Donella Pogue has trouble finding dentists in her rural area willing to accommodate her 21-year-old son, Justin, who is 6 feet, 8 inches tall, is on the autism spectrum and has difficulty sitting still when touched.
And this summer, he had a cavity and his face swelled. Pogue, of Bristol, New York, reached out to the Eastman Institute for Oral Health in Rochester, which offers teledentistry.
Dr. Adela Planerova looked into his mouth from 28 miles away as Pogue pointed her laptop’s camera into her son’s mouth. Planerova determined they did not need to make an emergency one-hour drive to her clinic. Instead, the dentist prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, and weeks later he had surgery.
Teledentistry allows dental professionals like Planerova to remotely review records and diagnose patients over video. Some smile about its promise, seeing it as a way to become more efficient, to reach the one-third of U.S. adults who federal figures from 2017 estimate hadn’t seen a dentist in the previous year and to practice more safely during the pandemic.
But others see it as lesser-quality care that’s cheaper
When Terry Mutter woke up with a headache and sore muscles on a recent Wednesday, the competitive weightlifter chalked it up to a hard workout.
By that evening, though, he had a fever of 101 degrees and was clearly ill. “I felt like I had been hit by a truck,” recalled Mutter, who lives near Seattle.
The next day he was diagnosed with COVID-19. By Saturday, the 58-year-old was enrolled in a clinical trial for the same antibody cocktail that President Donald Trump claimed was responsible for his coronavirus “cure.”
“I had heard a little bit about it because of the news,” said Mutter, who joined the study by drugmaker Regeneron to test whether its combination of two man-made antibodies can neutralize the deadly virus. “I think they probably treated him with everything they had.”
Mutter learned about the study from his sister-in-law, who works at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, one of dozens of trial sites nationwide. He is among hundreds of thousands of Americans — including the president — who’ve taken a chance on experimental therapies to treat or
Trombonist Jerrell Charleston loves the give-and-take of jazz, the creativity of riffing off other musicians. But as he looked toward his sophomore year at Indiana University, he feared that steps to avoid sharing the coronavirus would also keep students from sharing songs.
“Me and a lot of other cats were seriously considering taking a year off and practicing at home,” lamented the 19-year-old jazz studies major from Gary, Indiana.
His worries evaporated when he arrived on campus and discovered that music professor Tom Walsh had invented a special mask with a hole and a protective flap to allow musicians to play while masked.
Students also got masks for the ends of their wind instruments, known as bell covers, allowing them to jam in person, albeit 6 feet apart.
“It’s amazing to play together,” Charleston said. “Music has always been my safe space. It’s what’s in your soul, and you’re sharing that with other people.”
Of course, the very act of making music powered by human breath involves blowing air — and possibly virus particles — across a room. One infamous choral practice in Washington state earlier this year led
PETALUMA, Calif. — Late on the night of Sept. 27, a bumper-to-bumper caravan of fleeing cars, horse trailers, RVs and overstuffed pickup trucks snaked east on Highway 12, the flames of the Glass Fire glowing orange in their rearview mirrors.
With her cat, Bodhi, in his carrier in the back seat, 80-year-old Diana Dimas, who doesn’t see well at night, kept her eyes glued to the rear lights of her neighbor’s Toyota. She and Magdalena Mulay had met a few years before at a bingo night in their sprawling retirement community on the outskirts of Santa Rosa. Both Libras, each with two marriages behind her, the two women soon became the sort of friends who finish each other’s sentences.
Now, for the second time in three years, they heard the alarms and fled together as fire consumed the golden hills of Northern California’s wine country.
“I thought, where on earth are we going to go?” recalled Dimas. She remembered that when the catastrophic Tubbs Fire hit back in 2017, people had sought refuge outside well-lit supermarkets, which had water and bathrooms. Which is how Dimas and Mulay and dozens of other seniors ended up spending the night of the most