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Cardboard beds. Urban farms. Roving mariachi bands.

These are some of the ways that regular folks are solving problems and spreading happiness during the pandemic.

The solutions aren't perfect — public health experts have some critiques and suggestions. But at the same time, they applaud the ingenuity and positive vibes.

Read the stories of six grassroots change-makers — then nominate your own at the bottom of this story.

Philz Coffee is laying off 181 employees across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, management of the cafe chain announced to staff Friday night.

“The severity and duration of the pandemic has been worse than Philz reasonably anticipated, and the company now must proceed with layoffs it hoped to originally avoid,” the company wrote in a mass email to laid-off workers. The company said it had roughly 800 employees before the layoffs, in its cafes located in San Francisco, Southern California, Chicago, Washington D.C. and beyond.

President Trump on Saturday was photographed wearing a mask during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, after months of refusing to don the medical expert-recommended face coverings meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"I love masks in the appropriate locations," Trump said, speaking to reporters at the White House before his visit.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, along with more than 150 prominent journalists, authors and writers, published a letter in Harper's Magazine on Tuesday, decrying what it called the "intolerant climate that has set in on all sides" of debate. The letter set off a heated controversy over free speech, privilege and the role of social media in public discourse.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is hospitalized in Mumbai.

In a tweet on Saturday, Bachchan, 77, said his family and staff have also undergone tests and are awaiting results.

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And finally today, a new documentary highlights one of the most storied careers on Capitol Hill. It's called "John Lewis: Good Trouble."

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE")

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Nearly four months after it closed over coronavirus concerns, Disney World is once again inviting guests to experience its Florida theme parks.

The reopening comes as Florida is experiencing a surge of new coronavirus cases, with more than 10,000 being reported on Saturday.

Both Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom opened Saturday to the general public, following limited openings for annual-pass holders and employees. The other two area parks — Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios — are expected to open on Wednesday.

The American dream takes on new meaning in photographer Eliot Dudik's series Paradise Road.

Through the images, Dudik takes the viewer on a journey across the U.S., from empty grasslands to suburban lawns, from dirt byways to mountain valleys, all along different roads named Paradise Road. Each photograph unveils a different view of a potential paradise through expansive landscapes and stoic portraits of people he meets along the way.

The new school year is rapidly approaching, but many parents and educators still don't know exactly what the semester will look like.

As President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos call for schools to open in-person, districts across the country are formulating a range of plans. Doctors have their own recommendations for what systems should do.

UPDATE (3:48 p.m. PT) — Portland Public Schools said Saturdy it is still working out what the beginning of the school year will look like. Its current plan includes some in-person learning, with physical distancing and other precautions in place.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

As Zuleika Yusuf Daffala walks across Kibera, one of the big informal settlements in Kenya's capital, she greets dozens of kids on the streets. Some are jumping rope, others chasing each other through the alley and another group is trying to make a tiny cooking pan out of an aluminum can.

Back in 2017, San Francisco became the first city in the U.S. to offer new parents their full paychecks while they miss work to bond with their babies or adopted children.

But according to a study published this week in the health policy journal, Health Affairs, the historic law has limited reach among low-income families, who arguably need the benefits the most.

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Former COVID-19 Patients Discuss Recovery

Jul 11, 2020

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President Emmanuel Macron of France made two controversial appointments to his Cabinet this week - one is a critic of the #MeToo movement, the other is under investigation for rape and sexual assault. Rebecca Rosman reports from Paris.

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Is Charlie Kaufman's debut novel a satire, a surreal confessional, a self-parody, an act of literary retaliation, or - it is massive.

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Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Thomas Salts spent two weeks in a hotel in Arizona sleeping, watching TV and, most importantly, fighting COVID-19.

"I mean it was truly one of the worst bouts I'd ever had dealing with any kind of thing, with the flu or anything," Salts told NPR's Weekend Edition. "It was 10 times worse."

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