I have a new story out in National Geographic this week about a growing area of research connecting the gut microbiome—the diverse community of microorganisms that live in our digestive systems—with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), the chronic disease that often occurs after viral infection and has many commonalities with Long COVID. For the story, I talked to Tamara Romanuk and Tess Falor, patient-researchers whose Remission Biome project seeks to understand this connection and push towards potential treatments.
This Q&A with two cofounders of Community Access to Ventilation Information (CAVI) explores how the organization helps public libraries in Canada loan out CO2 monitors to patrons. In addition to the monitor-lending, CAVI develops educational materials to help library patrons use these tools and collaborates with other air quality initiatives.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that the Science Writers conference—which I attended in-person—had great COVID-19 safety policies, better than other events I’ve gone to this year. To learn more about how this event’s organizers planned the conference and communicated policies to attendees, I talked to Tinsley Davis, executive director of the National Association of Science Writers.
Last week, I had a new story published at FiveThirtyEight about the challenges a new CDC forecasting center is facing. Here’s one of the interviews I did for that piece, with epidemiologist Jason Salemi.
This week, I had a new story published with FiveThirtyEight and the Documenting COVID-19 project about the data and implementation challenges of wastewater surveillance. As bonus material in today’s COVID-19 Data Dispatch, I wanted to share one of the interviews I did for the story, which provides a good case study of the benefits and challenges of COVID-19 surveillance in wastewater.
This week, a new resource that I’ve been working on for the past few months went live: a comprehensive source list including Long COVID patients and experts who are willing to talk to reporters. This source list project was a collaboration with Fiona Lowenstein, who’s a journalist, speaker, consultant, and founder of the Body Politic support group for Long COVID patients.
This past Monday, the CDC put out a major data release: mortality data for 2020 and 2021, encompassing the pandemic’s impact on deaths from all causes in the U.S. The new data allow researchers and reporters to investigate excess deaths, a measure of the pandemic’s true toll—comparing the number of deaths that occurred in a particular region, during a particular year, to deaths that would’ve been expected had COVID-19 not occurred. At the same time, the new data allow for investigations into COVID-19 disparities and increased deaths of non-COVID causes during the pandemic.
This week, I had a new story published at the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight. The story explores the U.S.’s failure to comprehensively track breakthrough cases, and how that failure has led officials to look towards data from other countries with better tracking systems as they make decisions about booster shots. In the CDD, I’m sharing one of the interviews I did for that story.
Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, public health expert at Michigan State University, discusses the ongoing challenges of collecting and reporting COVID-19 race data, how data gaps fuel vaccine hesitancy, the equity challenges inherent in vaccine mandates, and more.
This week, I had the opportunity to talk to Mike, a Bear Week attendee from Pittsburgh, who caught COVID-19 in Provincetown. He told me about his experience attending parties, getting sick, and learning about the scale of the outbreak.