now 74, and she says that experience stayed with her and even inspired her to go into the medical field. While some Chicagoans are showing signs of quarantine fatigue after just two months under the Illinois stay-at-home order, Campbell recounts what it was like to live through the TB outbreak and how it has prepared her for the pandemic the world is living through today. What follows is an edited transcript of Campbell’s recent interview with Curious City. How did you find out you had TB? It was a very ‘hush hush’ disease—you didn't talk about it if you had it. You were considered very lowly, very unclean, like you were dirty. I think my teacher was one of the first people to begin to notice [I was sick] and they didn't let me go back to school. The thing I do remember most was the doctor who treated me, and he said to my mother, ‘I've seen this before.’ My mother was just heartbroken. She didn't cry, but she was very visibly shaken. [The doctor] let me spend one last night with my mother and my brothers and sisters. He explained to her that the whole family would have to be tested. She had to bring me to [the sanitarium] that next morning. We didn't talk the whole way. There was really nothing much to say. What was it like to be in quarantine at the MTS? I was there from when I was 12 until I was 15. I was isolated. You couldn't go outside. Your nurses were afraid of you. They were very kind to me as long as my mother was standing there, but the moment she left, all hell broke loose. And we had to learn quickly—you're on your own. And I had to realize that it's either do or die. You had to get cards that had certain color codes—like everybody strived to get a green one [because] that meant you could go outside. You could not socialize with other people, other children, so you grew up very fast. What kept you going? You know, I’ll never forget that my dad--he sent me a poem. It was called “If” by Ruyard Kipling. And he wrote it out by hand and I'll never forget it. And it stuck with me. Lines like: If you can meet with triumph and disasters and treat those imposters just the same. If you can wait and not be tired by waiting...or in being hated don’t give way to hating. The whole thing was just encouraging, just the fact that he said don't hate someone because they hate you, to take a disaster and make it the best that you can. The whole thing spoke to me because I needed encouragement. I needed to know that what I was going through wasn't the end of me and I had to faith in what my parents had given me and have faith in God and to hold on. And I got through. So that part to me was crucial. Given your experience, what advice do you have for people? We're acting like we're in a barbaric age. We're mad. We want to blame the mayors and the governors. We want to stand at city halls with guns. You need to learn to sit quietly [and] just do what you need to do. This isn't gonna last forever. It's gonna get better. If you sit back and say, ‘OK. I'm in this. I don't like it, but it's gonna be okay. I just gotta hold on. I'm almost at the door ... And after a while, we'll be OK.’ This isn't just the United States’ problem—this is the world's problem. Wherever it came from, whoever started it ... it doesn't matter. What we have to do—and

19 MIN4 d ago
Comments
I Survived Tuberculosis In The 1950s, So I’m No Stranger To Quarantine

I Thought Ramadan Would Be Depressing This Year — But It's Been A Blessing

In today's episode of Life Interrupted:Deanna Othman looks forward to sharing meals with friends and family during Ramadan. Now, she’s relying on faith to get her through isolation.

5 MIN1 w ago
Comments
I Thought Ramadan Would Be Depressing This Year — But It's Been A Blessing

Why Is Chicago Still Seeing So Many New Cases Of COVID-19?

The Illinoisstay-at-home order was supposed to slow the spread of COVID-19. So one Curious Citizen wonders how so many people are still getting sick.

15 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Why Is Chicago Still Seeing So Many New Cases Of COVID-19?

I'm Bringing A Baby Into The World In the Middle Of A Pandemic

In today's episode of Life Interrupted: A first pregancy is normally filled with a lot of excitment but also a lot of anxiety. So what's it like to bring a baby into the world during a global pandemic?

4 MIN2 w ago
Comments
I'm Bringing A Baby Into The World In the Middle Of A Pandemic

Has The Stay-At-Home Order Improved Chicago’s Air Quality?

With less traffic on the roads and some businesses shut, one Curious Citizen wonders if the air we’re breathing is any cleaner.

7 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Has The Stay-At-Home Order Improved Chicago’s Air Quality?

Our Daughter Is A Nurse On The Front Lines Of The Coronavirus Pandemic

Life Interrupted is a new weekly series from Curious City about daily life in Chicago during the pandemic. In today's episode, as their daughter treats COVID-19 patients in intensive care, Suzie and Bob Pschirrer wonder if military families feel the same mix of pride and fear.

5 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Our Daughter Is A Nurse On The Front Lines Of The Coronavirus Pandemic

Who Created The Cook County Forest Preserves?

Around the turn of the century, the great American wilderness was disappearing. That’s when an architect named Dwight Perkins devised an ambitious plan to save Chicagoland’s natural treasures — by creating the state’s first forest preserves.. Over the next 15 years, Perkins would weather legal battles and partisan squabbling in pursuit of his vision.

11 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Who Created The Cook County Forest Preserves?

I Started Sewing Clothes For My Barbies — Now I’m Sewing Face Masks

Life Interrupted is a new weekly series from Curious City about daily life in Chicago during the pandemic. In today's episode, Lucy Keating first learned to sew on her grandmother’s Singer sewing machine. Today, she’s reviving her skills to make masks for COVID-19.

3 MINAPR 30
Comments
I Started Sewing Clothes For My Barbies — Now I’m Sewing Face Masks

Looking For Quarantine Recipes? Try This Chicago-Invented Dish

Two Albany Park chefs turned a Chinese-Korean chicken dish into a signature Chicago food. Listen to the history, then go to wbez.org/curiouscity for recipes to make at home.

3 MINAPR 26
Comments
Looking For Quarantine Recipes? Try This Chicago-Invented Dish
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