Health+Harvest

NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board identified the subject of food and health as important subjects for coverage in 2012. Health+Harvest provides for community engagement on health and food issues along with reporting on farm, field and fuel.  From seed to plate, from farmer's markets to GMOs, central Illinoisans need to know how to stay healthy and what they are eating.  In 2013, NPR Illinois joined a consortium of public media in the Harvest Public Media network.  The network provides broader coverage to Midwest food issues.

By examining these local, regional and national issues and their implications with in-depth and unbiased reporting, Health+Harvest fills a critical information void.

Support for Health+Harvest coverage comes from Central Illinois Farm Bureaus and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  If you'd like to support this initiative, please contact Nice Bogdanovich at 217-206-9847.

In September, after six months of exhausting work battling the pandemic, nurses at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., voted to unionize. The vote passed with 70%, a high margin of victory in a historically anti-union state, according to academic experts who study labor movements.

One of the biggest challenges for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine from drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech is keeping it cold.

But Dr. Ellen Hodges, contending with subzero temperatures on a remote Southwest Alaska airport tarmac last month, had the opposite problem as she prepared to vaccinate front-line health care workers.

"It became immediately apparent that the vaccine was going to freeze in the metal part of the needle," she said. "It was just kind of wild."

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Switching gears now - making a big life decision can be overwhelming, but there might be a better way to think through a hard decision than just staring at a list of pros and cons. Meghan Keane of NPR's Life Kit explains.

MEGHAN KEANE, BYLINE: 2020 brought a lot of change, and that means people are facing a lot of big decisions this year.

RUTH CHANG: The pandemic has definitely wrought some big changes in our society. I think it's a great opportunity to think about how to think.

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Two Idaho state lawmakers, both Democrats, have filed suit against Republican state House Speaker Scott Bedke, saying he has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by forging ahead with the legislative session — scheduled to begin Monday — without providing them an option to participate remotely in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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In December, all states began vaccinating only health care workers and residents and staffers of nursing homes in phase 1A, but since the new year began some states have also started giving shots to — or booking appointments for — certain categories of seniors and essential workers.

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By the age of 25, Thomas Bloom Raskin had already accomplished a great deal: He was a graduate of Amherst College, who went on to intern at the Cato Institute and J Street among other prominent organizations; a passionate vegan who wrote philosophical defenses of animal rights and converted those around him to giving up meat; a political writer who had essays published in The Nation and elsewhere; and a law student and teaching assistant at Harvard Law School, who donated from his teaching salary to charities in his students' names.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

ROBERT SIEGEL: And I'm Robert Siegel.

SIMON: Yes, that one...

SIEGEL: (Laughter).

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Tattoo Shops Hit Hard By COVID-19 Pandemic

Jan 9, 2021

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Checking In On Two COVID-19 'Long Haulers'

Jan 9, 2021

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As states try to broaden the reach of their coronavirus vaccination campaigns and navigate uncertain supply chains, many of the first people to receive their shots are just now completing the final act of immunity, the second dose, which boosts the efficacy of both available U.S. vaccines to about 95%.

Many health care workers and others at high risk who had the Pfizer shots in mid December lined up for their "booster" shot this week, due to be given 21 days after the initial dose.

With less than a dozen days left in power, the Trump administration on Friday approved a radically different Medicaid financing system in Tennessee. With this move, the federal government is for the first time granting a state broader authority in the operation of its health insurance program for the poor without interference from Washington, allowing Tennessee to make decisions on such issues as whether to add new benefits or eligibility categories or spend Medicaid dollars outside of health care, if it thinks that would help enrollees.

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to take a dramatic step aimed at increasing the amount of vaccine available to states.

His transition team says he'll change a Trump administration policy that kept millions of doses in reserve, only to be shipped when it was time to administer people's second doses.

Coronavirus FAQ: How Do I Protect Myself From The U.K. Variant?

Jan 8, 2021

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

I'm hearing about virus variants that might be more easily transmitted. I'm worried one might be coming soon to my neck of the woods! What precautions should I be taking?

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All right. We're going to turn now to NPR health correspondent Rob Stein, who's been listening in and joins us now. Hey, Rob.

ROB STEIN, BYLINE: Hey there, Ailsa.

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When an armed mob stormed the U.S. Capitol and took over the building on Wednesday, many Americans said that's what happens in "Third World" countries. TV journalists and pundits said it. As did people on social media.

Everyone knows what they meant — countries that are poor, where health care systems are weak, where democracy may not be exactly flourishing.

But the very term "Third World" is a problem.

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A surge in coronavirus cases is overwhelming hospitals across Lebanon, leading doctors to tell families to care for sick loved ones at home because there's no more space in the wards.

Jean Nakhoul, an executive producer for Lebanon's MTV channel, says his family has been calling around the country and finding no medical treatment for his 83-year-old grandmother who is sick with COVID-19.

As coronavirus cases soar in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a "major incident" and says hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed.

"The threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point," Khan said in a statement on Friday.

U.S. employers cut 140,000 jobs in December as the runaway coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on the U.S. labor market.

It was the first monthly job loss in eight months. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.7%.

With thousands of Americans dying from COVID-19 each day, businesses that depend on in-person contact have struggled.

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