Looking ahead to the big COVID-19 stories of 2023

As someone who’s been reporting on COVID-19 since the beginning, a new year is a good opportunity to parse out what feels like an eternity of pandemic reporting. So this week, I reflected on the major trends and topics I hope to cover in 2023—both building on my work from prior years and taking it in new directions.

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New CDC report vastly underestimates deaths with Long COVID

On Wednesday, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NHCS) released a major report on deaths from Long COVID. To identify a small (but significant) number of deaths, NCHS researchers searched through the text of death certificates for Long COVID-related terms. Their study demonstrates how bad our current health data systems are at capturing the results of chronic disease.

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The future of tracking Long COVID

I had two new articles about Long COVID published this week. The reporting process for both stories gave me a lot to think about, in considering potential improvements in recording who has Long COVID and how this chronic disease impacts people.

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How data gaps contribute to financial challenges for people with Long COVID

This week, I had a story published at Kaiser Health News (KHN) about barriers that people with Long COVID are facing as they apply for disability benefits, focusing on programs offered by the federal Social Security Administration. For me, working on this story highlighted the consequences of the U.S.’s poor data collection on Long COVID.

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