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Us & Them
34 minutes | 2 days ago
Stay or Go?
West Virginia has trouble keeping people. In the past decade the state has lost more than 3 percent of its population. There were more deaths in the state than births, and more people left the state than moved in. It leaves a lot of people wondering what the future of the Mountain State will be. Demographic changes from one census to the next shows some of the costs. West Virginia will soon lose a congressional district as a result, but there are other consequences. West Virginia is older than most states and its young people are leaving. However there are efforts to stem the tide. One goal is to remake the Mountain State into the Start Up State and to attract and keep a new generation of remote workers to call West Virginia home.
53 minutes | 15 days ago
When Will We Trust Again?
Our country is seeing a new flavor of partisanship. We practice a tribalism that’s so intense and personal, it defines much of our life. Who we call friends. Which family members we relate to. Even, how we cast our vote. What drives the divisions between us? On this episode of Us & Them, we ask how central a lack of trust is to this polarization. After a year of extraordinary social, racial, political and economic upheaval, some people say they’ve lost trust in one another, our institutions and our government. Polls show distrust is as high as it’s been in six decades. What do we risk if we’re unwilling to trust in our fellow Americans?
36 minutes | 25 days ago
Pocahontas County Contradiction — Sure, They Can Hear Mars, But Dependable Broadband Seems Like A Galaxy Away
The pandemic has taught us the value of the internet; for work, school, even to order the essentials of life. The past year has also exposed the brutal realities of the digital divide. Access to reliable, fast internet is essential for city and country dwellers. In this episode of Us & Them, we’ll hear about the internet challenges from residents of rural Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Its stunning rolling farmland is home to the Green Bank Observatory, a high tech facility that can communicate with distant planets. Despite more than a decade of federal initiatives across the country, internet service in this isolated area cannot match speed with grazing cows or is nonexistent. One customer there calls it “dependably unreliable.” After more than 10 years of federal money and a lot of inaction, we look at why high-speed internet service hasn’t found its way into more rural West Virginia homes.
53 minutes | a month ago
We've Loast & We've Learned In The Year of COVID-19
It’s been a year since the coronavirus started a global pandemic. A third of Americans now know someone who has died from COVID-19. The virus has forced daily decisions to stay healthy and safe. We’ve accepted a level of isolation into our lives - distancing from people and staying at home as we can. And we’ve seen medical researchers develop treatment measures and new vaccines. In this episode of Us & Them, we revisit some of the people Trey Kay met over the past year. Teacher Tega Toney explains what she’s learned along with her students and colleagues. Trey checks back with the family of Eli and Amy Snell to see how their five kids are doing with remote classes. And we’ll catch up again with traveling ICU nurse Eva Crockett who’s spent the year moving from one hospital to another to treat COVID patients.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
Fatal Overdoses: Pandemic is Especially Deadly for West Virginians Battling Addictions
The COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out but there’s no obvious fix for other long term medical consequences of the pandemic. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the deadliest year ever for overdose deaths in the twelve months between June 2019 and June 2020. Lethal overdoses were up by 20%. Isolation, anxiety and boredom, three triggers for drug abuse, have created the so-called mental health ‘shadow pandemic.’ And for West Virginia, an existing shortage of healthcare professionals means there are not enough workers for hospitals, clinics and treatment centers that are seeing more patients in distress.
53 minutes | 2 months ago
COVID-19 Exposes Racial Inequities
COVID-19 numbers show the pandemic has hit Black and Brown people hard. The coronavirus is about three times more likely to put African-American and Latino people in the hospital and they are twice as likely than whites to die from COVID. The reasons for this disparity are as old as they are complex. Inequities in health care are rooted in the historical racism of our institutions. They are part of the reason some people of color don’t trust public health efforts or the healthcare industry in general.
31 minutes | 3 months ago
Grandfamilies and the Pandemic
Older people are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. That’s a challenge when people in their 60s, 70s and 80s are full time caretakers for grandkids. The opioid epidemic has made more than 2.5 million children nationally part of a ‘Grandfamiliy,’ a household headed by someone over 60. Social distancing isn’t an option when grandparents are tending to diapers, making meals and overseeing homework full time. Some are even essential workers. And COVID has only exacerbated opioid addictions and deaths. Through it all, families are still coming together to give their kids a home.
20 minutes | 3 months ago
Clarity on COVID-19
It’s been nearly a year since COVID-19 came into our lives. It’s changed everything and forced all of us to stop and reconsider how we live day to day. These considerations and adaptations are something the Us & Them team has carefully explored over the past year. The Story Collider podcast — a show that features people telling true personal stories about their relationship with science — has been listening to Us & Them’s pandemic reports and invited host Trey Kay to share a story about how he’s lived and worked through the pandemic. They wanted to know what’s helped him make sense and get clarity on this whole COVID -19 experience.
53 minutes | 3 months ago
Us & Them: Shelter From The Virus
The coronavirus has changed everything. People around the globe have spent nearly a year sheltering at home, adhering to restrictions and requirements to avoid the contagious COVID-19. Imagine what that experience is like for someone who’s homeless. If your only option for a warm bed is a group shelter, will you take it - or will you stay on the street? Across the country, shelters meet public health requirements to make congregate housing as safe as possible. On this Us & Them episode, we look at the challenge people face when deciding how to shelter from the virus.
32 minutes | 4 months ago
Kingwood March Exposed a Raw Seam of Rage
2020 presented new levels of outrage over police killings of Black and Brown people in this nation. Police killed George Floyd and Breonna Taylor which prompted protests, marches and rallies to denounce racially motivated police brutality. A Black Lives Matter march in Kingwood, West Virginia set up a flash point for that tiny town. Black protestors and their allies faced off with white people who say Kingwood has no race problem. The angry white crowd outnumbered BLM marchers and showed the raw seam of rage that has come to define racism in this country. In this Us & Them episode, host Trey Kay speaks with one woman pushing back at the fear and outrage of racial hatred in America.
13 minutes | 4 months ago
Sink or Swim
2020 has required a lot from us all. It’s been a year of challenge and adaptation. Us & Them host Trey Kay recalls the line in a holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” that says, “we’ll have to muddle through somehow.” None of us had any idea how much muddling 2020 would demand. We’ve faced the pandemic and its consequences and a contentious national election that highlight the divisions in our nation. The year presented a series of choices with a clear outcome: sink or swim. Moving ahead, Trey looks at the adaptations he’s made and which he might adopt long term. Oh, and spoiler alert: he’s learning to like swimming outside in ice water!
53 minutes | 5 months ago
Forced Apart: Faith Tested
This year has tested us in many ways. Restrictions and stay-at-home orders prevent people from sharing familiar traditions and worshiping together. Some say the coronavirus has tested their faith and beliefs. Not only do they mourn those who’ve died, they miss gathering with their congregations, whether it’s in a pew or kneeling on the floor for daily prayers. Many churches, mosques and synagogues now offer online services in a virtual realm, which can open new doors. Faith practices in the time of COVID-19 look and feel different, but how has the virus changed our spirituality?
43 minutes | 5 months ago
Dessert & Dialogue
2021 will offer us all some new beginnings. Political leaders take office with the prospect of a COVID vaccine on the horizon. However, millions of people are reeling from the economic consequences of the pandemic. Millions more are angry over the election outcome. How do we move our democracy forward? Our Us & Them virtual dinner party is back - this time, for dessert. Our guests, from across the divide, will talk about how honest, open conversation can help us come together.
56 minutes | 5 months ago
Forced Apart: Cornucopia of Change
This is a season when many people turn to family, friends and food. As we enter the end-of-the-year holidays, group celebrations are discouraged to reduce COVID-19 infections. We are in uncertain times, dealing with many things that are out of our control. A contentious election and a global pandemic leave us divided and apart, while searching for comfort and familiarity. While food traditions have changed this year, they can still bring joy. Our cuisine shares our legacy even when we aren’t physically together. On this episode of Us & Them a look at how people across the country seek to connect with others by adopting new food traditions.
34 minutes | 6 months ago
Forced Apart: Can Our Economy Rebound Without Reliable, Safe Child Care?
The coronavirus has divided the world’s workforce into some new categories. White collar workers are remote employees who can do their jobs from home. Blue collar workers are often essential, front-line workers who must show up on the job to keep the supply chain and service industries moving. Essential medical workers keep our hospitals and clinics open. And there’s another group of workers on which the success of all the above — and some argue our very economy — rely: child-care workers. Early on in the pandemic, many states declared day-care facilities to be critical care sites and ordered them open to care for the children of our essential workers. Months later, those businesses face continually evolving regulations designed to keep children and workers safe. The success of our services and our economy is banking on them.
15 minutes | 6 months ago
Us & Them: Let Us 'Bind Up The Nation's Wounds'
The 2020 presidential election has offered a host of unexpected twists and turns. The candidate’s varied approaches to campaigning during a pandemic. The president’s own COVID diagnosis. The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a fast confirmation process for her successor just before election day. A record number of citizens participated in this election. However, the process highlights and confirms our divisions. As votes are counted and winners declared, it’s possible that some Americans will dispute the outcome — clear evidence of the “Us & Them” all around us. So how do we move forward?
53 minutes | 7 months ago
Breaking Bread, Talking Politics
Keep politics away from the dinner table! This year’s contentious campaign season offers fresh reasons for that advice. But Us & Them host Trey Kay decided to host a virtual dinner party with guests whose politics reach across the divides. They came to the video chat potluck showing off some family favorite foods. The guests were ready to disagree and see how the conversation would go. Along the way there were some good meals… honest conversation… and even a few surprises. Join us for the dinner party and you’ll also get recipes from Trey and his guests!
36 minutes | 7 months ago
Us & Them: Working Man vs. The Political Machine
The 2020 political campaigns are in high gear and the elections are just weeks away. This year, one West Virginia man watches from the sidelines, knowing what it’s like to put on a statewide campaign. Four years ago, Bo Copley was an unemployed miner who got the chance to ask then-candidate Hillary Clinton a question that resonated with many people. In 2018, Copley waged his first political campaign for the U.S. Senate. A new documentary, “The Campaign of Miner Bo'' airs this fall on many PBS stations and shadows Copley’s unsuccessful run for office and the things he learned from the experience. Documentary filmmaker Todd Drezner, a New Yorker who voted for Clinton, tells the story of the unlikely candidate as a way to learn about a West Virginian who voted for Donald Trump. For this episode, Us & Them host Trey Kay has a talk with Copley and Drezner.
54 minutes | 7 months ago
Forced Apart: An Ailing Economy -- Is Workforce Training The Cure?
The coronavirus has created an economic nightmare. About a million jobs have disappeared in six months and more layoffs are likely this fall. In West Virginia, the pandemic doubled the state’s unemployment rate. That means 75,000 West Virginians are looking for work. Many of those searching for work are young people who’ve just graduated. How are employers and educators dealing with this disruption? Are students redefining their hopes for the future? We’ll look at the training that can match workers with jobs.
40 minutes | 8 months ago
Can a White Supremacist Alter Her DNA of Hate?
Black and Brown people in America continue to die at the hands of police officers and that's created a season of hate. George Floyd’s killing ignited a sense of racial outrage that has spread around the world. U.S. cities continue to see protests against police brutality and riots over racial injustices. We’ll hear about a new podcast “Sounds Like Hate” that looks at racial extremism, white power groups, the DNA of hate in America and specifically, the story of a woman who walked away from her life as a white supremacist.
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