1. Monkeypox Picks Up Speed
There are now more than 3,100 monkeypox cases worldwide and 72 deaths in 39 countries. The World Health Organization called for urgent action by health authorities to control fast-rising cases. The organization also cautioned that, while the virus’s spread has been primarily in men who have sex with men, the disease is not attached to any single social group.
Public health officials and the media perpetuated the idea that AIDS was a ”gay plague” during the epidemic of the 1980s. This time around, officials are walking a thin line to get tools and information about monkeypox to those who need it, without wrongly implying that only that group is at risk.
To further avoid stigmatization, scientists are pushing to rename the virus itself and the names used to differentiate monkeypox viruses, which currently are named after regions in Africa. The WHO called the names “misleading and stigmatizing.”
2. The Art of Deep Work
Scientists and productivity guru’s alike have discovered that humans are pretty bad at multitasking. When it comes to work, we’re often distracted by phones, our environment or the other tasks we need to get done that day. It can lead to feeling overwhelmed and not getting the tasks we have done well, or even at all. This is where deep work comes into play. Deep work is when you’re fully present and immersed in the task at hand. Some people refer to it as being “in the zone” or in a state of flow. It will take a little practice, but this article from Healthline outlines how to achieve deep work and make it part of your daily practice.
3. America Indebted
In America, 100 million people are saddled with medical debt. In the past five years, more than half of U.S. adults report they’ve gone into debt because of medical or dental bills and a quarter of people with debt owe more than $5,000.
The picture of medical debt is bleak. The burden is forcing families from their homes or into bankruptcy. Debt is also blocking patients from accessing care, like Ariane Buck, a young father in Arizona who couldn’t make an appointment with his doctor for a dangerous intestinal infection because the office said he had outstanding bills. In a moving project from Kaiser Health News and NPR, the stories of Americans with debt are presented alongside data that gives a clearer picture of the impact of debt.
Huntah the black lab sweeps the common areas and classrooms of an elementary school in Freetown, Massachusetts, in search of COVID. When she sniffs around a classroom — checking garbage cans, desks and students' backpacks — she sits if she picks up the virus. She’s part of a growing effort to train dogs to detect the virus, which could lead to wider screening. And for Huntah, the job comes with time to play with students, which is not a bad trade at all.
When one person chooses to tend to their suffering, there is one less person in the world who suffers. Do something nice for yourself today. – MO
By Claire Cleveland, science writer
Edited by Shannon Mullane, senior editor
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