Crosscurrents Podcast | KALW

Crosscurrents Podcast

Quarantine Diaries: Week 10

May 28, 2020

Since the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order took effect over 10 weeks ago, we’ve been checking in with a mix of people to find out how they are dealing with these extraordinary times. It’s Day By Day: KALW's Quarantine Diaries.

Plus, we hear new music from a local band. Sealand, from San Jose, recently released their new album, Eternity. 

A small business owner in East Oakland shares how the coronavirus is affecting his work. Then, we hear how the pandemic has turned Lake Merritt into a place of refuge and anxiety. And, we’ll go to a place where amateurs and pros alike learn to cast a line.

Jess Engebretson / KALW

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Americans into sudden intimacy with difficult feelings: anxiety, fear, and grief. In this story from The Spiritual Edge, we get to know a North Carolina woman whose Buddhist practice has helped her navigate fear and grief.

Quarantine Diaries: Week 9

May 21, 2020


Time in the pandemic seems to be moving faster now, with all Bay Area counties loosening shelter-in-place restrictions. For the past nine weeks, we’ve been checking in daily with folks from around the Bay to hear how they are dealing with life during COVID-19. Today, we’ll hear about a senior who sings, a teacher on his last day of class, and a bookseller happy to see regulars again... It's the Quarantine Diaries.

California is distributing millions of dollars to undocumented residents to help them through the pandemic, but it still might not be enough. Then, a group of Black women artists gather to address critical issues.

Jules Wecker

In this story from The Spiritual Edge, we'll meet Al and Andi Tauber, married singer-songwriters who direct music for a congregation of urban Mennonites in Chicago. Like their Amish and Quaker spiritual cousins, Mennonites favor the simple life, but they see God in city life too. For the Taubers, this means taking their faith and music to the streets.

Faith leaders in Oakland are pushing for Governor Newsom to open churches throughout the state. We hear why this rally struck a chord with Oakland residents. Then, we meet a biologist who feeds San Francisco's only albino alligator. And, the story of how one man in prison turned his life around by pulling strings. Literally.

Quarantine Diaries: Week 8

May 14, 2020

Since the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order took effect over eight weeks ago, we’ve been checking in with a mix of people to find out how they are dealing with these extraordinary times. Today, we’ll hear from an 88-year-old poet, an unemployed potter, and a frustrated restaurant owner. It’s Day By Day: Quarantine Diaries.

Plus, we end today's show featuring Oakland-based singer songwriter Emily Afton. Her latest EP "Consideration" came out in March.

Tents in the Tenderloin have tripled since the beginning of the coronavirus. We'll hear from people on the ground and learn about the city’s new plan. Then, we go to one of the best-smelling spots in San Francisco in today's episode of the Golden Gate Parkcast. And, we continue our Bay Area author reading series, "New Arrivals."

A Bar Mitzvah celebration goes virtual, while a plan to gether to grieve is put on hold. Bringing family together during the coronavirus pandemic. Then, a place in Oakland where women go to feel empowered. And, a local hip hop artist drops some positive rhymes.

The City of Oakland braces itself for the financial impact of the coronavirus. Then, a hospital chaplain taps into COVID patients’ faith to help ease the pain. And, from the producers of Uncuffed, the story of the night one musician’s life changed forever.

While local and state leaders are preparing for the next phase, we’re all still grappling with the way the pandemic has changed our day-to-day lives. For the past seven weeks, we’ve been checking in daily with folks from around the Bay to hear how they are dealing with these extraordinary times. Today, we’ll hear about new loves, dashed dreams, and the competitive spirit of an 8-year-old Uno champ. It's the Quarantine Diaries.

We look at the results of a cutting-edge community testing program in the Mission and what it says about race, inequality, and housing. Then, we go across town to find Shakespeare in Golden Gate Park. And, we dive into more contemporary literature in our series, "New Arrivals."

Online Learning / Body Positivity / New Arrivals

May 5, 2020

San Francisco Unified is pushing to get all students online and learning. We’ll hear why getting families computers and internet access in the age of COVID-19 is complicated. Then, we talk to body image activist Virgie Tovar about the new hidden messaging to teenage girls. And, we’ll continue our New Arrivals series featuring local authors.

First, an update on how the City of Oakland is handling the coronavirus pandemic. Then, a teen in Los Gatos creates a space where her peers can safely reveal some of their deepest personal struggles. And, from the Uncuffed team at San Quentin, we’ll hear how a man who grew up in Cambodia and ended up incarcerated in the U.S. Plus, a reading from a Bay Area author for our series "New Arrivals."

Quarantine Diaries: Week 6

Apr 30, 2020

Most Bay Area residents are passing their sixth week of shelter-in-place. We’ll hear from a diverse group of locals, including a real estate broker, a new mom, and a funeral director. It’s the Quarantine Diaries.

Plus, at the end of today's episode, we're featuring local musician Lane Sanders, an experimental percussionist based in San Jose who will be releasing new tracks through out quarantine.

Public health officials consider the risks and benefits when making policies about going outdoors right now.  We’ll hear how the question of equity plays into getting outside. Then, we’ll go to the beach to solve a mystery on the shore. And, a Bay Area poet writes about her deep connection to animals and nature.  Plus, we continue our New Arrivals series featuring Bay Area authors.

The Oakland Slow Streets program is hitting a bump in the road with some East Oakland communities. Will the city figure out a way to make the program work for residents? Then, we hear from Chicana artist La Doña on how she found her sound in San Francisco’s Latinx communities. And, we're continuing our "New Arrivals" series featuring Bay Area authors.

Mobile Health Team Efforts Continue / Uncuffed

Apr 27, 2020

A mobile health team in Contra Costa county brings medication to people with addiction living on the streets. Now, the doctor leading that effort worries about the additional challenge the coronavirus poses for them. Then, an incarcerated father and son see each other for the first time in 22 years.

Today, we hear how people around the Bay Area are experiencing their fifth week of quarantine in our continuing Quarantine Diaries series. Then, a reality show star and social media critic has tips for keeping in touch during the shelter in place.


UCSF professor of epidemiology Dr. George Rutherford explains how we've minimized coronavirus deaths so far and talks about a new program that may intrude on our privacy. Then, from The Stoop podcast, we explore how coronavirus is especially affecting black communities.

Courtesy of Meridy Volz

The coronavirus is on all of our minds, and for some, it brings back memories of another public health crisis, when the federal government was slow to respond and communities had to take care of each other: the AIDS epidemic.

San Francisco Immigration Courts / Quarantine Diaries

Apr 16, 2020


How is the pandemic is changing immigration courts in San Francisco? We'll hear from Francisco Ugarte, an immigration attorney with San Francisco’s Public Defender’s Office. Then, after almost a month of sheltering in place, we’ll hear from people all around the Bay Area about daily life during the coronavirus epidemic.

Bay Area dog shelters are seeing a huge increase in interest despite being closed to the public. We’ll find out how dog adoptions work while we’re sheltered in place. Then, Oakland singer Melissa Jones says there’s no one sound for black artists. And, we hear a reading from San Francisco author Wendy Liu.

Fremont has been using boulders to block parking near Tesla, and RV residents who call the area their home have had to find another place to go. Then, some singles are missing sex and intimacy during the shutdown. Plus, we continue our "New Arrivals" series with a reading from "Why We Swim" by Berkeley author Bonnie Tsui.

Domestic workers are losing jobs they rely on to the pandemic, and the jobs they’ve kept could jeopardize their health. We hear how workers are using lessons from past disasters to advocate for their communities. Then, in a story from Uncuffed, an ex-marine in prison faces his own mortality. Plus, we’re bringing Bay Area author readings to you in a new series called "New Arrivals." 

Coronavirus Measures In Uganda / Quarantine Diaries

Apr 9, 2020

An update on the coronavirus pandemic from Uganda. Then, as part of our ongoing Quarantine Diaries series, we’ll hear from people all around the Bay Area about daily life during the coronavirus epidemic.

We'll hear from San Francisco supervisors on the challenges the city is facing moving some unhoused residents into hotels to shelter from the pandemic. Then, we go to Europe and get the latest on the coronavirus situation there. And, religious communities can’t gather in person, but they’re still meeting up online.

How are seniors are coping in this time of isolation? We'll hear how non-profits and an army of volunteers in the Bay Area are working to relieve the anxiety. Then, we continue checking in with reporters around the globe on the coronavirus. Today, we're going to India. And, Oakland pianist and MC, Kev Choice shares the spiritual dimension of his music.

What does the quarantine mean for people who are homeless? We hear how one soup kitchen is adjusting to the shelter-in-place order. Then, we begin a series that looks at how other countries are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, starting with Australia. And, from our project Uncuffed, how to make a wet burrito if you’re stuck in a prison cell.