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Telemedicine may be the new normal in a post-coronavirus world — here’s how it works in six common specialties

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SEATTLE — The new coronavirus pandemic has necessitated the embrace of virtual medicine regardless of how ready patients, doctors, nurses and health care systems were for the shift.Now that telehealth has been quickly rolled out across the nation and patients and clinicians have found the experience useful, it is unlikely that virtual doctor visits, in all its various forms, will be temporary, said Dr. Devin Mann, senior director for informatics and innovation at New York University.“Once we get back to whatever the new normal is, I think they will all play a role in the spectrum of ways that …

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COVID-19

COVID-19 causes some patients’ immune systems to attack their own bodies — and can worsen the illness

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Across the world, immunologists who retooled their labs to join the fight against SARS-CoV-2 are furiously trying to explain why some people get so sick while others recover unscathed. The pace is dizzying, but some clear trends have emerged.

One area of focus has been the production of antibodies – powerful proteins capable of disabling and killing invading pathogens like viruses. Of great concern has been the sporadic identification of so-called autoreactive antibodies that, instead of targeting disease causing microbes, target the tissues of individuals suffering from severe cases of COVID-19.

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COVID-19

Pope to celebrate Christmas without congregation: report

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Pope Francis will have to forego meeting Catholics at the annual Advent and Christmas masses in the Vatican owing to the resurgent coronavirus pandemic, the specialist Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported on Monday.

The 83-year-old pontiff was deprived of a congregation at Easter when he had to celebrate mass at Saint Peter's with very few people present.

In a letter to foreign envoys to the Vatican, its foreign minister informed them that Christmas ceremonies would take "a private form" this year.

Members of the diplomatic corps would not be present, and events would be made available online, a document seen by CNA said.

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In rural America, resentment over COVID-19 shutdowns is colliding with rising case numbers

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As COVID-19 spreads through rural America, new infection numbers are rising to peaks not seen during this pandemic and pushing hospitals to their limits. Many towns are experiencing their first major outbreaks, but that doesn’t mean rural communities had previously been spared the devastating impacts of the pandemic.

Infection rates in rural and frontier communities ebbed and flowed during the first seven months, often showing up in pockets linked to meat packing plants, nursing homes or prisons.

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