Side Effects

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Andrew Peterson isn’t one to stay still, but he’s had to get creative since COVID cancelled the marathons and competitions he’d normally be running in. Seth Johnson interviewed him and his father for Side Effects Public Media as part of an audio diary project for our Move to Include series.

What does an entertainment journalist do when he can’t cover events? Seth Johnson talks about his experience learning new skills — including creating radio diaries for Side Effects — during the pandemic. Part 1 of our Move to Include series on how people with disabilities are coping during this nationwide public health crisis. 

Building Trust Is Key To Ensuring Farmworker Access To COVID Testing, Vaccine

Jan 21, 2021
Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

For more than a decade, Saraí has been a farmworker, cultivating corn and soybeans in the fields of central Illinois. She moved to the U.S. from Mexico to find work that would allow her to better support her family.

Natalie Krebs / Side Effects Public Media

The work that people in public health do is often not very visible. It’s usually focused on long-term impacts like improving maternal health and encouraging flu shots. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. last spring, public health workers were thrown into the spotlight seemingly overnight. And this sudden shift has taken a huge toll on them. 

A bag of Doritos, that's all Princess wanted.

Her mom calls her Princess, but her real name is Lindsey. She's 17 and lives with her mom, Sandra, a nurse, outside of Atlanta. On May 17, 2020, a Sunday, Lindsey decided she didn't want breakfast; she wanted Doritos. So she left home and walked to Family Dollar, taking her pants off on the way, while her mom followed on the phone with police.

Photo by <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">National Cancer Institute</a> on Unsplash

As soon as COVID-19 hit, there was a massive jump in telemedicine visits. A Centers for Disease Control study found that in March 2020 there was a 154% increase compared to the previous year.

Now it’s clear the coronavirus has dramatically changed the way Americans get medical care. But some of these virtual options remain out of reach for the most vulnerable populations, like seniors.

Jake Harper | Side Effects

The Indiana Department of Correction will conduct a "comprehensive review" of the Indiana Women’s Prison, according to an email sent to staff on Friday. 

The department will examine the facility’s “operations, programs, treatment services, maintenance and situational readiness.” The email says the decision to conduct the review follows complaints about the prison over the past couple of years. 

Courtesy of James Roberson

Three times a week, an Uber ride on Indianapolis’ East Side helps to perserve the life of bright-eyed, 11-year-old Jay’Shawn Roberson.

Every other weekday, Jay’Shawn and his snaggletooth smile take a ride from his Brightwood apartment to Riley Hospital for Children for dialysis treatments. James Roberson uses lunch breaks to take his son to outpatient care, leaving Jay’Shawn there so he can return to the job that is a lifeline for his formerly homeless family. 

Preguntas Sobre COVID-19 - English Version

Jan 14, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Latino community particularly hard, and information about the virus is not always readily available in Spanish at the local level. To answer questions and fill information gaps, Side Effects Public Media convened a panel of three health workers who work closely with Latino Hoosiers throughout the state. Side Effects reporter Sebastián Martínez Valdivia spoke with Gabriela Lemus, community health worker for Health Visions Midwest in Fort Wayne; Indianapolis-based pulmonary disease specialist Dr. Jorge Morales-Estrella; and Guillermo Guevara, community health worker and multicultural liaison at Echo Division Street Family Clinic in Evansville.


At Riley Hospital for Children there's been a jump in emergency room visits related to mental health and suicide. From March to December, these visits increased 61 percent compared to the same months in 2019.

Hilary Blake, a psychologist at the Indianapolis hospital, says there is a mental health crisis in Indiana.

How This School Nurse Handles Work During COVID-19

Jan 8, 2021
Courtesy Of Jen BarbouRoske

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for Midwestern school districts as they balance their students’ education and safety. At the forefront are school nurses, who are responsible for screening kids for COVID-19, notifying parents and even contact tracing. And that’s on top of their regular duties.

Go Fund Me Page/ Alicia Sanders and Rashad Elby

A prominent Indiana lawmaker wants to make sure the final days of Dr. Susan Moore’s life, which were chronicled in an emotional video, lead to lasting change for Black women.

So she’s drafting a bill that would require cultural awareness training for the state’s health care professionals.

Courtesty of Glynita Bell

While listening to the disturbing details of how 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was shot to death by Louisville police officers in her own apartment, Glynita Bell had a sudden thought about Taylor, who lived just miles away from her New Albany, Indiana home. 

COVID-19: El Proceso De Vacunación

Dec 28, 2020
Courtesty of Indiana State Department of Health

A medida que comienza el proceso de vacunación, America Amplified recopila y organiza las respuestas de los peritos ante las preguntas de los oyentes de la radio pública de todo el país. Estas preguntas provienen de nuestras emisoras asociadas.

Para la versión en inglés, haga clic aquí.


On Dec. 4, Dr. Susan Moore posted a video from her hospital bed in the Indianapolis area. Short of breath and with an oxygen tube in her nose, she said that she was denied proper care while being treated for COVID-19.

Less than three weeks later, she died from the virus. 

Courtesy of IU Health.

Medical professionals across the country are being vaccinated against COVID-19. For Dr. Gabriel Bosslet, a pulmonologist in Indianapolis, it was a day he'll never forget. He spoke with Side Effects Public Media's Carter Barrett, before getting the vaccine — and just hours after the first dose.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The pandemic has left millions of Americans without jobs, and as a result, nearly 14 million people lost employer-sponsored health insurance.  For the one-in-10 Americans with diabetes, this poses a potentially life-threatening problem. 

Office of the Lieutenant Governor

On a quiet day this month, barber Trey Cato had someone new in his chair -- someone who’d come for the conversation, not the haircut.

“When a kid's friend gets shot and they die, [the kid] gets the [memorial] T-shirt, but before he goes to the church and the funeral, he stops at the barbershop to get a haircut,” Cato recalls telling Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who traveled hours from the state capital to visit his shop in Ft. Wayne. “The barbers have so much influence.”


Megan Miedema is a mother of two in Chicago. In October, she started to feel back pain but was hesitant to go to the doctor. She worried about getting COVID-19 and bringing it back home. 

The new  COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out across the country — a process that will take months. But there were hopeful signs Wednesday at an Indianapolis hospital where some of the first shots were given.

You Asked: Do COVID-19 Vaccines Have Side Effects?

Dec 14, 2020
(Provided by Indiana Department of Health)

States will begin receiving the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week, and many anticipate receiving more at least weekly. Every state has made their own vaccination plans, so check with your health department for specific information.  Meanwhile, here are answers to some of your general questions about the vaccines.

COVID-19 And Diabetes Can Be A Dangerous Mix

Dec 14, 2020
Farah Yousry

Agatha Walston leads a busy life. She’s a nurse in southern Indiana and a single mother of two young kids.

Even As COVID-19 Surges, Misinformation Persists

Dec 10, 2020
Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay

COVID-19 vaccines could one day end the pandemic. But at the moment, cases — and deaths — continue to rise. So does misinformation about the disease.

One comment often seen on social media is that deaths are being attributed to COVID even when the patient died of something else. Dr. Sonal Shah, a hospitalist at Southern Illinois Healthcare, says some of that confusion may come from death certificates having two fields. 

Free Job Training Gives Hoosiers Hope Amid Pandemic

Dec 10, 2020
Washington Township Adult Education

As a dying wish to her mother, 48-year-old Winona Parker vowed to get her high school diploma.

It would take the Indianapolis woman four years, and half a dozen attempts, to make her career dream a reality.


For many mothers giving  birth during the pandemic, pregnancy has not gone as planned. To learn about these experiences, a pair of researchers is collecting pandemic birth stories from across the country.