What a year it’s been. We looked back at Chicago Health’s most-read stories of 2020, based on the number of visits to each story on our website. Not surprisingly, a trip through our top stories of 2020 is like taking a journey through Covid-19’s progression in our city.
Many of our most-read stories were from the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when information was scarce and confusing. We were glad to have been there as a trusted source of information, delivering unique, important perspectives.
We hope that you enjoy reflecting on how much life has changed this past year — and how much we’ve learned in just 12 (highly complex) months.
1. How Covid-19 Impacts Teens’ Mental Health
Posted April 30, 2020
By Nancy Maes
During the Covid-19 pandemic, teens have had to adjust to online learning, isolate from their friends, and erase meaningful events from their calendars. The disappointment and disruption from the coronavirus has been especially hard for these teens, caught in limbo at a time when they are ready to launch.
2. In Covid-19 Long-Haul Syndrome, Symptoms Continue for Months
Posted August 12, 2020
By Lorna Collier
Thousands of people worldwide, including local 38-year-old Patrick Malia, have had symptoms related to Covid-19 long after the acute illness passed. In what is called long-haul syndrome, many have never been hospitalized, yet they suffer disabling aftereffects for weeks or months. This has mystified their doctors, who have grappled with how to treat them.
3. The Pros and Cons of Recreational Marijuana in Illinois: A Health Perspective
Posted January 16, 2020
By Jim Lacy
Illinois legalized recreational marijuana a year ago this month, and people lined up at state-licensed dispensaries, which initially sold out of product. Research shows that cannabis has medical benefits, such as helping to ease chronic pain, improve sleep, and relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy. Yet, cannabis also has its own unique health risks. Tips for a safe experience with legal marijuana.
4. 5 Tips for Self-Care During the Pandemic and Protests
Posted June 18, 2020
By Valerie Nikolas
First came the coronavirus and its strict stay-at-home orders, impacting the mental health of almost half of Americans. Then came the protests, filled with anger and outrage over racism and violence. During this complex and uncertain time, self-care is particularly important.
5. Stop the Coronavirus: The Science of Washing Your Hands
Posted March 27, 2020
By Debra Chandler Landis
Remember early on in the pandemic, when prevention seemed to be all about washing your hands and not touching contaminated surfaces? This story looks into the science behind soap and water and how washing your hands can kill some germs and slow the spread of disease.
6. Busting Common Coronavirus Myths
Posted May 20, 2020
By Annemarie Mannion
Whether you turn on the TV, log on to social media, or open a newspaper, it’s impossible to escape news about Covid-19. Yet with so much information available from so many sources, it can be hard to determine what’s accurate and what’s not. In this story, published in May, local infectious disease experts address some common myths.
7. Keeping Your Distance: The Difference Between Self-Quarantine and Isolation During Covid-19
Posted April 21, 2020
By Jim Lacy
In the early days of the pandemic, we all had to learn a new infectious disease vocabulary. The terms quarantine and isolation are often used interchangeably. But when do you self-quarantine, when do you isolate, and what is the difference is between them?
8. Staying Safe and Engaged in Senior Communities During Pandemic
Posted May 13, 2020
By Ronit Rose
As Covid-19 spread, senior living communities restricted visits from outsiders, canceled group activities, shut down dining rooms, and instituted wellness checks for employees and caregivers. Yet, as so many interactions went off limits, communities found creative ways to safely engage residents.
9. Why the Coronavirus is Worse than the Flu and When to Seek Medical Attention
Posted March 24, 2020
By Eve Becker
Covid-19, the flu, and the common cold often start with similar symptoms. So how do you know if you have Covid-19? Learn the differences and what to do if you think you have the disease.
10. Facing a Surge, Chicago-Area Hospitals Are Fighting for Coronavirus Tests
Posted March 17, 2020
By Katie Scarlett Brandt
In the early months of Chicago’s Covid-19 battle, tests were few — and difficult to get. When doctors wanted to order a coronavirus test for a patient, they first had to call a health department for approval. Private laboratories and hospitals worked rapidly to develop their own tests, but many people simply couldn’t get them. How could we, as a society, manage Covid-19 without knowing who had it?
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