The next step in beating the COVID-19 pandemic may be stepped up contact tracing and quarantine of people who’ve had contact with Covid-positive individuals. However, many people see that as too expensive and intrusive to be practical. An expert discusses how it might work, and how it might not.
It’s illegal for health insurers to use genetic testing to discriminate against policyholders. However, life insurers can and do discriminate on that basis if the test is in your medical file. Private testing lets patients know their risk for many diseases without landing in health files. Advocates want to make it illegal for life insurers to also discriminate on this basis, but it may end up with higher costs for everyone. Experts explain.
Scientists have discovered that singing is an exceptionally effective way to spread viruses through the aerosolized particles it expels, which may travel much farther than the six foot safety zone many people follow. This means choruses and choirs may not get back to “normal” after the COVI-19 pandemic until much later than most activities, and only with rapid, effective testing or a vaccine. Experts explain.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a quicker economic crash than we’ve ever seen. Opening the nation too fast will likely trigger a “W” shaped recovery with wide swings of growth then decline. Either way, the effects will last for years. Experts discuss likely scenarios.
Many Americans are impatient with social distancing as a result of COVID-19 despite the success of the tactic. However, reopening the country too quickly could allow the virus to come roaring back, resulting in thousands more deaths and even more economic damage. Two experts explain how the rollout should happen to get us back to work safely.
Hospitals are scrambling to get extra equipment and outfit more beds and ICU units for COVID-19 patients. Their treatment is time-consuming and expensive. At the same time, hospitals’ lucrative elective procedure business has largely been eliminated. Will the combination bankrupt hospitals? Two experts who have studied the crisis discuss.
Millions of Americans are suddenly having to work from home for the first time as a result of coronavirus. Many do not have a good home office setup, tech skills, family makeup or the temperament to do it. A remote working expert discusses the do’s and don’t’s of working from home without going crazy.
Nearly a quarter of us owe past due medical debt, and hospitals are moving more aggressively to collect. The rise is the result of a tradeoff--Americans have avoided higher health insurance premiums only to be jeopardized by extremely high deductibles and out-of-network costs. Experts explain what unpaid medical debt can mean, how patients can escape its clutches, and how one charity works to buy and forgive debt.
Around a half million people are homeless in the US on any given night, but the street homeless who are most visible often incorrectly influence our assumptions about the homeless. A noted researcher discusses myths and truths about their addictions, employment, residences, and more, and why people often become homeless.
Some agencies estimate that 50,000 children have been born in the US using donor eggs. But egg donation (or sale, as some insist) is not regulated, and while short term risks are known, few donors have been followed for years. Long term risks are not well understood. Experts discuss what we know… and what we don’t.
Birth rates in the US are at an all time low, and fertility for all age groups under age 30 is dropping. Experts explain that it may not be as good a thing as we may think, and cite nations like Japan and Italy which are facing labor shortages and elderly populations as a result of less-than-replacement-level fertility.
Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are making crops grow bigger & faster. However, researchers have found that these crops contain significantly lower levels of protein, iron, zinc, and other important nutrients, potentially endangering nutrition for hundreds of millions of people. Experts explain the effect will get worse as CO2 levels continue to rise, and what might be done to combat the problem.
The US is one of the few world nations that provides no paid job leave for either new moms or dads. A new study shows that paid leave has benefits in infant mortality as well as mother’s health. An expert and advocate for paid leave discusses the benefits.
Gig work is becoming more and more a part of the American economy. It takes a certain temperament for a worker to thrive on the freedom gig work offers without being paralyzed by the lack of security. Experts discuss the psychological benefits and difficulties of multiple part time jobs or freelancing.
A large number of hospitals in rural areas have closed, and many more have closed their maternity units, leaving many rural mothers-to-be with no nearby place to deliver their babies or even get prenatal care. Experts discuss the financial and demographic reasons behind these closures, the danger it presents to mothers and children, and some ways to counter the risk.