Dr. Rebecca Shadowen, Expert in Infectious Diseases, Dies at 62

This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.

Things were still relatively calm at the Medical Center at Bowling Green in mid-March, around the time the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic and Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky announced the first Covid death in his state.

But Dr. Rebecca Shadowen (pronounced SHAD-oh-en), a specialist in infectious diseases and health care epidemiology at the hospital, was already on the case. On March 13 she posted a pro-mask message on Facebook: “If you could save the life of another person without harming your own, would you?”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a formal recommendation about mask wearing on April 3, and the subject quickly became a partisan issue. Dennis Chaney, a medical center colleague, recalled in an interview with NBC that Dr. Shadowen was always reminding others, “Look, folks, this isn’t politics: It’s science.”

Rebecca Dawn Hunt was born in Louisville on April 4, 1958, the daughter of Edwin Audley Hunt and Audrey June (Barrow) Hunt.

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