Media outlets look at how the outbreak is affecting Americans on a personal level.
Los Angeles Times: Domestic Abuse Victims In ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ During Outbreak, Providers Say
One evening last week, a 38-year-old woman showed up in the emergency room of a Los Angeles hospital. She had been beaten by her boyfriend. Under normal circumstances, the hospital would contact a domestic violence advocate, who would meet with the woman in person and help her find shelter and other services. But that night, because of limitations on visitors and health guidelines due to COVID-19, an advocate had to connect by phone. (Newberry and Santa Cruz, 3/24)
CNN: For Those Struggling To Stay Sober, Coronavirus Shutdowns Offer Hope As Well As Temptation
There’s no easy time to get sober, but a global pandemic is tougher than most. Back when I was trying and failing to quit, I’d reach for any excuse to bail on my better self. A bad day. A text from my ex, or no text. One day, a snowstorm walloped the city, shuttering my office, and I pulled on my rubber boots with a sigh as if to say, “I guess I’m drinking now.” (Hepola, 3/25)
The Wall Street Journal: The New Front-Line Coronavirus Workers: Grocery Clerks, Delivery Drivers
Much of the American workplace has shut down, sending millions of employees home to wait out the coronavirus pandemic. Among those still on the job are grocery-store clerks, prison guards and delivery drivers. “Who would have ever thought that we would be on the front lines?” said Joyce Babineau, a 67-year-old supermarket supervisor in Dartmouth, Mass., a coastal village 60 miles south of Boston. Ms. Babineau is in one of the groups deemed essential—men and women who carry on even as cities and communities shut down around them. (Bauerlein, Levitz and Lazo, 3/24)
The Washington Post: Cancer Patients Face Delayed Surgeries, Scaled-Back Treatments As The Coronavirus Advances
As the coronavirus battered the West Coast, Bryce Olson faced an excruciating decision: He was supposed to travel from his home in rural Oregon to San Diego every three weeks to take part in a clinical trial for aggressive prostate cancer. But after his last trip in early March, he wondered whether he should drop out of the trial and stay home, at least for a few months. He worried that if he contracted the virus during his travels, he could die before his weakened immune system could mount a counterattack. But skipping cancer treatments could unleash a disease that had menaced him for six years. (McGinley, 3/24)
The Wall Street Journal: As Coronavirus Panic Spreads, Living Underground Doesn’t Seem So Strange
Not long ago, it crossed Joe and Jennifer’s minds that maybe they had made a mistake installing a 50-foot-long fortified bunker 10 feet below their property in Northern California. Then toilet paper flew off the shelves, and gun sales skyrocketed as the U.S. edged into panic amid the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, the pandemic ushering in massive interruptions to daily life and unprecedented uncertainty. (Watson, 3/24)
The Washington Post: Dialysis Patients Are At High Risk During Covid-19 Outbreak
Care for the nation’s 500,000 kidney dialysis patients, who routinely undergotreatment while packed together in group settings, is posing an especially difficult problem for physicians and experts planning for the anticipated surge of coronavirus cases. Patients with severe kidney disease, already vulnerable because of their life-threatening illness, are worried that receiving dialysis in large facilities with dozens of other people could expose them to infection. (Bernstein, Rowland and Hamburger, 3/24)
CNN: How To Prepare For Coronavirus Quarantine If You Or A Loved One Has Covid-19
It’s a scenario all too many of us are facing — or will soon face. You or a loved one has a mild fever, body aches, the start of a nagging, dry cough. Food doesn’t taste good nor smell as it once did. Maybe you have shortness of breath or struggle to breath deeply. You’ve called your doctor, and you are suddenly face-to-face with the scary reality of Covid-19. (LaMotte, 3/25)
The New York Times: You’ve Got Mail. Will You Get The Coronavirus?
Scientists agree that the main means by which the SARS-CoV-2 virus jumps from an infected person to its next host is by hitching a ride in the tiny droplets that are sprayed into the air with each cough or sneeze. But with deliveries now at holiday levels as locked-down Americans shop online rather than in person, the question remains: Can you catch the coronavirus from the parcels and packages your overburdened mail carrier keeps leaving at your door? The first formal process for curbing the spread of infection by detaining travelers from an affected region until their health was proved was instituted in what is now Dubrovnik, Croatia, in 1377, against the bubonic plague. (Twilley, 3/24)
The New York Times: The Complicated Calculus Of Helping Neighbors During A Pandemic
For more than a week, Clark Hamel has not left his Brooklyn apartment. He cannot risk exposure to the coronavirus: Since he was a teenager, he has been on drugs that suppress his immune system so he will not experience the excruciating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Still, Mr. Hamel, 24, and his partner have not been alone. In a gesture of friendship, another young couple in their building has also effectively shut themselves off from the outside world in order to protect Mr. Hamel. They venture out only to pick up groceries, leaving the food outside his apartment in bags and disinfecting milk cartons with bleach wipes. (Correal, 3/24)
The Hill: Selfless Acts: How Americans Are Helping Each Other Through The Coronavirus
People across the United States are taking steps to help one another amid the coronavirus pandemic. From companies donating masks and ventilators to hospitals, to everyday people helping their neighbors, there are countless examples of people trying to do the right thing during an extraordinarily difficult time. (3/24)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: How People With Compromised Immune Systems Are Staying Safe Amid Coronavirus
For many medically fragile people, self-isolation is an especially difficult task — their conditions require frequent in-person doctor visits, or treatment that can’t be administered at home.That’s partly why it’s so important that the healthy people practice social distancing, as well, experts say — to avoid spreading COVID-19 to people whose immune systems can’t handle the virus, or whose medical needs make it impossible to completely self-isolate. (Whelan, 3/24)
Boston Globe: Backlash Grows Against Reusable Grocery Bags As Virus Spreads
Four years after becoming the state’s first municipality to ban the use of plastic bags and impose fees for acquiring others at grocery stores, Cambridge this week issued an emergency order temporarily forbidding the use of reusable bags at retail stores, reflecting a growing fear they could be spreading the coronavirus. (Abel, 3/24)
The Associated Press: They Already Had An Anxiety Disorder. Now Comes A Pandemic.
At first, Jonathon Seidl wasn’t worried about the coronavirus despite his anxiety disorder. But that changed. The 33-year-old digital media strategist from Dallas, who takes medication, said his concern was less about getting sick than about the battering the economy could sustain. Would he be able to feed his family? Would there be a run on food stores? He could not shake his worries. (Ritter, 3/25)
The New York Times: Spring Breaker Who Said, ‘If I Get Corona, I Get Corona,’ Apologizes
A young man whose bold defiance of social distancing guidelines while on spring break in Miami drew widespread attention — “If I get corona, I get corona,” he declared in a television interview — apologized this week for his comments. “I wasn’t aware of the severity of my actions and comments,” the man, Brady Sluder, said on Instagram on Sunday. “I’d like to take this time to own up to the mistakes i’ve made and apologize to the people I’ve offended.” (Ortiz, 3/24)
The New York Times: What Does Our Body Temperature Say About Our Health?
As public health officials struggle to contain the spread of the coronavirus, determining whether a person has a fever is now a high-stakes matter, and using temperature guns to screen people has become a visible strategy for detecting possible cases. “Any infectious disease — one of the cardinal signs of infection is raised body temperature,” says Waleed Javaid, the director of infection prevention and control for the Mount Sinai Downtown Network. But there’s a catch: “That means you know the body temperature before you raised it.” (Tingley, 3/24)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.