Tegan Wendland

Tegan Wendland is a freelance producer with a background in investigative news reporting. She currently produces the biweekly segment, Northshore Focus. 

There's nothing like being stuck at home for weeks, maybe even months on end to turn your thumb green.

Louisiana has the highest rate of deaths from COVID-19 in the nation and, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards, more than 70 percent of the people who have died so far were black.

Black people make up just 32 percent of the state's population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Life has changed dramatically in Louisiana over the past week as officials ask the public to limit contact with others and socially distance or isolate. Thousands are jobless or considering shutting down businesses, many of us are working from home (along with kids and spouses), anyone with flu symptoms is facing two weeks of isolating quarantine, and many others are worried about hospitalized family members in isolation.

Cheap natural gas and access to international ports are fueling a new industrial boom in Louisiana, along the stretch of land locals have long dubbed "cancer alley." The expansion is prompting new efforts to stop the factories, by residents concerned about the impact on their health.

When the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in Louisiana on March 9, we all took a collective, stumbling step into a new world.

This new world has a lot of hand washing and hand wringing. Questions swirl, myths zip around the internet faster than anyone can swat them down, and anxiety climbs and climbs and climbs.

So, let's talk about it. All of it. And maybe settle it.

New Orleans is one of four cities to participate in a new federal pilot program for drive-through testing for COVID-19, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Sunday.

Starting Monday, schools will be closed all across the state, public gatherings will be limited, and city government operations will be restricted. Residential evictions have been suspended. Non-essential visitation is limited at hospitals, nursing homes, state prisons and parish jails. Jury trials are suspended.

LAKE MARKEN, The Netherlands — Marker Wadden is a lush, green, man-made archipelago in a big, gray, man-made lake. Its 25,000 square acres are meant to provide a refuge for birds and wildlife that many decades ago disappeared from this shallow body of water when it was turned fresh. Lately, it’s become a refuge for people, too.

As of Friday afternoon, there are now 33 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Louisiana, and officials expect it to continue to spread. There’s been a run on toilet paper and food at grocery stores like Costco and Trader Joe’s as people prepare to quarantine. And it’s good to be prepared. But how dangerous is the virus, really?

As coronavirus spread around the world and the number of cases in New Orleans, Louisiana and the United States rises, there are a lot of pressing questions on our minds.

The situation is rapidly evolving, but for now, the guidance from health officials remains fairly steady, if sometimes vague. Even the experts still don't have all the answers.

We'll update this FAQ as we learn more. If you have a question you'd like answered, send it to tips@wwno.org.