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Public Health

The animal connection: What you need to know about the origins of COVID-19

April 17, 2020

The conventional wisdom is that harvesting wild animals for food is the route by which the coronavirus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic jumped from animals to humans. Critics say it’s not the fault of the animals, but rather how humans behave. Why animals? Here’s term you should get to know: “emerging zoonotic diseases.” These […]

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Just what, exactly, is a ‘wet market,’ and should they be illegal in China?

April 17, 2020

The conventional wisdom is that the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic jumped to human beings from animals sold for food in an open-air “wet market” in Wuhan, China. China has subsequently been widely criticized for permitted wet markets to remain open. Yet it turns out that these types of marketplaces are not the problem — […]

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Coronavirus briefs: Pandemic culture and politics

April 10, 2020

Public responses to the COVID-19 pandemic vary widely from place to place, influenced not just by geography and nationality, but also by deeply partisan politics. Vive la différence The ways that different nations are dealing with the pandemic are culturally specific. What qualifies as “indispensable for the continuity of the life of the nation” in […]

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Across Africa, musicians (and the occasional president) battle COVID-19 with song

April 7, 2020

Across a continent where Internet access isn’t always easy to come by, messages about the COVID-19 pandemic are passed along through pop music. Popular musicians in Africa are recording new songs with public-health messages, as well as videos for Youtube, for those who can access it. Liberia’s singing president And a surprising number of presidents […]

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COVID-19 is disrupting addiction and recovery, but communities are adapting

April 6, 2020

Americans who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, or who are in recovery, are grappling with a new kind of struggle in the age of pandemic. One key question: Where to turn for fellowship and support when lockdowns and social isolation are the de facto law of the land? Another challenge for public health officials: […]

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Briefs: Expert mocked on Twitter; Maine homesteaders (mostly) are prepared

March 27, 2020

Expert mocked for alarmist tweetstorm The data were in before the pandemic began, and one scientist tried to sound the alarm. A Harvard epidemiologist using Twitter tried to warn society back in January about the global threat COVID-19 represented. He was ignored, ridiculed, or asked to tone it down, in one case by the elite […]

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