Mallory Yu

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, for many, the dollar cost of trying to stay safe adds up. Protective masks and COVID tests — though the Biden administration is offering families a limited number for free — cost time to find and money to buy, and we're wondering how these and other COVID safety expenditures are affecting you.

How much are you spending on personal protective equipment each month? Have you had to skimp on other expenses to pay for PPE, testing or other COVID safety expenses? Or does the cost prevent you from keeping yourself as safe as you'd like?

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Writer-director Joss Whedon was once hailed as a feminist for his creation of strong female characters. He's probably best known for creating hit series like "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"...

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It was this past September that three members of Congress shared their personal stories of abortion.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

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The writer Wil Haygood grew up watching movies with mostly white actors - Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne, Henry Fonda.

WIL HAYGOOD: They all had one thing in common - they were all white. As a little kid, I never saw a Black actor.

Before she became sick with a coronavirus infection in January, Semhar Fisseha was a healthy, active 39-year-old.

She took walks every day and planned summer vacations with her nine-year-old daughter. Now, even activities that many people take for granted can come at a big cost.

"I woke up with a deep fatigue," she says in an audio diary one October morning.

"I had a four-activity day yesterday — I showered, I bathed my daughter, I went for a walk, and I washed the dishes."

Fisseha also experiences chest pain and a racing heart.

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And we are joined now by Ahmaud Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery, and family attorney Ben Crump.

Thank you both for being with us today.

BEN CRUMP: Thank you for having us.

MARCUS ARBERY: Yes.

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Chloe Zhao has had a tremendous year. She won two Academy Awards for her film "Nomadland," a quiet, contemplative story. And now she's out with a very different movie, Marvel's "Eternals," a sweeping superhero saga that spans thousands of years of humanity.

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