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March 17, 2020 / This week from The Signal

All the latest news and information from around Alaska about the coronavirus.
Gunalchéesh to Ḵaaḵal.aat Florence Sheakley, Ḵaanáḵ Ruth Demmert and X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell for creating this poster, detailing the steps of proper hand washing in the Tlingit language. The poster was included in this story from KNBA-Anchorage's Tripp Crouse. Twitchell, by the way, hosts "Lingít Aaní Káa Kei Nas.áx̱ Haa Yoo X̱’atángi" ("Our Language Is Sounding Off on Tlingit Land"), a new program on KTOO-FM spoken in Lingít. Here's a recent episode.

But first… this Signal's a little different

First, I want to direct you to messages from KTOO's general manager Bill Legere and KTOO News' managing editor Jennifer Pemberton. As KTOO prepares for the myriad impacts of COVID-19, we're doing everything in our power to be as responsible and effective as possible in how we operate our station and report the news to the community we serve. As always, let us know what you think. We work for you.

On a more personal note: I moved to Alaska in 2018. It's one of the most beautiful, unique and complicated places I've ever lived, but two things really set it apart. First, I had no idea an entire state could so fervently rally around brown rubber boots. (I have a pair, by the way.) But secondly, and more importantly, what really makes Alaska special to me is the sense of community. This enormous swath of country feels deeply, strangely connected. For all of our problems, that's what I like about this state: We're all neighbors. So let's keep being good neighbors. Let's check in with each other. Let's stay home if we don't have to be out. Let's wash our hands. Let's be smart. Let's be kind. Above all, let's do what we need to do, no matter how inconvenient, because we don't want to hurt our neighbors. Because we care too much about each other up here.

And now, the news…

Everything so far on Alaska and COVID-19 

Here is all the most up-to-date coronavirus coverage from public media in Alaska.

Top headlines Cancellations and postponements Closures and restricted access Health Alerts
  • Travel: Alaskans returning to the state from other countries and other states should practice varying degrees of isolation
  • Surgeries: Alaska’s health department recommends that providers postpone non-urgent or elective procedures for the next three months
Economic impacts Information and resources (CDCWHOAlaska DHSS)

Video of the week

A friend and fellow Signalien (let's call her Menevieve Gina) sent me this video not too long ago. It's from 2017, but the message is every bit as relevant and refreshing now as it was then: It's a music video about washing your hands. And it's shockingly good. At the end, note the notice from the World Health Organization: "Hand hygiene is one of the most effective practices to prevent the spread of infection."

Just one more thing…

If that all felt like a bit much to take in, that's because that all is a bit much to take in. But always remember these two things: 1) Knowledge is power; and 2) Dogs exist.

On the latter point, Alaska Public Media's senior dog correspondents (humans who report on dogs) have very important dog news from the Iditarod trail. First, Tegan Hanlon profiled some of the Iditarod's most famous dog-athletes. And then Zachariah Hughes took photos of dogs (and some humans) with snow on their faces. We'll get through this.

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.