Malaka Gharib | New Hampshire Public Radio

Malaka Gharib

It's a bit hard to describe Vietnam's Intergenerational Self Help Clubs.

But one thing is easy to say. If you're older — like above the age of 60 — and need help, the club will help you get it. That could mean a microloan if times are tough, a drum lesson as a chance for self-expression and social activity (and to prove that old people can play drums, too). And during the pandemic, the clubs have played a critical role informing and supporting its members.

There are around 3,000 of the clubs in Vietnam, with 160,000 participants, most of them older people.

After I shared my family's experience in trying to care for my 92-year-old grandmother in the pandemic, I wanted to know: How do we help older people feel safe and comfortable — and happy — in these times?

During this pandemic, I've been worried about my grandma — Nanay, to me. That's Tagalog for mother.

Her name is Felisa Mercene. She's a Filipino American immigrant. She's 92. Since March, she's been living in isolation from most of our family in Southern California. Her relatives have been wary of visiting. What if they had COVID-19 and infected her?

3,000 miles away in Washington, D.C., where I live, I wondered: Is she feeling safe? Is she happy? Or ... is she lonely?

Updated Saturday at 4:50 a.m. ET

In early May, about two months after schools across Malawi closed because of COVID-19, Eliza Chikoti received a phone call from a former student: a bright 15-year-old girl who always got good grades.

"She called me and she said, 'Madame, I'm thinking of getting married,' " says Chikoti.

Chikoti, 24, works for Camfed, an international organization that supports girls' education. Part of her work is mentoring girls in the town of Mwanza — offering them support and guidance in their studies.

"I will kill you."

That's what a family member of a COVID-19 patient told a general practitioner at a private hospital in Aden, Yemen, amid the country's coronavirus outbreak in April.

Pointing a gun at the doctor, the family member pushed him to put the patient on oxygen and mechanical ventilation, two types of treatments for severe cases of COVID-19.

The doctor explained that he wouldn't be able to provide those options for the patient.

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The world is being flooded with new terms in coverage of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Here's a glossary in case you're not up on the latest medical and testing jargon. We start with the nomenclature of the virus. Words are listed in thematic groupings (transmission and testing, for example).

There are 27 members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Only two are women: Dr. Deborah Birx and Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

When it comes to fighting COVID-19 abroad, the U.S. has been the most generous nation in the world, committing $900 million to global health, humanitarian and economic programs in 120 countries, according to the State Department. The money goes to international and local aid groups and health facilities in country.

But there's a catch.

Mister Rogers said "look for the helpers" in times of crisis. Here's the story of Shah Dedar, an aid worker with the group HelpAge in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. He's 32, he's a Tom Hanks fan — and he works to protect the most vulnerable in the largest set of refugee camps in the world.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with an entry for Jan. 14 with statements from WHO about human-to-human transmission.

On Tuesday, President Trump said he's suspending U.S. funding for the World Health Organization. He said the agency has "mismanaged" the pandemic, has been slow to respond to the crisis and is "China-centric."

We looked at the public record to see what Trump and the WHO had to say over the past 15 weeks about the coronavirus pandemic. Here's a timeline highlighting key quotes.

Jan. 5

Humanitarian groups say they've never had to face a challenge like the novel coronavirus.

"We've never had to respond to a crisis that has simultaneously impacted every single office that we run in the world at the same time," says Elinor Raikes, head of program delivery at the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organization that operates in 40 countries.

To read this comic in English, click here.

Chicos, chicas, este cómic es para vosotros.

Se basa en un reportaje de radio hecho por el corresponsal de educación para NPR, Cory Turner. Entrevistó a unos expertos sobre cosas que a lo mejor los jóvenes les gustarían saber sobre el coronavirus que se descubrió en China.

What will happen when COVID-19 hits refugee camps?

This page is updated regularly.

Since the new coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December, the infectious respiratory disease COVID-19 has spread rapidly within China and to neighboring countries and beyond.

The first confirmed coronavirus cases outside China occurred on Jan. 20, in Japan, Thailand and South Korea. On Jan. 21, the first case in the U.S. was identified in Washington state.

Can I protect myself from catching the coronavirus? That's my question as cases mount in the United States.

So I spent one day last week trying to be aware of doing all the right things. I mean, how hard can it be to wash your hands a lot and avoid crowds?

Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China, has been in lockdown mode for weeks. But its delivery workers, zipping through empty streets on their motorcycles and scooters, are still very much on the move.

To avoid transmission of the virus, people have been told to stay at home and limit time outdoors. As a result, when they need food or other necessities, many of them turn to delivery workers, who put themselves at risk of exposure to the virus by interacting with dozens of customers, some of whom are sick, and handling multiple packages a day.

How do you explain coronavirus to kids?

This is a Chinese language version of a story published on NPR's website: "Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus"

孩子们,这本漫画是给你们看的。

这是根据NPR教育记者科里·特纳的广播故事。他采访了一些专家,问了一些孩子们可能想知道的关于在中国发现的新型冠状病毒肺炎。

为了创作这个漫画,我们使用了他对伊利诺伊大学社会工作学院的塔拉·鲍威尔、新奥尔良州立大学健康科学中心的乔伊·奥索夫斯基以及国家心理健康研究所的克里斯托·刘易斯的采访。

Updated on March 16 at 1:56 p.m. ET

Kids, this comic is for you.

It's based on a radio story that NPR education reporter Cory Turner did. He asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China.

Updated on March 9th at Noon EST.

The coronavirus outbreak has sparked what the World Health Organization is calling an "infodemic" — an overwhelming amount of information on social media and websites. Some of it's accurate. And some is downright untrue.

How can more women allow themselves to experience sexual pleasure?

Updated on Feb. 14 at 12:37 p.m ET

The world is being flooded with perhaps unfamiliar words and phrases in coverage of COVID-19, the newly discovered coronavirus — starting with the very word "coronavirus." (see below for definition).

Updated on March 30 at 1:48 p.m. ET: NPR is no longer updating this post. To view our new map, click here.

Since the coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December, the infectious respiratory disease has spread rapidly within the country and to neighboring countries and beyond.

A lot of my free time is spent doodling. I'm a journalist on NPR's science desk by day. But all the time in between, I am an artist — specifically, a cartoonist.

I draw in between tasks. I sketch at the coffee shop before work. And I like challenging myself to complete a zine — a little magazine — on my 20-minute bus commute.

Virginity tests are making headlines in the United States. In November, the rapper T.I. drew a firestorm of criticism after he said during a podcast interview that he requires his 18-year-old daughter to undergo an annual virginity test with her gynecologist.

A protest is mounting over one of the recipients of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Goals Award, to be presented next week in New York City, as part of events surrounding the U.N. General Assembly. The award is given to individuals who have contributed to efforts to improve the lives of the poor.

This week, Pope Francis began a seven-day trip to Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique. On his second visit to sub-Saharan Africa, he hopes to offer comfort and rekindle unity in a region struggling with natural disasters, poverty and religious and political tensions.

In October, NPR reported on the efforts of reproductive rights activist Farhad Javid in Afghanistan. He was trying to free girls and women who had been jailed for failing a virginity test, even though such tests are banned by the U.N. Was he successful?

The last time we spoke to Javid, he was about to meet with Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and his wife, first lady Rula Ghani.

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