As millions of people line up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine around the world, many are wondering how they can best mitigate any potential side effects — particularly from the potent second dose of the two-shot Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines — and support the body in creating a robust immune response.
I am pro-choice and pro-informed consent. …
With adult vaccinations against Covid-19 well underway in the U.S., attention is turning to pediatric vaccines for children under the age of 16.
I sat down with three pediatric and vaccination specialists from Mayo Clinic — Robert Jacobson, MD, Nipunie Rajapakse, MD, MPH, and Joseph Poterucha, DO — to get answers to some of the most common questions around children and Covid-19 vaccines.
Yes. “We definitely will need vaccines for children against Covid-19 infection,” says Jacobson. “While rates and severity of infection are lower in children, children do still spread the infection and occasionally develop severe disease.”
Compared to adults…
Everybody’s at war these days
Let’s have a mini-surrender
I need some
— Warren Zevon
Do you ever feel like you need a shower after spending time online?
Between the news media, whose business model has become reliant on keeping us in a steady state of anxiety, and social media, which rewards and amplifies reductive “takes’’ that aggressively push our emotional buttons, it can feel like a full-time job to keep one’s head on straight.
Even more, it can feel like a moral failing to try to do so, as if equanimity means complicity in death, disease, and…
Most people deciding to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can support their choice with clinical trial data, which has demonstrated the safety and efficacy of both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines. But people suffering from autoimmune conditions, particularly those on immune-suppressing medications, are facing the decision of whether to receive a shot without the benefit of robust evidence-based guidance, as they were excluded from the Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and AstraZeneca clinical trials.
In the absence of clinical trial data, how should people with autoimmune conditions approach the risk/benefit analysis of getting vaccinated? Here’s what several experts had to say.
We humans are having a tough year.
But we aren’t alone in our susceptibility to pandemics. They unfold around us all the time, in trees and birds and frogs.
Chronic Wasting Disease spreads when healthy and infected deer share food or water, as deer do.
Phocine Distemper Virus is a highly transmissible respiratory virus that causes mass mortality in seals. It spreads when they gather in the spring for breeding season, as seals do.
Nosema Disease, which severely weakens or wipes out bee colonies, is spread when healthy bees clean infected bees’ waste inside their hives, as bees do.
“When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
I recently finished writing a deeply researched magazine feature on the immune system.
And it’s got me thinking about inflammation. It’s a process our bodies use to contain a threat, but left unchecked it has the potential to damage or even kill the body it means to protect. …
We call work one’s occupation. Millions of us are newly, suddenly unoccupied, with nowhere to go, nothing to do. At least five of my upcoming freelance jobs were canceled. Like Times Square, my calendar abruptly went from jam-packed to eerily barren.
The latest figures are that somewhere north of 30 million Americans have lost their jobs in the past six weeks or so. This loss of work is not just an economic crisis; it’s an existential one. A brick wall has arrested our forward motion.
We are not designed to be passive. We’re designed to form bricks and lay them…
On March 18, a couple of weeks before his 40th birthday, Fil Vocasek spiked a fever. He knows the exact date of onset because the single, asthmatic, Manhattan-based graphic designer had started taking his temperature every day as the number of New York Covid-19 cases began ticking upward. “I have a delicate respiratory system to begin with, and I thought chances were good that I’d get it,” he says. “I always get whatever’s going around.”
When his symptoms began, he called his regular doctor, who told him that New York City was only testing patients who went to the emergency…
It’s two days after Super Tuesday, and the dust is still settling. I’m seeing so much finger pointing on social media, so much angst, so much certainty that this way or that way spells certain doom and failure. Everyone is a mini-strategist, a mini-analyst, trying to argue their way backward from their gut feelings and pretend they’re working with objective truth.
I want to start with the feelings. Just name and acknowledge the feelings, as I understand them from my admittedly limited perspective.
Bernie voters feel that the stakes are at crisis level and nothing short of a revolution will…
A stubborn frog has taken up residence in my throat. It resists eviction no matter how vigorously I rattle the walls of my larynx. I’ve been walking around the house clearing my throat over and over for weeks, annoying myself, surely annoying my husband. He tells me he can hear me, reliable as a metronome, through the walls of the room in our house where he meditates. (I credit his meditation practice with the uncritical tone with which he reports this.)
The other day, I stopped in a shop with a display of aromatherapy blends supposedly formulated to support each…