covid-19

Thousands of Americans have died from COVID-19, and many more still will. The elderly are especially vulnerable, as are people with underlying health conditions. So doctors and health experts are telling people to plan ahead and talk to their family about a difficult topic: how they want to die.

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A majority of Americans believe that while their communities will suffer in the short term from the COVID-19 pandemic, they will eventually recover.

And nearly one in 5 people feels their communities will emerge stronger than ever.

That’s according to a new Public Agenda/USA Today/Ipsos Hidden Common Ground survey — conducted at the end of March and released on April 3.

Photo by Justin Hicks/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

This story is produced in partnership with Columbia Journalism Investigations, the Center for Public Integrity and Side Effects Public Media.

The coronavirus crisis has had a big impact on Indiana 211, the phone and text service that connects Hoosiers with resources was swamped last month with calls. 

Photo by Samantha Horton/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

Hotel Tango Distillery recently turned production and tasting room space into an assembly line of sorts. Workers switched to making thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer, putting labels on four-ounce containers and taping boxes for distribution.

Photo by skeeze / Pixabay CCO

Healthcare workers are under immense pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic. They face shortages of protective equipment such as gloves and masks. They’re pulling long shifts. And they risk being infected with the virus. 

Lauren Chapman, IPB News

Last week, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and state Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box declined to provide numbers of ICU beds and ventilators to media outlets requesting them. On Monday, that abruptly changed.

Screenshot taken by Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

Millions of Americans are stuck in one place right now. Many states have issued stay at home orders, urging people to isolate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Exercise studios have shut down for the time being, but people still need exercise, especially when anxiety is high. So studios are changing their business models and getting people to exercise over the internet. 

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We're continuing to answer questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19. Here are the latest; if you have more, here's how to send a question.

Do people who recover from coronavirus have any long-lasting symptoms or side effects?

It all depends on the severity of the case. Dr. Abhijit Duggal, a critical care specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, told USA Today that about 80% of COVID-19 patients recover with no complications. As for that remaining 20%, it may be too early to tell.

Lindsey Moon / Side Effects Public Media

Iowa is among the states with the fewest COVID-19 cases, but it still has over 175 confirmed cases and the total increases every day. The state’s hospitals, large and small, face a common problem as they get ready for a possible spike in patients: finding enough equipment.

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / Side Effects Public Media

The Broadway Diner is empty. The ‘50s style restaurant has been a fixture of downtown Columbia, for decades and gets a lot of customers from the University of Missouri. These days, the only sounds keeping owner Dave Johnson company are from the building’s noisy ventilation system. “I was here when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, and I thought that was horrible, but it’s nothing like this." 

Brandon Smith/IPBS

Updated 3/26/2020 5:09 pm

Ventilators are among the most important equipment hospitals need to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients. Companies such as General Motors are gearing up emergency production of the machines, which take over the labor of breathing for a patient with a serious case of the virus. 

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As the U.S. economy has slowed due to the coronavirus threat, 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment only weeks after an especially robust job market. These numbers are significantly worse than previous downturns, even in the aftermath of the 2008 market crash. Meanwhile, in the Midwest, hospitals and healthcare workers prepared for a spike in cases by scrambling for masks, ventilators and other equipment.

Here’s more news from the Midwest: 

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Nationwide, supplies of personal protective equipment, including masks, N95 respirators and gowns,  are in short supply. Hospitals are soliciting donations and some people are crafting supplies themselves. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as a last resort masks should be reused or providers could use scarves. 

Here’s more from the Midwest:

Coronavirus Is Big Problem For People Facing Homelessness

Mar 24, 2020
Annacaroline Caruso, WVPE

The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on nearly every aspect of life. And people who lack stable housing or food supplies are among the most vulnerable.

Photo by slavoljubovski / Pixabay CC0

With states such as Indiana and Michigan adding “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, millions of Americans are significantly restricting their lifestyles to slow the coronavirus. Nationwide, there are over 40,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including the head of a large Indiana hospital chain, and the spread doesn’t appear to be slowing.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News.

A number of Midwest states and cities have issued “stay-at-home” orders, in an attempt to curb the new coronavirus, which continues to rapidly spread.  The orders create restrictions on working, recreation and travel. Still, there are many things you can continue to do, and not all businesses have to close. 

leo2014/Pixabay (CC0)

The governors of llinois and Ohio ordered residents to stay home to halt the spread of coronavirus. It remains to be seen if other Midwest states will follow suit amid the growing pandemic. On Monday, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also announced a stay-at-home orders.

Lauren Chapman, Indiana Public Broadcasting

For the past two weeks, Side Effects and Indiana Public Broadcasting have partnered to answer questions about coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Now, to reach a broader audience, we've put together a Spanish version of our coronavirus FAQ.

Feel free to share the information. There's plenty about the virus and how it spreads, who's at risk and how to take precautions. 

¿Qué Necesita Saber Acerca Del Coronavirus? Tenemos Respuestas

Mar 20, 2020
Illustration by the CDC.

Mientras los casos del coronavirus se siguen propagando por el Medio Oeste, sabemos que hay muchas preguntas acerca del virus -- incluyendo cómo evitar contagiarse. También sabemos que hay mucha información incorrecta acerca del virus, así que queremos ayudarte a separar los hechos de la ficción. Envíe sus preguntas a health@wfyi.org o envíe un mensaje de texto con la palabra “eleccion” al 73224, y encontraremos las respuestas. 

¿Que es el coronavirus y COVID-19?

Photo by Lauren Chapman/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

Update: As the case count continues to rise, information on this story is moving quickly and may be out-of-date. We recommend checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for ways to stay safe and this John Hopkins tool for the most recent data

We continue to answer your questions about the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19 -- and there sure are plenty. That's to be expected as the nation convulses from unprecedented lockdowns, quarantines and other interruptions. Here are some questions we received via email, with responses from Side Effects community engagement specialist Brittani Howell:

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The coronavirus death toll in Europe has overtaken China's. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to send mixed signals: Yesterday, President Trump announced the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for COVID-19, shortly after the agency said that was not the case. In the Midwest, case counts continue to rise, as experts say community spread is happening.

Photo by Lauren Chapman/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

How are you dealing with the onslaught of coronavirus news? Are you suffering from loneliness, anxiety or depression? Indiana Public Broadcasting's All IN talk show brought in four experts to address these concerns and provide recommendations for managing stress. 

Pixabay/zukunftssicherer CCO

Coronavirus cases continue to climb throughout the Midwest, and American’s routines have been significantly disrupted amid the pandemic. President Trump invoked a war-time era law to ramp up production of essential supplies, and some experts and government officials are warning this could be the new normal for as long as 18 months. 

Latest Coronavirus News, Wednesday, March 18

Mar 18, 2020
Madeleine King, Iowa Public Radio

Cancellations continued to rise across the Midwest, as more states took aim at gyms, theaters, hair salons and other places where people gather. The coronavirus also was interfering with planned elections, including the Ohio presidential primary, which is being rescheduled.

Nick Evans. WOSU

Many bars and restaurants in the Midwest face an unprecedented crisis, after being ordered by some states to close due to coronavirus fears. The shutdowns came as bars were preparing for big crowds on St. Patrick's Day. And that was a shock in Columbus, Ohio, where Ohio State University has some 60,000 students.

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