Coronavirus | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Coronavirus

For up-to-date information, visit Connecticut Public's Coronavirus Resources page.

What has your year looked like? What are you grateful for? In the last days of 2020 we reflect on our most memorable shows of the year. It’s been a hard one for so many and that’s why we took some time to ask you--what you’re thankful for this year. Despite this difficult, hard year, it’s important to stay grateful for what we have.

GUESTS:

With the arrival of winter and the U.S. coronavirus outbreak in full swing, the restaurant industry expected to lose more than $230 billion in 2020 is clinging to techniques for sustaining outdoor dining even through the cold and vagaries of a U.S. winter.

Darlene Riddick, top and bottom left, died in July 2020 of the coronavirus. Her goddaughter, Patricia Sands, top and bottom right, lost eight people this year due to the virus. Sands believes her godmother will be remembered for her smile.
Patricia Sands / Contributed photo

Finding a godmother

Patricia Sands grew up in Waterbury. She started going to church on her own at age 7, because her parents weren’t church goers.

She met Darlene Riddick at the Macedonia Church of the Living God. Riddick was assigned to watch out for Sands. She taught her how to ride the bus, invited her over for sleepovers, and fostered her faith.

An illustration picture shows vials with COVID-19 vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of U.S. biotechnology company Moderna on November 17.
JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

As he weighs free agent offers this offseason, former Yankee Didi Gregorius is partnering with Johns Hopkins to encourage folks who have tested positive for coronavirus to enroll in a clinical trial for a new covid therapy. 

Johns Hopkins wants to see if plasma drawn from an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient and injected into someone who has tested positive within 6 days could help that newly diagnosed patient recover faster. 

Marc Tavernier / flickr creative commons

2020 was ... not great.

But, from a pop culture point of view, it wasn't so bad either. I mean, we got the Hamilton movie, The Queen's Gambit, the final season of Schitt's Creek, David Byrne's American Utopia, the Borat sequel, "WAP," I May Destroy You, Tiger King, two new Taylor Swift albums, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom...

The list goes on.

This hour, The Nose looks back at the year in pop culture that was 2020.

Two Connecticut teacher’s unions say many educators in the state don’t think schools are safe enough for children or themselves to be in as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Contributed photo

College students coming home for the holidays this year may find a house with one fewer family member, or attend a holiday gathering with one missing face on the video chat.

Updated at 2:34 p.m. ET

Democrats and President Trump hectored Senate Republicans on Tuesday to take up legislation passed by the House that would increase direct relief payments to many Americans — but the path ahead remains unclear.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledged when the chamber convened that Trump had called attention to a few big issues, including the disbursements. McConnell said the Senate would "begin a process to bring [those] priorities into focus," without saying how or when.

Lamont Welcomes Pandemic Relief As 'Better Late Than Never'

Dec 28, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont talking about the election outside the Executive Residence.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Did President Donald J. Trump’s delay in signing the latest COVID-19 relief bill cause the loss of a week’s payments to 35,000 Connecticut residents who have been getting unemployment benefits under the temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program?

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

The House voted to increase coronavirus disaster relief payments for Americans to $2,000 per person on Monday in a bid by Democrats to capitalize on political divisions among Republicans.

With millions of kids still learning remotely, the learning losses are piling up.

Health care workers across the country have started receiving COVID-19 vaccines, but doctors and nurses at some of the nation's top hospitals are raising the alarm, charging that vaccine distribution has been unfair and a chaotic "free-for-all."

At hospitals in Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, California and elsewhere, medical professionals say that those with the most exposure to COVID-19 patients are not always the first to get vaccinated. And others who have little or no contact with COVID-19 patients have received vaccinations.

Dr. James Phillips, the Walter Reed physician who criticized President Trump's decision to greet supporters outside the facility where he was being treated for COVID-19, has worked his last shift at the hospital. "I stand by my words, and I regret nothing," Phillips wrote on Twitter.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Sunday night signed a massive coronavirus relief and spending package, relenting on a measure he had called a "disgrace" days earlier.

The legislation, which combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with government funding through September 2021, was passed by large majorities in both chambers of Congress on Dec. 21 — only to see Trump blindside legislators the next day and blast the bill.

In a statement Sunday night, Trump said lawmakers will pursue some of his sought-after changes.

At the start of the pandemic, stores quickly sold out of disinfectant sprays and wipes. People were advised to wipe down their packages and the cans they bought at the grocery store.

But scientists have learned a lot this year about the coronavirus and how it's transmitted, and it turns out all that scrubbing and disinfecting might not be necessary.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont extended a moratorium on evictions last week until Feb. 9 -- good news for local tenants.

But housing advocates want more.

Facebook

2020 is ending on a brighter note for Connecticut arts organizations, which have struggled to remain operational through the prolonged pandemic.

When Linsey Marr looks back at the beginning of 2020, what strikes her is how few people in the world really understood how viruses can travel through the air.

"In the past year, we've come farther in understanding airborne transmission, or at least kind of beyond just the few experts who study it, than we have in decades," says Marr. "Frankly, I thought it would take us another 30 years to get to where we are now."

Image of sunlight ight shining through a tree
Jannatul Hasan / Wikimedia Commons

Faith can play an important role in times of uncertainty - offering comfort and hope.  Since COVID-19 hit Connecticut, many churches, synagogues and mosques have closed across the state.  Faith leaders have moved worship online - and found new ways to bring people together.

It has not been easy.  Leaders across religious traditions are under tremendous pressure guiding their congregations through grief and trauma - while helping their communities build resilience.

In a conversation recorded earlier this month, guest host Diane Orson talks with a pastor, a rabbi and an imam who have walked into a pandemic - and it is not a joke.   They speak about what it has been like for clergy, where they turn when they’re feeling stressed, and whether their own faith has wavered.

COVID-19 Leads To More ‘Discretionary Releases’ From Prison, But Advocates Say It’s Not Enough

Dec 23, 2020
Family members of incarcerated individuals and community groups protest outside the Hartford Correctional Center. They demanded that Gov. Ned Lamont address the coronavirus issue in correctional facilities.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

State officials have been issuing “discretionary releases” — when incarcerated people are released from prison or jail to state supervision before the end of their sentence — at a rate not seen in at least a decade, according to an analysis by the CT Mirror.

Advocates for the incarcerated insist they can go further.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

George McCleary is a horticulturist and a vegetable farmer. Around this time of year, he’s also a Santa. He’s been putting on the red coat for about four decades. But he’s now 66 and borderline diabetic, so he wasn’t sure how he could safely do his Santa visits in the middle of the pandemic.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are starting to roll out, will schools and workplaces require their people to be vaccinated? Is that even legal? To talk more about this, Pullman & Comley attorney Mark Sommaruga joined All Things Considered.

Coronavirus Habits Disrupted Connecticut Piping Plovers

Dec 22, 2020

Piping plovers had their worst nesting season in over a decade due to impacts of the coronavirus, while other threatened birds were more productive than usual. That’s according to an annual report released by the Connecticut Audubon Society.

The nation is at a pivotal moment in the fight against the pandemic. Vaccines are finally starting to roll out, but the virus is spreading faster than ever — and killing thousands of Americans daily. And it will be months before enough people get inoculated to stop it.

That means it's critical to continue the measures that can limit the toll: mask-wearing, hunkering down, hand-washing, testing and contact tracing.

A Hartford HealthCare worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Several national polls and surveys show that a growing number of people are willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s their turn.

But with vaccine supply limited in the first weeks and months of distribution, Connecticut will have to prioritize exactly who comes next in line after hospital employees, health workers and people in long-term care facilities. 

U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut wants to try and work across the aisle as incoming chair of the appropriations committee, as Congress races to approve a spending bill that includes pandemic relief.

Updated on Dec. 30 at 11:15 a.m. ET

President Trump has signed a major legislative package that includes coronavirus relief and government spending for the next fiscal year.

Just after Congress passed the bill last week — and shortly before Christmas — the president called the measure a "disgrace," in part for not having high enough direct payments to Americans, a move his own party had been against.

Updated at 3:48 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden publicly received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday as the death toll from the disease nears 320,000 in the United States.

Rolling up his sleeve at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., Biden told nurse practitioner Tabe Mase, "I'm ready!" and thanked her for her work with COVID-19 patients. "We owe you big, we really do," Biden said.

Tens of thousands of health care workers in cities and states all over the country got their first doses of the new Pfizer coronavirus vaccine this past week — a monumental undertaking both scientifically and logistically — and more than seven million doses of the Pfizer and newly-authorized Moderna vaccine are being shipped out this coming week.

AP Pool

Nine grueling months into the pandemic, nursing home workers and operators say they’re feeling some relief with the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Everybody wants to get back to the lives we had before, so the vaccine is a great step toward that,” said Sophia Walker, a registered nurse at The Reservoir nursing home in West Hartford.

Pages