Coronavirus | KALW


Check out our COVID-19 Community Resource Guide for information on everything from emergency childcare, access to essential services, volunteer opportunities, and more. 

We want to report on what matters most to you. If you have a question about the coronavirus, ask it below.


Christopher Michel / Creative Commons, used under CC-BY-SA 4.0

Wildfires have caused record-breaking stretches of bad air quality in the Bay Area these last few years. In this interview, Dr. Gina Solomon from UCSF and the Public Health Institute speaks about the long term health effects of breathing in all this smoke.

Sandip Roy and Jaipur Lit. Fest./modified from original

Writer and actor Rupert Everett spoke recently with Sandip Roy for the Jaipur Lit. Fest. about comparing pandemics and sainthood.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

  On this edition of Your Call, we’ll discuss COVID's fall surge. According to the Covid Tracking Project, the US is averaging 48,000 new cases a day, the highest numbers since mid-August.

On this edition of Your Call, we’re discussing Totally Under Control, a new documentary that exposes the Trump administration’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filmmaker Alex Gibney says it was a system-wide collapse caused by a profound dereliction of leadership.

Happy Birthday John Prine!

Oct 9, 2020

John Prine the greatly beloved singer-songwriter passed away April 7th from complications related to Covid19.  This Saturday October 10th 3 pm (PDT) on KALW’s Folk Music & Beyond, we celebrate what would have been John Prine’s 74th birthday!  Guest host Nancy Iverson was a good friend of John’s and she put together a loving tribute to John featuring songs, stories, and comments from his friends and music colleagues, including

The First And Only Vice Presidential Debate -- We'll Discuss The Issues

Oct 8, 2020

  On this edition of Your Call, we’re getting your take on the first and only vice presidential debate.

Wikimedia Commons

Four Bay Area counties have failed to meet California's new COVID-19 health equity requirements. They won’t be able to reopen any further until they do.

Photo provided courtesy of Derek Zemrak

Like other businesses, small movie theaters are also fighting to survive in the age of COVID. Derek Zemrak knows first hand. He owns the Orinda Theatre, which turns 80 next year. Derek talks about the future of the film industry and movie theaters.

Regal Cinemas, the second-largest movie theater chain, recently announced they were temporarily closing all 536 of their U.S. theaters this week due to the pandemic. Derek is trying to keep the Orinda Theatre afloat with fundraisers and virtual events.

Click the play button above to listen to this interview.

Wikimedia Commons


On Tuesday, State Health Officials announced that three more Bay Area counties will be allowed to reopen additional businesses. 

Sandip Roy

…the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill.


  On this edition of Your Call, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with award winning journalist Ben Ehrenreich, author of Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time. He examines how the unprecedented pace of destruction to the planet has led us to the brink of calamity. 

Photo by Sandip Roy

There is a pandemic demon that needs slaying...

Geoff Livingston / Flickr Creative Commons

COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting Black and Latinx California residents. And it’s not just the coronavirus. Across the board, CDC data shows that Black Americans have lower life expectancies than white people in the U.S. — and research suggests that racism is one reason why.

Phil Roeder


Schools across the Bay Area are back in session — both virtually and in-person. But some are still feeling the effects of COVID-19 on the last school year. Research shows that 2008 graduates are still experiencing impacts of the Great Recession. So what can 2020 graduates expect? 

Alberto Bernasconi/The Washington Post

  On this edition of Your Call, we’re taking your questions about COVID-19. The death toll in the US passed the 190,000 mark yesterday. Over 2.3 million people have recovered from COVID. What do we now know about long-term health effects?

Amanda Levin

San Francisco students have been back to school for nearly a month now, and a lot has changed for students — and for teachers. Amanda Levin is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District at Leadership High School, and she’s been teaching for nearly three decades. As part of our ongoing series The Essentials, we’re bringing you overlooked stories of essential workers: people who are still being called to work while most of us are sheltered in place.


Two Bay Area counties have moved from purple to red under the Governor’s new color coded system for monitoring Covid.


  On this edition of Your Call’s media roundtable, we’re discussing Growing Up Poor in America, a new FRONTLINE documentary that tells the story of three families who are struggling to make ends meet. Close to 13 million children in the US live in poverty.


Millions of U.S. office workers have now stretched into their sixth month of the world’s largest work-from-home experiment. Before the pandemic started, just 4% of Americans worked from home. Once the pandemic kicked in, that number jumped to 34%.

The Status And Ethics Of A COVID-19 Vaccine

Aug 25, 2020

On this edition of Your Call, we're getting an update on a COVID-19 vaccine. According to The New York Times' vaccine tracker, more than 165 vaccines are being developed, but only 32 are currently in human trials, while eight have made it to Phase 3 trials.

Courtesy of UCSF / Adobe Stock

Like many people, back in April, Christin New needed something to look forward to. Not only was a pandemic spreading around the word, she’d just had a miscarriage. So when she and her husband found out they were expecting, they were overjoyed. 

Jonathan Kos-Read

In Alameda County, more than one out of every ten COVID-19 cases can be traced back to a single neighborhood’s zip code. Fruitvale is a dense, predominantly Latinx community in East Oakland, and its COVID-19 case rate is higher than Florida’s and Georgia’s, two of the hardest hit states in the country. 

flickr user cultivar413 accessed via Creative Commons


On Tuesday, The San Francisco Board of Supervisors reluctantly approved a settlement with UC Hastings over tent encampments and unhealthy living conditions in the Tenderloin.

What Do We Now Know About COVID-19?

Aug 19, 2020

On this edition of Your Call, we’re getting an update on COVID-19 as the US death toll passed 170,000 this week. Six months in and we still don’t have a national plan.

Christine Palmer

Earlier this month a group of East Bay hair stylists and salon owners gathered outside Flaunt Hair Designs in Pleasanton. They were there to plot ways to convince public health officials to let them open up, and the group agreed to stage a mass reopening in defiance of stay-at-home orders.

flickr user Jennifer Woodard Maderazo accessed via Wikimedia Commons

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story contained errors that have been corrected. It incorrectly stated that SFUSD laid off bus drivers and that the district ended its contract. The drivers were not laid off by SFUSD, because they are contracted through First Student. SFUSD has stopped payment because the district does not currently require bus drivers.

On this edition of Your Call, we're  discussing COVID’s ongoing effects on food, housing, and employment. 29 million adults say their household didn’t have enough to eat in the last week, one in five renters are now behind on rent, and 40 million people face eviction.

Precious Green

Today is the first day of the new school year for thousands of K-12 students around the Bay. All classes are online-only. But, there is a push to get kids back into real classrooms.

Gage Skidmore

  On the next City Visions, East Bay Congressman - and former presidential candidate - Eric Swalwell will talk about protecting our elections, providing covid relief, and fighting corruption, among other topics. 


We will also feature our regular COVID update with Chronicle Health Reporter Erin Allday and UCSF doctor Peter Chin-Hong, as well as the comedy of local favorite, Zahra Noorbakhsh.  



Drivers crossing Bay Area bridges without paying tolls have collectively racked up a $16 million dollar bill, over the past few months. How did that number get so high?