COVID-19 | KBIA

COVID-19

KBIA

Health experts have asked us to continue social and physical distancing during this covid crisis, also to wear masks in many public places and to get tested if symptoms pop up. But this isn’t the first time Missourians have been asked to practice precaution during a viral outbreak.

More than a hundred years ago, the 1918 flu, often called the Spanish flu, overtook the United States and hit parts of Missouri especially hard. Even then, schools and churches closed and people were told to stay home to protect themselves and each other from what the CDC calls the most severe pandemic in recent history. Between 1918-1919, an estimated 675,000 Americans died from the H1N1 flu virus and an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Sarah Dresser

Some of us are planners. We plan everything to the last detail and we like to be prepared. And that has complicated life events like childbirth during this time of pandemic uncertainty.

An expectant mother's “birth plan” and the decisions leading up to the birth are a big deal right now with constantly evolving standards set by hospitals, including limitations on visitors, recommended early inductions and covid tests before the big day.

Provided by Jordan Parshall

Many routine medical procedures have been postponed or rescheduled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but there is one common medical condition that cannot be put off so easily – pregnancy.

So, hospitals in Mid-Missouri have had to determine the best ways to keep moms, babies and staff safe, as well as reduce anxiety for expectant mothers.


KBIA

As businesses in mid-Missouri begin to re-open, we’re all moving cautiously and optimistically toward a way forward into the new normal. Some of the first places many of us want to return to are our vibrant small-businesses -- the independent stores, restaurants and bookshops -- that breathe life into our college town here in Columbia and also in towns like Fulton, Moberly and Mexico. But as we all know, this covid crisis has wreaked havoc on small businesses and our public health is still at risk along with our economic health.

Meiying Wu

Today, new guidance was announced for a wider reopening of businesses and activity in Columbia and Boone County.

According to the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, there have been 108 positive COVID-19 cases in the area, with nine being active and one person hospitalized.


Dr. John Dane, left, wears a light blue polo and glasses. Gary Harbison, right, wears a dark blue button up and glasses.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Dr. John Dane is the state Dental Director and Gary Harbison is the executive director of the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health.

They spoke about some of the concerns they have about the possible long-term impacts of COVID-19 on oral health, as many dental clinics have been closed and Missourians may have gotten out of a normal oral health routine.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

KBIA

Sometimes on these episodes we look at the things that are getting us through - the books, the music, the coping strategies and structures that are helping us get by in a crisis. A big answer to this question for many of us is our faith.

But one challenging aspect of this crisis has been that it comes with public health orders and advice to shut down and isolate, in order to stay safe, just when you need those you love around you and you need your faith community.

KBIA

Rural Missouri has faced some challenging disasters in the past: tornadoes, floods and droughts to name a few in only the past couple of years. And while, yes, the covid crisis has had a large impact on urban areas with more concentrated populations, rural communities are also feeling the reach of the virus on many day to day aspects of life.

The Check-In: Political Discourse

May 19, 2020

The coronavirus crisis is already impacting the way we live our daily lives, it might be shifting the way we see our society and the world, but will it change the way we vote next this year? With local elections creeping up on June 2nd here in mid-Misosuri and with all that’s going on in the world, voting might be not the first thing on your mind right now, but this is a great time to observe how crises can reshape political systems and the way we all think about politics.

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / KBIA

Starting Monday, May 18, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will be recommending more testing in long-term care facilities, in an effort to increase COVID-19 testing within high-risk environments.


KBIA

In our pre-pandemic world, the election year was on the forefront of many minds rife with issues of disinformation, partisan political messaging and divided discourse. Now, a global crisis has emerged and we’re still facing the same challenges of fragmented information sources, political divisiveness and partisan discourse. Today, even something as non-political as wearing a CDC-recommended face-mask in this climate can carry with it a political connotation.

KBIA

In this episode, we talk about how music can help us through crisis and also some of our favorite music that itself arose out of crisis.

Helping us with this topic is professor and musicologist Stephanie Shonekan. Professor Shonekan is a familiar name to us here in mid-Missouri as she spent seven years as a faculty member in MU’s Black Studies Dept as well as the School of Music. Her latest book is Black Lives Matter & Music from Indiana University Press. Professor Shonekan is now Chair of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. But she happens to be in town right now during this crisis and so we thought we’d take advantage of the opportunity to get Professor Shonekan’s expertise on music, history, crisis and inspiration.

Missouri Prepares Multi-Step COVID-19 Testing Plan to Roll-Out in Next Few Months

May 14, 2020
Meiying Wu / KBIA

  

Missouri officials on Wednesday detailed plans to expand and target COVID-19 testing statewide in the coming weeks and months.

The plan includes three stages that move from dealing with coronavirus hot spots to methodically checking communities throughout the state.

Randall Williams, head of the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, outlined the coronavirus testing plan during Gov. Mike Parson’s daily COVID-19 news conference.

Williams said the state is conducting roughly 8,800 tests a day.

Sports, Shows Slowly Starting to Resume in Missouri

May 14, 2020
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Large events are slowly starting up again in Missouri — a state more willing than most to permit sports, concerts and shows following the economic shutdown aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus — even as some experts wonder if it’s too soon.

A youth baseball tournament near St. Louis last weekend generated national attention. Musical shows that help draw tourists to Branson are resuming. Concerts are allowed under Missouri's reopening plan, though they remain on hold.

Sarah Dresser

Around the state of Missouri, the rise of coronavirus cases has pushed hospitals to allow access for essential procedures only. Visitors are drastically limited, temperatures are taken at the door and routine health checks have been delayed or halted. 

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

We at KBIA have found strength in our community during the COVID-19 crisis. In our series “Where You’re At,” we’re calling our neighbors to see how they’re coping during the pandemic.

If you want to share your story, email KBIA at news@kbia.org.

Here is DC Benincasa’s call with Will Nulty, a college student and server at a national chain restaurant in Columbia:

KBIA

This weekend was supposed to be graduation at MU. Typically, the month of May throughout Mid-Missouri is full of families celebrating -- students in caps and gowns and photo shoots at the columns. The coronavirus pandemic has halted all of that. These days, many students are packed up and living off campus awaiting plans for the fall, all while MU’s administration is tasked with deciding what’s next during this uncertain time. 

KBIA

Food producers, especially small-scale food producers, have been hit hard by the virus crisis. As farmers markets and other regular access points to consumers have been limited, local producers have had to find alternate avenues for connecting with consumers.

In this episode, we highlight one innovative project that’s been created to address a big problem that this pandemic has created: disrupted supply lines and distribution of food. 

KBIA

For a week now, our community has been under new rules. Restaurants, gyms, hair salons and churches have re-opened their doors. We are in the hopeful beginning phases of finding a new normal. Our key words have gone from "stay at home" and lockdown, to recovery and reopening.

The state of Missouri is in the first phase of the Show Me Strong Recovery Program and the City of Columbia and Boone County have also issued the first step in reopening guidelines that have been in place for a week.

KBIA

When it comes to issues arising from the coronavirus crisis that need to be aired out in this forum, our pets might not be the first priority. But yet it seems like a lot of conversations right now involve our animals.

How are they doing? Do our dogs and cats seem stressed out? What’s happening with adoptions and fostering of animals these days? And what about all the wildlife - the fox cubs, coyotes, even snakes - that people seem to be spotting outside their windows. Is the wild encroaching on our space for some reason, or is it just that we’re simply at home more so we’re noticing nature?

KBIA

As the coronavirus continues to spread, and as states and local governments are looking at re-opening plans - the race is on. Researchers all over the country are working together to find treatments and vaccines.

The FDA and American Red Cross have partnered with the Mayo Clinic for a clinical trial involving “convalescent plasma.” It’s exploring the idea that people who have recovered from an illness now have antibodies for it in their blood that might help in the fight against COVID-19.

And MU Health Care is a partner in this innvovative effort.

Where You're At: MU Senior And Musician

May 6, 2020
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

We at KBIA have found strength in our community during the COVID-19 crisis. In our series “Where You’re At,” we’re talking to our neighbors to see how they’re coping during the pandemic.

If you want to share your story, email KBIA at news@kbia.org.

Here is Olivia Moses’ conversation with Kelsey Christiansen, a musician and a senior at the University of Missouri studying English:

KBIA

Last month, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed into law a $6.2 billion supplemental funding package to address the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus. Now, the state will begin doling out some of those funds to local governments so they can be used to prop up healthcare, education, social programs and more during this challenging time.

KBIA

We at KBIA have found strength in our community during the COVID-19 crisis. In our series “Where You’re At,” we’re calling our neighbors to see how they’re coping during the pandemic.

It you want to share your story, email KBIA at news@kbia.org.

Here’s Tina Tan’s call with Helen Golden, a retiree who volunteers at St. Mary’s Hospital - Audrain in Mexico.

KBIA

You may have seen the call-outs on social media or the messages from local charities in your email inbox. Today, May 5th, has been designated as a worldwide day of philanthropy and generosity - it’s Giving Tuesday. And this year, a lot of people are in need of our generosity. 

KBIA

We at KBIA have found strength in our community during the COVID-19 crisis. In our series “Where You’re At,” we’re calling our neighbors to see how they’re coping during the pandemic. 

If you want to share your story, email KBIA at news@kbia.org. 

Here’s Alec Stutson’s coversation with Fairview Elementary School music teacher Sara Dexheimer in Columbia:

Workers in hazmat gear work at a gravesite
Jerome Delay / AP

Two journalists who covered Ebola when victims of an outbreak in Africa came to the United States for treatment six years ago discuss how that experience compares to today's COVID-19 pandemic.

Ebola, which continues to flare in Africa, causes fever and internal bleeding and kills half the people who contract it, according to the World Health Organization.


KBIA

It’s Ramadan and many in our community are fasting throughout the day and breaking fast at midnight as they do every year. But this year, Ramadan is happening virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. We check in to see how the community is adjusting.

In this episode, we also talk about how the about the landscape of art and culture in Columbia is changing during this crisis -- particularly how visual artists are responding to and creating during this crisis.

Pork Producer Says it Needs Flexibility on Virus Guidelines

Apr 30, 2020
US Environmental Protection Agency

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The world’s largest pork producer told a judge in Missouri on Thursday that it was working as quickly as it can to comply with federal guidelines that seek to slow the spread of the coronavirus but that it needs some flexibility in an industry where people typically work side by side.

Missouri State Workers Seek More Protection from COVID-19

Apr 30, 2020
Meiying Wu / KBIA

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Advocates for Missouri state workers on Thursday called on Gov. Mike Parson to do more to protect employees from the coronavirus.

Union leaders, Democratic state lawmakers and other advocates for worker rights want no-strings-attached premium pay for workers, more N95 masks and the chance for more employees to work from home.

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