A scientific way to assess pandemic threats

Students wearing face masks getting their temperature checked at school.
Students wearing face masks getting their temperature checked at school.
Photo: izusek/Getty Images

So much of life now seems like a rather dark game of Would You Rather? This summer, my husband and I asked ourselves: Would we rather send our kids back to school where they’ll benefit from traditional instruction and social interactions — but also potentially pick up and bring home a viral infection? Or would we rather keep them safe at home, knowing they will be miserable — and, thus, in true teen fashion, do their best to make us miserable, too? Talk about lose-lose.

You likely now have the option of going out to eat at a restaurant, letting…


Micro-risks like giving yourself bangs could be soothing your brain

Photo: Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty Images

Since stay-at-home orders have been put into effect, some of my usually-risk-averse friends and online acquaintances have been doing the weirdest things.

They’re cutting themselves ill-conceived bangs or completely shaving their heads. They’re making out-of-character impulse purchases, posting bizarre TikTok videos, embarking on ill-fated forays into experimental cooking, smoking cigarettes like furtive teenagers (even if they don’t really smoke), and going for bike rides wearing face masks but no helmets. I even have one friend who decided, on a whim, to give himself a tattoo with common household items.

As someone who wrote an entire book about how human beings…


Jeff Karp, bio-inspiration evangelist, leverages evolutionary tricks to develop medical products inspired by the likes of parasitic worms and gecko lizards.

Kayt Sukel

Author THE ART OF RISK (NatGeo, 2016) and THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON SEX (S&S, 2013). Explorer. Mom. Nerd. What you see is what you get.

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