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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Quarantine

In Elemental. More on Medium.

Testing upon exit of quarantine — ideally around day six or seven — is more effective than upon entry, and testing twice could make an eight-day quarantine as effective as a 14-day one

Photo: RyanJLane/E+/Getty Images

As people in the United States ponder how to safely reunite with family for Thanksgiving, a new study that includes data from offshore oil rig workers could help clarify the best strategy.

The matter of reuniting with family for the holiday is fraught. The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has urged Americans to skip Turkey Day altogether. Data from Canada, where Thanksgiving is celebrated in October, underscore the risks of gathering in big groups for the occasion. Canadian public health officials attributed an acceleration of Covid-19 cases there to the festivities. …


Time apart can save your relationship during the pandemic

Photo: track5/Getty Images

For the better part of 2019, my boyfriend of more than seven years and I shared roughly 60 square feet of space, nearly 24 hours a day. We were on a grand adventure, driving around the United States for months in the cargo van we converted into a camper. We discovered pretty quickly that when there’s nowhere to go cool off, and nobody can sleep on the couch for a night, you’ve got to get creative about dealing with tension. …


Have you stopped disinfecting your groceries? You’re not alone. Constant coronavirus vigilance is taking a toll.

Illustration: Luyi Wang

Before the FedEx driver made it to the bottom of my driveway, I was bounding out the door to grab the package he’d just left. It wasn’t until I’d plopped it onto the counter and sliced it open that I realized I hadn’t thought to disinfect it, or been patient enough to let it sit for 20 minutes, let alone 24 hours (the length of time studies show the coronavirus can survive on cardboard).

That’s not the only way I’m slipping; I’m still washing my produce, but I’ve stopped thoroughly disinfecting all of my groceries. I’m still washing my hands…


What to know, what to disinfect, and whether it’s okay to swim in the pool

In this photo illustration, a man looks at listings on the Airbnb website.
In this photo illustration, a man looks at listings on the Airbnb website.
Photo: Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

With travelers clearly still wary of hotels — in April, bookings were down by a staggering 85% compared to last year — many are instead considering (or already planning) a stay in a home rental property this summer.

Eleanor Murray, ScD, assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University’s School of Public Health, agrees that a rental house can be a good way to take a vacation in the next few months. Unlike hotels where you will naturally come into contact with more people (cleaning staff, other guests, and so on), she says staying in a place where it’s just you…


The health and ethical implications of isolating with a tight-knit circle of friends

Friends wearing face masks practice social distancing as they chat in front of a shop during the outbreak of COVID-19.
Friends wearing face masks practice social distancing as they chat in front of a shop during the outbreak of COVID-19.
Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Kari Craig, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, says she recently made plans to hang out with a friend and the friend’s significant other in their backyard. “If I feel comfortable wearing a mask to the grocery store then I should feel even safer in a [private] space like someone’s backyard,” she says. “Our plan is [for me] to literally BYO everything — my own chair, alcohol, cups, snacks, etc… I’m going to take the same precaution of constant hand-washing and mask-wearing, but may also incorporate things like changing clothes and shoes immediately when entering the apartment.”

As spring weather settles…


Bad dreams seem to be on the rise. But what you’re experiencing at night may depend on how you’re living right now.

Photo: artur carvalho/Getty Images

In my recent dreams, I often find myself in filthy, broken-down bathrooms with stall walls that are too short and doors that don’t lock. I try to find a place to pee in private, but I never can. Other people can see me using the bathroom. I am panicked and embarrassed.

The dream has happened enough times that I started poking around to find out whether others were experiencing especially vivid bad dreams right now. In my search, I came across the blog I Dream of Covid — run by Bay Area resident Erin Gravley, who was interested in seeing…


Even when the pandemic ends, the fitness industry will look very different — as will the ways people work out

Photo: recep-bg/Getty Images

As the coronavirus made its way across the world, Jade Wootton finally became a runner.

“I always wanted to be one,” she says. “I thought the ideology was cool, not just going out and getting fit, but also getting endorphins doing it. But I’m very slow, and that was really embarrassing for me.”

Four days into self-imposed quarantine, the 25-year-old says her embarrassment “evaporated,” outweighed by a desire to leave her Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment and to do something with her body that made her feel like she was — at least a little bit — in control. …


Illustrations: Alexandre Luu

Here’s why your body hurts and what you can do about it

Back tight? Knees sore? You’re not alone. It’s been just over a month since the first “shelter in place” order was issued in America — nearly one month since many of us were asked to physically isolate our already stressed-out, suboptimally nourished, sleep-deprived bodies to our homes (residences that may or may not be set up for working) — and it’s taking its toll.

“One of the reasons people are starting to feel not great is that their environment isn’t conducive to what their body needs,” says physical therapist Kelly Starrett, DPT, owner and operator of The Ready State Virtual…

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

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