Marc Silver

Maxwell Posner/NPR / YouTube

I like to run. And bike. And go for walks.

Especially during the pandemic. It's a time I can almost forget about the novel coronavirus.

Masks make a statement. About who you are — and your views of the pandemic.

That's true in countries from the United States to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The government of Congo requires all Congolese to wear masks when going out in public to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Paul Farmer, professor of medicine at Harvard University, has spent three decades helping poor countries fight devastating diseases – from tuberculosis to cholera to Ebola to Zika. As co-founder of Partners in Health, he works to strengthen health-care systems in Haiti (where the group started), Malawi, Rwanda and other low- and middle-income countries, where he's seen what works – and what doesn't work – when disease strikes.

Yes, washing your hands provides excellent protection against coronavirus (and other pathogens).

But you do need to scrub with soap for 20 seconds to remove those pathogens. That's what the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and many hand-washing experts recommend.

Twenty seconds is a long time when you're standing at a sink. The common advice is to wash as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice or the ABC song. If you don't rocket through the lyrics, you should get about 20 seconds of scrub time.

You may wake up, look out the window and be struck by how things seem pretty normal.

Spring is coming, trees are flowering, birds are chirping.

And if you go to the kitchen to make breakfast and see that someone in your household left dirty dishes in the sink, you'd be peeved.

Wuhan is a ghost town, yet there are still definite signs of life.

That's the status of this city of 11 million, which has seen strict quarantine measures imposed in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus disease.

As of Feb. 10, every compound, or residential complex, in Wuhan has been put under "closed-off management" orders by the government.

The goal is to keep healthy people from getting infected by going out and about.

Updated on Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. ET

China said it was going to build two hospitals in under two weeks.

The time frame was not an exaggeration. Ground was broken on the first facility on Jan. 24. Chinese media reported that the facility, with beds for 1,000 coronavirus patients, opened its doors on Feb. 3.

But the term "hospital" may not be exactly on point.

It was quite a decade.

Ebola swept through Africa as never before – and has returned again just this past year.

Polio was almost wiped out – but not quite.

The issue of menstruation became a headline topic.

And a selfie debate began --- what are the ethics of posing for pictures in developing countries.

Sure, everybody thinks it's great when a story is read by many hundreds of thousands of folks. That's definitely a success.

But what about stories that don't get a lot of pageviews? Maybe the headline just didn't catch a reader's eye. Or maybe there was so much news that day that the story slipped through the cracks of the internet and tumbled into digital oblivion.

When childhood cancer is diagnosed early and treated effectively, the survival rate is impressive. In the United States, for example, the five-year survival rate for children with cancer is 80 percent.

Why is it that the U.S. is among the top 30 countries in the world with the highest rates of deaths from gun violence? At a rate of 4.43 deaths per 100,000 people, it is four times higher than the rates in war-torn Syria and Yemen.

"Sex for fish."

That unlikely phrase is used in some lakefront communities in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world where men catch the fish and women sell the catch to local customers.

In Malawi, for instance, a woman may take a fisherman's catch and promise to pay him once she's made her sales. Only she might have trouble selling all the fish. So she might pay off what she owes for the fish by engaging in a sexual encounter.

Kennedy Odede seems like the kind of guy who wouldn't be scared of anything.

Imagine your house is gone. And yet the TV is still standing.

That's one of the scenes that photojournalist Tommy Trenchard documented as he visited parts of Mozambique hit by Cyclone Kenneth on Thursday.

Last year, I was chatting with a colleague, Joe Palca, about what we did over the weekend. "I made gefilte fish," I said.

"Oh, my grandmother used to make it with tuna fish," Joe said.

My jaw dropped to my toes.

Tuna fish? From a can?

Yup. That's what she did. "I didn't care for it," Joe told me, although he couldn't remember exactly why. He was, he adds, a fan of non-tuna gefilte fish.

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