Wilma Mayfield used to visit a senior center in Durham, North Carolina, four days a week and attend Lincoln Memorial Baptist Church on Sundays, a ritual she’s maintained for nearly half a century. But over the past 10 months, she’s seen only the inside of her home, the grocery store and the pharmacy. Most of her days are spent worrying about COVID-19 and watching TV.
It’s isolating, but she doesn’t talk about it much.
When Mayfield’s church invited a psychologist to give a virtual presentation on mental health during the pandemic, she decided to tune in.
The hourlong discussion covered COVID’s disproportionate toll on communities of color, rising rates of depression and anxiety, and the trauma caused by police killings of Black Americans. What stuck with Mayfield were the tools to improve her own mental health.
“They said to get up and get out,” she said. “So I did.”
The next morning, Mayfield, 67, got into her car and drove around town, listening to 103.9 gospel radio and noting new businesses that had opened and old ones that had closed. She felt so
President-elect Joe Biden’s Covid advisory board member Dr. Celine Gounder told CNBC that she is “relieved” upon hearing news that President Donald Trump’s special advisor on the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Scott Atlas, formally resigned from his post.
“I am relieved that in the future that people who are qualified, people who are infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists like me will be helping to lead this effort, people who are experts in this,” Gounder said in a Monday evening interview on “The News with Shepard Smith.” “You wouldn’t go to a podiatrist for a heart attack, and that was essentially what was happening.”
Atlas specializes in neuroradiology and has no background in infectious diseases. After he repeatedly pushed to reopen schools and questioned the efficacy of masks, dozens of Stanford Medical researchers and doctors called out their former colleague. They alleged that Atlas was spreading “falsehoods and misrepresentation of science.”
In his resignation letter, Atlas said he “always relied on latest science and evidence” and “synthesized the latest data” as he learned new information.
“Although some may disagree with those recommendations, it is the free exchange of ideas that lead to scientific truths, which are