Weekend Edition Saturday on PRE News And Ideas

Saturdays, 8am - 10am
  • Hosted by Scott Simon

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America's backyards, NPR's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective as he hosts Weekend Edition Saturday.
 

Ways to Connect

A good part of Percy Deal's day is spent hauling water for his family and livestock in two 55-gallon barrels. So when he heard on the radio how often and for how long he was supposed to wash his hands to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, he was overwhelmed.

"I mean that's like a gallon and a half or so," Deal says. "For me, I'm using the same water at least three or four times. I use the same water for cooking. I use the same water for cleaning up. So I can't be washing my hands that many times."

The coronavirus has changed so much about our lives. It has also changed how we deal with death.

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have essentially brought an end to large funerals and memorials where people can share their grief. A brief hug to comfort a mourner is potentially lethal.

"We're all challenged by how to navigate emotional needs while exercising the right precautions," says Norman J. Williams, the long-time director of Unity Funeral Parlors in Chicago.

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Wash your hands, latch on your masks. Ready? Time for sports.

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Nurses, doctors, paramedics, technicians and other hospital workers earn the gratitude of the world right now. They risk their lives for others — what genuine heroes do.

But, there are many other people we might overlook who are also essential in these extraordinary times.

I took a run the other morning. It was still and quiet, but I was surprised to see how many people were up, about, and still working in a city in which "nonessential workers" have been told to stay at home.

The losses of the coronavirus pandemic became personal for many Americans this week. More people lost jobs. More people had to worry about their health. And more people died. These names are just a few among so many who gave something to our lives.

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The fact that there are no sports doesn't mean it's not time for sports.

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Throughout today's program, we hear from Americans about how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting their lives and their thoughts.

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"Black Monday" is a comedy about the worst stock market crash in the history of Wall Street. Worst crash until this one, of course...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BLACK MONDAY")

DON CHEADLE: (As Mo Monroe) Mo is back, baby.

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This pandemic is having a profound effect on the lives of students and teachers.

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I miss work. I know as I say this that I'm blessed to have rewarding work as a lot of Americans suddenly don't. Working from home for most of the week has made me marvel at how much so many can do these days, on laptops and small screens.

But spending most of the workday in bedroom slippers, pondering whether to shave, shampoo or even brush my teeth — because after all, who'll see me besides my family? — also reminds me how much we can miss the walls, cubicles, hallways and, most of all, the people in our workplaces.

ROGERS, KENNY

Mar 21, 2020

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And now to Turkey and a boarding school near Istanbul, which is a home to children caught in a geopolitical struggle. They're ethnic Uighurs who have escaped repression in China - their parents weren't so fortunate. They've been swept up in China's mass arrests back home. Joanna Kakissis went to meet the children as part of her series looking at Uighurs in Turkey.

JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: Is this your room?

NURZAT: Mmm hmm.

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The toll of coronavirus in the U.S. and around the world is being told in the numbers of people who have died, been infected, tested or quarantined — and the economic costs of canceled events, vacations and travel. But there's another consequence that's harder to categorize.

At least 10 residents of the Life Care Center of Kirkland, Wash., have died from the virus; more may have died without being tested. Older people, including those with respiratory problems, are considered to be especially vulnerable.

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Alaska's Republican Governor, Mike Dunleavy, is facing a recall campaign. His opponents want to recall him after he attempted to make deep cuts to the state government. Alaska Public Media and KTOO's Andrew Kitchenman reports.

Updated at 10:22 a.m. ET

The U.S. and the Taliban have struck a deal that paves the way for eventual peace in Afghanistan. U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad and the head of the militant Islamist group, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, signed the potentially historic agreement Saturday in Doha, Qatar, where the two sides spent months hashing out its details.

As new cases of coronavirus infection slow in China, the country is gradually getting back to work. Authorities and businesses are taking a range of measures: Local governments are chartering buses for workers. Some companies are buying out entire hotels to house quarantined staff. A temporarily shuttered movie studio is even loaning employees to factories that are short on labor.

Years ago, I covered a protest by thousands of people in their underwear.

Civil servants in Calcutta, now called Kolkata, opposed a plan to replace the nylon kurta, that loose, long blouse worn by many Indian government workers, with kurtas made of cotton khadi cloth. Millions of government workers wearing home-spun khadi could help build India's village industries. It seemed such a right thing to do.

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Add a dash of lemon - time for sports.

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