Seven months into this pandemic, I know many health journalists may be struggling to stay on top of the unending breaking news about the pandemic. Developing national and local enterprise stories about COVID-19 can seem overwhelming.
If you haven’t already, I recommend signing up for Al Tompkins’ COVID-19 morning email. It is free and chock-full of story ideas and context that you can use for local, state, and national coverage that goes beyond a breaking news story. Continue reading
I received a text from a friend this week with a link to an article about a new drug for COVID-19 that led to “rapid recovery” of “critically ill” patients with COVID-19. “Houston Methodist Hospital is making national headlines after doctors used a new drug to help treat critically ill COVID-19 patients,” the breathless lead began. The last paragraph included this similarly dramatic quote from the drug manufacturer’s CEO in a press release: “No other antiviral agent has demonstrated rapid recovery from viral infection and demonstrated laboratory inhibition of viral replication.”
Along with the article link, my friend had texted, “Reads like a press release.” Continue reading
A movie poster from “Contagion” in 2011.
There’s no shortage of medical studies examining every possible aspect of the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic that one could imagine, and the data will never be enough to meet the insatiable thirst for more information among scientists and the public alike. But it helps when journalists can break up the intensity of their COVID-19 coverage while still tapping into the zeitgeist.
A new study in JAMA offers the perfect opportunity: How has Hollywood treated pandemics throughout the history of film? Continue reading
Despite a recent GAO report detailing persistent infection control violations at nursing homes throughout the United States, many states are waiving liability for these facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, at least 20 states have issued executive orders or enacted legislation temporarily absolving long-term care and assisted living facilities unless “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct” can be proven. Continue reading
Between social distancing guidelines and the fact that a global pandemic truly does impact the entire world, webinars and online press briefings about COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus are plentiful.
Many are incredibly helpful for veteran health/science reporters who are familiar with infectious disease reporting and for the many reporters who may not previously have reported on infectious disease or medical research and to bone up quickly. Continue reading
The race to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is picking up speed with early promising results from initial studies, and President Trump predicting there will be “hundreds of millions of doses” of vaccine by the end of 2020.
Journalists have reported on these early results, as well as Trump’s comments, which may leave the public with a misunderstanding about the process of vaccine development. Continue reading