Success of COVID-19 vaccines depends on about 75 percent of people getting them, but distrust of medicine and of vaccines among African-Americans means they may not come close to that milepost. Two experts discuss historical reasons for distrust, how the system will have to come through in ways it has not in the past, and how community leaders will make a huge difference in how the new vaccines are accepted.
Researchers have found that severe emotional trauma in childhood triggers physical disease later in life, and has a cumulative effect. An award-winning science writer who has researched the topic discusses findings.
Hiccups are annoying and uncomfortable, and doctors don’t know why we (and most other species) get them. An expert explains what we know about what hiccups are and why most home remedies actually work.
New COVID-19 vaccines won’t be available for most people until spring, and the months until then may have a staggering cost in lives and illness. A noted infectious disease expert discusses probable time lines and events between now and the vaccine’s availability, and how adherence to social distancing and masking could change outcomes.
Unlike most cells in the human body, the central nervous system cannot repair itself. People who suffer brain or spinal cord injuries, or neurological disorders such as MS and ALS have few alternatives. A neurological researcher describes how he has discovered previously unknown nerve growth factors that could someday allow such injuries and diseases to heal.
Women are the fastest-growing prison population, but when they’re released, they face far more barriers to successful reintegration into society than men, especially if they have children. Experts and a former inmate running a new program for moms in prison discuss barriers and ways to overcome them.
Getting together with family and friends over the holidays will be different this year due to COVID-19 precautions for families and governmental restrictions on restaurants and bars. The hospitality industry complains it’s unfairly targeted, but data shows it’s a COVID hotspot. Yet families in homes can repeat some of the same errors. Experts discuss how to keep gatherings safe and the consequences if we don’t.
2020 has produced an ongoing barrage of stressful events, and psychologists say the months of strain have started to show in both physical and mental breakdowns among increasing numbers of people. Three mental health professionals discuss the signs that a person is in trouble, and what they can do to get through these difficult times intact.
Black lung disease among coal miners is often thought of as a relic of the past, thanks to environmental laws. The disease is completely preventable, but a distinguished reporter and author has still found plenty of it among today’s miners. He discusses his findings and why it’s still going on.
The new scientific field of planetary health seeks to analyze how humans are influencing the planet, which in turn rebounds to affect humans. The field encompasses more than environmental science and ecology, and helps to explain pandemics and other illnesses, mass migration, food consumption, and other public health factors. Two experts explain.
Grief can come from the loss of anything important to us—a loved one, a job, a home, a status in the community. Today many people are suffering from unresolved grief, since there are no rituals to ease these forms of grief and prohibitions against large gatherings such as funerals. An expert discusses the many forms of grief and how we can get through them.
A COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon, but while billions have been spent on its development, little has been spent on distribution and there are still many unanswered questions. Experts discuss how vaccine distribution might be carried out, how long it’s likely to take, and the steps needed to make it work.
An estimated 35 million people were food insecure last year, and the dislocations due to COVID-19 have made it much worse now. Experts discuss the health consequences of hunger, the strategies families are using to cope with economic dislocation, and one local effort typical of new volunteer programs to feed hungry children in need.
Studies show that medical professionals are as biased as the rest of us against people who are overweight, resulting in lectures, misdiagnoses, and patients who start avoiding the doctor. Experts explain the problem, results, and what might be done about it.
Pets are a comfort in difficult times, and the pandemic is no exception. Animal shelters report a surge in pet adoptions, especially puppies, in the last six months, and veterinarians are having to adopt procedures such as telemedicine to deal with the increase while still staying safe. Experts explain how adopting and training a new pet has changed in the pandemic.