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Isabella Gomez Sarmiento

Masuma Ahuja can vividly recall what she wore on her first day of school in the United States: black jeans and a gray and orange T-shirt.

It was the early 2000s and her family had just moved from India to Pittsburgh. She remembers a boy at her middle school asking her, on that very first day, about what she was wearing.

"He was like, 'Oh, I didn't realize that you wore [Western] clothes in India," she says. "He thought India was very much a place where there were snake charmers and elephants on the street."

The music of Aaron Frazer feels a bit like stepping into a time machine: It's got touches of Curtis Mayfield and Carole King, but it's also very much of this moment.

When lockdown went into effect earlier this year, many people turned to TikTok to pass the time.

Like, a lot of people: the short-video platform has now hit over 2.6 billion downloads globally and was the most downloaded app of 2020, according to mobile app analytics firm App Annie.

The pandemic is part of the reason for surging TikTok popularity.

When I started working at NPR last year, I asked Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras if we could grab a quick coffee to talk about his show, of which I was a long-time listener. That coffee turned into an hour-long conversation on the office patio — not about Alt.Latino or anything work-related, but about what we discovered was a shared affinity for the music of the Grateful Dead.

Growing a mustache. Teaching a girl to dance. Lying in bed on a rainy morning.

These are the everyday daydreams of Wachito Rico, the titular character at the heart of Boy Pablo's new album.

And they're not far off from the real life of Nico Muñoz, the 21-year-old Chilean-Norwegian musician behind Boy Pablo.

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

If you're wondering when it will be safe to date again — or how to do it — you're not alone.

Via social media and email, NPR readers have sent in questions about dating and relationships in the age of COVID-19. Some of the queries:

Last fall, we spoke to Cameroonian filmmaker Rosine Mbakam about the U.S. premiere of her documentaries The Two Faces of A Bamileke Woman and Chez Jolie Coiffure. Now, we catch up to hear how the pandemic has upended — and reinvented — her new projects.

When cases of the coronavirus spiked in March, doctors and nurses across the country found themselves overwhelmed with work. The shutdown also took away an important creative outlet for a special breed of medical professional: classical musicians. That's why John Masko, a symphony conductor in Boston, founded the National Virtual Medical Orchestra, giving those in the medical field a chance to perform and connect with each other.

"I kept hearing from musician after musician from our ensemble [about] how much they wish they were playing," Masko says.

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. And we ask readers to send in their queries. Some of the questions we get are a little ... unusual. They may not be the most critical health questions. Yet they are definitely interesting. So this week, here is a sampling of both frequently and infrequently asked questions.

On June 8, a small group of Democratic lawmakers donned Ghanaian kente cloth before kneeling on the floor of the U.S. Capitol for nearly nine minutes. The gesture was meant to show solidarity for George Floyd as they unveiled their proposed police reform legislation. But photographs of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrapped in the colorful woven strips, gifted to them by members of the Black Congressional Caucus, quickly sparked controversy online.

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