Rachel Ishikawa | Michigan Radio

Rachel Ishikawa

Podcast Producer

Rachel Ishikawa joined Michigan Radio in 2020 as a podcast producer. She produced Kids These Days, a limited-run series that launched in the Summer of 2020.

Prior to Michigan Radio, Rachel spent the past three years producing audio in Philadelphia. In addition to her work on the Peabody-nominated The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul, she was the Social Practice Lab Artist-in-Residence at Asian Arts Initiative. There she collaborated with young people to develop an online audio sequencer that sampled sounds from the rapidly redeveloping Chinatown North Neighborhood. Her radio features range from topics of healthcare to skin stigmas to bioacoustics.

An avid biker, she’s always seeking the best route.

Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Long COVID is a range of prolonged symptoms after a COVID infection. It can include brain fog, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues—not to mention anxiety and depression. But there can also be some financial side effects: high out-of-pocket costs and medical debt.

Fifteen months after getting COVID, Becca Meyer from Kalamazoo is still dealing with some serious side effects. She’s also trying to manage the financial burden of Long COVID.

Zoe Villegas wearing a pink fuzzy coat and jeans standing in front of the Ford-Wyoming Drive in sign.
Rachel Ishikawa

It’s been a hard year and we want to switch gears a little. This is Getting Through, a series where we bring you the stories and sounds of how we’re staying grounded during this chaos.

Today we’re featuring Zoe Villegas. She’s a lifelong Detroiter and tarot card reader.

Selfie picture of Jane, wearing glasses and hair tired up in pigtails.
Courtesy Photo

We’ve heard a lot about schools and the pandemic this year. We’ve heard about how some schools stayed in person and how some didn’t. We’ve heard from teachers and parents about what’s working and what isn’t in this strange school year.

Courtesy Photo

Need some restorative listening? Look no further. This is Getting Through, a new series where we cover the stories and sounds of how we’re staying grounded during this really challenging moment.

In this installment, we cook a meal with shane bernardo (who uses they and him pronouns and prefers their name lower-case). For bernardo, cooking cultural foods has been a practice to stay grounded during the past few months. bernardo is Filipino, a life-long Detroiter, and uses food as a medium for healing.

Courtesy Photo

It’s been over a year since COVID-19 hit Michigan and there’s been so much news to keep up with. From burned-out health care workers and grieving families, to street protests against police brutality, to violence in our state and national capitals. It's been a lot.

So we want to switch gears a little with a new series called Getting Through. These are stories and sounds of how we’re staying grounded during this chaos.

illustration of COVID-19 related things
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Credit Courtesy Photo

There are over 370,000 people in Michigan who have finished both doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

"I kind of feel like I'm a little bit of a superhero," said Jamina Washington, a labor and delivery nurse from Ypsilanti. She got her second shot of the Pfizer vaccine in early January.

"I just want to walk around, flashing my card like it's a badge of honor or something to have completed our doses."

Courtesy photos

More information is coming out about the potential long term symptoms of COVID-19. The CDC recently put out a list of the long term effects of the virus. And post-COVID treatment centers are growing in number.

It’s being called “Long COVID.” For people living with it, there are a lot of unknowns.

A couple smiling at the camera. The woman has a feeding tube.
Courtesy of Becca Meyer.

Michigan now has more than 378,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday, Nov. 30. Many of those who are sick will come out of this okay. But some, like Rebecca Meyer, will suffer long term effects, what doctors call "long haul COVID."

Meyer lives in Kalamazoo. She was a healthy 31-year-old when she got COVID in March. It’s been eight months since then.

And she’s still sick.

Nurse Kate Beauchamp wearing PPE.
Courtesy Kate Beauchamp

More than 3,800 people in Michigan are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Deaths from the virus are rising as well. As cases continue to rise across the state, we’re talking with folks who have been personally impacted by the pandemic.

Among those hardest hit are health care professionals.

Khadijah Brown
Courtesy of Khadijah Brown

We’ve been talking to folks across the state to hear what’s on their minds this election season in our series Voter Voices.

For performing artist and activist Khadijah Brown, policing is very much on her mind as she heads to the polls.

Earlier this year she co-founded a group called Uplift Kalamazoo to help the Black community and address systemic racism in the city.

Dave Todd is a police officer in Southeast Michigan.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

People in Michigan have some big decisions to make on November 3. So with the election just around the corner, we’re talking to voters across the state to hear about what’s on their minds in our series, Voter Voices.

Dave Todd has worked as a police officer for over 20 years in Southeast Michigan. Like many people, he's thinking about the future of policing.

Leslie Emerson and Jason Lanham
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A lot has changed since the last presidential election. In our series Voter Voices, we're asking Michiganders how they are thinking about this year's election.

Leslie Emerson and her boyfriend Jason Lanham disagreed about who to vote for in 2016. She went for Hillary Clinton, he went for Donald Trump. This time around, they both agree on Joe Biden.

Michael Lynn, Jr.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

People in Michigan have some big decisions to make on November 3. So with the election just over a month away, we’re talking to voters across the state to hear what’s on their minds.