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88 Counties in 88 Days: The stories of Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic, social movement, and the upcoming election

WTOL 11 is hitting the road to tell the stories of real Ohioans and asking you - What keeps you up at night?

TOLEDO, Ohio — We are basically three months away from Election Day, and we want to know: 

What keeps you up at night?

What kind of concerns do you have when it comes to life here in Ohio?

Aug. 3 kicks off our statewide project, 88 Counties in 88 Days, in which we are touring the entire state in a big, bright RV to talk to YOU, the real people in the Buckeye State.

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, our WTOL 11 team planned to head out for the most epic of all summer road trips - along with our sister stations at 3News (Cleveland) and WBNS (Columbus) - to look into at how each of the 88 counties in Ohio was preparing for the 2020 presidential election.

We wanted to tell stories of real people who might not feel like their voices were being heard by those in Washington.

While the presidential election featuring President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden of course has high importance, our focus is shifting to include the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide social justice movement continue to have on the Buckeye State.

Life in Ohio has changed for everyone, but it has not changed in the same way for everyone. What matters the most to someone in Lucas County might not matter as much to someone in Van Wert County. 

One thing that hasn't changed is the desire to hear from you and see what matters in your life, in your Ohio. 

We are still hitting the road to talk to people - in a responsibly socially distanced manner - and we are still interested in learning: 

  • What keeps you up at night? 
  • What issues have the most importance in your community? 
  • What is your "new normal," which we know feels anything but normal?

In addition to learning how to function in all aspects of life as the COVID-19 pandemic endures, the state is also experiencing and answering the renewed call for social justice. Sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police, demonstrations and protests have abounded in Ohio. One such protest turned violent in Toledo, resulting in injuries to protesters and police, and police disciplinary action and citizen arrests. 

For better or for worse, our world is not the same. But Ohio is still our home, and by knowing what each other is facing and placing importance on, we can hope to build a better home together. Come explore Ohio's 88 Counties in 88 Days and see what unites us and get a better idea of what can heal what divides us.