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When COVID came to Okoboji

Emily Mendenhall is a medical anthropologist originally from a small town in Iowa. When that town — Okoboji — became a COVID-19 hotspot, Mendenhall conducted interviews with more than 100 individuals in the area during the summer and fall of 2020. That work resulted in a book.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, Mendenhall joins host Charity Nebbe to share what she learned writing her book, Unmasked: COVID, Community and the Case of Okoboji.


  • Emily Mendenhall, medical anthropologist, professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa