Hudson Valley Health & Wellness


A central part of Hudson Valley lifestyle is health—from getting outdoors to eating nutritious, sustainable food, people who live in the region care about living well-rounded, healthy lifestyles, with a focus on fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, and general wellness. Chronogram’s Hudson Valley online magazine focuses monthly on wellness coverage, including health trends and topics, diets and cleanses, medical treatments and facilities, alternative medicine and practices, yoga and movement, health myths and mantras, bone and heart health, sound healing, and wellness fairs and expos.


Fighting On The Front Lines

Hudson Valley essential workers share their experiences with COVID-19 as they risk their lives to help others
Some names have been changed to protect the anonymity of individuals. For Melissa Walsh, a nurse at Orange Regional Medical Center, the worst part of being a health care worker during the COVID-19 pandemic is having to tell hopeful family members that their intubated loved one’s health is declining. “I have to talk to the family members on the phone as they're hysterically crying and give them updates about their loved ones who might not make it,” says Walsh. “It’s the worst feeling ever.” Currently, over 10,000 people in Orange County have tested positive for the virus and 419 people have died. Orange County has the second highest number of Coronavirus cases in the Hudson Valley, after Westchester. Walsh, who has spent every shift since February working with COVID-19 patients, is surprised by the virus’s versatility. She has seen some patients come in with the classic signs of a Coronavirus infection like a fever and coughing, while others complain of fatigue and shortness of breath but never experience a fever at all. Her typical shift is 12 hours long and the number and length of breaks depend on how busy you are, which, as of late has been very. Walsh wears a fitted N-95 mask for the entire shift, which usually rubs the skin on her face raw. “By the time I take that off, I've got indents all over my face and behind my ears get all red and irritated,” she says. Before Walsh returns home at the end of the day, she changes out of her scrubs. At home, she puts her clothes straight into the wash and hops into the shower. Walsh’s boyfriend, whom she lives with, is to stay away until she’s sanitized everything. “He stays away from me until I throw my clothes in the wash and jump in the shower to scrub my whole body down,” she says. Despite all of the PPE that Walsh wears, and her rigorous at-home disinfecting regimen, she is still baffled how she hasn’t been infected. “I don't know how I haven't gotten [the virus] already, because I am constantly around it,” she says. According to NPR, almost 9,300 health care workers in the US have contracted the virus since mid February, a figure that the CDC admits is most likely under counted. Over half of the infected health care workers surveyed believed that they had contracted the virus from work. Jane Doe, a psychiatric nurse from Poughkeepsie, is one of them. Doe works at the Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, where she says staff were only provided cloth masks in March due to the nationwide shortage of N-95 masks, but they weren’t required to wear them. One day, a coworker was complaining of a headache. Doe took his temperature and blood pressure, both of which read as normal. Writing it off as a sinus infection, Doe didn’t realize that her coworker was actually experiencing symptoms of a COVID-19 infection. “I didn’t think he had it, because a sinus infection isn’t a symptom,” she says. The next day, Doe found out her coworker had tested positive for COVID-19. Despite having had direct contact with this coworker, Doe was asked by her employers to continue coming into work, but to wear a mask in case she was indeed infected. “Literally that night I started spiking a temperature of 101 degrees,” she says. Five days later, she tested positive for the virus. At the end March, when Doe tested positive, the number of confirmed cases in Westchester County stood at around 10,600. That number is currently 32,517. For 20 days, Doe experienced a high fever, severe body aches, an inability to taste and smell, and fatigue. Two weeks after the onset of her symptoms, Doe was allowed to return to work at Four Winds provided that she wear a mask. According to Doe, Four Winds now has surgical masks to distribute to their employees.  Despite the severity of her symptoms, Doe admits that her experience with the virus was mild compared to other accounts. “It was like having the flu,” she says. Newburgh resident Ryan Griffiths was not so lucky. Griffiths didn’t think much of the headache he developed in mid-March. Figuring it was just a sinus infection, he simply took an Advil and went to work the next day. As an employee of the New York State Bridge Authority, he had delivered hand sanitizer and water to New Rochelle only a few days after the city had become New York’s first containment zone. Shortly after the trip, his headache turned into something more severe. Griffiths started experiencing textbook COVID-19 symptoms: fever, coughing, chest pain, fatigue, profuse sweating, nausea, and chills. At its peak, Griffiths’ fever reached 104.7 degrees, where it remained for several days. He was barely able to muster the strength to make it out of bed, which he had to do a few times a day so that his bed sheets could be changed due to how much he was sweating. “I can definitely see how people are passing away from this,” Griffiths says. As a high school football official, he keeps himself in good shape and has no preexisting health conditions. “I don't smoke, I hardly drink, I work out, but [the virus] just kicked my butt.” Griffiths had to wait four days to get tested. After a week,, the results came back as positive, and Griffiths became the 127th person in Orange County to contract the novel Coronavirus. Staying in bed for weeks on end, only able to keep down liquids, Griffiths subsisted on a mix of Gatorade, Pedialyte, and chicken soup. He says that he lost approximately 20 pounds in under three weeks during his fight against the virus. He can’t remember large chunks of the ordeal. “When you lose three or four days of your life and you don't know where they went, that's pretty bad,” Griffiths says. On April 13, the New York State Board of Health informed Griffiths that he was cleared to go back to work based on the number of days that had passed since he first started showing symptoms, nearly a month after he tested positive for COVID-19. “Even after they said I was cleared, it felt like someone was pushing on my chest,” says Griffiths. Although he is most likely no longer contagious, Griffiths is using utmost caution when he leaves the house for work, wearing a mask and gloves and maintaining social distancing. “Now I’m a clean freak,” he says. “If I could tell people anything, it would be to clean your mail, the door handles, your remote. Anything you touch, you have to clean.” Walsh also has a message for others: just stay home. “I've had people that have no previous medical conditions whatsoever in the ICU, intubated,” she says. “It’s just not worth it.” Both Griffiths and Doe plan on donating blood, since their plasma now carries the virus antibodies that could save someone else’s life. “I’d like to help somebody out if I can,” Griffiths says. ...

Tags: General Wellness

Co-Parenting During the Coronavirus Pandemic

A Conversation with Martin Butcher of Jacobowitz & Gubits
Attorney Martin Butcher talks about the difficulties the coronavirus pandemic is posing for people going through a divorce, or those co-parenting with a former partner or spouse during this unprecedented crisis.

Tags: General Wellness

COVID-19 Cripples Hudson Valley Tourism

While the Hudson Valley would normally be ramping up to receive the annual rush of summer visitors, the tourism industry is at a total standstill under COVID-19 restrictions. We check in with area venues, hoteliers, and other tourism businesses to understand the current state of affairs.

Tags: Coronavirus

Esteemed Reader | May 2020

Publisher Jason Stern looks at the definitions of 'quarantine' and compares their meaning to our current situation.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Changes in the Labor Department: Pregnant in a Pandemic

Pregnant women are experiencing unexpected challenges as the coronavirus hits the healthcare system.

Tags: Coronavirus

The Chaplain’s Job

Rabbi Neal Loevinger, director of spiritual care at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, talks ministering under COVID.

Tags: Coronavirus

Hudson Valley Food Pantries Feed Growing Need

Demand for Food Assistance Programs Continues to Rise as COVID-19 Tightens its Stronghold on America
Food banks across the country are experiencing an unprecedented surge in those seeking food assistance amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. With a skyrocketing demand for food assistance, food banks operating with limited staff, budget, and resources have had to scramble to continue to serve their communities.

Tags: General News & Politics

Online Pet Therapy: Softening the Virus’s Bite with Cuteness Overload

With folks stranded at home unable to safely socialize, pets are doing double duty comforting their human companions and simulating some sense of normalcy. Pet owners in the Hudson Valley (and around the world) are convening online to share adorable photos of their furry friends, bond, and mutually uplift each other in this difficult time.

Tags: General Wellness

Feeding the Front Line

Despite Taking a Hard Economic Hit, Hudson Valley Eateries Take the Lead to Feed Health Care Workers
Even as restaurants in the Hudson Valley struggle to stay afloat, subsisting on pick up and delivery service alone, they are taking the lead in feeding the front line, delivering meals to health care workers and hospital throughout the region.

Tags: Restaurants

Therapy Goes Virtual in the Time of COVID-19

A Conversation with Lia Carroll, LCSW
A conversation with Lia Carroll, LCSW, on the changing nature of therapy in the time of COVID-19.

Tags: Mind

Hitting the Dimmer Switch: Lite Brite Pares Down Operations to Carry On During COVID-19

With a partially furloughed and work-at-home staff, the Kingston art manufacturing company Lite Brite Neon is keeping the lights burning throughout the COVID-19 shutdown.

Tags: Coronavirus

COVID-19 Forces Hudson Valley Private Schools Into Unchartered Territory

On March 25, Chronogram hosted a video roundtable with local heads of private schools to talk about the educational and institutional challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Tags: Schools

Esteemed Reader | April 2020

Publisher Jason Stern talks about the ever-changing roles we play in life and as the seasons shift bringing with them new possibilities, so will the current health crisis we face.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Building an Autism-Friendly World

With autism rates soaring, it’s time to make safe spaces for those on the spectrum.

Tags: Development

Greene County's "Take Out Week" Initiative Aims to Support Local Restaurants

Greene County Chamber initiates Take-Out Weeks to support local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tags: Greene County

These Hudson Valley Distilleries Are Pumping Out Hand Sanitizer

Local distilleries in the Mid-Hudson Valley have switched gears to make hand sanitize amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tags: Coronavirus

Hudson Valley Businesses Work to To Fill the Desperate Need For Face Masks

These Sewing Machine-Equipped Businesses Are Pumping Out Homemade Masks for Local Health Care Professionals Amid a National N95 Shortage
Hudson Valley businesses have been hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, but many are making ingenious pivots to support the health care industry and fill supplies shortages where they can, like these three businesses that are sewing homemade masks.

Tags: Coronavirus

Hudson Valley Shops With Online Stores

As COVID-19 Rocks Our Local Economy, Support These Small Businesses by Shopping Online
It's never easy owning a small business—margins are always tight even in the best of times. With coronavirus outbreak in New York State, many small businesses have been forced to close down their brick-and-mortar locations to support preventative measures, but many of them have taken to the internet to keep providing you with the products you love—from artisan home goods to flowers to soaps and candy. Help these Hudson Valley businesses stay open through the COVID-19 pandemic by shopping online.

Tags: Shopping

Hudson Valley Yoga Studios Going Digital with Online Class Offerings

Stretch, Center, and Stay Calm through the COVID-19 Crisis with These Online Offerings
Movement, stretching, and mindfulness practices are an excellent tool to reduce stress and bolster your immune system. Don't stop moving just because you're sheltering in place. With COVID-19 outbreak forcing the closure of all gyms, many Hudson Valley yoga studios are now offering online classes, some free, some donation based.

Tags: Coronavirus

Daily Reporting on COVID-19 in the Hudson Valley

Through our sister site, The River Newsroom, we are working hard to provide daily reporting on the state of novel Coronavirus in the the Hudson Valley in collaboration with other area publications and journalists. Please subscribe to the River's newsletter to get the latest updates delivered directly to your inbox.

Tags: Coronavirus

Hudson Valley Resources for Navigating COVID-19 Outbreak

From educational resources for parents with school-aged children to support for service workers out of a job to a fund for musicians, here is a rolling list of resources to aid us in this emotionally, financially, and logistically trying time of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tags: Coronavirus

Bringing Better Spine Care to the Hudson Valley

Inside Columbia Memorial Health’s Spine and Neurosurgery Program
As part of their partnership with Albany Med, Columbia Memorial Health is now better positioned than ever to serve a community increasingly afflicted by age-related illnesses of the spine. Since the partnership began over a year ago, two neurosurgeons have joined the neurosurgery and spine team at Columbia Memorial Health. Combined with their established pain management program and physical therapy centers, Columbia Memorial Health now offers a full range of spine care, which includes minimally invasive surgery at its Hudson facility.

Tags: Medical

Esteemed Reader | March 2020

Publisher Jason Stern ponders upon the similarities between fireflies and the trajectory of our paths.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

The New Menopause

Author Darcey Steinke Discusses Her Latest Book, Flash Count Diary
Health & Wellness editor Wendy Kagan sits down with author Darcey Steinke to discuss her latest book, Flash Count Diary, and the challenges of menopause in the modern era.

Tags: General Wellness

The Abode: A Picturesque Retreat Site in the Taconic Mountains

The Abode in New Lebanon offers retreat within nature and the opportunity for greater self-understanding.

Tags: Retreats

Examining the Opioid Crisis in the Hudson Valley

Here’s how Hudson Valley authorities are responding to the opioid epidemic caused by fentanyl.
As the opioid crisis sweeps the nation, here is a look at how Hudson Valley officials are responding.

Tags: Health

Esteemed Reader | February 2020

Publisher Jason Stern takes us back 2,500 years to show the collective wisdom of the times.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Mindfulness: There's An App for That

Mindwell Labs Pioneers Digital Tools for Mindfulness
Shaun Nanavati has teamed up with colleagues from New York City and Menla retreat center to form Mindwell Labs, a company that’s developing digital tools to bring mindfulness into the 21st century.

Tags: Mind

What's the Difference Between Rapid Care and the ER?

A Time and Money-Saving Distinction
Dr. Michael Weisberg, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Columbia Memorial Health in Hudson plays the key role in opening several Rapid Care centers in order to alleviate overcrowding, increased wait times at the ER, and costly bills for non-emergency treatments.

Tags: Medical

The Spectrum of Care: Autism-Friendly Services at Columbia Memorial Health

Columbia Memorial Health's Emergency Department and their Rapid Care centers in Copake and Valatie have dedicated rooms for patients with autism, who might struggle with the high stimulation of the surrounding clinical environment. These rooms feature lower furniture, calming paint colors, sensory blankets, and iPads to help ease communication.

Tags: Medical

Esteemed Reader | January 2020

Publisher Jason Stern discusses the isolation of people today versus the 70's when people hitchhiked and connected.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

3 Experts Offer Tips for Getting Unstuck from Old Patterns

New year, new you, right? Often easier said than done. To help you actually fulfill your healthy resolutions for 2020, health editor Wendy Kagan talked to experts in three fields for tips on how to get unstuck from old patterns.

Tags: General Wellness

Esteemed Reader | December 2019

Publisher Jason Stern relates an allegorical tail of hopelessness and the restorative power of the inner voice or voice from beyond.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

TMI Project Essay: More Than Just This Moment

Ray Long shares a story in which the LGBTQ suicide helpline helped him survive and empowered him to be "more than just a moment."

Tags: Mind

Healing Quest: Julia Indichova's Natural Fertility Boosting Program

Julia Indichova, Woodstock-based creator of Fertile Heart Ovum Practice and author of two books, views the fertility journey as a revelatory quest for wholeness and an opportunity for healing.

Tags: Body

Maternity Care 2.0: Columbia Memorial Health & Albany Med Team Up to Deliver Better Care

Two hospitals, Columbia Memorial Health and Albany Med team up to deliver better access for the region.

Tags: Health


Hudson Valley Events

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Covid 19 Free Legal Clinic @

Covid 19 Free Legal Clinic

May 22-31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. — Covid 19 Free Legal Clinics of the Berkshire Center for Justice are...
New Paltz Art Studio at Unison ONLINE @ Unison

New Paltz Art Studio at Unison ONLINE

Mondays, 4-5:30 p.m. and Tuesdays, 4:30-5:45 p.m. Continues through July 7 — NEW PALTZ ART STUDIO AT UNISON ONLINE • 8 WEEKS Monday classes...

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