Research shows that the pandemic took a toll on our overall well-being and left many of us drained. Here are seven simple steps to get you thriving again.

Illustration: Cristina Spanò/The New York Times

By Dani Blum

With vaccination rates on the rise, hope is in the air. But after a year of trauma, isolation and grief, how long will it take before life finally — finally — feels good?

Post-pandemic, the answer to that question may be in your own hands. A growing body of research shows that there are simple steps you can take to recharge your emotional batteries and spark a sense of fulfillment, purpose and happiness. The psychology community calls this lofty combination of physical, mental and emotional fitness “flourishing.” …

Social and psychological forces are combining to make the sharing and believing of misinformation an endemic problem with no easy solution

Border officials are not mass-purchasing copies of Vice President Kamala Harris’s book, though the false rumor drew attention. Photo: Gabriela Bhaskar for The New York Times

By Max Fisher

There’s a decent chance you’ve had at least one of these rumors, all false, relayed to you as fact recently: that President Joe Biden plans to force Americans to eat less meat; that Virginia is eliminating advanced math in schools to advance racial equality; and that border officials are mass-purchasing copies of Vice President Kamala Harris’ book to hand out to refugee children.

All were amplified by partisan actors. But you’re just as likely, if not more so, to have heard it relayed from someone you know. …

A race is on to produce lithium in the United States, but competing projects are taking very different approaches to extracting the vital raw material. Some might not be very green.

The Salton Sea is one of numerous new mining proposals in a global gold rush to find new sources of metals and minerals needed for electric cars and renewable energy. Photo: Gabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

By Ivan Penn and Eric Lipton

Atop a long-dormant volcano in northern Nevada, workers are preparing to start blasting and digging out a giant pit that will serve as the first new large-scale lithium mine in the United States in more than a decade — a new domestic supply of an essential ingredient in electric car batteries and renewable energy.

The mine, constructed on leased federal lands, could help address the nearly total reliance by the United States on foreign sources of lithium.

But the project, known as Lithium Americas, has drawn protests from members of a Native American tribe…

It is a delicate decision balancing employee health and personal privacy. Some companies are sidestepping the issue by offering incentives to those who get shots.

Amtrak is paying employees two hours’ worth of regular wages per shot upon proof of the Covid-19 vaccination. Photo: Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

By Gillian Friedman and Lauren Hirsch

As American companies prepare to bring large numbers of workers back to the office in the coming months, executives are facing one of their most delicate pandemic-related decisions: Should they require employees to be vaccinated?

Take the case of United Airlines. In January, CEO Scott Kirby indicated at a company town hall that he wanted to require all of his roughly 96,000 employees to get coronavirus vaccines once they became widely available.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Kirby said, before urging other corporations to follow suit.

It has been four months…

Forensic genealogy helped nab the Golden State Killer in 2018. Now investigators across the country are using it to revisit hundreds of unsolved crimes.

Heidi Cobleigh, left, and Scott McCord, coroners in Newton County, Ind., turned to forensic genealogy to identify three murder victims when every other method had failed. Photo: Kaiti Sullivan for The New York Times

By Virginia Hughes

In October 2016, the remains of three murder victims, dead for three decades, were laid to rest in Newton County, a rural corner of Indiana.

Two were young men, likely teenagers, the victims of a serial killer in 1983. The third was a woman found dead in 1988 on the bank of a creek. She had been shot in the head, covered with car tires and lit on fire.

Their bones, stored in tattered cardboard boxes and black trash bags, had been passed down from one county coroner to the next. When Scott McCord took the job…

Some people said they started bathing less during the pandemic. As long as no one complains, they say they plan to keep the new habit.

Photo: Elizabeth Cecil for The New York Times

By Maria Cramer

Robin Harper, an administrative assistant at a preschool in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, grew up showering every day.

“It’s what you did,” she said. But when the coronavirus pandemic forced her indoors and away from the general public, she started showering once a week.

The new practice felt environmentally virtuous, practical and freeing. And it has stuck.

“Don’t get me wrong,” said Harper, 43, who has returned to work. “I like showers. But it’s one thing off my plate. I’m a mom. I work full-time, and it’s one less thing I have to do.”

Cases and deaths have dipped, and vaccinations make scientists hopeful, even as variants mean the coronavirus is here to stay

Signs of hope are appearing across America. Los Angeles County made headlines with the news that it had reported zero new deaths on two consecutive days this week. Photo: Philip Cheung for The New York Times

By Julie Bosman and Sarah Mervosh

After weeks of coronavirus patients flooding emergency rooms in Michigan, the worst COVID-19 hot spot in the nation, hospitalizations are finally falling.

On some recent days, entire states, including Wisconsin and West Virginia, have reported zero new coronavirus deaths — a brief but promising respite from the onslaught of the past year.

And in New York and Chicago, officials encouraged by the recent progress have confidently vowed to fully reopen in the coming weeks, conjuring images of a vibrant summer of concerts, sporting events and packed restaurants revving cities back to life.

Americans have…

The Biden administration, siding with some world leaders over the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, came out in favor of waiving intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines

A vaccination site on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The debate over whether to relax intellectual property rules for coronavirus vaccines has stretched on for months. Photo: Allison Zaucha for The New York Times

By Thomas Kaplan, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Rebecca Robbins

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration came out on Wednesday in support of waiving intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines, siding with international efforts to bolster production amid concerns about vaccine access in developing nations.

The United States had been a major holdout at the World Trade Organization over a proposal to suspend some of the world economic body’s intellectual property protections, which could allow drugmakers across the globe access to the closely guarded trade secrets of how the viable vaccines have been made. …

A company-appointed panel ruled that the ban was justified at the time but added that the company should reassess its action and make a final decision in six months

Donald J. Trump was barred from Facebook on Jan. 7 after he used the site to foment an insurrection in Washington. Photo: Erin Schaff/The New York Times

By Mike Isaac

SAN FRANCISCO — A Facebook-appointed panel of journalists, activists and lawyers on Wednesday upheld the social network’s ban of former President Donald Trump, ending any immediate return by Trump to mainstream social media and renewing a debate about tech power over online speech.

Facebook’s Oversight Board, which acts as a quasi-court over the company’s content decisions, ruled the social network was right to bar Trump after the insurrection in Washington in January, saying he “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible.” The panel said that ongoing risk “justified” the move.

But the board…

Without home internet, Jordyn Coleman has had trouble staying connected to remote classes during the coronavirus pandemic

Precious Coleman helping her son Jordyn, 11, on a class assignment. Her cellphone is the only internet-connected device he can use at home. Photo: Tamir Kalifa/The New York Times

By Rukmini Callimachi

CLARKSDALE, Miss. — By the time Precious Coleman returned home from her overnight shift at a casino, it was past 9 in the morning. It had been another night of dealing with belligerent patrons who refused to wear their face masks and drunks who needed to be escorted to the curb. Her eyes stung.

More than anything, she wanted to fall into bed. But her 11-year-old son, Jordyn, was waiting for her.

Or, more specifically, for her cellphone: Because their Mississippi apartment has no internet, Jordyn uses her phone to log into his virtual classroom two days…

The New York Times

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