1. Rethinking COVID
American regulators have committed to updating COVID vaccines this fall to defend against the latest Omicron wave. But cases are rising now, and for the first time in months, deaths from COVID are on the rise. Researchers worry the shots may come too late, but they’re hoping the updated vaccine will convince more people to get booster shots.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve had a crash course in virology, social distancing, immunity and COVID policies. Now it’s time to unlearn, or at least update, our understanding of certain COVID numbers that just don’t make sense anymore. Learn more about updated definitions of “fully vaccinated,” “close contact,” “high” level of community spread and more in this article from The Atlantic.
2. Connecting With Nature
Cynthia Philips, 64, was kept awake at night by the shootings in New York and Texas, and a rise in hate crimes. She worries about her Black nieces and nephews and her own mental health. Philips decided to take part in a weekend retreat into nature.
She joins a growing number of Black and Hispanic people taking to outdoor activities to bask in the emotional and mental balm the outdoors provide. But, they haven’t always been included in these spaces. Now a number of organizations centered around Black, Indigenous and Hispanic communities are working to bring more people to the outdoors.
3. Post-Roe Country
Post-Roe regulations have exacerbated barriers to health care access across the U.S., but the most stringent anti-abortion restrictions are in the South. That’s also where the highest population of transgender people live. Now, transgender men, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people say they are more likely than their cis-gendered counterparts to be stuck with a pregnancy in an already-hostile medical and political system — an unbearable outcome for many.
In the face of new restrictions, abortion advocates are educating people on remaining options, like the abortion pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, which together mimic a miscarriage. After delays caused by political controversy, the U.S. approved use of the pill regimen for up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy in 2016; however, its approval is still lagging behind recent science and international consensus.
Aaron Blocker has struggled with his bones since birth. After years of severely bowed legs, broken bones and fractured teeth, the Mississippi man realized there must be a deeper issue. He dove into his own medical records and discovered what the doctors had missed: a rare but fitting diagnosis that turned out to be right. His tale of persistence also highlights disconnects in the medical system that can leave patients without the care they need.
Did you know dehydration can result in unclear thinking, mood changes or even kidney stones? It’s easy to forget to hydrate. Today, treat yourself to a nice, refreshing glass of water. Cheers to your health! – MO
By Claire Cleveland, science writer
Edited by Shannon Mullane, senior editor
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