October 20, 2021
By Madisson Haynes
As we enter into over a year of the coronavirus pandemic, vaccine distribution has continued across the U.S. and people continue to receive doses and booster shots have even been suggested for some. But despite the availability of the vaccine, over the past year COVID-related deaths have reached over 600,000, according to the CDC. Officials are still working to prevent further exposure, distribute vaccines and continue to increase awareness of the virus as a new variant infect thousands and others refuse the vaccine.
The coronavirus originated as an outbreak in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in early 2020. Since it's original outbreak, the coronavirus has since spread across the country and mutated. Here are some videos to help you better explain the virus.
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new coronavirus that, before 2020, hadn't been identified. The virus causing COVID-19 isn't the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness like the common cold.
A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 isn't the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and treated differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis, the Centers for Disease Control said.
The CDC is updating its Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page regularly at noon, Mondays through Fridays. Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.
The CDC said coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some of which cause illness in people, others cause illness in animals only. Rarely, coronaviruses that infect animals have infected people as well and can be spread between people.
This is what the CDC thinks happened for the virus that caused COVID-19.
"Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people," the CDC said.
PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff and our correspondents shed light on what health precautions everyone should take, as well as the pandemic’s economic impact. The special features interviews with officials, dispatches on the crisis from around the world, plus a virtual town hall with curated questions from viewers like you across the United States.
Misinformation about COVID-19 is rampant; so are fake cures and false diagnoses. When the news — and the coronavirus — moves this fast, how can you separate fact from fiction? We look at a few popular falsehoods that persist despite being thoroughly debunked.
This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, the CDC said. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, now the virus is spreading from person to person.
"The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas," the CDC said.
Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who aren't sure how or where they became infected.
Dr. W. Ian Lipkin is an infectious disease expert at Columbia University who is fresh out of quarantine after traveling to China, where he was studying the coronavirus outbreak. The virus has now infected nearly 94,000 people around the world with more than 3,000 deaths. Lipkin sits down with Walter Isaacson to explain how the virus spreads and how people can avoid catching it.
As the threat of novel coronavirus looms over the U.S. and the globe, the CDC has taken steps to make testing kits available more broadly. But questions remain about the readiness of the government and the health system to cope with a major surge in infections. The Virome Project’s Dennis Carroll, former USAID director for pandemic influenza and emerging threats, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.
How do you explain the concept of germs for kids to understand? Do you just tell them to wash their hands and hope they get the importance? When it comes to germs, it's important for kids to learn the facts in a digestible way -- one that's not too daunting. So how do you explain to them the coronavirus?
A quote by Mr. Rogers guides us through that challenging question: "Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary.”
Here's a few tips to help navigate the conversation, courtesy of PBS Kids.
First, share age-appropriate facts and corrected misinformation
Second, reassure them that they're safe.
Third, emphasize simple things your family can do to be “germ busters” — for all types of germs that are out there, including hand washing, covering your cough and practicing healthy habits.
You can also use PBS resources to help teach your children. In this Curious George clip, the Man with the Yellow Hat has a cold. Curious George learns how germs can move from person to person and that it's important to wash your hands.
Daniel Tiger is also a great resource. This Daniel Tiger clip, "Germs, Germs Go Away. Don’t come back any day," provides tips to keep germs away by washing hands and coughing into your elbow.