Video: The Healthy Nurse Who Died at 40 on the COVID Frontline: ‘She Was the Best Mom I Ever Had’

Yolanda Coar was 40 when she died of COVID-19 in August 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. She was also a nurse manager, and one of nearly 3,000 frontline workers who have died in the U.S. fighting this virus, according to an exclusive investigation by The Guardian and KHN.

Read more of the health workers’ stories behind the statistics — their personalities, passions and quirks. “Lost on the Frontline” examines: Did they have to die?

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

USE OUR CONTENT

This story can be republished for free (details).… Read more

Live Free or Die if You Must, Say Colorado Urbanites — But Not in My Hospital

ERIE, Colo. — Whenever Larry Kelderman looks up from the car he’s fixing and peers across the street, he’s looking across a border. His town of 28,000 straddles two counties, separated by County Line Road.

Kelderman’s auto repair business is in Boulder County, whose officials are sticklers for public health and have topped the county website with instructions on how to report COVID violations. Kelderman lives in Weld County, where officials refuse to enforce public health rules.

Weld County’s test positivity rate is twice that of its neighbor, but Kelderman is pretty clear which side he backs.

“Which is worse, the person gets the virus and survives and they still have a business, or they don’t get the virus and they lose their livelihood?” he said.

Boulder boasts one of the most highly educated populations in the nation; Weld boasts about its sugar beets, cattle and thousands of oil and … Read more

In Fast-Moving Pandemic, Health Officials Try to Change Minds at Warp Speed

Nine months into the pandemic that has killed more than 320,000 people in the U.S., Kim Larson is still trying to convince others in her northern Montana county that COVID-19 is dangerous.

As Hill County Health Department director and county health officer, Larson continues to hear people say the coronavirus is just like a bad case of the flu. Around the time Montana’s governor mandated face coverings in July, her staffers saw notices taped in several businesses’ windows spurning the state’s right to issue such emergency orders.

For a while, the county with a population of 16,000 along the Canadian border didn’t see much evidence of the pandemic. It had only one known COVID case until July. But that changed as the nation moved into its third surge of the virus this fall. By mid-December, Hill County had recorded more than 1,500 cases — the vast majority since Oct. 1 … Read more

Las vacunas de COVID parecen ser seguras y efectivas, pero todavía hay preguntas

El reciente lanzamiento de dos vacunas para COVID-19 es una luz de esperanza en medio de la pandemia.

Ahora hay un camino que puede llevarnos a tiempos más felices, incluso mientras observamos y sufrimos la horrible avalancha de nuevas infecciones, hospitalizaciones y muertes que marcan el final de este año lamentable.

Los trabajadores de salud y los residentes de hogares de adultos mayores ya han comenzado a recibir vacunas en la primera fase de la distribución. Y más deberían estar disponibles para el público en general en los primeros meses del próximo año.

Las dos vacunas, una desarrollada por Pfizer y BioNTech, la otra por Moderna, utilizan el mismo enfoque genético novedoso. Su desarrollo en menos de un año, rompiendo todos los récords, es una maravilla de la ciencia. También es motivo de preocupación para millones de estadounidenses que sienten incertidumbre ante una tecnología desconocida.

Los datos de los ensayos … Read more

At Risk of Extinction, Black-Footed Ferrets Get Experimental COVID Vaccine

In late summer, as researchers accelerated the first clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines for humans, a group of scientists in Colorado worked to inoculate a far more fragile species.

About 120 black-footed ferrets, among the most endangered mammals in North America, were injected with an experimental COVID vaccine aimed at protecting the small, weasel-like creatures rescued from the brink of extinction four decades ago.

The effort came months before U.S. Department of Agriculture officials began accepting applications from veterinary drugmakers for a commercial vaccine for minks, a close cousin of the ferrets. Farmed minks, raised for their valuable fur, have died by the tens of thousands in the U.S. and been culled by the millions in Europe after catching the COVID virus from infected humans.

Vaccinating such vulnerable species against the disease is important not only for the animals’ sake, experts say, but potentially for the protection of people. Some … Read more