ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Krista Monk felt a “grand idea” of hers was bound to stick.
“Honestly, it feels like a long time coming,” Monk said.
A digital content executive producer at WALB, Monk is the host of the station’s new podcast, the “Voices of COVID-19."
“I’m the oddball,” Monk said. “I’ve always had strange colored hair. And I’m always bringing up these grand ideas of things I want to do. And at some point, something’s going to stick. And now, something’s sticking.”
Monk said the podcast is about speaking to people who’ve been impacted by the coronavirus and how they’ve overcome the virus.
“It’s really just about getting out in the community and talking to people,” Monk said. “This virus has had so many different impacts on people and we kind of want to hear those stories.”
The first podcast featured WALB’s Damon Arnold.
Turning working together for four years into a great friendship, Monk said having Arnold, who will anchor the “Celebrate South Georgia” community tour segment, on the first episode was a really great experience.
Monk personally felt the grasp of the coronavirus. She has been working remotely since March. Along with battling personal struggles, Monk also had to self-isolate for two weeks at the very beginning of the pandemic.
“That was really hard,” Monk said. “I didn’t realize how much I needed to be around people, even if it’s minimal, because I am an introvert naturally.”
Monk said she learned it was okay to be around people, but with precautions.
“So, that’s what I’ve been doing,” Monk said, noting wearing a mask and washing her hands, both at work and with friends.
Recording the first podcast, Monk put these personal precautions in place. Monk and Arnold were in the station studio, but were six feet apart and wearing remote microphones.
Monk said now, it “feels natural” to record something like a podcast that way.
Monk is not new behind the mic.
Before her digital duties at WALB, she worked for Cumulus in Albany. She hosted “Saturday Night Club Q” on All the Hits Q102 and recorded commercials and ad spots. She also did radio work while in college.
Monk said she always wanted to be a part of the community but didn’t want to step in front of a camera. So the idea of a podcast, Monk said, was a “perfect fit.”
Monk said she wants to get the community’s perspective on COVID-19.
Noting Dougherty County being an early COVID-19 hot spot and past struggles like the January 2017 storms, Monk said Albany has persevered. And not just Albany, Monk pointed out, but other surrounding areas.
“And I want to hear from those people,” she said.
Monk said she wants to go beyond hearing from just the “officials." She wants to hear from the person who has been having anxiety attacks because these are scary times. The person who lost their job and had to start again.
A self-proclaimed gymnastics fanatic, Monk said the “amazing” Simone Biles used her voice to help bring about change in her world — a strength she hopes to emulate with her voice behind the mic.
“I think it’s about making sure the community sees the positive in all of this because it is so easy to focus on the negative,” Monk said.
Monk said she knows the pandemic has brought on new difficulties to everyday life and numerous other negative aspects. But with the podcast, she wants to focus on the positive.
“I want the community to see that now, this family is spending more time together than they ever have before. Or maybe, this person realized they’re stronger than they are and they overcame their depression. Or maybe, this person overcame the virus and now they’re donating their antibodies to help others fight the virus. Whatever it is, there are some good things coming out of this. And I want to highlight that,” Monk said.
Being able to talk the tough topics and hear one’s story will be easy for Monk, who says she’s comfortable behind a microphone.
“I really love being behind a mic,” she said.
Want to tell your story and be a part of the "Voices of COVID-19 podcast? Click here.