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How Iowans Have Been Getting By During The Pandemic

Annie Gray
Home restoration and renovations in Iowa, especially in areas affected by the August 2020 derecho, have been on the rise during the pandemic. Current President of the Cedar Rapids Housing and Building Association, Jim Sattler, says it's been difficult for builders to keep up with the demand.

For many in the working world, the pandemic has been a real struggle. For others, it’s had a silver lining. On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer gets first-hand accounts from working Iowans and businesses. There are stories of woe and wonder.

During the first half of the program, Kieffer meets Michael LeCroy of Clive, who for the first time in his life is drawing unemployment and has had difficulties finding work that matches his skill set and is safe, given his underlying health condition. Then, Joleen Jansen of rural Elkader talks about the trials and tribulations of suffering from prolonged symptoms of COVID-19.

Professional baseball is back in Iowa. After nearly 20 months, the Iowa Cubs will take the field tonight at Principal Park against the Indianapolis Indians. Kieffer speaks with the director of broadcasting, Alex Cohen, about an opening day unlike any other. Then, Jim Sattler of the Cedar Rapids Housing and Building Association talks about the home repair and remodeling boom during the pandemic and following the August 2020 derecho.


  • Michael LeCroy, resident of Clive
  • Joleen Jansen, resident of rural Elkader
  • Alex Cohen, director of broadcasting, Iowa Cubs
  • Jim Sattler, 2021 president, Cedar Rapids Housing and Building Association
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River