It’s okay if your mental health is not bouncing back. Here’s why.

Photo: valentinrussanov/Getty Images

At first, Lindsay Pearson felt hopeful. She was getting the Covid-19 vaccine, and case rates around the country were going down. The pandemic was, by many accounts, finally getting under control. Like many of us, Pearson, 23, who lives in Bakersfield, California, has had a miserable year — she has struggled with mental health problems her entire life, but being unable to work as an actress, her main creative and social outlet, made things so much worse. After Pearson got her first jab, she did feel some relief — until, suddenly, she didn’t. Her depression began to bear down on…


How to be safe — but still enjoy life — during this strange time when some are vaccinated and many still aren’t

Photo illustration (Getty Images): PamelaJoeMcFarlane, NoSystem images, izusek, Xinzheng, Westend61

Last week, I took to social media to ask people what their biggest questions were about life after the Covid-19 vaccine. Within minutes, my post had dozens of comments. “When can I hug my dad? That’s all I want to do,” one person wrote. “Indoor dining at a restaurant? Airplane travel?” another asked. I also got questions about whether it’s safe to congregate indoors with other vaccinated people, whether vaccinated people can spread Covid-19 without knowing it, and what it means if some family members are vaccinated and others aren’t.

These are all excellent questions. Unfortunately, there aren’t clear, black-and-white…


Social distancing guidelines go against our deepest instincts and cultural norms. Can we overcome that as a society?

Illustration: Xavier Lalanne-Tauzia

It was a warm September evening, perfect for a socially distanced outdoor gathering. When she arrived at her friends’ house in rural Pennsylvania, Karen — who asked that we only use her first name to protect her friends’ privacy — dutifully donned her mask and walked straight to the back patio. The hosts, close friends of hers, had planned their get-together carefully. They set up chairs more than six feet apart on their patio, they asked everyone to bring their own drinks, and they planned to order individual meals from a restaurant to avoid sharing food. Although the other two…


It may seem scary that colds are spreading again. But it’s more complex than you think.

Photo: Zinkevych/Getty Images

Last week, on my kids’ fourth day of in-person school, I came down with my first sore throat in six months. At first, I downplayed it — it was just allergies. Then I panicked and had to take a Xanax. Then I thought: How the heck could I have gotten sick? My kids and husband seemed perfectly healthy, and other than their school, which was being held entirely outside, the riskiest place I’d been over the past two weeks was the Walmart parking lot — once — to pick up curbside groceries.

My most pressing concern, of course, was whether…


Illustrations: Sisi Yu

When there’s only so much care to go around, the medical system leans too hard on test results — and prejudice

Jessica Kyle took one look at her best friend and began to worry. Kyle, 34, had just arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, to attend her cousin’s funeral. She had arranged to stay with her best friend Leah, whom she hadn’t seen in nearly two years. Immediately after arriving, Kyle saw that Leah was coughing.

It was March 15, 2020, the week when everyone seemed to begin taking the coronavirus seriously. That was the week when many U.S. schools shut down, when news broke that Tom Hanks had Covid-19, and when the NBA suspended its season because a player tested positive…

Melinda Wenner Moyer

Science and parenting journalist. Author of HOW TO RAISE KIDS WHO AREN’T ASSHOLES. Sign up for my free parenting newsletter: melindawmoyer.substack.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store