Eva Tesfaye

Eva Tesfaye is a 2020 Kroc Fellow. She started in October 2020 and will spend the year rotating through different parts of NPR.

She joined NPR after graduating from Columbia University with a B.A. in English and a minor in French and Francophone studies, where her studies focused on African literature and the history of French colonization. She also spent a year in Paris taking literature courses at the Sorbonne. During her time at Columbia, she reported for her campus radio station, WKCR.

She grew up moving around Africa and has lived in Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, South Africa, and Kenya.

After Gabby LaRochelle, 22, got her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, she reached out to her friends to make travel plans for this summer. She can't wait to get out of her house in Clarksburg, Md.

"So I was the one who was like, 'we need to hang out, we need to hang out, we need to hang out,' " she says.

Switching between Swahili and English, Dr. Frank Minja asked the African immigrants on the Zoom call if they had any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Minja, who is originally from Tanzania, was asked how to get the vaccine, how it works, whether it's safe.

Then one person asked him about a video promoting the conspiracy theory that the vaccine is part of a plot to reduce the Black race.

"That's the realm of nonsense and misinformation," he said.

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Cooper Lewis wears his Nike FlyEase sneakers, which are designed to be quick and easy to get into, every day.

"They're really the only pair that I have that actually fit and stay on my feet," says the 31-year-old from Akron, Ohio, who is recovering from a stroke and has limited mobility.

There are many slip-on shoes on the market, but the FlyEase line is designed with both fashion and the needs of people with disabilities in mind.

When it's time to be vaccinated, the apes at the San Diego Zoo and its associated safari park sit still and allow veterinarians to inject their arms through a barrier.

"It's pretty amazing," said San Diego Zoo Safari Park director Lisa Peterson. "Our great apes are trained to participate in their own care."

On Jan. 11, a troop of eight gorillas at the safari park tested positive for the coronavirus. They were quarantined, received treatment, and are now recovering.

Bobby is a sixth grader at North Brookfield Elementary School in western Massachusetts. He's crazy about the Loch Ness monster. He's into math and Minecraft. And he likes online learning.

"It's a lot easier to focus," he says. "I can be in my room and be a lot more comfortable doing stuff."

President Biden has said that his goal is to have the majority of K-8 schools operating in-person by the end of his first 100 days in office.

An upshot of the pandemic is that it's forcing people outdoors, a reality that Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., is taking full advantage of as it focuses on exploring Black history through nature.