The Hingham ‘Cast is a hyper local, weekly podcast that looks at the pandemic through the lens of one small town: Hingham, Massachusetts. Hosted by award-winning broadcast journalist Ally Donnelly, The Hingham 'Cast explores how to build better communities through meaningful conversations. We talk about our health, our kids, our schools, our money, our jobs, our relationships, joys and struggles. Even as the pandemic keeps us apart, there is a real opportunity to come together. Through intimacy and empathy, we get to know our neighbors and what drives them. Nothing is off the table. We'll explore everything from race, religion, sexuality and politics, to eating, drinking, binging and how to leave that puppy you swore you'd never get. Join us!
Laundry Love: Detergent & Dignity
Laundry Love is a group of dedicated volunteers who spend hours in local laundromats helping people struggling financially. They provide free laundry cards, detergent and other supplies to clients who, without them, may be forced to make tough choices between buying food or medicine or paying their rent and doing their laundry. As need grows in the pandemic, Laundry Love offers dignity through clean clothes.
The Vaccine Line: What About Us?
She's been a mainstay in local families' lives for decades. Maureen Fox, or "Miss Mo" as she’s affectionately called by children tall and small (and their adults) is the director of Sandcastles Childcare Center, in Hingham. Like most businesses when Covid hit, Sandcastles shut down, but reopened just four months later in July. "The fact of the matter is, if I didn't go back to work, the school wasn't going to open," she says. "My Sandcastles families needed me to show up." In the height of the pandemic, essential workers were hailed as heroes for keeping shelves stocked, grocery stores open and children cared for so desperate parents could work. But, now, Fox says, when it's time to figure out who gets vaccinated and when, it feels different. "I think people forget that we were one of the first ones to go back," she says. "You know, we're one of the only essential workers working with unmasked clients in very close proximity. You can't social distance a toddler, you can't expect an infant to wear a mask. We're holding babies and loving them and doing everything we did before the pandemic, because that's what they need. And that's what I need. It's one of the great joys of my job is get to snuggle everybody's kids. That's what daycare does, it normalizes going back to work. we are stimulating the economy in a really quiet way. So it's easy to forget that we're here."
It's Lonely: Remote Learning Too Remote for Some
In this episode we talk with Hingham Middle Schooler Sophie Deane and her mom Karen. We hear how Sophie switched from hybrid to fully-remote learning and how lonely this pandemic can be. Karen, who works long hours as a hospice nurse was also caring for her ailing dad and knew things at home were bad. Her kids were alone for long stretches. Sophie was taking care of her little brother Connor, but many days the real babysitter for both of them was devices. Her kids were changing, Karen said, “It felt like we were getting to the point where I wasn’t going to get my old kids back. I needed to be a parent again.” So she took a drastic step and packed their bags…and passports.
Turning the Page to a New White House
In this week’s episode we talk about turning the page to a new administration. No matter who you voted for or how you feel about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, it is a fresh start. We sit down with six people in the community to hear what their hopes are for the year ahead. It wasn’t necessarily easy. I reached out to several people I thought would have interesting things to say or diverse perspectives and some turned me down. They told me they were nervous it could get too political or some were worried what people would say about them if they talked about their true experience in Hingham. I respect it and I understand it, but it’s a shame. My hope for the podcast is to bring us closer together. To do that, we have to have hard conversations–and they’re happening–which is great. But we have to dig deeper if people still don’t feel safe to share here. Tune in to hear how a little girl who is of Indian descent felt watching someone who looked like her, who could be her, take the oath of office as America’s first female Vice President, “It kind of feels like I can just do anything now,” she told me. Listen to one woman describe her journey from fear and anxiety in hanging a Pride flag outside her home, “Here’s me I’m the gay one living on the street,” to her neighbors standing along side her, “It doesn’t feel like we’re singling ourselves out now.” Hear why one neighbor hesitated to hang her flag, an American flag. “There’s just so much anger out there,” she said. Listen to the heartache in a father’s voice as his children are forced to confront issues, most kids in Hingham don’t think about, “It’s not fair, but there’s nothing I can do about it.” And hear from a local minister, who, he says, is in the hope business. “I think so much of the work that's ahead of us is not ignoring the pain, not just burying it, but talking about it,” he said. Onward.
Code Catastrophe: Inside the ICU
Hingham native Kim Boggini is an ICU nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was in the first wave of employees to be vaccinated. Her first dose was about a week before Christmas and she got her booster or second dose January 8th. Other than a sore arm, she didn’t have any side effects from the first shot, but after the second shot, she felt lousy for a day. “I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed,” she said. “My head feels full. I kind of feel like you feel when you’re starting to get sick and you’re kind of like, ‘I don’t feel that good.’ I don’t have a fever. I don’t have body aches. I don’t have chills. I don’t have a sore throat,” she said. “I’d so much rather feel this way than get Covid.”
Kim let us trail her through her through the vaccination process and sat down to talk with us about what it’s like to work in a Covid-specialty unit as cases surge. We talked with her a few times in the last month, so this is a compilation of those conversations. All while the news evolves daily. The first case of the highly contagious Covid variant has been confirmed in Massachusetts–which ups the pressure to get as many people vaccinated as possible before hospitals and healthcare workers–get overwhelmed.
Kids in a Pandemic
This episode started as a mic check. I asked my kids to do interviews with me so I could test my new microphones. But the conversations were so revealing that I asked my oldest daughter Izzie if I could share ours with you. She’s in 6th grade, 12-years-old, in middle school. Her last day of in-person elementary school was in the beginning of a pandemic and she never really got to say goodbye–to her physical classroom, her teachers, the custodian and other staff she liked so much. And her classmates in a lot of ways. We talked in November, when news of a vaccine was promising but not here yet. I’ve edited out the large majority of her “Like, likes,” for my sanity and yours.
We were eight months in and I asked her what she was thinking. “It’s really crazy.” she said. “I was thinking about last year for me and that feels like it was such a long time ago and it really wasn’t a long time ago. And how the world can change in such a short amount of time is really insane.” How does that make you feel, I asked. “Scared, honestly,” she said. “It’s kind of stressful for me like anything can kind of happened and I never really expected, obviously no one would expect this, but of all the things you would think could go wrong this–I feel like this wasn’t anything anyone really expected or ever thought of–and this is our world right now.”
I asked her what worried her, “I guess the fact that everything just kind of changed and like so much went wrong in a really short amount of time,” she said. “And it scares me kind of how much things people have lost in their lives, people, but also, activities. I lost theater and I miss it. I was thinking about that the other day how much I miss it.” She talked about how jarring it was to move between our old and new realities. “I’ll look at a picture or watch a movie and my instant thing is, ‘Why aren’t they wearing masks?’ And that’s weird,” she said. “Or we were talking about quarantine and I had no idea what that word meant and now that word is part of my vocabulary. I’ve learned a lot in a way from this but I’ve lost a lot too.”
A seismic shift for all our kids has been school. “Online school is really hard because of the online part of it,” Izzie said. “I feel like the actual screen time that I am having is crazy. I like my phone and the computer and stuff but I don’t like how much I’ve been on it. We have virtual attendance, virtual assignments, virtual everything. It’s kind of like, “Oh gosh, this is a lot.” She said she likes that she gets to go to school in person the two half days she gets, “But, it’s weird,” she said. “You don’t really make a connection with kids. Like school used to be half academic and half social and it kind of balanced out. But it’s hard to make connection 6 feet away from someone. You can’t really have a good conversation when people are really around you and you can’t connect with someone or make a good friend. There’s not really a way to talk almost. It definitely makes me like school less. And I like school. I like the academic, but I like the non-academic stuff too. I’m pretty sure every kid does. It doesn’t make you a bad student or anything it’s just kind of like oh I like seeing my friends at school but now that there’s no friends or if you’re not in their cohort or they’re going remote, it’s just a little like, ‘This is weird.’”
I asked her if she missed the level of connection she had to her elementary school teachers. In a way, that connection was tactile–they’d been hugging her since kindergarten. “Sometimes it’s really hard,” Izzie said. “My chorus teacher? I haven’t seen him at all. I haven’t seen my Spanish teacher at all. I haven’t met my art teacher in person because those are my electives and so I haven’t met any o
Customer ReviewsSee All
Your relatively brief packages on TV didn’t showcase your talent the way this does. This is your calling right here. I hope someone at GBH or BUR is listening, too.
Thank you Kim!!!!!!
I just heard Kim’s interview (episode 4) and she is amazing. Kim, thank you for all you do! You are a hero! Thank you for your expert care and your insight 💕
Not just for locals
Just binged the first 4 episodes on a car ride. Both thought provoking and refreshing. Although located in Hingham MA - the topics are universal. Everyday people sharing experiences we can all learn from. Looking forward to the next ones.