Wellness

4 COVID-19 Stories Worth Reading Right Now

4 COVID-19 Stories Worth Reading Right Now

Every week, we corral compelling wellness stories from around the internet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re focusing on articles that help us stay informed about the novel coronavirus.

(For more about bolstering your immune system, we’ve also rounded up some tips and tools that can generally support our well-being, along with resources from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that you can turn to for more timely updates.)

Week of March 23

  • The Virus Can Be Stopped, but Only with Harsh Steps, Experts Say

    The Virus Can Be Stopped, but Only with Harsh Steps, Experts Say

    The New York Times

    Public health experts are taking lessons from China and South Korea on how to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. They warn that more extreme steps need to be taken to stop transmission as quickly as possible: “If it were possible to wave a magic wand and make all Americans freeze in place for fourteen days while sitting six feet apart, epidemiologists say, the whole epidemic would sputter to a halt.” We need to increase available tests to identify and isolate those affected and their contacts, provide hospitals with more masks and ventilators, prioritize development of vaccines and treatments, and create sweeping national policies to protect citizens and provide aid to those most severely affected.

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  • That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief

    That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief

    Harvard Business Review

    If you’re finding it hard to describe or name your emotions right now, what you might be feeling is grief. As grief expert David Kessler explains, there are different forms of grief, including collective and anticipatory grieving, and managing grief starts with understanding the stages. Acknowledging the way we feel, Kessler explains, empowers us to keep going and find meaning through our dark times.

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  • Why Losing Your Sense of Smell Could Be a Symptom of COVID-19

    Why Losing Your Sense of Smell Could Be a Symptom of COVID-19

    Time

    Scientists have discovered that in around 30 percent of coronavirus cases, including seemingly mild or asymptomatic ones, patients are experiencing anosmia—the loss of sense of smell (and often taste as well). Meaning: Anosmia could be an indicator of infection when there aren’t other indicators, and spreading the word might be a key to slowing the spread of the virus.

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  • Coronavirus Leaves Foster Children with Nowhere to Go

    Coronavirus Leaves Foster Children with Nowhere to Go

    The Marshall Project

    The Marshall Project is publishing critical reporting around the effects this pandemic is having for those trapped or entangled in the justice system. In the foster care system, new placements, family visits, and child-abuse investigations have slowed or come to a halt.

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Week of March 16

  • Two Women Fell Sick from the Coronavirus. One Survived.

    Two Women Fell Sick from the Coronavirus. One Survived.

    The New York Times

    While scientists are racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, there’s a lot that the world is still trying to understand about the virus, including the range of cases, which can either be mild or life-threatening. Deng Danjing and Xia Sisi were both on the medical front lines as the coronavirus began to spread through their city of Wuhan, China: Ms. Deng is a nurse; Dr. Xia, a gastroenterologist. The two women were twenty-nine years old—and healthy—when both became critically ill after treating patients. This New York Times interactive outlines the virus’s physical aspects, from onset to hospitalization, and how one woman recovered and how the other did not.

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  • Want to Avoid Spreading Coronavirus Misinformation? Think Like a Science Journalist.

    Want to Avoid Spreading Coronavirus Misinformation? Think Like a Science Journalist.

    Mother Jones

    There’s an influx of news concerning COVID-19—some of it factual and some of it not, depending on the source. Reporter Rebecca Leber lays out some guidelines on how to distinguish fact from rumor and avoid spreading misinformation to others. (Rule number one: Admit what you don’t know.)

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  • Finding Connection and Resilience during the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Finding Connection and Resilience during the Coronavirus Pandemic

    The New Yorker

    Connection is a basic human need. And in an era of social distancing, people across the globe are drumming up new ways to come together. From streaming workout classes to virtual nightclubbing, this cultural evolution is a show of human resilience—and an example of how strongly we need one another.

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  • Hundreds of Scientists Scramble to Find a Coronavirus Treatment

    Hundreds of Scientists Scramble to Find a Coronavirus Treatment

    The New York Times

    After mapping the genome of COVID-19, scientists are learning exactly how the virus infects human cells and replicates itself. That sequencing, combined with our knowledge of existing drugs, might lead us to an effective treatment for coronavirus while we wait for the development of a vaccine.

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Week of March 9

  • Cancel Everything

    Cancel Everything

    The Atlantic

    In the absence of a vaccine for COVID-19, social distancing—limiting contact with others and avoiding public places—is the most viable way to prevent the spread of the disease. Taking personal measures to limit the spread also helps to avoid overburdening our health care system, where tests and beds may soon become limited. Work from home (if you can), cancel unnecessary travel plans and events, and please wash your hands frequently for twenty seconds at a time—for your health, for your loved ones, and for the vulnerable people in your community.

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  • How Long Will It Take to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine?

    How Long Will It Take to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine?

    The New Yorker

    With the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, pressure is on drug developers to push out a safe and effective vaccine in record time. But political voices calling for a vaccine to become available in the next few months are misinformed about what it takes to build one. New Yorker staff writer Carolyn Kormann reports on what challenges we’ll face in the process.

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  • As Coronavirus Closes Schools, USDA Offers Limited Help to Kids Who Rely on School Meals

    As Coronavirus Closes Schools, USDA Offers Limited Help to Kids Who Rely on School Meals

    As schools are shutting down in response to the coronavirus pandemic, many students are losing more than just classroom time: They’re also potentially missing their primary source of food. The USDA is responding by implementing the meal programs it usually deploys during summer breaks, and several states have waived the usual requirement that kids eat those meals in a group setting. Still, several factors limit students’ access to these programs—and it’s further proof that in a health crisis, low-income families almost always take the bigger hit.

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  • What Does the Coronavirus Do to the Body?

    What Does the Coronavirus Do to the Body?

    The New York Times

    COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory illness that can range from mild to severe with symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and cough, and a diagnosis can be tricky without a test. As new information becomes available, our understanding of it may change, including its severity and how far it will spread. Here’s what scientists know so far about how the novel coronavirus infects our bodies. (For more information on the COVID-19 outbreak, The New York Times has lifted its paywall for related content.)

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