Maintaining Mental Health in the Face of COVID-19

May 28, 2020
File photo
S.C. Telehealth Alliance

Many people are on edge, even as businesses start to open back up in the face of the COVID pandemic,worrying about whether it's too soon, and will more people being out and about bring a spike in the numbers of cases or deaths? 

On Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, SpaceX teams, the company's Mission and NASA flight controllers executed full simulation of launch and docking of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (front).
Photo credit: SpaceX

For the first time in nine years, astronauts will launch into space from American soil. Wednesday’s planned test flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon will send two astronauts, Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken to the International Space Station.


When the U.S. Treasury released its list of jurisdictions that would be getting money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, someone had to tell the Greenville County Council that the county was on it.

“Somebody said, ‘Hey, I think I saw you guys on a website,’” said Council Chairman Butch Kirven. “We looked and printed out the list, and sure enough, there we were.”

Along with the listing was the amount of money the county would be receiving to help recharge its COVID-choked small business economy – $91.4 million.

Jesse Colin Young has established a series called One Song at a Time to keep in touch with fans and help them get some relief while they're home-bound during the COVID pandemic.
Courtesy of the Artist

Musicians nationwide, like many performing artists, have had their shows cancelled indefinitely by concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.   South Carolina artists were no less affected, but Jesse Colin Young found a way to still communicate with his audience by making videos that his wife posts online on Facebook, YouTube and other sites.   

  S.C. General Assembly Will Have Final Say

SC Gov. Henry McMaster is expected to receive the first set of recommendations next week on how the state should spend just under $2 Billion Congress provided for expenses incurred by state and local governments, hospitals, and schools and colleges during the public emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal aid has some pretty big strings attached to it, namely that the $2 Billion can only be spent on expenditures directly related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Even before the much-anticipated Memorial Day weekend, Lowcountry beaches once vacant because of a potentially deadly pandemic, were crammed with people. 

"We were over run," says Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll.

"People came out in droves that we haven't seen before in my 60 plus years of living on the Isle of Palms.

The Beach Debate

Pictures of the island showing tents and bathing suit clad bodies dotting the coast blew up on social media.  Some saw families responsibly enjoying the sun and sand.  Others saw a simmering petri dish.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The Medical University of South Carolina’s hospitals in Lancaster and Chester are mostly back to being fully staffed. A little more than a month ago, around 75 of MUSC Health’s 900 layoffs happened at these two Upstate locations, but Scott Broome, the CEO for the Lancaster and Chester locations, said he expects a fully returned staff by July 1.

It’s a far cry from where the hospitals were just weeks ago.

Jonathan Green's "Communal" (a portrait showing a part of black life in SC) serves as header to "Black Carolinians Speak: Portraits of a Pandemic" webpage (a project that aims to show what life is like for black SC residents during the COVID-19 pandemic).

Latest COVID-19 numbers released by SCDHEC show the total number of people confirmed to have the virus, in the state, at 9,175. The agency’s May 20 Coronavirus update also showed the number of residents who died from the disease had reached 407.

Almost half of the COVID-19 fatalities in South Carolina (as of the week of May 5) were black residents, despite the demographic comprising just over a quarter of the state’s population (according to the 2010 Census, African Americans make up 27% of SC’s population).

King Street in Charleston before  the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918
Library of Congress

It was the fall of 1918.  Charleston had quickly gone from a bustling city to a vacant, ghost town.  People were quarantined for five weeks because of a deadly  pandemic.  They were restless, eager to get back to business as usual.

Sound familiar?

Under Quarantine 1918

"Something we all in Charleston are experiencing right now happened in a very similar way,” says College of Charleston historian Jacob Steere-Williams.  He's been studying pandemics for 20 years.

William Struhs/Spoleto Festival USA

Beginning Friday, May 22, South Carolina Public Radio is proud to present special Spoleto Festival USA programming as part of a new “Spoleto at Home” initiative, featuring our weekday classical program Sonatas & Soundscapes and our Spoleto Backstage podcast. 

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Earlier this month, the South Carolina Forestry Commission estimated the that tornadoes that hit the state on April 13 destroyed close to 4,300 acres of trees. In dollars, that adds up to about $4 million in losses to South Carolina’s timber industry.

While that’s less than 1 percent of the state’s timber economy overall, it’s not an evenly distributed sum. Smaller landowners, with 20 to 40 acres and who lost a few acres of trees on April 13,  could face some significant losses, says Patrick Hiesl, assistant professor of forestry operations at Clemson University.

Cooper River Bridge Run Cancelled Because of Coronavirus

May 15, 2020
Runners and Walkers getting ready for Cooper River Bridge Run April 2014
Victoria Hansen

It's one of the state's largest sporting events people can take part in and it's never been postponed or cancelled before, until now.

The 43rd annual Cooper River Bridge run initially moved from April to August because of the coronavirus pandemic is officially off.

The 10 K connects the town of Mount Pleasant with the city of Charleston and the mayors of both communities issued a statement Friday.

File photo of the S.C. House chamber
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

The SC House and Senate were finally able to agree on a resolution this week that will keep state government operating beyond the end of this fiscal year on June 30th.  Lawmakers interrupted this year’s legislative session back in March because of the coronavirus outbreak before they approved a new budget for the next fiscal year. Now, the state will continue its’ current spending plan at least until September when it’s anticipated a new budget will be enacted.

3D Systems

3D Systems, an international 3-D printing equipment company with a plastics manufacturing plant in Rock Hill, is a major reason why 3-D printing is a thing in the first place. That put the company in a pretty good spot to be an early responder to the call for personal protective equipment (PPE) and small specialty parts for hospital machines like ventilators.

But with those “early brushfires” mostly under control, the company’s vice president and general manager of plastics, Menno Ellis, says 3D Systems is now focusing on the next most-needed thing in the fight to rein in COVID-19: diagnostic equipment.

Dealing with COVID-Related "Cabin Fever"

May 14, 2020
Cabin fever caused by sheltering at home during the coronavirus outbreak can cause some serious mental health problems, say two Columbia psychiatrists.
Jesse Yelin via Pexels

Even though many stores and restaurants are gradually opening, many people are still working from home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.  Others are confined to their homes by self-quarantining, or by unemployment.