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May 5, 2020 / This week from The Signal

All the latest news and information from around Alaska.
Stacks of purple tires lead the way to Pucker Wilson’s, where customers are now greeted by an intercom. As social distancing mandates were ordered in March, the Juneau food cart converted into a drive-thru burger joint. It's one of the many ways small businesses have adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo and story by Elizabeth Jenkins/KTOO)

But first… Why wear a mask?

A few weeks ago in this newsletter, I wrote a bit about my experience going to the grocery store with a rag tethered to my head — my feeble, Pinterest-unfriendly attempt at a homemade mask. Since then I've acquired more stylish face masks. On sparing occasions, I now strut into select public spaces with confidence and pizzazz. (Thanks Ann and Mom!)

But I know a lot of people aren't as comfortable wearing a mask in public, and they might even wonder if it makes that much of a difference. Any doubts still lingering in my mind were put to bed after I read this in The Atlantic: "Research shows that even a cotton mask dramatically reduces the number of virus particles emitted from our mouths — by as much as 99 percent." In other words, if you're an asymptomatic carrier, there are few better ways to protect others than by wearing a mask.

Top stories from last week

  1. As Alaska starts to reopen, it’s already too little, too late for some small businesses
  2. Juneau opens safer, more accessible campground for people without homes
  3. Bristol Bay leaders express concern over Alaska’s commercial fishing health mandate
  4. Alaska’s top doctor says we can’t allow the number of COVID-19 cases to grow unchecked
  5. From her home office yurt, Alaska’s chief medical officer navigates ‘uncharted territory’

Stories you may have missed

Video of the week

Gov. Mike Dunleavy began allowing businesses to reopen after more than a month of emergency closures. What are the restrictions? How do we know it’s safe for staff and customers? Dunleavy and Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink join Alaska Public Media's Lori Townsend on "Alaska Insight."

Just one more thing…

Community Connection is a segment on KTOO’s Juneau Afternoon where listeners share personal stories, reflections, poetry or music about life in these strange times.

Patty Ware has lived in Juneau for three decades — 5,000 miles away from her mother. But Patty's talking to her mom now more than ever, via phone and video chat. Not coincidentally, she's also getting a lot of good baking advice.

More news around Alaska

For more local coverage during the global pandemic, check in regularly with your community stations. Here's an admittedly incomplete list: KBBI in Homer; KCAW in Sitka; KDLG in Dillingham; KDLL in Kenai; KFSK in Petersburg; KHNS in Haines; KMXT in Kodiak; KNOM in Nome; KOTZ in Kotzebue; KRBD in Ketchikan; KSKA and KNBA in Anchorage; KSTK in Wrangell; KTNA in Talkeetna; KUAC in Fairbanks; KUCB in Unalaska; KYUK in Bethel.

The Signal is written by KTOO digital media editor Ryan Cunningham
and edited by KTOO managing editor Jennifer Pemberton.

KTOO News is member supported.

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What are you waiting for? For an entertaining inside take on the biggest news in Alaska, try The Signal – just enter your email to get the latest edition delivered every week - it's free, we keep your email safe, and you can easily unsubscribe any time.