Mountain West News Bureau | KUNC

Mountain West News Bureau

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

The number of U.S. airline passengers is creeping up as states begin to relax their stay-at-home orders, according to the latest data from the Transportation Security Administration.

The Bureau of Land Management is charging back-due rent on renewable energy projects on public lands, as the Department of Interior simultaneously works to give oil and gas operators financial relief.

A few weeks ago, Lesley Dickson, a psychiatrist in Las Vegas, says she started feeling concerned for the hospital workers treating COVID-19 patients. 

The United States is seeing its highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression. And nurses, doctors and other health care workers are not immune to pay cuts and furloughs.

Nearly half of all counties in the Mountain West have largely been spared from COVID-19, according to recent data from the nonprofit organization USAFacts. Many of these communities weren't untouched, but all have had fewer than five confirmed cases of the virus. 

Many parts of the Mountain West are predicted to have above normal wildfire potential this summer. The coronavirus promises to make fire season abnormal in other ways, too.

When you think about Doctors Without Borders you may picture the medical humanitarian NGO working in war-torn countries like Syria or Yemen. But as the COVID-19 crisis lays bare inequalities and vulnerabilities in the U.S., the organization's working here, too, assisting the Navajo Nation in fighting the disease.

As the coronavirus pandemic hammers oil prices, the number of "orphaned" or abandoned oil wells could grow. A group wants to enlist newly unemployed oilfield workers in addressing the problem.

 


Most of us have never experienced anything like the coronavirus pandemic in our lifetime, and that's especially true for children. The Mountain West News Bureau spoke with five kids about what's on their minds: 6-year-old Emerson, 10-year-old Eleanor, 11-year-old Wren, 11-year-old Brennan, and 10-year-old Olivia. Amanda Peacher shares their voices in this audio postcard.

Beef prices are on the rise while live cattle prices are falling. One reason for that is COVID-19 disrupting meat processing plants. There are more cattle and less product because some cows can’t get processed. But many suspect there's more to the story.


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