For many, 2020 has been the most stressful year in memory. Worries about health, relationships, school, politics, jobs and financial security are just the start of a very long list. For many, COVID-19 has been the last straw, pushing them off the edge of a cliff that was looming before 2020. For this series of stories, Crosscut reporters share the Washington experiences of people staring over the COVID cliff, at work and at home. 

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Bouncing Back From Adversity

From burning cities to the Boeing recession, the state’s history is a litany of tough times and meeting challenges. Fifty years ago, Seattle was in the middle of a major economic crisis. Boeing had massive layoffs and the future of Seattle looked bleak. Despite setbacks, the city made major progress in shaping itself into the city we know today. We've faced tough times before the current pandemic and economic downturn and, each time, the people of the Pacific Northwest have risen above the challenges. Join host Knute Berger for a special look at the grit and resilience of our region's history, told through the stories of the people and places that have faced adversity in the past — and the lessons learned for today.

Hacer la transición de la preparatoria a la universidad durante una pandemia

Jacquelyn Jiménez Romero estaba terminando un exitoso último año en la escuela preparatoria Franklin — presidente del consejo estudiantil, editora de anuario, destacada deportista — cuando COVID-19 lo cambió todo. Ahora se queda en casa con su mamá, dos hermanos menores y acceso limitado de internet. Pese a los desafíos que la familia enfrenta, ella asume la responsabilidad de ayudar a sus compañeros de clase a navegar la situación a la vez que sufre el estrés de escoger una universidad, dificultades económicas y un futuro incierto.

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Making the leap from high school to college during a pandemic

Jacquelyn Jimenez Romero was wrapping up a successful senior year at Franklin High School — student government president, yearbook editor, varsity athlete — when COVID-19 threw off everything. Now she finds herself at home with mom, two younger siblings and limited internet access. Despite her family's challenges, she steps up to help her schoolmates navigate the situation, all while dealing with the stress of college decisions, financial insecurity and uncertainty about the future.

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Cattle ranchers in Eastern WA face the pandemic

Members of the Coon family of Adams County in rural Eastern Washington are no strangers to adversity and challenges on their fifth-generation family cattle ranch. But this moment is different; the pandemic has sent the kids home from school, caused health concerns in their community and threatened the livelihood of their cattle business.

A Seattle artist cuts through the chaos of a pandemic

Last spring, Barbara Earl Thomas was working diligently on her upcoming exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, painstakingly cutting silhouettes of Black and brown children into large swaths of stiff paper. Then the pandemic brought everything to a halt. But Thomas stayed on course, at first working alone, and eventually aided by assistants in her outdoor studio. With the nation’s attention newly alert to social justice, she expands upon her lifelong journey of exploring race and innocence through revelatory visual art.

Documentary: Washington state learns to live with COVID-19

As weeks turn into months, Washingtonians try to make sense of the pandemic. Every walk of life has been upended by COVID-19, and as cases continue to multiply, we have tried to learn how to adjust. We've faced changes to rituals, celebrations, work and play. Elections and another national reckoning with institutionalized racism merged together with the health crisis to present unprecedented challenges, isolation and adjustments.

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