covid-19 information center




get crucial knowledge about the virus, the vaccines, and life during this global pandemic



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Black, Indigenous, LatinX, and Pacific Islander Americans are dealing with a very different pandemic

our communities are in crisis*








we are more likely to die**







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knowledge, understanding, choice

we want to help you understand the virus and the vaccines, so you understand the stakes. we all we got. only we can save ourselves.

learn about the virus and how it works

how do covid-19 vaccines work?

how the vaccine helps herd immunity

frequently asked questions





What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a new coronavirus that just recently figured out how to infect humans.

Why does it seem like there is different information about COVID-19 every day?

COVID-19 is a new disease that wasn’t previously seen in humans. We know some things about coronaviruses, but since this is a new & unique coronavirus, scientists are continuously collecting patient data and researching the virus in labs to learn about how it works and the effects it has on the human body.

How can I know what COVID-19 information is trustworthy?

We have access to a world of information, but not everything out there is good or accurate. There are several organizations–the CDC, NIH, WHO, and your local state health departments–who provide accurate and reliable information and updates.

At Hood Medicine, we provide truth and understanding to help you make the right choices to keep your families safe. It is important above all else to use your common sense. We are nowhere near containing the spread, and we have only just begun to vaccinate a small percentage of the population. During these critical phases, you should approach everything you do with an overabundance of caution.

Just remember, this is an airborne virus. Covering your nose and mouth properly when you are around people who do not live with you and maintaining enough distance to keep their breath from getting in your eyes, nose, and mouth is the only way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

What is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?

The CDC is the primary public health agency for the United States. They work to understand the prevalence of disease in populations and the associated health impacts.

What is the World Health Organization (WHO)?

The World Health Organization is a global agency for health monitoring, advocacy, and policy. They work to provide emergency assistance during outbreaks, and support vulnerable populations in fragile conditions.

What is the National Institutes of Health (NIH)?

The NIH is the US government’s medical research agency that works to investigate human diseases, general biology and toxicology.

How does COVID-19 spread?


Spreads through infected breath droplets released when you breathe, speak, sing, sneeze, or cough. Droplets can be large or too small to be seen. Viruses hang out in these droplets to hitch a ride into new hosts (people who don’t wear masks or keep a safe distance are the virus’s favorite kind of people).

COVID-19 can easily spread from one person to another. This means that a COVID-19 positive person can spread the virus to others – even if they don’t have any symptoms of illness. As many as 20-40% of people with COVID-19 don’t feel sick but can still spread the virus to others.

Virus particles are small enough to linger in the air for prolonged periods of time, leading to airborne transmission when the particles are inhaled by others.

Infected Surfaces

Spreads through touching surfaces contaminated with infected breath droplets, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your contaminated hand. #washyohands

This is a tricky one because so many people are not aware of how many times they touch their faces throughout the day. Try your best to resist touching your face when you’re out if you haven’t had a chance to sanitize your hands.


Don’t forget about your pets! A small number of cats & dogs have tested positive, but there is not good data on risk of transmission from animals to humans. However, this does mean that humans can potentially spread the virus to their pets.

Just like humans, your household pets should not be in contact with others outside of your household. You should avoid contact with animals that do not live with you.

What happens when someone gets COVID-19?

COVID-19 can affect different people in different ways. Some people are asymptomatic and display no signs of illness, despite having the virus and being able to spread it to others. Some people experience mild discomfort, and others have varying degrees of more serious illness up to and including permanent debilitation or death. So far, roughly 1% of COVID-19 positive people across the world will die; others still may experience lasting damage to major organ systems including the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs.


How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

The single most important thing you can do to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is to register for the vaccine when you are eligible and ensure that you complete all vaccine appointments. While you are waiting for the vaccine the following guidelines will increase your safety and dramatically reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.

Stay home when you can

Person-to-person contact is the main form of virus transmission. The more you avoid contact with people outside your household, the less risk you have of being infected.

Avoid unnecessary outings, social gatherings, or crowded places

Limit interaction to only those you live with and make sure they are also avoiding close contact with people outside your home. If you or your home-mate(s) need to leave your home for exercise or an essential outing, choose outdoor settings whenever possible.

(Double) Mask up

Wear a mask when you will be around anyone who does not live with you. The CDC recommends wearing two masks—a disposable mask underneath a standard cloth mask. Carbon filters are also helpful if you have access to them.

Clean your mask

Thoroughly wash your mask when you come home, or if using a disposable mask – do not exceed the recommended usage guidelines on the label. Reusable masks should be washed frequently to avoid contamination.

Wash your nasty hands

Surface contamination is a real source of potential infection. Avoid unnecessarily touching surfaces outside of your home. Be mindful to “keep your hands to yourself” when in public places. Try as best you can to not touch your eyes or face during an outing until you have washed your hands afterwards. Use tissues as much as possible to avoid contamination.

Thoroughly wash your hands when you return from an outing, before and after eating or feeding pets, and when you are taking medicine or providing first aid. Regular handwashing or hand sanitizer use when soap and clean water are unavailable is essential to reducing your risk of infection. Always use clean hot water and soap.

Scrub scrub scrub

Soap bubbles do the hard work of cleaning dirt off the surface of your skin. That is why it is important to lather and scrub your hands vigorously, including the skin between your fingers, the front and back of your hands, and behind your nails. Scrub them for at least 20 seconds before thoroughly rinsing them with clean hot water. We like to sing the ABCs a couple of times to be sure. Fully dry hands with a clean cloth.

Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used to disinfect your hands when you cannot wash them. Fully cover your hands – including the front and back, between your fingers, and under your nails. Rub the sanitizer all over your hands until it is fully absorbed, and your skin is dry.

What behaviors should I avoid during the pandemic?

The following activities should be avoided as much as possible:

  • Removing your mask to talk to anyone who lives outside your household
  • Sharing food or drinks with anyone outside of intimate partners
  • Hugging, kissing, or shaking hands with anyone outside of your immediate household
  • Sharing cosmetics or personal grooming devices (razors, makeup brushes, etc.) with others
  • Interacting with pets outside of your personal pets, or allowing your pets to interact with anyone outside of your immediate household
What places should I avoid during the pandemic?

The following places should be avoided as much as possible. In situations where you must visit these places, you should wear a properly fitting masks for your entire stay:

  • Arcades
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor gyms – choose outdoor venues or home workouts instead
  • Indoor sports & recreational facilities
  • Movie theaters
  • Nightclubs
  • Restaurants – choose pickup or delivery instead
  • Ride shares or public transportation – wear a mask, avoid unnecessarily touching surfaces, and thoroughly wash your hands after each ride
  • Saunas
Why should I wear a mask?

Masks are your last line of defense. Since we breathe through our nose and mouth, masks are the best way to significantly reduce the risk of getting tiny invisible breath droplets from other people’s noses & mouths inside your mouth. If nothing else, this pandemic has demonstrated how much spittle we exchange when we talk to each other up close. If you want to prevent other people’s potentially infected spit from getting in your mouth during a global airborne pandemic, cover all the holes in your face.

Eyes are also vulnerable to infection. Having an eye covering when you are out in a public place is best, though not always practical. Hand-to-eye infection is also possible if you touch your eyes after touching a contaminated surface.

How should the mask be worn?

Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your mask. Put the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face, slipping the loops over your ears or tying the strings behind your head. Make sure you can breathe easily.

If you have to continually adjust your mask, it doesn’t fit properly, and you might need to find a different mask type or brand. For more information on masks see this CDC resource


Should I get vaccinated?

Receiving a COVID vaccine is critically important in our fight against this disease. Because we can’t be sure whether COVID-19 infection for someone will result in severe illness (eg., hospitalization or death) or even a mild case with longer-lasting complications (e.g., damage to the heart, lungs, or brain), vaccination is essential in reducing the risk of getting sick from this disease.

I already had COVID, do I need to get vaccinated?

We still recommend getting the vaccine even if you’ve previously had COVID. Although you have some level of protection from a previous infection, it’s inconsistent from person to person, and we have seen individuals get sick from reinfection. Vaccination will help your body to develop more robust immune protection against COVID.

Is the vaccine safe?

These vaccines have undergone rigorous testing through clinical trials and intense scrutiny to ensure that they are both safe and effective. Typically, clinical trails were considered “large” if they enrolled a few thousand people. Both of the currently available vaccines underwent even larger trials, with Pfizer enrolling over 40,000 people and Moderna enrolling 30,000 people. All this was to ensure these vaccines were safe for people to take and effective in fighting COVID.

I'm getting vaccinated, what should I expect?

When you receive your injection in your arm, the muscle cells at the injection site receive the cheat codes from the vaccine and read the file on COVID. The cells start producing non-infectious pieces of the virus to store away in your immune system’s databank. Your body makes matching antibodies that are ready to attack COVID the next time you get infected with the goal of preventing serious illness.

Vaccines are for protection, and they exist so that the next time you get infected, your body has what it needs to fight off infection. The process your body goes through when it finds an intruder present is similar to what happens as your body reacts to the knowledge it learns from the vaccine. Just like when you may take a flu shot and feel a bit under the weather for a few days, you may feel some temporary minor discomfort and fatigue from the COVID vaccine.

In rare cases, some serious side effects have been reported. For more information please visit:

How much will the vaccine cost me?

The vaccine is free of charge to everyone, whether you have insurance or not. Some vaccine registration sites ask for insurance information because if you have insurance, your provider will be billed for your vaccination. If you do not have insurance, the vaccine is still free to you. Just bypass the insurance question on the form or indicate that you are uninsured. You should not be denied a vaccination.

What if I don't want to get vaccinated?

Getting vaccinated is vital for your health, the health of your family and community, and essential to get humans closer to herd immunity. Working towards herd immunity is a battle of the species. If you do not want a vaccination, you have essentially betrayed humanity. What we’re risking here is the virus learning and evolving more quickly than it ever could or should or would under normal circumstances, and generating more dangerous mutations. By not getting vaccinated, you are offering yourself up to the virus as another host, another lab rat for the virus’s research about how to best kill humans. STOP GIVING IT HOSTS!

COVID-19 hood med chats

Special Hoosier Vaccine Update

Special Hoosier Vaccine Update

Jonathan Lawler, founder of Hood Medicine partner Brandywine Creek Farms, discusses the challenges facing rural America during the pandemic.

COVID Treatment Disparities with Leslie Mac

COVID Treatment Disparities with Leslie Mac

Activist and Communications Director for The Frontline Leslie Mac joins us to chat about her experience as a COVID-19 patient, and Nick Bohn, COVID drug scientist at Regeneron, comes to teach us all about therapeutics for COVID-19.

The Kids Are Not Alright

The Kids Are Not Alright

In this Mental Health Check-in Series chat, Hood Medicine discusses the mental toll the pandemic has taken on our youth, and how we can help normalize life for them during lockdown.

Gangstagrass COVID Mutant Variant Update

Gangstagrass COVID Mutant Variant Update

Dr. Neecey Hudson joins bluegrass hip hop band Gangstagrass for their weekly Friday Teamstream to discuss the spread of mutant variants and how they impact herd immunity in the context of vaccination progress.

The Impact of COVID in Latinx Communities

The Impact of COVID in Latinx Communities

Dr. Raymond Morales and Microbiologist Hazel Ozuna Vázquez join us to discuss how the pandemic has impacted Latinx communities, critical info on COVID-19, and the new vaccines available. We discuss the compounding crises facing undocumented populations and efforts to ensure safe access to vaccination.

Gangstagrass Vaccine Update

Gangstagrass Vaccine Update

Dr. Neecey Hudson joins bluegrass hip hop band Gangstagrass for their weekly Friday Teamstream, and explains the science behind coronavirus and the new vaccines.