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?
One interviewee in particular was happy we were doing the story. The issue, he felt, was being drowned out by all the other news items happening in 2020, and he makes a salient point. In any other year, the closure of the U.S.-Canada border would be a massive deal. But it's a footnote right now.

Q: What surprised you about this type of community engagement?
I was struck by how many folks don't believe the virus is a serious threat to Americans.

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