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Stories by Blake Farmer

Few eligible families have applied for government help to pay for COVID funerals

In April 2021, FEMA offered to reimburse funeral expenses for COVID victims - up to $9,000 - and though the federal government has paid more than $2 billion to cover funeral costs, fewer than half of eligible families have started applications.... Read more»0

Worn-out nurses hit the road for better pay, stressing hospital budgets — and morale

In parts of the country where COVID-19 continues to fill hospitals, a rotating cast of traveling nurses helps keep intensive care units fully staffed - hospitals have to pay handsomely to get that temporary help, and those higher wages are tempting some staff nurses to hit the road.... Read more»0

ECMO life support is a last resort for COVID, and in short supply in South

Many more people could benefit from ECMO than are receiving it, which has made for a messy triaging of treatment that could escalate in the coming weeks as the Delta variant surges across the South and in rural communities with low vaccination rates.... Read more»0

Dramatic drop in common viruses raises question: masks forever?

Masks and physical distancing are proving to have major fringe benefits, keeping people from getting all kinds of illnesses — not just COVID-19. But it’s unclear whether the protocols will be worth the pain in the long run. ... Read more»0