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Is there a woman in your community who has overcome great challenges in their personal lives during the pandemic?

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

A large and isolated region of northeastern Canada entered a lockdown this week as cases of COVID-19 creep up in parts of the country with limited access to advanced medical care.

More than 80 cases have been identified this month in Nunavut, where around 39,000 people, predominantly Inuit, live in communities scattered across a territory the size of Mexico. The worst-hit area, Arviat, has 58 cases in a hamlet of fewer than 3,000 people.

The new lockdown started Wednesday and is set to last two weeks.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A once-promising treatment against COVID-19 has fallen out of favor with the World Health Organization.

On Thursday, a WHO review panel issued new guidelines recommending against the use of remdesivir for COVID-19 — even though the medicine is one of the few to win regulatory approval as a treatment for the disease.

Why does a disease hit some countries or regions hard and largely spares others?

For example, the virus that causes COVID-19 has surged so strongly in North and South America. But it has been less of a problem in Africa and many parts of Asia.

India's total reported coronavirus cases have surpassed 9 million – a milestone so far crossed only by the United States.

But new infections appear to be declining in India, with 45,882 new cases reported Friday, compared to daily tallies that were more than double that, in September.

Some scientists have questioned the reliability of India's testing regime and kits.

Mexico has become the fourth country to cross the 100,000 threshold for confirmed COVID-19 deaths, joining the U.S., Brazil and India.

Mexico's director of epidemiology, José Luis Alomía Zegarra, made the announcement late Thursday. He said there have been 100,104 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Mexico since the first case was detected there in February.

Steven used to take a pill every morning to control his HIV. Then he heard about a study for a ground-breaking treatment where he wouldn't have to take any pills at all.

"I get an injection in each butt cheek once a month," says Steven, an attorney based in Pittsburgh, Pa., who tested positive in 2015.

He's asked us to withhold his last name because while he came out as gay last year, he hasn't come out to all his professional contacts.

The drug he's getting is called Cabenuva. It's one of a new type of anti-AIDS drugs that need to be taken only a few times a year.

Add surgeries to the list of human activities making the climate hotter and more volatile.

Suppose you're participating in one of those word-association tests, where someone gives you a word and you're to respond with the first things that enter your mind. Your word is "Ebola."

Kids, this comic is for you.

You've been living through this pandemic for months, and you might be feeling sad, frustrated or upset. But there are lots of different ways to deal with your worries – and make yourself feel better. Here are some tips and advice to help you through.

Print and fold a zine version of this comic here. Here are directions on how to fold it.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

This comic was originally published on Feb. 28, 2020, and has been updated.

Kids, this comic is just for you.

The coronavirus pandemic started in March and in many countries, thousands and thousands of people are getting sick. You may have questions about what exactly this virus is — and how to stay safe. Here are some answers.

If you ask Alfred Sonandi where he lives, he'll tell you Izwelethu.

"It sounds nice," he says. "It means 'Our Land' in Xhosa [one of South Africa's 11 languages]. But to be honest, almost everyone here calls it 'Covid.' And 'nice' is not really the word I'd use ..."

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

Ms. Chavez was barely sustaining her oxygen levels despite being on maximum support through the thick tubing in her nose. Two days before coming to the hospital, Ms. Chavez developed fevers and diarrhea, tested positive for the coronavirus in the emergency department and by the next day was unable to breathe. Her son and daughter-in-law would both test positive soon after as well.

New Delhi's air quality has already reached its worst level this year. And the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, which starts this weekend, is likely to make things even worse as the traditional rounds of firecrackers add to the air pollution.

During the five-day festival, revelers set off smoke bombs, sparklers and aerial fireworks that spew clouds of noxious gas.

"It's a very critical, dangerous week ahead of us," said Delhi-based environmental activist Vimlendu Jha.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been hospitalized for COVID-19 after testing positive for coronavirus earlier this week, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

Zelenskiy announced Monday that he had become infected with the virus, saying he felt good and promising to self-isolate while continuing to work.

On Monday, Zelenskiy said he was running a temperature of 37.5 Celsius (99.5 Fahrenheit).

One early November morning, a Peking duck cook, several construction workers and a software engineer patiently lined up outside a Beijing vaccine facility, awaiting their turn to be injected with a coronavirus vaccine still awaiting regulatory approval.

The chairman and CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, sold $5.6 million worth of stock in the pharmaceutical company on Monday. The sale took place on the same day Pfizer announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective. The company's stock soared on the news.

This week, the world heard encouraging news about a vaccine for COVID-19.

On Monday, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, and its partner BioNTech, said their experimental vaccine appears to work – and work quite well. A preliminary analysis suggests the vaccine is more than 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 symptoms.

Health officials hope to start vaccinating some Americans in a few months.

While an effective vaccine against HIV may still be a long way off, a new HIV prevention technique has proven remarkably effective at protecting women against the virus.

A single injection of a drug called cabotegravir every two months was so successful in preventing HIV in a clinical trial among women in sub-Saharan Africa that the study was wrapped up ahead of schedule.

The pandemic has had a chilling effect on freedom around the globe, according to a new report from Freedom House, a nonpartisan group that advocates for democracy and whose founders include Eleanor Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie.

A top U.S. Army general who is co-leading the federal COVID-19 vaccine initiative anticipates that the first of millions of Americans could start receiving COVID-19 vaccines as soon as next month.

Health insurers used to be able to deny coverage – or charge more – for an applicant who had a preexisting medical condition. That's the industry term for a condition that could range from allergies to cancer.

The Affordable Care Act changed all that as of 2014, guaranteeing coverage for those with preexisting conditions. But now the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments, starting Tuesday, on a case filed to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Updated at 3:28 p.m. ET

Ben Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has tested positive for the coronavirus, as has David Bossie, a longtime Trump ally and campaign aide.

The news comes days after several other top Trump administration officials were also found to be infected with the virus.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden named 13 health experts to his Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board on Monday, advancing his plans despite uncertainty over how much the Trump administration will cooperate amid its ongoing legal challenge to the election results. The coronavirus has spread at alarming rates in the U.S. in recent weeks.

Back in July, President Trump's administration began the formal process of withdrawing the U.S. – and its critical funding – from the World Health Organization. Trump had accused the U.N. agency of conspiring with China to downplay the infectiousness of the novel coronavirus early on. The withdrawal was to be complete in July 2021.

As a candidate, Biden vowed to reverse the decision on his first day in office. Global health experts are counting on President-elect Joe Biden to restore and reimagine the U.S. relationship with the world's leading public health agency.

More than 50 million COVID-19 cases have been recorded around the world as of Sunday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

The U.S., India and Brazil are three countries with the most cases and account for nearly half of the world count. The U.S. alone is poised to hit 10 million cases as cases and hospitalizations continue to climb.

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