Thoughts on maintaining a safe social distance

In retrospect, the first sign of a problem came during the night as Monday turned into Tuesday with what seemed like a harmless dry cough. Probably just spring allergies, the parents reasoned, these things can happen.

The cough’s frequency increased on Wednesday as hundreds of microorganisms quickly became thousands in the lowest lobe of the child’s right lung, unbeknownst to everyone.

On Thursday the girl stared off into space, poking at her favorite cereal without interest. The cough was still intermittent but a heaviness had begun in her breathing, and a slight rattling on the in-breaths. Worried palms met a…


Eating Ourselves Sick: The Health Consequences of the Expanding American Waistline

It’s 6 o’clock in the evening in middle America. A man, let’s call him average John, has just returned home from work. He sighs as he sinks into a recliner, remote control in hand. At 5’9” and 198 pounds (this is average according to the National Center for Health Statistics), John is overweight, bordering on obese. Lunch today was fast food; his dinner, an oven pizza, bubbles in the oven. The time he allots to staring at screens is also typical: he spent 5 hours today looking at his…

Jeff Kennigseder

Science writer who believes in the power of storytelling to improve individual, global, and environmental health.

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