covid-19

Credit Kristina Ortiz

Kristina Ortiz and Tim Himes aren’t brother and sister by blood, but they might as well be. They’ve never known life apart. Ortiz was six months old when her foster mother brought Himes home from the hospital.  

“I’m always there for you,” Himes said on a video call with Ortiz. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful time, and a lot of people experiencing anxiety and depression might be feeling it for the first time.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s All In spoke with mental health experts about what these things feel like, why they happen and what can be done to help.

Christine Herman/Illinois Public Media

As universities prepare to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester, some are counting on widespread COVID-19 testing to help clamp down on potential outbreaks. 

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, large white tents, with signs reading “Walk-Up COVID-19 Testing,” have been popping up across campus.

courtesy of Kelly Harper Berkson

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Side Effects is answering questions from our audience about the virus. To reach a larger audience, we’ve translated some of this material into Spanish. And now, we're partnering with Indiana University linguistics professor Kelly Harper Berkson and the Chin Languages Research Project to provide information to the Burmese-American community. 

courtesy of Kelly Harper Berkson

courtesy of Kelly Harper Berkson

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Side Effects is answering questions from our audience about the virus. To reach a larger audience, we've partnered with Indiana University linguistics professor Kelly Harper Berkson and the Chin Languages Research Project to provide information to the Burmese-American community.

courtesy of Kelly Harper Berkson

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Side Effects is answering questions from our audience about the virus. To reach a larger audience, we've partnered with Indiana University linguistics professor Kelly Harper Berkson and the Chin Languages Research Project to provide information to the Burmese-American community.

courtesy of Kelly Harper Berkson

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Side Effects is answering questions from our audience about the virus. We're partnering with Indiana University linguistics professor Kelly Harper Berkson and the Chin Languages Research Project to provide information to the Burmese-American community. IU students Peng Hlei Thang and Kimberly Sakhong provided the translation.

Ahodah hneksaknak aa tuah kho?

CREDIT: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As national and state leaders struggle to get COVID-19 under control, minority groups are at a higher risk for the virus. And that includes Indianapolis’ Burmese refugees, a tight-knit community. But providing these refugees with accurate information about the virus has been a challenge for public health workers. 

Ruth L. Poor

Gov. Eric Holcomb often brags about the Indiana Women’s Prison. Last year, Holcomb showed the prison off to Ivanka Trump. He’s mentioned the prison in his state of the state address and posted videos to his Facebook page. 

Lauren Bavis | Side Effects Public Media

This story was updated on July 24, 2020 to include additional information on deaths in group homes.

One of the ways Mikaela Coppedge has coped during the COVID-19 pandemic has been through writing poetry. Her poem “The Fear That Is COVID-19," starts: 

“Since the coronavirus outbreak and then the quarantine beginning, life as we know has all somewhat gone to hell.” 

Coppedge has a rare brain disease called Rasmussen’s encephalitis. As a treatment, half her brain was removed when she was three years old.  

Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media

Public health experts and advocates have worried about correctional facilities since the beginning of the pandemic. In such close quarters, social distancing is difficult or impossible, and a coronavirus outbreak poses risks to inmates, staff and the surrounding communities. 

Courtesy of Seth Thompson

Seth Thompson learned about COVID-19 early.  He’s an engineer in Carthage, Missouri, a town of just under 15,000 that sits along historic Route 66 in the southwest corner of the state. The virus first came to Thompson’s attention in February, when the global firm he works for shut down its offices in China. Back then, the danger seemed remote.

Courtesy of James Unzicker, CHP of IL

Maricel Mendoza is familiar with the work migrant and seasonal farmworkers do. Growing up, her family traveled from Texas to central Illinois every year for her parents’ jobs as contractors with a large seed company. 

“All of my parents’ siblings were migrants, my grandparents were migrants,” Mendoza says. “So it’s just something that was the norm for me.” 

COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HEALTH CARE MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Though many people who have been seriously ill from COVID-19 are older or have underlying health conditions, it’s still unclear what causes certain people to get really sick. Aquarius Bunch was a healthy 27-year-old working at an assisted living facility in the Midwest when she got COVID-19. And she was pregnant.

Indiana To Release COVID-19 Data From Individual Nursing Homes

Jul 2, 2020
Brock Turner/ WFIU/WTIU News

After months of declining to release COVID-19 data from individual long-term care facilities, Indiana is building a public database of the information. It plans to release the data later this month.

All of Indiana’s neighboring states, and a growing number of states across the country, have made similar data public. But so far, Indiana has only released statewide totals for COVID-19 cases and deaths at these facilities.

Photo courtesy of Brandon Duncan

Brandon Duncan describes himself as fearless. So when he first heard news reports about the novel coronavirus, the 30-year-old wasn’t afraid for himself. 

“I’m like, how is this going to affect Danny?” he says.

Indiana Department of Correction

The Indiana Women’s Prison has taken hard measures to contain the coronavirus. Many inmates in the prison have spent long periods locked in their cells — which have no toilets, running water or air conditioning — with limited opportunities for relief. 

As temperatures rise over the summer months, advocates and those with loved ones inside certain housing units, known as the cottages, worry about the heat and long periods of confinement. They fear it could cause health problems for the inmates, and say that the treatment amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. 

This spring, as it became clear COVID-19 was hitting African-Americans especially hard, Indianapolis-area health officials vowed to set up testing sites in “hotspot” neighborhoods. One opened in predominantly Black Arlington Woods, at a respected local institution: Eastern Star Church.

Courtesy of Erik Martin

When physician Erik Martin left his home in southwest Missouri to help with New York’s COVID-19 outbreak in April, his county had fewer than 10 confirmed cases of the virus. Now he’s back — and watching those numbers skyrocket. More than 400 Jasper County residents have tested positive, and more than 800 are in quarantine.

“I never expected that within such a short period of time, my home town would become a COVID hotspot, as it has now," Martin says. He was alarmed when he learned a patient who tested positive worked at the Butterball poultry processing plant in nearby Carthage. After seeing a second Butterball worker, Martin alerted the county health department to the potential outbreak.

Ben Wicks / Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on children’s mental health across the country. Advocates are trying to address the problem, but resources can be limited, and in Iowa, plans for a statewide mental health system for children have run into problems.

It’s been three months since COVID-19 first hit the U.S. Many states are well on their way to reopen. But there’s still no vaccine. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s All IN talked to an epidemiologist and a hospital executive who reflected on the past three months and talked about what to expect as state’s continue to open.

Courtesy of Northwestern Medicine

Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago announced Thursday they’ve performed the first successful double lung transplant on a COVID-19 patient in the U.S. 

The Hispanic woman in her twenties was otherwise healthy, but developed a severe case of COVID-19 that resulted in hospitalization, says Dr. Ankit Bharat, Northwestern’s chief of thoracic surgery.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

An Indiana Department of Correction policy may increase the spread of coronavirus in prisons by requiring “high risk” and “medium risk” staffers to report to work, Side Effects has learned. 

Treva Steele visited her father every day after he moved to Greenwood Healthcare Center in Greenwood, Indiana, in February. Joe Barton, who was 73, was recovering from open heart surgery and on a ventilator.   

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