Behind This Story

Nate Hegyi produced this story for the Mountain West News Bureau as part of the America Amplified: Election 2020 initiative, using community engagement to inform and strengthen local, regional and national journalism.

America Amplified is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. You can follow America Amplified on Twitter @amplified2020.

Read more about what Hegyi learned in this Q&A:

Q: What did the people you talked to say about the experience of being interviewed for public radio?
The people I spoke with were eager to talk about their experience with an asbestos-related disease and what life has been like during the pandemic. The CARD clinic was especially helpful in providing sources.

Q: What surprised you about this type of community engagement?
I was surprised at how personal politics, for the most part, did not play a role in how seriously the people I spoke with took COVID-19. One conservative source said "wearing a mask was patriotic," which is at odds with some other interviews I've done in other rural communities during the pandemic.

Q: Do you plan to go back to this group for more conversations? When and how? Not at the moment.