pandemic | KUNR

pandemic

U.S. employers cut 140,000 jobs in December as the runaway coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on the U.S. labor market.

It was the first monthly job loss in eight months. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.7%.

With thousands of Americans dying from COVID-19 each day, businesses that depend on in-person contact have struggled.

The Food Bank for Larimer County’s warehouse in Loveland looks like a factory assembly line. People are busy preparing and packing provisions for when the doors open in an hour.

"Cookies, protein bars, coffee – a little of everything," says volunteer Ruben Marez. "I kind of like to mix and match."

Every year Marez travels to volunteer with the Red Cross and help with disaster relief. This year, he decided he was needed close to home and began volunteering at the onset of the pandemic.

A syringe needle filling with a vaccine
Weyo / Adobe Stock

The news of a promising COVID-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German company BioNTech is generating optimism this week.

But in the Mountain West, there will be significant challenges in storing and distributing this type of vaccine in rural areas.

Darren J. Bradley / Shutterstock

Two states in the Mountain West have some of the country’s highest unemployment rates, including Nevada, which tops the nation. 

Nationally, the domestic abuse hotline has seen an uptick in calls since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and that trend is reflected across the Mountain West.

In Idaho, for example, the Women and Children's Alliance saw a 194% increase in calls to its domestic violence hotline in April, according to the group's communications director, Chris Davis.

A row of houses along a street
Courtesy of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

After 27 months of continual decline, the number of Americans falling behind on their mortgage payments is on the rise.


The first time Mark Ritchie and Leah Hardy laid eyes on their new camper, it was after they'd bought it.

"It was like, 'Oh my God, it's tiny.' Which was great," Ritchie said recently while standing outside their home in Laramie, Wyo. "It made me feel actually more confident dragging it around. Because when I see people with giant trailers, I go, 'Thank God that's not me.'"

A close-up image of a Uhaul moving truck.
Joey Rozier / Creative Commons

Millions of Americans have been relocated due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center.

The survey, conducted in early June, shows that 22% of Americans either have moved or know someone who has because of the pandemic. That translates to more than 72 million people.

An image of a character in Animal Crossing New Horizons sitting in a field of flowers
Nintendo

Between a global pandemic, the economic downturn and civil unrest across the country, Americans are facing high levels of stress and uncertainty, and many are turning to video games for relief.

This reporter happens to be one of them. But can these virtual experiences help in the real world?

An older woman smiling while looking at a cell phone. She is participating in a video call.
Georg Arthur Plueger/Unsplash

Coverage of novel coronavirus is supported by the Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D., Project for Visualizing Science, a science reporting project from the Reynolds School of Journalism.

About a quarter of Nevada’s COVID-19 deaths are associated with various state-regulated facilities. And for Washoe County, the ratio is even higher, accounting for more than half of the county’s 54 deaths.

KUNR’s Anh Gray reports that due to the no visitation policies implemented at these care facilities to mitigate infections, it’s been challenging for advocates who aren’t able to see residents.

There's a sign near a sidewalk that says, 'Lakeside,' and there's grass and trees in the background.
Screenshot / Google Maps

Coverage of novel coronavirus is supported by the Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D., Project for Visualizing Science, a science reporting project from the Reynolds School of Journalism.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected those living in long-term care facilities nationwide. In most states, at least a third of deaths are in those hotspots. And in Washoe County, the deaths associated at these centers account for more than half of the 48 total deaths so far.

KUNR’s Anh Gray reports that the pandemic exposes some particular vulnerabilities for older adults.

A scientist wearing white protective gear holds up an anesthetized fruit bat.
Courtesy of the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal

Online movie rentals of “Contagion” and fictional outbreak dramas have climbed up in recent weeks. Apparently many people trapped in their homes want to see fictionalized — and sometimes realistic —  outbreaks while they wait out the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elder holding a phone.
DMCA / Pxfuel

In pandemic times, we’re all forced into our singular places, whether we enjoy being there or not. That can mean so many different outcomes for us as humans. For elders, who often face a greater risk of the effects of COVID-19, a prolonged period of social isolation can be tough.


This story is powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

It's a sunny, spring afternoon and Holly Spriggs and her teenage son, Sawyer Michaud, are digging around in her giant garden outside of Lander, Wyo.

"We're working on planting some potatoes and onions before we get some moisture here," she says. 

Spriggs is having a great time, but Sawyer would rather be snowmobiling.

An image of the exterior of a large community building.
City of Reno

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Americans have faced world wars, economic recessions, and even other pandemics. Some people have lived through all three. I sought out senior citizens to see how the COVID-19 pandemic compares to other crises – and what we might be able to learn from them.

Sparks Tribune

How should emergency responders in Nevada allocate medical resources in the event of a major disaster? Reno Public Radio's Anh Gray explains why the state’s health agency is seeking public input on a survey addressing this concern.