Public Health

The Science Behind Wearing Masks: Answers From an Infectious Disease Expert

As COVID-19 cases rise across the nation, masks (and requiring citizens to wear them) have become a major point of contention. We speak with Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences and an infectious disease modeler at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, about the use of masks and other ways to slow and prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

What We Can Learn from Taiwan’s COVID-19 Response

The Midstory Team chats with Dr. Shao-Hsuan Hsia, the director of the Division of Pediatric Respiratory Therapy and the Chief of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, about Taiwan's response to the pandemic, social responsibilities and the state of public health in Taiwan.

Common Misconceptions About COVID-19, Debunked

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, information—accurate and otherwise—is being disseminated just as quickly. And this “infodemic” has been facilitated through social media, making information more accessible but also harder to discern. As you sift through masses of information to make informed decisions during this crisis, here are some common misconceptions (and what we do know) about COVID-19.

How Dangerous are Crowd-control Weapons? Answers from an Expert

In recent weeks, the use of crowd-control weapons (CCWs) on protestors has raised tensions and questions on the ethics of non-lethal weapons. We speak with Dr. Michele Heisler, MD, MPA, the medical director at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and professor of internal medicine and public health at the University of Michigan, about crowd-control weapons and the consequences of their use.

How Does Contact Tracing Work? Answers from a Stanford Epidemiologist

As states continue to reopen, administrations are using contact tracers to track down and control the spread of COVID-19. We speak with Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, an infectious disease epidemiologist and professor of public health at Stanford University, about contact tracing, stopping the spread of the virus and reopening.

Preventative Care: Advice from an E.R. Physician

From the Midstory studio, our team chats with ER physician and a practitioner of integrative medicine, Dr. Jen Pfleghaar about the situation in the hospital and ER, integrative medicine and staying healthy during this pandemic.

What Makes a Good COVID-19 Model? Answers From a Yale Health Policy & Modeling Expert

With many states in the midst of reopening, more attention has been focused on pandemic models as a means of determining what policies to enact and for how long, but what can we determine from looking at these models and how should we read them? We speak with Dr. Reza Yaesoubi, a professor of public health at Yale University, about pandemic modeling and how models inform important medical policy-decisions such as stay-at-home and reopening.

Is the Virus Mutating? Answers from Evolutionary Biologists

Since SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in late 2019, fears and rumors of new, deadlier strains of the virus seem to fill the news. We speak with Dr. Erik Wright and Dr. Vaughn Cooper, evolutionary biologists and professors at the University of Pittsburgh, on the SARS-CoV-2 mutation and its potential impacts on the pandemic.

Hidden in Plain Sight: the Great Black Swamp of Northwest Ohio

In 2014, more than half a million people were left without clean drinking water for three days after a harmful algal bloom took over Lake Erie. But behind the bloom is a history long-forgotten and a hopeful future of coexistence and collaboration. This film is the result of a 2019 collaboration with WGTE Public Media.

Will There be a “Cure”? We Talk with the Former Commissioner of the FDA

Hydroxychloroquine, Favilavir, Gimsilumab, Remdesivir—chances are you’ve read these names (even if you can’t pronounce them). These tongue-twisters are among hundreds of drugs and vaccines...

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