Journalism Resources

Long Covid: worth reporting

As a science journalist, Long Covid is a topic well worth keeping an eye on – and not just because it is interesting, important, and affecting people in your work, family or social spheres. It may well have broader implications for what some now call post-infection syndromes.

Twenty, fifteen, ten years ago, if you came down with the post-infection syndrome labelled ME/CFS, you could expect to get little medical insight, support and sympathy from your healthcare professionals, family, and friends. Sufferers were widely regarded as malingerers or attention-seekers, exaggerating small symptoms and refusing to do things to improve their health, like engage in daily exercise.

Over time, with some robust and heroic campaigning, by patients ill-equipped to do the hard yards such that campaigning requires, views have shifted. Not only about the palpable reality of the condition, but also about its impact: in 2018, some careful mining of big data found that “… a prevalence rate of 857/100,000 for ME/CFS is not unreasonable; therefore, it is not a rare disease, but in fact a relatively common one” with costs 50% higher than those of lupus and multiple sclerosis.

Although ME/CFS’s triggers have not been conclusively demonstrated, it “has been associated with several infectious agents including Epstein–Barr Virus, Q fever, influenza, and other coronaviruses”.

The burden of Long Covid on society (never mind the severe and debilitating impact on individuals) is enormous. As of 31 January 2022, the Office of National Statistics in the UK reported that some 1.5 million people in that country were “experiencing long COVID symptoms, with 65% of those reporting a negative impact on their day-to-day activities. In the USA and UK, millions are taking long-term absence from the workforce due to long COVID”. The toll in the USA may be as high as 23 million.

Sharp, accurate reporting on Long Covid around the globe will help to drive funding for the kind of complex research necessary to understand the condition, to find ways to prevent the damage that results in Long Covid, and develop treatments that improve quality of life for sufferers. The hope is that such research will also shine a light on the potential long-term consequences of other infections, whether from bacteria or a range of viruses, and perhaps ultimately help those who suffer from conditions like ME/CFS, too.

Long COVID source list
11th April 2022, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

While the people on this source list have consented to have their information shared publicly, please do not use the list to write about individuals without contacting them directly first. We’ve asked people on this list to provide identifying information...

How to report misinformation online
9th December 2021, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we face the challenge of an overabundance of information related to the virus. Some of this information may be false and potentially harmful. Inaccurate information spreads widely and at speed, making it...

Covering scientific consensus: What to avoid and how to get it right
23rd November 2021, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

When reporting on controversial policy topics such as vaccine safety and climate change, journalists can look to scientific consensus to bolster their coverage and battle misinformation. If you’re unsure what scientific consensus is, don’t understand its significance or have no...

Global overview of COVID-19: Impact on elections
18th October 2021, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

Elections postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) span the globe. Here is a list of the current elections schedule and plans, as reported by governments, electoral management bodies, and news media. Please note that this list is...

COVID-truthers have a science problem. They don’t need more politicians or activists arguing against lockdowns or debating the efficacy of masks. They need scientists – qualified people with proven track records and fancy degrees. Even if these scientists retread the...

Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on health systems and economies around the world. This is particularly true for developing and newly industrialized countries that often have to deal with poverty and inadequate health systems. A greater...

Abstract In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists have the challenging task of gathering and distributing accurate information. Journalists exist as a part of an ecology in which their work influences and is influenced by the environment that surrounds...

How to Spot COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories
29th June 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

The COVID-19 pandemic is a fertile breeding ground for conspiracy theories. When people suffer a loss of control or feel threatened, they become more vulnerable to believing conspiracies. For example, the Black Death in the 14th century inspired anti-Semitic hysteria...

The CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance Database
24th June 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

Here is the database that gathers all of the falsehoods that have been detected by the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus alliance. This database unites fact-checkers in more than 70 countries and includes articles published in at least 40 languages. Para búsquedas en español,...

Good News and Bad News about COVID-19 Misinformation
10th June 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

Recently, a video called “Plandemic” went viral on social media. PolitiFact flagged eight fake or misleading claims it made about COVID-19. YouTube and Facebook removed the video; Twitter issued “unsafe” warnings and blocked relevant hashtags. All of the platforms couched...

How You Should Read Coronavirus Studies, or Any Science Paper
1st June 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

A lot of people are reading scientific papers for the first time these days, hoping to make sense of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re one of them, be advised the scientific paper is a peculiar literary genre that can take...

Health Policy Watch: COVID-19
9th April 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

Health Policy Watch is a digital platform for independent reporting on top global health policy debates, trends, and research. To access Health Policy Watch’s open-access, daily news service, please sign up here for email alerts or follow us on twitter...

Statnews: Coronavirus resources
1st April 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

Read all of our coverage of the virus that has spread around the world. Sign up for our Morning Rounds and Daily Recap newsletters to get an update each weekday. Follow us on Twitter at @statnews. And please consider a...

COVID-19 resources for reporters
25th March 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

Science-based resources for journalists covering COVID-19, including downloadable video, quotes from experts, and an infographic on cases and deaths by county and state you can easily embed on your site. To help reporters cover the pandemic, SciLine… hosts online Media...

Coronavirus and your wellbeing
17th March 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

You might be worried about coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include being asked to stay at home or avoid other people. This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots...

Advice for the public: Myth busters
13th March 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if...

Info for the public on COVID-19
13th March 2020, Curated by Mandi Smallhorne

On this website you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Please visit this page for daily updates.