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

Safety

In Elemental. More on Medium.

It’s too soon to know what specifically caused the blood clots — that’s the biggest reason the vaccine administration was paused

An illustration of the inside of a red blood vessel with a clump of red blood cells traveling through it.
An illustration of the inside of a red blood vessel with a clump of red blood cells traveling through it.
Image by Mecder

The CDC and FDA jointly recommended pausing administration of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday April 13, sending a lot of people into a tailspin of questions about what the suspension means and whether the vaccine is safe. Here’s an explainer that answers as many of those questions as carefully as is currently possible — no doubt more answers will come every day.

What happened?

On April 13, the FDA and CDC jointly announced a recommendation that administration of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine pause to allow investigation of a possible safety concern. Out of 6.8 million doses of the…


The psychological reason vacations are great is also why they can be dangerous

Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Five months into the pandemic, you’re probably familiar with the potential risks that come with traveling. Being on public transit like buses, trains, and airplanes, which don’t always allow proper social distancing, can potentially expose you to the novel coronavirus. Even road trips aren’t a guarantee of safety. (Chances are, you’ll have to make a pit stop or two.)

But no matter how you travel, you’re definitely not off the hook when you arrive at your final destination. …


3 answers to common questions about getting around during the pandemic

Photo: Andreas Zitlau/EyeEm/Getty Images

These questions are adapted from Medium’s Coronavirus Blog.

What does safe travel look like during a pandemic? Here are some expert opinions on planes, cars, bike-shares, and more.

If I need to travel, is it better to take a plane or car?

The pandemic has thrown a wrench into the summer plans of people around the world. Right now, many places have stay-at-home orders in place that largely restrict travel. However, as states begin lifting these restrictions, or as people need to move, there are questions about the safest way to do so. Is it better to take a road trip but risk stops along the way? …


Ways for you and your employer to help avoid fresh outbreaks as the economy restarts

Businesspeople wearing masks in the office and sitting at further distances.
Businesspeople wearing masks in the office and sitting at further distances.
Photo: martin-dm/E+/Getty Images

Most people have little control over when or whether they can — or have to — go back to work, as health officials, politicians, and companies make decisions about restarting the economy. But there are several steps many workers can take, particularly office workers, to reduce the risk of infection for themselves and co-workers when they do go back. These measures dovetail with preventive steps bosses and business owners can take in order to avoid fresh outbreaks and keep their workers safe.

Beyond ensuring adequate testing and contact tracing for Covid-19, the most important measure to help prevent the spread…


Instructional illustrations: Na Kim

Personal protective equipment is only as effective as the person wearing it. Here’s how to avoid cross-contamination.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course and began recommending the use of cloth face masks in public places where maintaining social distancing may be difficult.

As Elemental previously reported, evidence supporting the use of cloth face masks isn’t great, but with studies showing that a large number of asymptomatic or presymptomatic people may be unknowingly transmitting the coronavirus, experts now believe cloth masks can help slow the spread. …

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