Interview with Sam Gaertner


Dr. O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight



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This interview was conducted by Dr. O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight with Sam Gaertner as part of Project 2020: A Collaborative Oral History. Gaertner reflects on his personal experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as a resident of the Sun City Carolina Lakes Community in Indian Land, SC. He discusses in detail the evolution of everyday life following social isolation and the sudden turn to a digitized world (Zoom, online shopping, etc.). Other notable topics of conversation include social unrest and the politicization of the pandemic in terms of vaccination, face masks, and COVID-19 guidelines.

Sam Gaertner, Ph.D. (b. 1942), a native of Brooklyn, New York, is a retired social psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. He now resides in Sun City Carolina Lakes in Indian Land, SC. He moved to the Community in the mid-2010s following retirement.

Spearheaded by Dr. Dixon-McKnight, an Assistant Professor of History & African American Studies at Winthrop University, Project 2020 is best summarized in her words: “The goal was to conduct interviews that explored the various ways in which Americans were experiencing and being impacted by the various watershed moments that emerged during 2020 (the global pandemic, social unrest, financial challenges, issues with healthcare, etc.)."

Publication Date


Unique Identifier

OH 733


MP4, M4A




This interview is open for use.


COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020, Social Isolation, Vaccination, Social Unrest, 2020 U.S. Election, Digital Literacy, Higher Education, Sun City Carolina Lakes

Interview with Sam Gaertner