covid-19

WFYI

Indianapolis and other cities across the U.S. have recently been rocked by street demonstrations protesting systemic racism. WFYI’s Terrie Dee and the Indianapolis Recorder’s Oseye Boyd were joined by community leaders to discuss what sparked the protests and possible solutions to those deeply rooted problems.

Courtesy of Jeanne Bosecker

Even without a global pandemic, dentistry is inherently riskier than many other medical professions.

That’s because dentists and hygienists spend a lot of time inches away from wide-open mouths, conducting procedures known to generate aerosols — tiny droplets that can linger in the air and carry viruses. 

So when dental hygienist Jeanne Bosecker started back at work in mid-May, she says it felt a little soon to be reopening for routine dental care.

Justin Hicks, Indiana Public Broadcasting

Demonstrations are flaring up across the country to protest the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police. They’re also calling attention to broader inequalities. One of those areas—health disparities—kills Black Americans in massive numbers.

Paige Pfleger/Side Effects Public Media

Prison facilities across the U.S. have become hotspots for COVID-19 cases. More than 34,000 people in prisons across the U.S. have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to recent data from the Marshall Project, a nonprofit covering criminal justice. Side Effects reporters Jake Harper (WFYI, Indianapolis) and Paige Pfleger (WOSU, Ohio) joined community engagement specialist Brittani Howell to talk about covering prison outbreaks in their states.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

With more states reopening, public health experts worried that COVID-19 would continue to spread. Those concerns have been compounded recently as large crowds gathered to protest police brutality and killings of black Americans. 

Side Effects Public Media’s Lauren Bavis spoke with Ogbonnaya Omenka, a professor of public health and health disparities at Butler University, about protesting during a pandemic.

Courtesy of Lenore Williams

This is part of Essential Voices, a series of interviews with people confronting COVID-19.

Nearly half of Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths have been in long-term care facilities. Twenty-three-year-old Aubrey Baker is a qualified medication aid at Wildwood Healthcare Center, a nursing facility in Indianapolis. Her mother, Lenore Williams, oversees the center. They spoke to reporter Lauren Bavis about how the virus has impacted their work, and how it hit close to home. 

Bigstock.

Here’s something that might surprise you: A new national survey shows that regardless of political affiliation, Americans mostly agree on how to reopen the economy during the coronavirus pandemic—slowly—and with protective measures like face masks.

Justin Hicks/Indiana Public Broadcasting

We’re continuing to answer questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19, and lately there have been a lot about states reopening. As that happens, how can you stay safe? And do the rules about masks, hand-washing and social distancing still apply?

COVID-19 Mask Makers Are Part Of A Larger History

May 22, 2020
A collage of women wearing masks.
Karina Neill

One of the enduring symbols of the COVID-19 crisis is the homemade mask. Around the country people have been sewing cloth masks, for healthcare workers, community members and themselves. That sewing fits into a larger history.

Health officials in the Ohio county that includes Columbus have apologized after releasing a document advising African-Americans to avoid face coverings that might be interpreted as being "associated with gang symbolism.”

Early one April morning, inmates at Indiana’s Plainfield Correctional Facility found a fellow inmate unconscious in his bed. 

“He was barely breathing when we first tried to wake him up,” says one of the inmates, who asked to be identified by his middle name, Andrew, because he feared retaliation from prison staff. “For about 20, 25 minutes, the [correctional officers] were trying to wake him up, so finally, they called the medical emergency.” 

Spencer Pugh / Unsplash

Studies have found the rates of mental illness and suicide are higher for farmers. They work long hours, have limited social contact and are at the mercy of factors such as weather. Now the COVID-19 pandemic is creating even greater challenges to their livelihood—and mental health. 

Pixabay

About 20 or so women were gathered for a late afternoon video conference. Some had glasses of wine, or cups of coffee. You could see pets in a few frames. It was March 26, when COVID-19 cases were beginning to ramp up in Indiana.

One of the women, Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, posed a question: Was anyone else feeling guilty? 

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped groups that help people with mental health issues, but it has complicated their work. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s All In talked to the CEO of Eskenazi Mental Health Center about this challenge.  

Pixabay

Continuamos respondiendo a tus preguntas acerca del coronavirus y la COVID-19. Si tienes preguntas, envíanos un correo electrónico a health@wfyi.org, un texto con la palabra “salud” al 73224 o déjanos un mensaje de voz en el 317-429-0080.

¿Qué precauciones extra debe tomar mi obstetra y el hospital cuando tenga a mi bebe?

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The COVID-19 crisis disrupted life for everyone. But it's a unique challenge for those battling addiction. In-person meetings are often an essential part of the recovery process. Those in the recovery community are finding new ways to meet those needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Paige Pfleger / Side Effects Public Media

Christopher has been struggling with addiction since he was 14. He uses heroin, and he says things have been hard since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Justin Hicks/Indiana Public Broadcasting

We're continuing to answer questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19, and the latest batch showed that there's still a lot of confusion about testing. Who needs it, how is it done, where is it done—and more. 

Ferrell Hospital

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, some of the biggest outbreaks have been concentrated in urban areas, like New York City and Chicago. But rural America isn’t immune to the virus—and many areas are already dealing with a scarcity of health care.

Ferrell Hospital, in the Southern Illinois town of Eldorado, is bracing for coronavirus. Dr. Joseph Jackson, a physician at Ferrell, says the virus is sure to spread to rural areas like the ones his hospital serves.

Courtesy of Marvin Miles

Marvin Miles got a call from his mother on March 27. She had started rehabilitation about a month earlier at Bethany Pointe Health Campus, a skilled nursing facility in Anderson, Indiana. They had spoken almost daily since then, but this call was concerning because it came at 1:35 a.m. 

“She was complaining about she couldn't breathe, and she had been pressing the nurses’ button for over an hour and no one would come in there,” Miles says.

Courtesy of Steven Abdo

This is part of Essential Voices, a series of interviews with people confronting COVID-19.

Long term care facilities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of the coronavirus deaths in Iowa have been residents at these facilities. To try to keep residents safe, most have been closed to visitors since March. Steven Abdo, a nurse aide at Oaknoll Retirement Residence in Iowa City for four years, explains what it’s like to work with residents who don’t know when they can see their families again.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Some fear the stress of social isolation, historic unemployment and health fears during the pandemic threatens our mental health. Dozens of national organizations raised concerns to Congress that the U.S. is unprepared to handle what may be a mental health crisis.

Sean Tackett/WFIU/WTIU

Sherrie Sanders says she last spoke with her husband, George, on April 12. It was Easter Sunday. 

“He told me he was very sick. He had a fever of 102,” she says. “He knew he had [COVID-19], but they weren’t checking him. That’s the last I heard from him.“

Photo courtesy of Gabriel and Sarah Bosslet

This is part of Essential Voices, a series of interviews with people confronting COVID-19.

Physicians Gabriel and Sarah Bosslet have been married almost 20 years. Sarah was diagnosed early this year with breast cancer. Soon, the world began dealing with another health crisis: the coronavirus pandemic. 

Courtesy of Ann Hyoung Sook/University of Illinois

As states move toward reopening their economies, officials are emphasizing the need to expand their capacity to test for COVID-19.

But many say their efforts to ramp up testing are still being hampered by a shortage of supplies. To help fill the gaps, some state public health labs are looking to academic labs for help.

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