If the latest projections are any indication, the reporters’ work won’t soon let up. But their stories are making a difference.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has swiftly become one of the defining events of our time. Even for the healthy among us, the disease has upended virtually every aspect of everyday life: the way we work, the way we learn, the way we interact.
During this moment of collective anxiety, journalists have risen to the occasion, explaining the relevant science, holding public officials accountable, and continually assessing and reassessing what it all means for humanity. Among those doing admirable reporting are many alumni of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program.
Over the past two months, dozens of former Knight Science Journalism Fellows have filed smart and impactful stories about the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve covered the crisis from every angle, placing the science in the context of social, psychological, and public health concerns. They’ve added historical context. They’ve put human faces on the scientists working at the front lines of the pandemic. They’ve given readers tools to cope with the strain of social distancing. They’ve helped chart the outbreak’s devastating course, and they’ve shown us glimpses of what recovery could look like. And they’ve done so from every corner of the world: from Wuhan to Washington State; from Nairobi to Montana.
If the latest projections are any indication, their work won’t soon let up. But their stories are making a difference. And we hope they’ll keep at it.
Here are some of the stories Knight Science Journalism alumni have been writing about the Covid-19 pandemic, a special edition of our alumni compendium:
Pam Belluck (‘08): “Coronavirus Death Rate in Wuhan Is Lower than Previously Thought, Study Finds,” New York Times; Pam Belluck: “What Does the Coronavirus Do to the Body?” New York Times.
Julia Belluz (’14): “What it’s like to have a baby during the coronavirus pandemic,” Vox; “Italy’s coronavirus crisis could be America’s,” Vox.
Magnus Bjerg (’19): “Latest coronavirus figures from Denmark and the world,” TV2, Denmark (with .
Karen Brown (’13): “The Opioid Epidemic Hasn’t Gone Away With COVID-19. It’s Just Harder to Address,” New England Public Radio.
Teresa Carr (’18): “Carefree Amid a Contagion: How to Talk to Covid-19 Skeptics,” Undark.
Hanno Charisius (‘11): “Can the coronavirus still be stopped?” Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German, with Berit Uhlmann).
Zack Colman (‘16): “Climate activists shift gears in an age of ‘social distancing’,” Politico.
Jeff DelViscio (’19): “How quickly will COVID-19 spread? You have to know this one little number,” Scientific American (with Tanya Lewis and Amanda Montañez).
Alister Doyle (‘12): “Coronavirus: China’s economic slowdown curbs deadly air pollution,” Climate Home.
W. Wayt Gibbs (‘00) and Steve Mirsky (‘04): “Coronavirus Hot Zone: The View from the U.S. Epicenter,” Scientific American.
Giovani Girardi (‘15): “Disease caused by new coronavirus is called Covid-19 by WHO,” Estadão (in Portuguese).
Elana Gordon (’19): “What we know about the new, novel coronavirus: A timeline,” PRI, The World.
Sujata Gupta (’18): “Social distancing comes with psychological fallout,” Science News; “How parents and kids can stay safe and sane during the coronavirus pandemic,” Science News.
Daniela Hirschfeld (’10): “Latin America looks to control the epidemic and learn the European lesson,” SciDevNet (in Spanish).
Hepeng Jia (‘12): “Diagnosing the novel coronavirus leads to tradeoffs,” Chemical & Engineering News; “China’s contract research firms rebound after coronavirus,” Chemical & Engineering News.
Amina Khan (’19): “Pregnant women with coronavirus infection can pass it to their babies, study finds,” Los Angeles Times; “Coronavirus drugs: Where we are and what we know,” Los Angeles Times.
Federico Kukso (‘16): “When the alarms didn’t sound,” Le Monde Diplomatique (in Spanish).
Jeanne Lenzer (’07): “Covid-19: US gives emergency approval to hydroxychloroquine despite lack of evidence,” BMJ; “Testing, testing: Why Social distancing alone is not enough,” Lown Institute.
Robin Lloyd (’99): “Six ways to juggle science and childcare from home,” Nature.
Matt McGrath (‘11): “Coronavirus: Air pollution and CO2 fall rapidly as virus spreads,” BBC News.
Maryn McKenna (‘14): “How ProMED Crowdsourced the Arrival of Covid-19 and SARS,” Wired; “The Ibuprofen Debate Reveals the Danger of Covid-19 Rumors,” Wired.
Kathleen McLaughlin (‘15): “‘A long ways from everything’: In Montana, distance is shaping the coronavirus response,” STAT.
Chris Mooney (‘10): “Men are getting sicker, dying more often of covid-19, Spain data shows,” Washington Post (with Pamela Rolfe).
John Muchangi (‘13): “Coronavirus: We have only 11 isolation beds,” The Star (Kenya).
Angela Posada-Swafford (’01): “Virus Hunters, Jailers, and Researchers,” El Tiempo (in Spanish); “Global Research Community Joined as One Against the Virus,” Semana (in Spanish).
Jane Qiu (’18): “‘I can’t wait to hold my kids again’: Life inside Wuhan’s quarantine,” National Geographic; “How China’s ‘Bat Woman’ Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus,” Scientific American.
Valeria Román (‘05): “Discrimination for fear of contagion of the coronavirus may further contribute to the epidemic,” Infobae (in Spanish).
David Ropeik (’95): “How our brains make coronavirus seem scarier than it is,” The Washington Post.
Adam Rogers (‘03): “Blood From Covid-19 Survivors May Point the Way to a Cure,” Wired.
Elana Schor (‘13): “‘Calling all scientists’: Experts volunteer for virus fight,” Associated Press.
Seema Singh (’01): “India risks Covid-19 testing chaos as ICMR keeps cards close to its chest,” The Ken.
Fabio Turone (‘17): “How strictly cordoning off a village lowers the infection rate,” Der Tagesspiegel (in German, with Daniela Ovadia); “Life Under Lockdown,” Research Professional News; “COVID-19: What can the world learn from Italy?” Univadis Medical News.
Karen Weintraub (‘09): “Epidemiologist Veteran of SARS and MERS Shares Coronavirus Insights after China Trip,” Scientific American.