The State of Things

WUNC's The State of Things brings the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you.  The State of Things Podcast presents new stories every weekday with topics from our show.  To subscribe:Get a daily show update and special news. Subscribe to our podcast on Google Play or iTunes.  Or, use the links at the right.Visit the main SOT page.

Curbside sign reads: Please remain in your vehicle, we will be right with you.
Ben McKeown / WUNC

North Carolina is still in the early phase of its COVID-19 outbreak. The statewide case count jumped over the weekend, from 888 last Friday to about 1,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday morning. 

Two boys reading on a couch with grandfather
Courtesy of Amy Scott

Homes across North Carolina are becoming workplaces, schools and daycares as families make plans to shelter in place for the next month.

Courtesy of Ways & Means

What does it mean to take a unique approach to solving problems like gun violence, climate change, voter apathy or racism? It means asking hard questions in different ways and tracking the answers through close study of human behavior. 

Graphic of a bed.
WikiHow

A solid eight hours can be hard to come by in our non-stop, tech-saturated world. But the modern science of sleep shows that shut-eye is just as critical as diet and exercise in shaping both mental and physical health.

Pixabay

While North Carolina politicians ponder their role in the pandemic response, healthcare workers know they will be the first responders no matter what. That is why hospitals are pleading that state and local governments order people to shelter-in-place. 

PBS

After filming five seasons of the Peabody award-winning series, “A Chef’s Life,” Vivian Howard has the cameras pointed in a different direction — this time, away from her. While she is the host of her new show, “Somewhere South,” her role is more like that of a food ethnographer. 

Pixabay

Who are we when faced with widespread contagion? Disease and humanity’s varied responses to sickness are on full-display in cinema – from zombie flicks to documentaries that help deepen our understanding of epidemics in the real world.  

U.S. Congress

A week before the U.S. stock market started to slump, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr sold off a significant portion of his portfolio — while reassuring the public that the nation was prepared for a pandemic. 

Dalvin Nichols 8-Bit Photography

Dealing with the COVID-19 crisis means coping with feelings of fear, confusion and sadness. For musicians, it also means financial precarity as venues and festivals across the state continue to cancel or postpone.
 

Melissa Carrico

Nothing changes your life like the addition of a child. Suddenly, there are so many new things to consider for a tiny human whose brain works in really mysterious ways. 

Creative Commons / https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1019274

Many people learn the basics in sex education classes — how men and women procreate and how to avoid contracting sexually transmitted infections. However, the science of sex goes well beyond basic textbook diagrams. In recent decades, researchers have developed a deeper understanding of the interplay between our brains and our bodies and about the mechanics of sexual desire.

Jared Weber / Carolina Connection

How is the coronavirus pandemic changing your life? North Carolinians share their stories of how this outbreak is affecting all facets of their calendar day, from canceled weddings to closed businesses to concerns about elderly relatives and neighbors. 

Book cover with a yellow leaf.
Courtesy of Therese Anne Fowler

The novel “A Good Neighborhood” (St. Martin’s Press/2020) starts with a premise familiar to many North Carolinians: new residents moving into a historic community and putting up a brand new, giant house. 

Pixabay

Confirmed COVID-19 cases are concentrated in North Carolina’s urban centers up to now, but more rural areas are also feeling the economic and social ripples of the coronavirus pandemic. In North Carolina’s poorest county, the threat of economic recession looms greater than the disease itself. 

Courtesy of Clay Johnson

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everyday life for most North Carolinians as state and federal officials encourage people to stay in their homes and practice social distancing. Many employers are enforcing strict work-from-home policies, and Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all North Carolina schools to close for two weeks. 

Ways & Means Presents: Green Ideas

Mar 16, 2020
Graphic showing a car, bus, bike and footprints on a backdrop of a city skyline.
Courtesy of Ways & Means

North Carolina is home to some of the best public policy minds in the nation. The Ways & Means podcast highlights faculty research at one of the state’s top programs: Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

How will the coronavirus pandemic affect voting? The public and the media are closely watching how incumbents respond to the crisis.

Josie Taris and Amanda Magnus / WUNC

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States is growing every day. The stock markets are crashing. Universities are moving classes online. The NBA, NHL and MLB have all postponed or canceled upcoming games.

Ross and Ruiz-Lopez headshot.
Courtesy of Violet Bell

When North Carolina duo Violet Bell started recording their debut album, they planned to feature  a drummer, plus band members Lizzy Ross and Omar Ruiz-Lopez. But once the tape started rolling, Ross and Ruiz-Lopez realized the music warranted a bigger sound.

Credit: Raleigh Police Department

The Raleigh Police Department released body camera footage on Wednesday evening of an officer’s non-fatal shooting of Javier Torres. A judge authorized the release of the body and dash camera footage of the incident earlier on Wednesday.

Amanda Magnus / WUNC

Compared to many other cultures around the world, Americans place a high value on cleanliness. But with the coronavirus now declared a global pandemic, we’ve all become hygiene-obsessed.

Credit Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, North Carolina is now in a state of emergency. Gov. Roy Cooper issued the declaration Tuesday, as increased testing better accounts for the rising number of confirmed cases in the state.

John Biewen

Democracy is at the center of the creation myth of the United States. But just how important was democracy to our nation’s founding fathers?

John Riddick

Are you a Becky, or a Rebecca? Do you ignore injustice if it does not affect you, or do you stand up for what is right?

Courtesy of CrossComm, Inc.

What if the winning coach of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament chose the height of the hoop and the distance of the three-point line for the next year? Here in North Carolina, winning the majority in the state legislature lets lawmakers do something similar with the state’s electoral maps.

Brian Robinson, UNCG

Many African Americans searching for their family histories hit a wall when they get to the 1860s or 1870s. During slavery, the only public records for enslaved people were deeds, which classified them as property and said nothing of their lived experiences, or even marked their birth or death.

Rare Bird Books

Author John Russell calls the 1898 Wilmington Massacre an “un-secret secret.” While there has recently been some renewed focus and attention on the racial massacre and its historical consequences, this ugly chapter in North Carolina’s history was largely unacknowledged just decades ago.

John Hooper/ Decoro Images

Brianna Tam’s cello nearly disappears when turned sideways. The sleek, black instrument is just an outline with strings.

Courtesy of Ronnie Pepper

Ronnie Pepper loves to hear stories as much as he loves to tell them. He grew up in the small Appalachian town of Hendersonville during the era of the civil rights movement in a house with no plumbing and only four rooms.

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Photo

 

Super Tuesday voters gave former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign new life as the candidate won 10 states — including North Carolina. Biden now leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the overall delegate count, but the race is far from over. 

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