After thousands of confirmed cases and hundreds of deaths in Ohio, people are (hopefully) staying at home to help protect each other from the spread of COVID-19. We checked in with various Clevelanders to see how they’re holding up and how the pandemic has affected them and their organizations.

Ben Smith is the composer/producer behind the Splice Cream Truck, a mobile recording studio where visitors can press their own vinyl and have, as you may have guessed, some ice cream at the same time. We checked in with Smith to see how he and his truck have held up during the pandemic.

Q: How has COVID-19 and Ohio’s general shutdown affected you and your line of work?

A: It has actually given me all of the time that I had been asking for to actually get some serious musical work done. I keep referring to it as a blessing in disguise. I’m grateful. 

As for the truck, with social distancing being implemented, it’s pretty hard to get in peoples faces and really talk to them. On top of that, I was in the middle of doing some repairs/upgrades and the manufacturing companies were shut down, so that put everything on hold. The good news is that when all this is over a lot of people are going to want to talk about their individual and collective experiences.

Q: What are you personally doing to help cope with the quarantine? 

A: Working on music/practicing, reading books and exercising has kept me sane 🙂

Q: How, if at all, has COVID-19 affected your worldview?

A: The outbreak has given me a clear view of what happens when people are under pressure and fearful. A light has been shone upon the world and it has highlighted the best and the worst that it has to offer. Thankfully, the good outweighs the bad and that, to me, is inspirational to no end. It has also brought about a spirit of togetherness that I hope will continue for the foreseeable future.

Q: Lastly, what’s the first thing you’re going to do when the shutdown ends?

A: I’ll probably do an early morning matinee or get some new library books.