SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Last year was a mad scramble for answers as COVID-19 spread across the world.

Researchers and physicians went through their arsenal of medicals and treatments for something, anything, that would help them fight off COVID-19 and help the infected from getting sicker and dying.

The quest led to some real breakthroughs, discoveries of new and old drugs and treatments that could save lives. But the hunt also drove conspiracy theories, false leads and pitches for plain old snake oil, confusing the matter and for many, muddling their understanding of what did and did not work.

In the 10th episode of the NewsMD podcast "The Health Variant," host and Health Correspondent Jeremy Fugleberg interviews Paul Scott, his fellow NewsMD colleague, who is writing a new series, "The Future of COVID." As part of overview of what's next from the pandemic, Scott sorted through what worked — and what didn't — in the fight against COVID-19.

What he found shows how unclear the future is for nursing homes, but also charts a path forward. Find Scott's "The Future of COVID" series and his other reporting online at NewsMD.

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"The Health Variant" podcast digs into health topics important to the region — such as the COVID-19, cannabis and telehealth — introduces listeners to must-know places and people and offers behind-the-scenes reporting.

NewsMD is a Forum Communications brand focusing on health and health care reporting, primarily in the Upper Midwest, including coverage of industry news, research, trends, technology, economic and policy issues.

"The Health Variant" is available on major podcast apps, including:

For comments or podcast episode topic suggestions, contact Fugleberg at jfugleberg@forumcomm.com or on Twitter: @jayfug.