Emma Bowman | KUNC

Emma Bowman

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit New York, Dr. Roberto Vargas has been working long hours, running labs that do COVID-19 testing in Rochester.

To minimize his family's risk of exposure, Roberto has been isolating himself from his wife, Susan, and their four kids since March.

For two weeks, Roberto stayed at a hotel near Rochester Regional Hospital, where he works as the director of microbiology. Then, he moved to the basement of his home.

Around Memorial Day of 2000, Emily Aho took her then 75-year-old father, Emilio "Leo" DiPalma, on a trip back to Germany, where the World War II veteran served as a guard at the Nuremberg Trials.

Coming up on Memorial Day two decades later, Aho holds those memories with him especially close. Last month, DiPalma died of complications from COVID-19 at 93 years old in Holyoke, Mass.

"He had all these things he wanted to talk to me about. I'll never forget it. I may not have had a lot of time with my dad before, but I had that week," Aho, 62, said.

In Texas, as more businesses get the green light to reopen, those plans have been delayed in some areas where the governor says jump in positive COVID-19 cases follow ramped-up testing capacity.

Celebrities, activists, artists and students themselves recognized America's 3 million-plus graduating high school seniors in a widely broadcast ceremony on Saturday night, after the coronavirus crisis robbed the class of 2020 of a crucial milestone.

The virtual event, called Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, carried a resounding message of community at a time when COVID-19 rules out the possibility of large gatherings.

When Evette Jourdain was struggling to get back on her feet, landing a job as a postal worker gave her security. Now, during the coronavirus pandemic, the job carries new risks she and her colleagues never imagined.

Jourdain, 32, and her friend and fellow mail carrier Craig Boddie, 48, spoke for a remote StoryCorps conversation last month from Palm Beach, Fla., about how their work has changed since the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET on Friday

Think your grocery store runs are tough these days?

In the remote Alaskan city of Gustavus, a small-business owner, Toshua Parker, has started traveling 14 hours by boat to Juneau and back to stock up on critical supplies for his store during the coronavirus pandemic.

The roughly 450 residents in Gustavus rely on Parker's Icy Strait Wholesale for the bulk of their provisions, from fresh produce to hardware to home appliances.

Alice Stockton-Rossini and her 90-year-old mother, Jackie Stockton, survived COVID-19.

But the virus took the lives of some of their friends and a relative.

The outbreak in their community in Ship Bottom, N.J., can be traced back to Stockton's 90th birthday party, held at her church on March 8 before much of the U.S. began practicing social distancing.

In a recent remote StoryCorps conversation, Stockton told her 62-year-old daughter that she didn't realize she had contracted the virus until she landed in the hospital.

As the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., Dan Flynn made his way from Santa Barbara, Calif., to New York City, joining 58 others as part of a national mortuary response team.

Flynn, a funeral director, has been with the team since 2008. The group helps identify victims and assist with mortuary services to help loved ones find closure. While in New York last month, Flynn assisted with autopsies and photographed, fingerprinted and catalogued bodies.

New York City bus operators Tyrone Hampton and Frank de Jesus have witnessed a crushing loss in their field of work. As of Wednesday, 83 Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers have died from COVID-19, 30 of them also bus operators.

Hampton, 50, and de Jesus, 30, spoke for a remote StoryCorps conversation about how the outbreak is putting their love for the job to the test.

Hospitals across the U.S. are facing a shortage of N95 masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, putting health care workers at increased risk of infection.

The health crisis has brought Peter Tsai, the material scientist and engineer who developed the mask's virus-blocking technology, out of retirement to study safe ways to disinfect the single-use masks for reuse — nearly 30 years after his invention.

"I just want to help people, and just do my job," Tsai said in an interview with Morning Edition.

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