The Check-In | KBIA

The Check-In

Weekdays at noon

KBIA's weekday call-in show where we check in with the community during the coronavirus pandemic. 

KBIA

Theater is the idea of gathering with a group of people to see a live story unfold before our eyes in a way that transforms or challenges our vision of the world. And it all might seem like a distant dream right now.

This crisis has hit the theater world hard. Even on Broadway and well beyond, actors, writers, directors and dramatists have found themselves out of work and disconnected from their audiences and their art.

KBIA

Health experts have asked us to continue social and physical distancing during this covid crisis, also to wear masks in many public places and to get tested if symptoms pop up. But this isn’t the first time Missourians have been asked to practice precaution during a viral outbreak.

More than a hundred years ago, the 1918 flu, often called the Spanish flu, overtook the United States and hit parts of Missouri especially hard. Even then, schools and churches closed and people were told to stay home to protect themselves and each other from what the CDC calls the most severe pandemic in recent history. Between 1918-1919, an estimated 675,000 Americans died from the H1N1 flu virus and an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Sarah Dresser

Some of us are planners. We plan everything to the last detail and we like to be prepared. And that has complicated life events like childbirth during this time of pandemic uncertainty.

An expectant mother's “birth plan” and the decisions leading up to the birth are a big deal right now with constantly evolving standards set by hospitals, including limitations on visitors, recommended early inductions and covid tests before the big day.

KBIA

As businesses in mid-Missouri begin to re-open, we’re all moving cautiously and optimistically toward a way forward into the new normal. Some of the first places many of us want to return to are our vibrant small-businesses -- the independent stores, restaurants and bookshops -- that breathe life into our college town here in Columbia and also in towns like Fulton, Moberly and Mexico. But as we all know, this covid crisis has wreaked havoc on small businesses and our public health is still at risk along with our economic health.

KBIA

On Fridays, we look for inspiration even as we continue to endure a crisis and make our way to a new-normal. In this episode, we look at classical music.

We talk with members and directors of the Missouri Symphony Society about musical performance and the classical music world these days, how it is weathering the crisis, going virtual and giving music lessons.

KBIA

Sometimes on these episodes we look at the things that are getting us through - the books, the music, the coping strategies and structures that are helping us get by in a crisis. A big answer to this question for many of us is our faith.

But one challenging aspect of this crisis has been that it comes with public health orders and advice to shut down and isolate, in order to stay safe, just when you need those you love around you and you need your faith community.

KBIA

Rural Missouri has faced some challenging disasters in the past: tornadoes, floods and droughts to name a few in only the past couple of years. And while, yes, the covid crisis has had a large impact on urban areas with more concentrated populations, rural communities are also feeling the reach of the virus on many day to day aspects of life.

The Check-In: Political Discourse

May 19, 2020

The coronavirus crisis is already impacting the way we live our daily lives, it might be shifting the way we see our society and the world, but will it change the way we vote next this year? With local elections creeping up on June 2nd here in mid-Misosuri and with all that’s going on in the world, voting might be not the first thing on your mind right now, but this is a great time to observe how crises can reshape political systems and the way we all think about politics.

KBIA

In our pre-pandemic world, the election year was on the forefront of many minds rife with issues of disinformation, partisan political messaging and divided discourse. Now, a global crisis has emerged and we’re still facing the same challenges of fragmented information sources, political divisiveness and partisan discourse. Today, even something as non-political as wearing a CDC-recommended face-mask in this climate can carry with it a political connotation.

KBIA

In this episode, we talk about how music can help us through crisis and also some of our favorite music that itself arose out of crisis.

Helping us with this topic is professor and musicologist Stephanie Shonekan. Professor Shonekan is a familiar name to us here in mid-Missouri as she spent seven years as a faculty member in MU’s Black Studies Dept as well as the School of Music. Her latest book is Black Lives Matter & Music from Indiana University Press. Professor Shonekan is now Chair of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. But she happens to be in town right now during this crisis and so we thought we’d take advantage of the opportunity to get Professor Shonekan’s expertise on music, history, crisis and inspiration.

Sarah Dresser

Around the state of Missouri, the rise of coronavirus cases has pushed hospitals to allow access for essential procedures only. Visitors are drastically limited, temperatures are taken at the door and routine health checks have been delayed or halted. 

KBIA

This weekend was supposed to be graduation at MU. Typically, the month of May throughout Mid-Missouri is full of families celebrating -- students in caps and gowns and photo shoots at the columns. The coronavirus pandemic has halted all of that. These days, many students are packed up and living off campus awaiting plans for the fall, all while MU’s administration is tasked with deciding what’s next during this uncertain time. 

KBIA

Food producers, especially small-scale food producers, have been hit hard by the virus crisis. As farmers markets and other regular access points to consumers have been limited, local producers have had to find alternate avenues for connecting with consumers.

In this episode, we highlight one innovative project that’s been created to address a big problem that this pandemic has created: disrupted supply lines and distribution of food. 

KBIA

For a week now, our community has been under new rules. Restaurants, gyms, hair salons and churches have re-opened their doors. We are in the hopeful beginning phases of finding a new normal. Our key words have gone from "stay at home" and lockdown, to recovery and reopening.

The state of Missouri is in the first phase of the Show Me Strong Recovery Program and the City of Columbia and Boone County have also issued the first step in reopening guidelines that have been in place for a week.

KBIA

When it comes to issues arising from the coronavirus crisis that need to be aired out in this forum, our pets might not be the first priority. But yet it seems like a lot of conversations right now involve our animals.

How are they doing? Do our dogs and cats seem stressed out? What’s happening with adoptions and fostering of animals these days? And what about all the wildlife - the fox cubs, coyotes, even snakes - that people seem to be spotting outside their windows. Is the wild encroaching on our space for some reason, or is it just that we’re simply at home more so we’re noticing nature?

KBIA

As the coronavirus continues to spread, and as states and local governments are looking at re-opening plans - the race is on. Researchers all over the country are working together to find treatments and vaccines.

The FDA and American Red Cross have partnered with the Mayo Clinic for a clinical trial involving “convalescent plasma.” It’s exploring the idea that people who have recovered from an illness now have antibodies for it in their blood that might help in the fight against COVID-19.

And MU Health Care is a partner in this innvovative effort.

KBIA

Last month, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed into law a $6.2 billion supplemental funding package to address the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus. Now, the state will begin doling out some of those funds to local governments so they can be used to prop up healthcare, education, social programs and more during this challenging time.

KBIA

You may have seen the call-outs on social media or the messages from local charities in your email inbox. Today, May 5th, has been designated as a worldwide day of philanthropy and generosity - it’s Giving Tuesday. And this year, a lot of people are in need of our generosity. 

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

As April turns to May, the school year is winding to a close. But the way this particular school year is ending is far beyond what any of us could have imagined just a few months ago.

Back in September, high school seniors probably thought they would be getting ready for prom with their friends right now, or preparing to accept the diploma they’ve worked hard for at graduation. But this year, all of those big moments -- and even many of the small ones -- look a little different. 

In this episode, we talk about Columbia Public Schools, how our schools are making it work right now and how they’re planning for whatever comes next.

KBIA

It’s Ramadan and many in our community are fasting throughout the day and breaking fast at midnight as they do every year. But this year, Ramadan is happening virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. We check in to see how the community is adjusting.

In this episode, we also talk about how the about the landscape of art and culture in Columbia is changing during this crisis -- particularly how visual artists are responding to and creating during this crisis.

KBIA

Being in the midst of a global pandemic has a way of changing things. Our cultural landmarks and touchstones disappear, our way of life and things we hold sacred are disrupted, and sometimes fear can take over. 

We aim to maintain productivity, celebration and connections during a crisis - but sometimes as a culture our responses are not so helpful. What happens when your experience during a pandemic is not one of connectedness and cohesion but one of disruption and disintegration?

In this episode, we talk about cultural response to pandemics, historically and now, and how that response can sometimes involve discrimination, stigma, isolation and what we can do as a community to avoid those responses in favor of something more postive.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Remember when we were all fascinated by the unfolding election year and presidential primaries? 

Today, that seems a lifetime ago. The coronavirus broke out in the United States just in time for the Democratic presidential primary. Around 40 people tested positive after Wisconsin’s primary election, and states are now scrambling to find a better, safer way to vote.

Amid everything else - this is still an election year. Voters in Boone County and throughout Missouri will make decisions on June 2nd - and there’s that other little election coming up in November.

KBIA

As a community, we've watched businesses close, streets and campuses empty, and more people wear masks and gloves when they leave the house. We’ve watched our world physically change around us.

But for people who are incarcerated, this crisis has looked different. People who are detained in Missouri and elsewhere are largely at the mercy of the environment and whatever it is that’s happening inside prisons. 

KBIA

In this episode, we talk about seniors — how to stay safe, keep in touch with family and friends, and stay healthy during this coronavirus pandemic.  We explore what's going on in Missouri's nursing homes and long-term care facilities, the challenges workers and residents face there and what it's like being a senior during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

One thing during this coronavirus crisis that’s changed for all of us in some form is food - how we’re accessing it, how we’re cooking it and maybe even how we’re growing it.

In this episode, we talk about how we’re getting food and what we’re doing with it during this crisis. Our guests are deeply entrenched in the food world and use their talents to help organize community food and gardening networks.

KBIA

You’ve seen the headlines with places like New York, Chicago and Detroit that have become hotspots for coronavirus cases. Those stories report on overcrowded hospitals and ventilator shortages.

Meanwhile rural areas have been slower to get COVID-19 cases. But now, some rural counties in Missouri are seeing spikes in cases in places that already have fewer resources and uncertain funding streams.

That's left some rural clinics struggling to keep their doors open.

In this episode, we’re talking about the coronavirus crisis in rural Missouri and how providers are handling preparation and coping with funding shortfalls.

KBIA

Food is at the forefront of many Missourians' minds right now. For some, there’s nothing more anxiety-inducing than empty shelves at the grocery store.

But what many of us don’t think about is what’s going on behind the scenes — how all the intricate food processes that typically align so perfectly are being affected by the pandemic as much as individuals are. It’s difficult to overstate how important farmers are to the lives of every single Missourian. And just like the rest of us right now, they’re suffering.

KBIA

This strange, new way we’re living can be a shock to even the most responsible and well-adjusted adult. But for kids of all ages who are suddenly torn from the stability and routine of a school day, it can be a huge strain on their mental health.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, students who are accustomed to structure are now left without any. And while the school year continues on in a new way, keeping focused on academics can be incredibly difficult.

KBIA

Many lives have been deeply affected by the current pandemic, but this virus has hit some groups harder than others. In Missouri and across the country, African Americans have been both diagnosed with and have died from coronavirus at disproportionately high rates.

Even though about 12 percent of the state’s population is black, more than 37 percent of COVID-19 deaths have been black Missourians, according to data reported by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. This outsized impact of COVID-19 on black communities and other communities of color is part of the larger reality of racial health inequalities in our country, our state and right here in mid-Missouri.

In this episode, we will be speaking with guests who have studied, reported on and worked out in the community addressing racial health disparities.

KBIA

On our Friday episodes, we try to have fun. In this episode, we look for fun and recreation in our business community during the pandemic and isolation. What favorite businesses are you supporting by remote? How are these businesses getting by?

We also look at what local businesses can offer right now, what creative work-arounds they’re finding, and what we can do to support them.

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