An Audio Postcard From West Virginia To Wales

Mar 25, 2020

On this West Virginia Morning, as detection of coronavirus expands throughout the state, other health challenges remain. We’ll check in with a health expert in the Eastern Panhandle, and we’ll also take a break from virus coverage and hear from kids corresponding between Wales and West Virginia.  

The coronavirus pandemic certainly continues to capture our attention. Confirmed cases almost doubled in West Virginia Tuesday. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported 19 new cases, bringing the total count to 39.  

But what about other public health needs?  

Terrence Reidy is the health officer for the Berkeley-Morgan County Health Department and the Jefferson County Health Department in the Eastern Panhandle.

Liz McCormick spoke with Reidy over Skype to learn how he and his health care colleagues are juggling needs for the coronavirus and the needs for everything else.

Now for a break from coronavirus — with a story that warms the heart, because it helps address questions many of us might be struggling with… How do we connect with each other in this age of “social distancing?”

For the past few months, our Inside Appalachia Folkways Project has been cultivating a connection between high schools in Lincoln County, W.Va. and in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.

Both Wales and Appalachia have a historical connection through the extractive industry, with many Welsh immigrating to the states in the 19th century to work in the coal mines. Through that, much of the two cultures’ folklife was intertwined.

And because young people often have a unique way of understanding things, we had the students in Wales and West Virginia swap audio diaries. Our folkways and southern coalfields reporter Caitlin Tan put this audio postcard together.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.