Carter Barrett

Carter is a reporter based at WFYI in Indianapolis, Indiana. A long-time Hoosier, she is thrilled to stay in her hometown to cover public health. Previously, she covered education for WFYI News with a focus on school safety. Carter graduated with a journalism degree from Indiana University, and previously interned with stations in Bloomington, Indiana and Juneau, Alaska.

As soon as COVID-19 hit, there was a massive jump in telemedicine visits. A Centers for Disease Control study found that in March 2020 there was a 154% increase compared to the previous year.

Now it’s clear the coronavirus has dramatically changed the way Americans get medical care. But some of these virtual options remain out of reach for the most vulnerable populations, like seniors.

The pandemic has left millions of Americans without jobs, and as a result, nearly 14 million people lost employer-sponsored health insurance.  For the one-in-10 Americans with diabetes, this poses a potentially life-threatening problem. 

On Dec. 4, Dr. Susan Moore posted a video from her hospital bed in the Indianapolis area. Short of breath and with an oxygen tube in her nose, she said that she was denied proper care while being treated for COVID-19.

Less than three weeks later, she died from the virus. 

Medical professionals across the country are being vaccinated against COVID-19. For Dr. Gabriel Bosslet, a pulmonologist in Indianapolis, it was a day he'll never forget. He spoke with Side Effects Public Media's Carter Barrett, before getting the vaccine — and just hours after the first dose.

Drug manufacturers have released promising early results for their COVID-19 vaccines, but skepticism among Americans remains high -- especially for African Americans, who the virus has hit harder than other groups.

For Thanksgiving this year, Kurt Beard was planning to travel from Indianapolis to Ohio and meet family for an outdoor hike, but as he watched COVID-19 rates spike he decided even that was too risky. Instead, his family is ordering pizza, video chatting with relatives and playing games.

However, when weighing spending time with elderly family members versus the coronavirus threat, Beard is conflicted.

Pharmaceutical companies are scrambling to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine and receive FDA approval. In the meantime, states are finalizing plans to distribute the vaccine — and overcome potential challenges. 

State health leaders are beginning to release their plans for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine — whenever one becomes available. 

Doctor working in hospital hallway
SJ OBIJO / UNSPLASH

Now that summer is over and temperatures are dipping across the Midwest, people are headed indoors, some experts fear the already striking rise in cases is the beginning of another wave of COVID-19.

Update, Sept. 9, 2020: AstraZeneca announced that its COVID-19 vaccine trial is on hold. Read more.

The Indiana University School of Medicine announced it has been selected to participate in an international COVID-19 vaccine trial.  

Floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters can devastate a town in just a few hours. But the impact on residents can linger for years in the form of anxiety, depression or other mental health problems. 

As colleges across the country welcome students back to campus, incoming freshmen are starting college in the middle of a pandemic. And, many are struggling with a tough decision to start or defer college this fall.

As national and state leaders struggle to get COVID-19 under control, minority groups are at a higher risk for the virus. And that includes Indianapolis’ Burmese refugees, a tight-knit community. But providing these refugees with accurate information about the virus has been a challenge for public health workers. 

Indianapolis Public Schools leaders hosted a virtual discussion Friday on how to talk to children about race. This was the district’s third and final public event tackling race. 

Ali Schroer was just out of college when she started her first teaching job, but her new insurance plan didn’t cover her allergy medication. 

"So this new allergist that I was seeing in Colorado had said, after several go arounds of me asking to take this medication, said, ‘Oh, well actually know that you can just get it online.”'

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