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How The Pandemic Has Strained Relationships Within Families And Friend Groups

Liv Bruce
Charity Nebbe speaks with Mike and Brooke Overholt in Iowa City. They moved their family back to Iowa from South Carolina during the pandemic with four kids and another on the way. The Overholts said the pandemic made it difficult to travel safely, but different approaches to the pandemic strained their relationships with family in South Carolina and Florida. As a result, their children and newborn have been unable to see or meet their grandparents.

The overwhelming loss of life in the past year has caused many to grapple with their own mortality and rethink their priorities. Time spent in isolation has given some people time to reflect on the relationships in their lives. While for some, their journey has been a time of emotional growth, there has also been a lot of pain in dealing with relationships that have been strained, or even fractured, because people have taken very different approaches to dealing with the threat of this coronavirus.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe and her guests focus on some of the emotional fallout family and friends have experienced throughout, or as a result of, the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine hesitancy. Mike and Brooke Overholt describe the rift that politicization of COVID-19 and the vaccines has created between them and members of their families. IPR's Madeleine King shares her story of personal growth and how the pandemic gave her time to reflect on the friends in her life.


Mike Overholt, parent, Iowa City
Brooke Overholt, parent, Iowa City
Madeleine King, development specialist, Iowa Public Radio
Jacob Priest, assistant professor of Couple and Family Therapy in the University of Iowa College of Education with a complementary appointment in the Carver College of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry, and director of the LGBTQ Counseling Clinic at the University of Iowa

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa