BONUS EPISODE: Pandemic America

March 27, 2020

In this special episode, host John Biewen and series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika discuss the coronavirus pandemic and how the crisis, and the nation’s response to it, echo themes we’re exploring in our Season 4 series on democracy in the United States.

The season’s editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Lucas Biewen and Eric Neveux.

Photo: Durham, North Carolina, mayor Steve Schewel announces a stay-at-home order on March 25. Photo by Julia Wall, courtesy of the News & Observer.


Download a transcript of the episode.

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2 comments on “BONUS EPISODE: Pandemic America

  1. Barbara Power May 30, 2020

    late to the story however i do wonder if the concept of unpaid labor, and perhaps, reparations, ought to be considered when taking into account the labors of women/mothers who even now carry the UNpaid lion’s share of responsibility for caregiving. Where would we, or any nation be, without this UNpaid workforce and it seems that, although economists and philosophers, pay lip-service to this notion it is not emphasized ECONOMICALLY as much as it should be in understanding the false idea of a capitalist based economy. Clearly we are NOT all equal, and we are NOT at all paid fairly (if at all) for hundreds of years of hard work to “make” the USA possible. All non-white males in the USA have been marginalized, denigrated, medicated, and ignored. Without our UNpaid labor, be that of slavery (official and UNofficial } as in prison labor by male and female prisoners, as well as agri workers and mothers of all colors and cultures, we are the building blocks of what white males believe to be an economically sound and secure model. It’s quite sad that this is all wrong and with Covid the veil has been lifted and we can now see more clearly, whether it’s a “care” home or the streets of Minneapolis MN, who we have favored and who we have oppressed.
    In spite of 50 years of activism I do not see that we have moved the needle one tiny bit. So, your podcast helps — could be more trenchant if it acknowledged the full extent of slavery/UNpaid labor on which the “advanced” economies have been constructed.
    thank you

  2. Ginny Casper Sep 25, 2020

    Short episode, but resonant. It’s September 25th and your words from March are still relevant, both in terms of the pandemic and talking about the economy vs democracy. We are one week out from RBG’S passing, and I haven’t finished listening to the rest of the season, and I hope that you could do another bonus episode on the upcoming process to select another supreme court justice and the election.