KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: When It Comes To COVID-19, States Are On Their Own

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At least so far, states that reopened their economies are not seeing a major spike in cases of COVID-19. But it remains unclear if that is because the coronavirus is not spreading, because the data is lagging or because the data is being manipulated.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said he’s taking the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure after he was exposed to a White House valet who tested positive for the coronavirus. Despite the fact that there is no data to suggest the drug works to prevent infection, the president’s endorsement has apparently led to new shortages for patients who take the medication for approved purposes.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider.


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Picnics, potlucks and … pathogens? | Health Beat

Proper food preparation and smart organization can help you avoid cross-contamination and spoilage. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Warm-weather days are finally here.

With an eye toward social distancing and other challenges that come with the pandemic, you’ve penciled in your must-see, must-do events for the summer.

Perhaps it’s boating. Excursions to the beach. Outdoor movies. Pretty much anything that gives you an excuse to soak up the sunshine and breathe the fresh air.

But few things rival the all-time summer classic: picnics.

And while those grand gatherings of food and friends may seem like they’re free of worry and strife, they’re actually a golden opportunity to contract illnesses—particularly if you don’t pay attention to proper food preparation techniques and practice precautions.

You can smarten up your food safety by following these sensible tips on preparation, handling and storage.

Keep it cold

Place cold items into a cooler with ice or

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Stop the runaway weight train | Health Beat

When you’re cooped up at home, it’s all too easy to settle for quick snacks and unhealthy fare. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Packed on a few pounds during these stay-at-home months? Don’t be too hard on yourself.

“When we lose the schedule to our day, we actually tend to do less activity,” said Hanna Jaworski, MD, a pediatrician at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

In talking with children and parents at the Healthy Weight Center at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Dr. Jaworski has seen how COVID-19 has loosened structures and routines.

It’s led to harmful habits such as boredom eating.

“Kids and adults as well are doing more grazing,” she said. “And they have free access to the pantry. That’s not a good thing.”

If you’re on a runaway train to weight gain and unhealthy habits, Dr. Jaworski has some suggestions to get back on track.


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