Fresh Air with Terry Gross

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The Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Editor's note: This interview contains graphic details that some readers may find upsetting.

Of the roughly 100,000 Americans included in the official COVID-19 death count, 20,000 died in New York City in a period of two months. Time magazine reporter W.J. Hennigan recently spent several weeks looking into the practical challenge of how a city deals with so many bodies suffused with a deadly pathogen.

Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight on respiratory illnesses and the breaths we so often take for granted.

Journalist James Nestor became interested in the respiratory system years ago after his doctor recommended he take a breathing class to help his recurring pneumonia and bronchitis.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Growing up, Hannah Gadsby always felt she was different. She struggled to read social cues, she had trouble applying for jobs, and spent a few living in a tent and doing farm labor. But Gadsby, who's from Tasmania, had always been funny. On a whim, in 2006 she entered a stand-up comedy competition — and won.

"I'd never held a microphone before. ... I'd never even been to a comedy show — but all of a sudden, I kind of knew what I was doing," she says. "As soon as I told my first joke ... it really made people engage with me, and I held the audience in my hand."

I'm feeling so cooped up these days that I sometimes find myself getting in the car and taking aimless rides to nowhere. Maybe that's what prompted me to finally check out an on-the-road novel that came out in February, right before the pandemic brought life-as-we-know-it to a hard stop.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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