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What is the single most important question about COVID-19 you think needs to be answered? Submit it for a special Idaho Matters Doctors Roundtable in English and Spanish.

A Year Of 'Good Mornings.' Morning Edition Host George Prentice Listens Back On 2020

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In early January, Idaho Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn visited Morning Edition to talk about the flu season. That's when host George Prentice asked her about a breaking news story out of Wuhan, China regarding a disturbing new virus. Thus began a heartbreaking year of tracking COVID-19 to the shores of the U.S. and, ultimately to Idaho where, by year's end, it had claimed nearly 1,400 lives.

As Idaho anxiously awaits the opportunity to turn the page on the calendar, Prentice takes a final listen to some of the voices that made Morning Edition essential listening this past year.

"We've never been alone. We have been by ourselves. But we've never been alone."


Read the full transcript below:

Good morning, George.

Great to be here.

Good morning, George. Thanks for having me.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Good morning, George.

Good morning, George. Glad to be with you this morning.

Good morning.

Good morning, George. Thanks for having me.

Good morning.

Happy to be here.


GEORGE PRENTICE: I'd be remiss if I didn't ask a little bit about the coronavirus, which we’re just beginning to hear about; and some of the reports are rather scary of what's happening in China. I have to assume that you're tracking some of that.

DR. CHRISTINE HAHN: Yes, we are. We're following the situation in China very closely. For readers that may not have heard about that. I've read this morning that they are now reporting six deaths; and you may have heard in the United States, we are starting to screen at our major airports that  receive a lot of people returning from China.

DOCTOR INFECTED WITH COVID: I have had the illness about 14 days, and I'm definitely through the darkest days of my illness, which were about a week ago.

ER DOCTOR ON COVID: Now, if you can kind of imagine what this looks like: I'm gowned up, double-gloved. I have a mask on. I have a face shield on. Basically, all they can see are my eyes. And here they are...they're sick. They're scared. They might be a little bit short of breath. And I'm telling them something that they really don't want to hear.

BISHOP BRIAN THOM: A woman called me from Spokane, concerned that her mother was going to die alone. And that while we may not have other people with us, we are certainly not dying alone because God and God's spirit attends those moments... ready to accept someone into the next reality. We have to count on that... that as in life, we've never been alone. We have been by ourselves. But we've never been alone.

TEACHER NO. 1: I think this scenario is difficult for families and kids, and there's nothing sadder than seeing a group of teachers who are just waiting for their kids to walk into the door and it doesn't happen.

TEACHER NO. 2: We have amazing teachers. We have fantastic families. We have a caring community. And that doesn't change just because we are in this online environment. So it is... it’s been overwhelming for me to watch teachers… and their love for children.... I'm sorry I got all emotional there.

PRENTICE: So we're going to have a mini spelling bee, a mini contest here, OK? So I'm going to give you a word: How about “intelligent?” “Intelligent.” You are “intelligent,”


PRENTICE: That's exactly right. OK, give me another word. 


PRENTICE: What….what word was that? 

SPELLING BEE CHAMP: Labyrinthine. Labyrinthine.

PRENTICE: Yeah. OK, let me try L.. A, B R Y N T H I N E.

SPELLING BEE CHAMP: That was incorrect. it was actually l a b y r i n t h i n e.

PRENTICE: Let's talk about dreams Zeta. What's your dream? What do you want to do someday?

DREAMER: I want to be a paramedic, fireman, a policeman, an artist, architect, engineer, builder and somebody who holds a fish, like someone who works at the aquarium.

PRENTICE: Well... I'm here with Steve Inskeep.

STEVE INSKEEP: Well, thank you; and thank you for what you're doing. And I know we're aware every day that we wouldn't be anything without NPR stations. I know it's a hard time for a lot of NPR stations ... for everybody. But we're sticking together and and continuing to go. And thanks for what you do. 

Find reporter George Prentice on Twitter @georgepren

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