Maria Godoy

Maria Godoy is a senior science and health editor and correspondent with NPR News. Her reporting can be heard across NPR's news shows and podcasts. She is also one of the hosts of NPR's Life Kit.

Previously, Godoy hosted NPR's food vertical, The Salt, where she covered the food beat with a wide lens — investigating everything from the health effects of caffeine to the environmental and cultural impact of what we eat.

Under Godoy's leadership, The Salt was recognized as Publication of the Year in 2018 by the James Beard Foundation. With her colleagues on the food team, Godoy won the 2012 James Beard Award for best food blog. The Salt was also awarded first place in the blog category from the Association of Food Journalists in 2013, and it won a Gracie Award for Outstanding Blog from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation in 2013.

Previously, Godoy oversaw political, national, and business coverage for NPR.org. Her work as part of NPR's reporting teams has been recognized with several awards, including two prestigious Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Silver Batons: one for coverage of the role of race in the 2008 presidential election, and another for a series about the sexual abuse of Native American women. The latter series was also awarded the Columbia Journalism School's Dart Award for excellence in reporting on trauma, and a Gracie Award.

In 2010, Godoy and her colleagues were awarded a Gracie Award for their work on a series exploring the science of spirituality. She was also part of a team that won the 2007 Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for Excellence in Reporting on Drug and Alcohol Issues.

Godoy was a 2008 Ethics fellow at the Poynter Institute. She joined NPR in 2003 as a digital news editor.

Born in Guatemala, Godoy now lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC, with her husband and two kids. She's a sucker for puns (and has won a couple of awards for her punning headlines).

Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic, often too small for the eye to see. They're created as plastic degrades.

And they're everywhere.

They're in oceans, thanks to plastic garbage. They're in fish. They find their way into the water we drink in various ways, from surface runoff and wastewater effluent to particles deposited from the atmosphere.

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

How long do you need to be exposed to someone with COVID-19 before you are at risk for being infected?

In a bid to protect the candidates from the coronavirus, the stage for Wednesday night's vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City will feature plexiglass barriers between Vice President Pence and Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California. Concerns about viral spread are heightened in light of the outbreak in the White House.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says the coronavirus can be spread through airborne particles that can linger in the air "for minutes or even hours" — even among people who are more than 6 feet apart.

By now, it's become clear that the coronavirus pandemic is not gender neutral. While men are more likely to die from the virus itself, "in terms of the economic and social fallout, it's really women that are particularly affected," says Silke Staab, a research specialist with U.N. Women.

It's a grim roster of alerts. A woman, age 19, last spotted in July wearing sky blue jeans, a black sweater and black sneakers. A 16-year-girl missing since she left her home one morning in July. A 14-year-girl last seen heading to the supermarket at the end of June; she was wearing blue shoes.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a grant worth $7.5 million over five years to EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based nonprofit that hunts emerging viruses. The award comes months after NIH revoked an earlier grant to EcoHealth, a move scientists widely decried as the politically motivated quashing of research vital to preventing the next coronavirus pandemic.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, mortality rates and life expectancy are far better for white Americans than they are for Black people during normal, non-pandemic years, according to an analysis published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a historic public health achievement, the 47 nations of the World Health Organization's Africa region were certified to be free of wild poliovirus on Tuesday.

The declaration comes four years after the continent reported its last case of wild poliovirus, in Nigeria, and 24 years after it launched an ambitious eradication campaign.

But the region's fight against polio isn't over — vaccine-derived polio still poses a threat.

So you want to wear a face mask? Good call.

A growing body of evidence supports the idea that wearing face masks in public, even when you feel well, can help curb the spread of the coronavirus — since people can spread the virus even without showing symptoms. That's the main reason to wear a mask: to protect other people from you.

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

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Mask wearing has become a topic of fierce debate in the United States.

Protesting during a pandemic likely leaves participants with at least two questions: Did I get infected? And might I be putting others at risk?

Given that COVID-19 has an incubation time of up to two weeks, experts say it will take a couple of weeks before the impact of the protests on community transmission is known. But in the meantime, there are critical steps you can take to minimize the risks to yourself and those you live with.

Note: This page is not being updated. Find a more up-to-date version of this data here.

In April, New Orleans health officials realized their drive-through testing strategy for the coronavirus wasn't working. The reason? Census tract data revealed hot spots for the virus were located in predominantly low-income African-American neighborhoods where many residents lacked cars.

Updated on May 8 at 11:54 a.m. ET

Sixty-four children and teens in New York State are suspected of having a mysterious inflammatory syndrome that is believed to be linked to COVID-19, the New York Department of Health said in an alert issued Wednesday. A growing number of similar cases — including at least one death — have been reported in other parts of the U.S. and Europe, though the phenomenon is still not well-understood.

When the coronavirus pandemic first emerged, public health officials told the world to watch out for its telltale symptoms: fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. But as the virus has spread across the globe, researchers have developed a more nuanced picture of how symptoms of infection can manifest themselves, especially in milder cases.

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During World War II, nylon stockings disappeared from store shelves as the valuable synthetic material was diverted to make critical wartime supplies such as parachutes, flak jackets and aircraft fuel tanks. Now, new research suggests that nylon stockings could once again play a critical role in a national battle — this time by making homemade cloth masks significantly more protective.

Can sunlight kill the coronavirus? What about UV light?

By now, you've likely heard the advice: If you suspect that you're sick with COVID-19, or live with someone who is showing symptoms of the disease caused by the coronavirus, be prepared to ride it out at home.

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

The vast majority of the country is under lockdown right now. But stay-at-home orders come with a few exceptions — like grocery shopping.

Many of us are still venturing out to stock up on food and toiletries. But what's the safest way to shop during this pandemic? And what should you do once you've brought your haul home?

We asked infectious disease, virology and food safety experts to share their tips about safe grocery shopping — and what you can stop worrying about.

Know the dangers — focus on the people, not the food

Misty Donaldson-Urriola and Edgar Urriola of Raytown, Mo., are recently divorced. But they have remained close friends as they raise their three sons together.

They generally see each other every day.

That constant contact and proximity – an aspect of family life – is being put to the test by a disease that thrives when people are close together.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

Three weeks ago, Washington, D.C., resident Rebecca Read Medrano started feeling unwell. She had a dry cough, fatigue, nausea and terrible stomach pains that had her bending over.

There was one more symptom, and it was a bit odd. Medrano had largely lost her sense of taste. "My cousin was cooking, and everything he made tasted weird," she recalls.

People age 50 and older are around 2-and-a-half times more likely to progress to a severe case of COVID-19. That's according to a new study that quantifies the risk factors that increase the odds that people infected with the coronavirus will develop a severe case of the disease.

This is part of a series looking at pressing coronavirus questions of the week. We'd like to hear what you're curious about. Email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

The global spread of COVID-19 cases continues, with cases around the world and increasingly strict measures to control its spread. Authorities in the U.S. and other countries have banned or discouraged large gatherings and are urging social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

A federal judge has issued an injunction blocking the Trump administration from adopting a rule change that would force nearly 700,000 Americans off food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The rule change was set to take effect April 1.

In a ruling issued Friday evening in Washington, D.C., U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell called the rule change capricious, arbitrary and likely unlawful.

Before she was the interim minister at the Central Christian Church of Austin, Janet Maykus was a chaplain in health care settings, a job that required training in infectious disease control. So when she heard reports of the coronavirus spreading in some U.S. communities, she knew it was time to overhaul religious practices at her church.

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