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Here’s how to save money (and not get ripped off)

Photo: Shana Novak/DigitalVision/Getty Images

About a month and a half ago, Jane*, a woman in her twenties, entered a Manhattan drugstore whose brand would be familiar to most Americans. She went to the pharmacy to pick up two prescriptions her doctor had sent in. One was for a new form of birth control, and while Jane was shocked to hear it would cost her $50, she nevertheless paid for it. For the other prescription, she was initially quoted a price of $80 — but it was her lucky day, the pharmacy staffer told her: A coupon he found behind the counter would reduce that…


What it might mean for you, and how you’ll know if it’s time to start

Sukhneet Dhillon, age 11, and family wear masks as they arrive from a flight from India, through Tokyo, to Sea-Tac airport.
Sukhneet Dhillon, age 11, and family wear masks as they arrive from a flight from India, through Tokyo, to Sea-Tac airport.
Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

During the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic, many U.S. cities implemented what’s called social distancing to stop the spread of the deadly virus. This mostly involved closing schools and banning public gatherings for weeks or even months at a time. While it sounds a little extreme, it worked: The cities that enforced restrictions earlier and for longer had lower mortality rates than cities that waited or started and stopped the measures.

Health professionals are now looking to the 1918–1919 flu for guidance on how to handle the growing global Covid-19 outbreak, and social…


There are many diet demands placed on nursing mothers. Here’s what the evidence says.

Say you’ve lived through the nine months — really 10 — of pregnancy food restrictions. The baby is finally here. And, lucky you, breastfeeding seems to be working. Now you’re dying for a rare steak and a glass of pinot noir.

“Just remember,” trills the internet. “The baby eats what you eat!”

Soon after birth, mothers are forced back into a world of restrictions. Breastfeeding moms are told to forgo or limit alcohol, and consider timing their caffeine consumption to avoid coffee too close to nursing.

Then there are general diet rules: Breastfeeding moms should eat whole grains and good…


A new way to think about stress and health

Credit: Pixologicstudio/Getty Images

You’ve probably been taught that the human body is like a thermostat: It measures whether something is above or below a certain set point, and if so, will employ some tactic to return it to its set point. For example, if it’s too hot, the body sweats to cool off — too cold, and the body will shiver to warm back up. The theory extends to other physiological features like blood pressure and blood sugar. This process — detecting a change and returning the body to some baseline — is called homeostasis, which comes from the Greek words for “the…


The Nuance

There’s a difference. Here’s why it matters.

Illustration: Kieran Blakey

In common parlance, people use “stress” and “anxiety” interchangeably. Even mental health organizations tend to lump the two together.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), for example, has resources to help people manage “anxiety and stress.” But it takes some digging on the ADAA site to find an explanation for how the two differ, and that explanation is also unhelpfully brief: “Stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.”

Even among psychiatrists and psychologists, “there is not widespread agreement on how to contrast these two concepts,” says Richard Maddock…

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