The COVID ‘long-haulers’

Even after supposedly recovering, thousands of Americans are suffering persistent and even disabling symptoms. Here’s everything you need to know: What is “long-haul” COVID? It’s a persistent and wide-ranging set of symptoms that follow a coronavirus infection. Nearly 100 kinds of lingering symptoms and physical damage have been catalogued, including scarred lungs, chronic heart damage, severe headaches, kidney failure, bulging veins, hand tremors, debilitating fatigue, fever, nausea, stomach problems, hair loss, sensitivity to light and sound, blurry vision, loss of taste and smell, short-term memory loss, and a brain fog so dense it can be difficult to write even a simple email. New York City resident Deborah Copaken, 54, was… Read More

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The pandemic techno-future that wasn’t

Exactly six months ago today, while Americans were still conflating Corona beer with coronavirus, I found myself suddenly, guiltily, free. It was March 15, and my governor, New York’s Andrew Cuomo, had just asked all businesses in the state to voluntarily close to stop the spread of COVID-19; five days later, the order would be mandatory for non-essential businesses, and additionally ban gatherings of any size for any reason. As a citizen, I was terrified; as an introvert, though, I confess I was giddy about the excuse-free cancelation of all foreseeable plans and obligations. For some, though, the past half year has accelerated the nightmare that science-fiction has been warning… Read More

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Life is worth living

From 1952 until 1957, one of the most widely viewed programs on American television was Bishop Fulton Sheen’s Life is Worth Living. It is difficult to imagine anything like this inspirational one-man lecture show becoming a hit now. But the seemingly unremarkable proposition offered by its title is one that I wish more of us were willing to affirm. Between 2007 and 2018, the suicide rate among young people aged between 10 and 24 increased by some 57 percent. This is nearly double the already significant increase of around 28 percent among the American population as a whole during roughly the same period. Why are young people in this country… Read More

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Fight climate change so we don’t all choke to death

In the American West, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed. These deeply unsettling images are thanks to gargantuan smoke plumes erupting across the region, which blocked out all but red light. California has already had its worst year of fires on record, and the season is not even close to over. Two whole towns in Oregon were burned to the ground in a matter of minutes. Climate change is deeply implicated in these wildfires, of course, but the cursed blood-red skies raise one of the most underrated reasons to attack the problem: air quality. If for no other reason, nations around the world should slash greenhouse gas emissions because the associated… Read More

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