Coronavirus: What You Need To Know

The new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, have interrupted our lives in countless ways. Our coverage details the medical issues surrounding coronavirus -- and the way it's changing the Midwest.

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. 

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