COVID-19 | KNKX

COVID-19

If you have ever found yourself leaning into a specific song or music in general to help you through a hardship, you are not alone. Music has the power to heal mind, body and soul. That healing experience is shared by humanity the world over. The artists and industry professionals are right now, more than ever, in need of our help to heal their world of hurt.  Musicians are scrambling to stream and find virtual solutions to a live experience. Clubs and concert halls are closed. Event producers and staff are locked out of work.

Bridget Parkhill, right, talks on the phone as she visits with her mother, Susan Hailey, center, who tested positive for the new coronavirus, Thursday, April 2, 2020, at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that long-term care facilities statewide will have access to widespread testing for all their residents and staff in the coming weeks.

Paula Wissel / KNKX


Recently, a small group of janitors gathered outside a downtown Seattle high-rise around 10 p.m. Standing socially distant from each other, they lit candles to honor a member of their union, SEIU-6, who had died from COVID-19.

 

More than 15 out of 7,500 members of the union are sick with the virus. The janitors say it highlights the dangers they face on the job. They say while their work is essential, it isn’t being recognized as such.

Isaac Lopez, 19, right, and his mother, Antonia Zamorano, center, work in a Tacos El Tajin food truck in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. Isaac's father, Thomas Lopez, died from COVID-19 on April 2, 2020.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

By the time Thomas Lopez died of COVID-19 on April 2, social distancing had taken hold in Washington. But the disparate effects the disease was having on the state’s Latino population was not yet clear.

The data that have emerged since then are stark. Latinos only make up about 13 percent of Washington's population. But they make up more than a third of the state's COVID-19 cases. 

Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed interest across the country in mail-in voting — which is how Washington state voters have cast ballots universally for nearly a decade.

Washington's Secretary of State Kim Wyman often is called upon by those elsewhere to explain how the process works. She's also a Republican, and leaders of her party — including President Donald Trump — have expressed skepticism about the idea of voting by mail. (She says she'd like to convince him otherwise.)

In this photo taken Oct. 15, 2019, workers sort Granny Smith apples to ready them for shipping in a packing plant in Yakima, Wash.
Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Yakima County has the highest rate of COVID-19 infections among counties on the West Coast. That means a larger portion of the county's population has tested positive for the coronavirus compared to other counties.

A view of Hobuck Beach Resort during the shutdown in Neah Bay. Tourism is prohibited under a shelter-in-place order from the Makah tribal council. It was recently extended through June 30.
Courtesy of TJ Green

The Makah Tribe was the first community in the state to shut down and has isolated its small population since March 16.

Its geography, with only one road in and out of the community near Neah Bay, has allowed it to keep close tabs on travel to and from the reservation, which is located at the far northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula. Officers at a checkpoint keep tabs on all travel; non-residents are not allowed in.

The strategy has worked so far. The tribe has no reported cases of COVID-19. And the Makah tribal council just extended the order until June 30. 

Adrian Florez / KNKX

 

Dr. Lora Shahine remembers the moment when everything changed. It was 7 a.m. on March 17. The COVID-19 crisis was unfolding across the country and, in response, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) had just issued a two page guideline recommending that clinics stop all fertility treatment and testing.

Paula Wissel / KNKX


Since the outbreak of COVID-19, cities and counties have worked to prevent the spread of the disease in crowded homeless shelters. King County already has moved 600 shelter residents into hotels and has set up isolation and quarantine sites for people who are ill or have been exposed to the virus.

 

The county’s latest effort is a temporary modular shelter constructed on a vacant lot in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood.

In this April 30, 2020, photo, a sign reads "Stop COVID-19 Coronavirus together" at the new Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash.. The casino is owned by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and has not yet announced a reopening date.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

As the Stillaguamish Tribe reopens its Angel of the Winds Casino in Arlington on Wednesday afternoon, it becomes the first Western Washington tribe to do so since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Twenty-two tribes operate 29 casinos on their lands throughout the state.

As sovereign nations, tribes are not subject to the stay-at-home orders from Gov. Jay Inslee. They also depend on income from gaming to directly fund many essential government services.

Teamsters Local 117

Taxi drivers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are upset with the Port of Seattle. They say the port indicated in March that the airport fees they pay would be waived during the COVID-19 crisis. But now, the drivers have received a letter notifying them that fees are only being deferred and will have to be paid back in January.

Tomo Nakayama


Most of the news about airports these days is about empty concourses and cancelled flights due to the coronavirus. But, 23 airports in North America are changing that up today by hosting a live on-line music festival. The JetStream Music Festival begins at 3 p.m. (PDT) on Facebook Live. It’s hosted out of Austin and features musicians who, during normal times, entertain passengers by busking at airports.

Photo courtesy Joseph Lambert

Arts, cultural and scientific nonprofits in the central Puget Sound region could face up to $135 million in lost revenue by the end of September. That’s the latest projection from a survey by ArtsFund, a group that supports arts organizations through advocacy and grant-making.

 

In this April 2, 2020 photo, a nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle holds a medical face shield prior to the start of her shift in a triage tent outside the hospital's emergency department.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Have you ever felt like this is your moment, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really make a difference? Nursing student Liam Malpass says that’s what it feels like for him right now. He’s one of 45 graduate students in University of Washington's School of Nursing who are getting their clinical experience by working with King County Public Health during the fight against coronavirus.

Paula Frier / The Associated Press

Most state public lands will reopen Tuesday as Gov. Jay Inslee’s order to ease restrictions on outdoor recreation takes effect. But not Washington’s coastal beaches.

Jeanne Clark / Courtesy of SDOT

At the same time that the City of Seattle has been keeping some parks closed because of concerns about COVID-19, it has opened up certain neighborhood streets for pedestrians, cyclists and skaters to get out more and move.

Passengers spread out as they wait at a screening area meant for hundreds at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

Passenger volumes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were down 56 percent in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And officials with the Port of Seattle expect the numbers for April to show a 90 percent decline.

In this file photo, taken Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, garbage collector Anousone Sadettanh reaches for a small residential garbage bin tucked between larger yard waste and recycling bins as he works his pickup route, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

The stay-at-home order means most of us are safe indoors, where we’re generating a lot more trash and recycling. This increase in residential waste is something Tiffany "TJ" Burger has experienced up close. She drives a recycling truck for Waste Management in Seattle.

A King County Metro bus had no passengers during a ride through Seattle’ Pioneer Square neighborhood March 11. Elderly people are being advised not to use public transit amid the coronavirus pandemic. But some don’t have a choice.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

To avoid exposure to the new coronavirus, the elderly are encouraged to stay home. Many can turn to friends and family to bring them what they need. But for those who live alone without anyone around to help that can be challenging. That was one of the issues that came up during a telephone town hall organized by AARP Washington with public health officials.

Aaron Yoo / Flickr

Amazon said it’s donating 8,200 laptops to students in the Seattle school district to help close the technology gap that’s made it difficult for some students to continue their learning while schools are shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The donation is valued at about $2 million. The machines will be given to students to keep, and the school district said it’s prioritizing giving them to elementary students who lack access to a device at home.

Seattle Indian Health Board opened a new COVID19 testing site Thursday at Chief Seattle Club! "This is our testing team! This is what #dreamteam looks like!" wrote Esther Lucero, chief executive officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board on Facebook.
Courtesy of Esther Lucero

After weeks of waiting for a response from the federal government, the Seattle Indian Health Board says it finally received a shipment of personal protective equipment — from a small business.

Like most companies these days, Eighth Generation has had to cut back and cancel many orders because of the coronavirus. But that didn’t stop the retail company from messaging Esther Lucero two weeks ago. The founder and CEO, Louie Gong, told her he wanted to leverage his contacts with manufacturers overseas to help get the agency critical supplies of personal protective gear. 

Photos courtesy of Michelle Bennett. Illustration by Parker Miles Blohm/KNKX

Michelle Bennett couldn’t hold her mother’s hand in those final moments, 10 days after Carolann Christine Gann tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Bennett couldn’t even go through her mother’s belongings as she prepared to bury her.

So two people in protective gear did what she couldn't.

A typical scene from a Seattle farmers market, long before the advent of the new coronavirus.
Courtesy of Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets

Farmers markets and their supporters in Seattle are submitting more than 1,500 signatures to Mayor Jenny Durkan, asking to be considered essential businesses the same way grocery stores are — which would give them the green light to reopen.

Seattle shut them down on March 13, amid the wave of widespread closures in response to the novel coronavirus. The markets were subject to the ban because they are classified similar to parades or street fairs.

Tents are pictured inside a homeless encampment in Olympia.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Editor's note: This reporting is the result of a partnership between KNKX's Will James, host of the Outsiders podcast,  and the team of Transmission — a new podcast about life at the center of an epidemic. Listen to Episode 3: Houseless and subscribe.  

The first publicly disclosed cases of novel coronavirus in the U.S. homeless population emerged this week, as local governments and nonprofits rushed to prevent the virus from spreading to tens of thousands of people living outside or in shelters on the West Coast.

Jessica Lurie's packed Bandcamp page is one place to send financial support directly to artists.
Screen shot of jessicalurie.bandcamp.com page

There are myriad ways to support musicians during this extended period of shuttered bars and jazz clubs. All day this Friday, the online musician hub bandcamp.com is rallying their worldwide community to put much needed money directly into artists' pockets.

ADRIAN FLOREZ / KNKX

 


When the novel coronavirus made its way to the United States, it landed here, in the Pacific Northwest. Transmission is a podcast about life at the heart of an epidemic. 

Today’s episode: Housebound. 

Customers sit in a dining area of Cafe Cosmos in downtown Seattle, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Gov. Jay Inslee said Suday night that he would order all bars, restaurants, entertainment and recreation facilities closed for 2 weeks.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

The governor’s order to shut down all bars and restaurants or convert to take-out only by midnight Tuesday did not come as a surprise to Leigh Henderson. The owner of Alexa’s Café and Catering has been running her business on Main Street in Bothell for more than 25 years. On weekends, the line for breakfast regularly extends out the door and down the block.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

British Columbia also is dealing with the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Canadian province that shares a border with Washington has had more than 30 people test positive for COVID-19 and has recorded its first death. KNKX Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick talked with reporter Craig McCulloch in Vancouver, B.C. on March 10, 2020.

Marina Albero (right) and friends will stream a live concert from virus-ridden Seattle this Sunday night at 7. Left to Right: Adriana Giordano, Jacqueline Tabor, Chava Mirel
Marina Albero

Successful musicians often need to be creative hustlers to make a living as artists. With the COVID-19 outbreak leading to increasing concert cancellations, those hustling skills are being put to a serious test. One musician, pianist Marina Albero, is experimenting with a new way for musicians to connect with their audience — virtually.

A man makes use of a hand-sanitizing station at CenturyLink Field prior to an MLS soccer match between the Seattle Sounders and the Chicago Fire, Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

With the novel coronavirus outbreak continuing to grow in the Seattle area, a lot of people are working from home and rethinking large public gatherings. Right now, Saturday night's soccer match between the Seattle Sounders and Columbus Crew is still happening at CenturyLink Field. Fans who do attend will find additional hand sanitizer stations and cleaning wipes at concession stands.

KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about how major health threats have impacted sports in our region — past and present. 

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