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Act Four: Quarantweening

Producer Chana Joffe-Walt talks to a seventh grader who doesn’t have a seventh grade, or an eighth grade. (11 minutes)

Act Two: Winter’s Bone

Elna Baker notices a change in how people in New York City are dating during the pandemic. (12 minutes)

Act Two: The Other Extinguishers

For years one group of people has been trying to push a giant boulder to the top of a hill, like Sisyphus. But in this case, it looks like they’ve actually succeeded! David Kestenbaum spoke with four scientists who have been working on a coronavirus vaccine, one that was just shown to work.

Act Three: Future Imperfect

David Kestenbaum talks to one teacher there who’s already gone through a month of in-person learning to see what the  future might hold for other schools.

Act Five: The Leftovers

A week after starting classes, a Covid outbreak forces a university to send students back home. Producer Robyn Semien takes a tour of the emptying campus.

Prologue

Guest host Bim Adewunmi sits in for Ira Glass and talks to retired NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao about how a space mission compares with living alone in a one-bed apartment on earth.

Act One: The Unbearable Part

Writer Danielle Evans has been almost completely alone all quarantine — and she’s had time to think about grief, and loneliness and what might come after this pandemic is over. (17 minutes)A version of this essay first appeared in the Corona Correspondences series at The Sewanee Review.

Act Four: Applied Bob Studies

When Sandy Allen fled the people-heavy city back in 2017, they were looking for green space and a chance to learn how to cope with being alone. They had a sort of guide book, though — their Uncle Bob, who’d made a radical decision decades before.

Prologue

We meet the doctors. Rana Awdish spends hours of each day walking the floors of the ICU checking in on her co-workers, which means that maybe more than any single person in the hospital she knows best what the staff has been going through at each stage of this pandemic. One doctor that has deep ties to Detroit is Geneva Tatem.

Act One: Pod Bless America

When it comes to caring for Covid-19 patients, it’s the nurses who are carrying the heaviest burden. Ben Calhoun spent weeks talking to the nurses in the first Covid-19 unit to open in the ICU – Pod 4.

Act Two: Stan’s Good Day

We found out about a patient from a recording made by young doctor named Stan Linder. Producer Emanuele Berry put this together.

Act Three: Granger in a Strange Land

Robert Granger was a patient in Pod 4 for several weeks. During that time, his daughter learns something about him she'd never realized before.

Act Four: Mr. Eastside

Some of the first Covid-19 patients to arrive at Henry Ford Hospital were police and others who’d attended a community breakfast in early March called "Police and Pancakes." Aaron K. Foley has this story of this breakfast and of one man — Marlowe Stoudamire — who ended up at Henry Ford.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to an Oregon ICU doctor about his desire to help fight COVID in the country’s biggest hot spots, and his frustration over the surprising reason why he can’t.

Act Three: Cold Case

Nadia’s family has been isolating and disinfecting everything for weeks, and yet a cold still managed to creep in. How?

Prologue

Couples therapist Esther Perel talks to Ira about the very particular ways she’s seeing lockdown impact couples around the world.  Listen to season three of her podcast, “Where Should We Begin: Couples Under Lockdown.” (13 minutes)