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Vermont is a state of vast beauty, yet for all its idyllic Green Mountain landscapes, living there takes a certain amount of grit. The state's bitter winters can last as long as six months, only to be followed by "mud season" – the character-building preamble to spring that turns the ground to sludge and makes dirt roads impassable.

"I wasn't afraid of fighting," Ilhan Omar writes about her childhood in Somalia in her new memoir. "I felt like I was bigger and stronger than everyone else — even if I knew that wasn't really the case."

Champale Greene-Anderson keeps the volume up on her television when she watches 5-year-old granddaughter Amor Robinson while the girl's mom is at work.

"So we won't hear the gunshots," says Greene-Anderson. "I have little bitty grandbabies, and I don't want them to be afraid to be here."

As a preschooler, Amor already knows and fears the sounds that occurred with regularity in their St. Louis neighborhood before the pandemic — and continue even now as the rest of the world has slowed down.

In Brazil's favelas, poor urban neighborhoods where residents live in crowded homes and lack basic sanitation, the toll of the coronavirus is expected to be brutal. The informal jobs that sustain 39 million Brazilians, such as selling street food or working temporary construction gigs, are also victims of the stay-at-home order, which started in mid-March. For some in these sprawling settlements, hunger is a threat as real as COVID-19.

A week into California's stay-at-home order, when our now-familiar mix of anxious, lonely and restless feelings were still brand new, I craved connection. But not the kind available from a screen. Inside my wallet I found 10 stamps leftover from the holidays, and I put out a tweet: "Today I am going to write letters to send through the post ... [Direct message] me your snail mail address if you want a random letter. But heads up I only have 10 stamps & they are of Santa."

North Carolina has reported its highest one-day spike in new COVID-19 cases, a development that comes a day after the state entered its second phase of reopening.

In a statement on Saturday, the state's Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,107 infections — around 250 more cases than the state's last highest daily tally.

It has been around two months of quarantine for many of us. The urge to get out and enjoy the summer is real. But what's safe? We asked a panel of infectious disease and public health experts to rate the risk of summer activities, from backyard gatherings to a day at the pool to sharing a vacation house with another household.

Trump Returns To Golf Course For 1st Time Since March

May 23, 2020

President Trump is visiting one of his golf courses this weekend, his first apparent golf outing since declaring a state of emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Saturday, the president visited the Trump National Golf Club located just outside Washington, D.C., in Northern Virginia. His last visit to a course was on March 8 to his West Palm Beach club in Florida, days before he declared a national emergency.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Updated at 1:56 p.m. ET

Less than two days after New York relaxed certain coronavirus restrictions on religious services and Memorial Day events, allowing gatherings of up to 10 people, the state has extended the measure to cover all gatherings for "any lawful purpose or reason." Gov. Andrew Cuomo amended the move in an executive order Friday.

Toilet paper has been an issue since the start of the pandemic, but now toilets themselves are the concern. As stay-at-home restrictions are lifting, many are feeling a long pent-up urge to go out, but what's stopping some is concern about their urge to go while they're out.

As in, use the bathroom.

Loath to risk the germs in a public restroom, if they can even find one that's open, many are limiting their outings while others are getting creative.

With India under a nationwide lockdown and religious gatherings banned, Islamic clerics are urging Muslims to observe this weekend's Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of Ramadan, at home with social distancing.

Houses of worship around the country on Friday got a presidential green light to open immediately.

"I call on governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now," President Trump said in remarks at the White House. "These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united," he said. "The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue and to their mosque."

Updated at 4:41 p.m. ET

He was his country's most powerful man. Time magazine crowned him "king of Israel." But he couldn't win over Israel's unforgiving free press. So he is accused of buying his way inside the newsroom of a leading news site, secretly dictating flattering coverage that helped him win reelection twice.

It's been months since most Americans have had a professional haircut. Salons have been shut down under stay-at-home orders to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In Los Angeles, the result has been a robust clandestine haircut scene.

Two new polls out this week indicate a majority of Americans fear a "second wave" of COVID-19 cases in the near future, which may be washing away the chances for traditional presidential nominating conventions this year.

The summer travel season is kicking off this year with more uncertainty than any time in recent memory. The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to cancel vacation and travel plans. Airlines have lost billions of dollars in revenue, flying nearly empty planes and canceling tens of thousands of flights.

Car rental company Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, citing an "abrupt decline in revenue" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Evictions are expected to skyrocket in Texas where the state Supreme Court has lifted a moratorium on evictions and unemployment has risen to historic levels amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Some cities are taking additional steps to protect renters and delay evictions, but many Texans remain vulnerable.

Much is still unknown about the coronavirus, including a full picture of perhaps its most important impact: who it has killed.

Each week we answer pressing coronavirus questions. We'd like to hear what you're curious about. Email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

How big a risk is it to catch the virus through your eyes? Should people be wearing eye protection?

In Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, this weekend's Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan will involve mass travel, raising concerns about the effect it may have on the country's COVID-19 infection rates.

Washington state acknowledged this week that it has lost hundreds of millions of dollars to a sophisticated unemployment fraud ring. Most of the money had come from the federal government in the form of pandemic aid.

It does not appear to have been a case of hacking, or a data breach. Rather, scammers used names and Social Security numbers they already had, possibly from earlier data breaches, to pose as out-of-work Washingtonians, security experts said.

In many cases — likely most cases — the real Washingtonians had not actually lost their jobs.

In an open letter to a top Trump Administration official, 77 Nobel prize-winning American scientists say they are "gravely concerned" about the recent abrupt cancellation of a federal grant to a U.S. non-profit that was researching coronaviruses in China.

The sons of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi say they have forgiven their father's killers, paving the way for a legal reprieve for five men sentenced to death for the murder.

"If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah," the writer's eldest son, Saleh, tweeted Thursday. "Therefore, we the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we pardon those who killed our father."

Living with the pandemic has been difficult for everyone: the isolation, the need to wear protective gear like masks and gloves, the adjustment to working or learning from home.

For those living with or caring for someone with severe autism, those challenges can be exponentially more difficult.

"Wearing gloves or masks, you know, things like that? That's just not going to happen here," says Feda Almaliti.

The Inglewood Army recruiting station is tucked into a strip mall in a gritty part of Los Angeles. Its neighbors are a liquor store, fast food outlets and palm trees. Inside are the familiar posters: smiling soldiers with the slogans "Army Strong" and "Army Team."

Sergeant First Class Nathan Anslow runs this station. He points to something new just inside the door. A stack of questionnaires — coronavirus screening forms. It's the first stop for potential recruits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clarifying its guidance to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, hoping to clear up confusion over whether a person can contract the disease by touching surfaces that have the virus on them. The agency said "usability improvements," including a headline change on its webpage about preventing viral infection, seemed to trigger news stories saying its guidelines have changed.

"Our transmission language has not changed," CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes told NPR.

New data released by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union shows that among the grocery store workers it represents, 10,000 have been infected by or are known to have been exposed to coronavirus and 68 have died from it. At least 3,257 have been infected with the virus, the union estimated on Friday.

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