Alaska, Interrupted, Episode 3: Goodbye letters

Miriam and Charlie Aarons at Charlie’s retirement party. (Courtesy Miriam Aarons)

This week, on Alaska, Interrupted: Charlie Aarons, a 70-year-old retired Anchorage doctor, has been holed up at home for the past five weeks, getting groceries delivered and leaving only for daily walks as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

His daughter, Miriam Aarons, was also taking serious precautions, wiping down her own grocery deliveries and only handling mail with gloves. She tested positive for COVID-19 nonetheless, and with her father’s help fought through the virus. She’s healthy now, but faced some dark moments when she was sick: At one point, she wrote goodbye letters to her four sons.

Hear from both of them in this week’s episode.

Nathaniel Herz is an Anchorage-based journalist. He's been a reporter in Alaska for a decade, and is currently reporting for Alaska Public Media. Find more of his work by subscribing to his newsletter, Northern Journal, at Reach him at

Previous articleSaturday update: Five new cases of COVID-19, plus new racial data on positives
Next articleIn time of anxiety, therapist says there’s a lot the forest can teach us