The Looming “Hothouse Earth”

The Looming “Hothouse Earth”

Rising global temperatures have produced extreme weather and a rising sea level. Climate scientists fear we may soon reach the point of no return, resulting in a hothouse with large portions of the planet uninhabitable. Authors of a major report on this phenomenon explain.

Planning For The Next Pandemic

Planning for the Next Pandemic

The next pandemic is only a matter of “When and what,” according to health security experts, who here discuss what’s needed to be ready for a variety of possible pandemics and infectious threats, both natural and terror.

Reading Our Masked Faces

With faces hidden behind masks for COVID-19, we are losing some of the visual information we depend on for smooth communication. Experts discuss the awkward encounters and specific looks we’re likely to misinterpret when we can’t see other people’s mouths.

Who Gets A Vaccine?

Who Gets A Vaccine?

Development of a Coronavirus vaccine is proceeding at a breakneck pace. What needs to happen to make sure it’s safe and effective? And if a vaccine is successfully made, who should get it first? Will enough people opt in to get back to normal life, or will COVID-19 be with us for years? Experts discuss.

Public Health Officials Resigning Under Pressure

Public Health Officials Resigning Under Pressure

State and local public health officials have been under pressure like never before in the COVID-19 pandemic, as citizens and elected officials push back against tough restrictions designed to curb the virus. Some officials have even been threatened. Feeling their bosses don’t have their backs, a higher proportion of officials are quitting than normal, and these essential jobs will be hard to fill with qualified health experts.

Protests Amid The Pandemic

Protests Amid The Pandemic

With thousands of people demonstrating in the streets after the death of George Floyd, health experts are concerned that the crowds, shouting, and lack of masks may contribute to a spike in COVID-19 cases. However, with many locations also “opening up,” they say a spike is inevitable, to be made worse by protests, but teasing out what’s responsible becomes more difficult. Experts discuss.

Covid And Choirs

Covid And Choirs

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.

Will COVID-19 Bankrupt The Healthcare System?

Will COVID-19 Bankrupt The Healthcare System?

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.

Medical Notes: Week of April 19, 2020

Medical Notes: Week of April 19, 2020

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of April 19, 2020 including: If you’ve been taking the drug Ranitidine for reflux or ulcer prevention, the FDA says stop. Then, a new study shows that parents are yelling at their children more since most of us have been ordered to stay home. And finally, with COVID-19 testing in such short supply… why not let a dog do it?

Hand Washing And Handshake Bans

Some hospital units have set up handshake bans because too few healthcare workers wash hands well enough to keep from spreading germs. The general public is even worse at washing hands, which has caused spread of serious disease. Some experts say handshakes foster important human connections and oppose bans. Experts discuss and describe what it takes to wash hands well enough to be “clean.”