civic editor Monica Nickelsburg talks to geek life reporter Kurt Schlosser, as we record this week’s episode of the Podcast remotely from our respective homes this week. (Max Friedrichsen Photo)

Here’s what we’re talking about this week on the Podcast.

The gravity of the COVID-19 virus outbreak hit home hard in Seattle this week: Large events were banned, schools were closed, and thousands of people struggled to adjust to working from home. Restaurants began to feel the pinch – some even closed temporarily – as people stayed home. The Seattle Archdiocese said it would suspend celebration of the Eucharist at services. Amazon will hold its annual shareholder meeting online … a first.

This podcast is a small example: we recorded the show entirely remotely for the first time, with each of us in our respective homes, connected via video conference, rather than sitting together in our studio at the office as we usually do.

Over three dozen people have died from the virus and over 500 cases of the disease were reported. The number of infections and the death toll continued to rise. And testing for the disease continues to be a problem.

We discuss several angles to this fast-moving story:

Children in Seattle-area schools will be home at least until April 24. Nicole Tanner talks with us about what the experience of learning in a virtual classroom is like for her second-grade daughter … and herself:

Alan Boyle has been reporting on what testing for COVID-19 can tell us about the disease:

Kurt Schlosser visited the eerily quiet South Lake Union neighborhood, where Amazon is headquartered:

And Monica Nickelsburg wrote about Amazon taking its annual shareholder meeting into the cloud:

With’s Todd Bishop, Monica Nickelsburg and Kurt Schlosser, and special guest, contributing writer Nicole Tanner. Audio editing and production by Curt Milton. Music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

Her former podcast co-hosts can be found here: