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).

Which masks are best to keep kids safe? It's a question on many parents' minds as students return to in-person school amid a huge wave of coronavirus infections. Masking is a key safety measure in schools for all kids, especially for children too young to be eligible for any COVID-19 vaccine.

At 72, Dolores Fontalvo is part friendly neighbor, part psychologist. She's also a linchpin in the state of Maryland's successful effort to narrow the vaccination gap between its white and Latino residents.

A small new study offers a glimmer of hope that giving organ transplant recipients a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine could boost their protection against the coronavirus.

That's important because prior research has shown that nearly half of organ transplant recipients failed to show any antibody response even after two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Laura Burns was thrilled when she got her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine three months ago. The 71-year-old thought that with vaccination, she might finally be closer to being able to see her family in Europe again.

"I have not seen them now for two years, and that's including my stepdaughter. It's very, very ... that's hard," says Burns, who lives in Austin, Texas.

Lots of people have questions about getting vaccinated against COVID-19. That includes the millions of Americans with weakened immune systems that put them at higher risk of severe disease if they do get infected with the coronavirus.

The numbers are stark – and startling.

Around the world, almost 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime, according to a new report released by the World Health Organization. That number has remained largely unchanged over the past decade, WHO said.

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."

I got my COVID-19 vaccine and didn't feel any pain after nor experience any symptoms. Could it be that it didn't work?

South Africa has temporarily suspended its rollout of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University coronavirus vaccine after a small clinical trial revealed the shot provided only minimal protection from mild and moderate illness caused by the virus variant that is widely circulating in the country.

It's time to up your mask game.

With new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., and transmission levels still very high in many places, some public health experts recommend that Americans upgrade from the basic cloth masks that many have been wearing during the pandemic.

"A cloth mask might be 50% effective at blocking viruses and aerosols," says Linsey Marr, a researcher at Virginia Tech who studies airborne virus transmission. "We're at the point now ... that we need better than 50%."

As the U.S. grapples with the effects of systemic racism, some in the medical community are questioning whether the tools they use to assess patient health may be contributing to racial health disparities.

Torey Edmonds has lived in the same house in an African-American neighborhood of the East End of Richmond, Va., for all of her 61 years. When she was a little girl, she says her neighborhood was a place of tidy homes with rose bushes and fruit trees, and residents had ready access to shops like beauty salons, movie theaters and several grocery stores.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Wearing a mask protects the wearer, and not just other people, from the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized in an updated scientific brief issued Tuesday. And the protective benefits of masks are stronger the more people wear masks consistently and correctly, the agency says.

Back in July, President Trump's administration began the formal process of withdrawing the U.S. – and its critical funding – from the World Health Organization. Trump had accused the U.N. agency of conspiring with China to downplay the infectiousness of the novel coronavirus early on. The withdrawal was to be complete in July 2021.

As a candidate, Biden vowed to reverse the decision on his first day in office. Global health experts are counting on President-elect Joe Biden to restore and reimagine the U.S. relationship with the world's leading public health agency.

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