Capturing Quarantine Oral Histories
Interview with Lawson McGrain



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Lawson McGrain was born Topeka, Kansas and spent the first 5 years of life there with his mother and father, as he is an only child. His parents moved to Olathe, Kansas, where he grew up. Lawson attended Olathe Northwest High School, where he participated in athletics and was active in the performing arts. He feels as though his discovery of theatre and film helped shaped him to be who he is today. He is proud of his accomplishment of creating of a feature-length film he worked on with friends in the summer of 2018. In his first year at Columbia College, Lawson majored in Acting, to later realize that Film was his passion. He has since changed his major accordingly. Lawson is passionate about collaborating with other creatives and works with a production company to set up lights, sound, and tech for live events.

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Columbia College Chicago




media, film, acting, theater, theatre, family, health, Kansas, COVID-19, pandemic, Chicago, Illinois, United States, coronavirus

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Arts and Humanities | Education | History | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


In this interview, Columbia College sophomore Lawson McGrain details his experiences during the Coronavirus pandemic and describes relocating from the dorms in the South Loop of Chicago to his hometown in Kansas. As a film major and theatre fanatic, Lawson faces issues relating to actively taking part in classes and extracurriculars while living off-campus.

Dealing with his scoliosis, Lawson is thankful that he still has access to health care services, should he need to utilize them. He states, “I'm still really grateful that I can see my chiropractor if I need to or stuff like that,” with gratitude for the healthcare workers who are still actively working.

He recognizes that the new normal of the world is heavily reliant on self-motivation and the relationships with people he is in quarantine with. He discusses his relationship with his mother and how it has improved in the time spent at home. He acknowledges and respects the hard work she does as an elementary school teacher and hopes that future generations understand and recognize that the COVID-19 outbreak is a seriously difficult event to live through. With his father working an essential job at the local grocery store, Lawson is careful to keep up good hygiene practices and stay alert about who he encounters. He recognizes his privileges while under quarantine and is thankful for all of the resources he has that many must live without.

Conducted in spring 2020 by an Oral History: The Art of the Interview student, this interview with a fellow student in the class reflects on the pandemic and how it impacted their life. The interview is conducted based on the life history approach to oral history.

Interview with Lawson McGrain