Interview with Irene Y. Wong


Dr. O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight



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This interview was conducted by Dr. O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight with Irene Y. Wong as part of Project 2020: A Collaborative Oral History. Ms. Wong shares her experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic and critical year 2020, particularly as a retired Asian American and Sun City resident. She discusses the collaborative work of her neighborhood at the onset of the pandemic, notably their efforts to make face masks and to increase technological literacy—e.g. online grocery shopping. She also shares her journey of grief after the loss of her husband and other loved ones during this period of social isolation. Other notable topics of conversation include vaccination, race, social unrest, and the 2020 political climate.

Irene Y. Wong (b. 1950) is a native of Hong Kong and former business professional living in Sun City Carolina Lakes in Indian Land, SC. At the age of seven, she immigrated to the United States as a refugee and resettled in the Washington, D.C. area. She later attended university in Massachusetts and worked for many years in both New England and the Southeast. Following retirement, Ms. Wong moved to Sun City.

Spearheaded by Dr. O. Jennifer 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 774


MP4; M4A




This interview is open for use.


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

Interview with Irene Y. Wong