Jessica Deahl

Jessica Deahl is an editor for NPR's award-winning program All Things Considered. There she works closely with NPR hosts in the shaping of program segments and arranges interviews with key newsmakers in the most central, relevant stories of the day.

She is the recipient of a 2017 Gracie Award from The Alliance of Women in Media for a 12-part NPR series called "Stretched: Working Parents' Juggling Act," which covered topics ranging from the dearth of parental leave to the scarcity of childcare in the United States.

She did her graduate studies at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and her undergraduate studies at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Fourth-generation funeral director Patrick Kearns has seen a lot in his 25 years working around death. But nothing, he says, compares with the intensity of what he has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patrick and his brother-in-law Paul Kearns-Stanley are partners in a family funeral business that has been operating in New York City since 1900.

"I do think of it like a wave that hit us," says Paul. "You don't see it coming. It knocks you over, you get tossed and you're trying to figure out which way is up."

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Out of 193 countries in the United Nations, only a small handful do not have a national paid parental leave law: New Guinea, Suriname, a few South Pacific island nations and the United States.

In the U.S., that means a lot moms and dads go back to work much sooner after the birth of a baby than they would like because they can't afford unpaid time off.

Jody Heymann, founding director of the World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA, says the global landscape for paid parental leave looks bright, but the U.S. is far behind.