Longer Looks: Interesting Reads You Might Have Missed – Kaiser Health News

Each week, KHN finds longer stories for you to sit back and enjoy. This week's selections include stories on COVID, eating disorders, PTSD, the art of play, mosquitoes and more.

Politico:Can America Benefit From Covid? Ask 14th-Century FlorenceThe Covid pandemic has wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy. Around 33 million unemployment claims have been made, and hunger stalks millions more Americansand thats aside from the ravages from the disease itself.Yet big disruptions can bring big opportunities. Thinkers have already been considering how the world could emerge better, or smarter, from the Covid plague. And theres real historical precedent for this: The Italian Renaissance may have begun before the 14th-century plague known as the Black Death, but theres a strong case the diseasein both its ravages and the social changes it enabledhelped accelerate its progress, especially in the city of Florence. For a time, Florences economy bounced back with remarkable social mobility, and it became Europes premier center of artistic, cultural and scientific creativity. (Soll, 7/25)

Politico:How Covid-19 Could Give Kim Jong Un A Doomsday WeaponNorth Korea recently surprised the world by announcing it is developing a Covid-19 vaccine, joining a high-stakes race to show off its scientific chops. But experts increasingly believe the famously secretive Kim Jong Un could also have a more nefarious goal in mind: Using the humanitarian crisis to beef up his biological weapons arsenal. North Korea could use this legitimate vaccine aspiration as a way to enhance their biotechnology capability, says Andrew Weber, who was assistant secretary of Defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs during the Obama administration. They could buy equipment from Western or Chinese sources that would be necessary for their vaccine effort, and then next year they could turn around and use it to produce biological weapons. (Ralph, 7/28)

The Wall Street Journal:Foods That Battle Stress During The Coronavirus PandemicAre you anxious? Angry? Feeling depressed?Consider what you eat. For more than a decade, studies have shown that a healthy diethigh in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and other lean proteincan help fight depression. Now, emerging research in the nascent field of nutritional psychiatry suggests that certain foods can help manage a broader range of emotional challenges, such as anxiety, anger and insomnia. And while the most established treatments for mental-health conditions such as depression remain antidepressants and talk therapy, researchers say food can also be a very useful tool. (Bernstein, 7/27)

The Washington Post:Covid-19 Lockdown Nostalgia: It Was A Scary Time, But I Will Miss Our Enforced Family Togetherness.I sent a text to an old college friend in April, inquiring how she was faring under the covid-19 stay-at-home order then in place, and I confided in her that Id be sad to see it end. I liked that everything had slowed down, that for a brief time, Id stepped off the conveyor belt Id been on that made my life feel less meaningful. My friend, a 57-year-old writer in New York, wrote back immediately: Wow. Will not be sad when its over. Its a dark cloud hanging over life, and I feel panicked and dread for people in the restaurant industry, tourism, etc., and the domino effect that will have on us all." (Chesler, 7/26)

The New York Times:I Was A Screen Time Expert. Then The Coronavirus Happened.Before the pandemic, I was a parenting expert. It was a cushy gig. In 2019, I boarded 34 flights. I checked into nice hotels, put on makeup and fitted jewel-toned dresses, strode onto stages large and dinky, and tried to project authoritative calm. I told worried parents about the nine signs of tech overuse, like ditching sleep for screens. I advised them to write a family media contract and trust, but verify, their tweens doings online. While I was on the road, my two daughters were enjoying modest, cute little doses of Peppa Pig and Roblox, in between happily attending school, preschool, after-school activities and play dates, safe in the care of their father, grandmother and our full-time nanny. Now, like Socrates, I know better. I know that I know nothing. (Kamenetz, 7/27)

And other good reads

The New York Times:With Eating Disorders, Looks Can Be DeceivingAppearances, as Im sure you know, can be deceiving. In one all-too-common example, adolescents and young adults with disordered eating habits or outright eating disorders often go unrecognized by both parents and physicians because their appearance defies common beliefs: they dont look like they have an eating problem. One such belief is that people with anorexia always look scrawny and malnourished when in fact they may be of normal weight or even overweight, according to recent research at the University of California, San Francisco. (Brody, 7/27)

The New York Times:Me, My Relationship And PTSDSam and I began the conversation partly in jest. His co-worker had just eloped in Hawaii, and as we scrolled through their photos I gave him an elbow to the ribs and said in a singsong voice, Well, maybe we should go to Hawaii, too! Later we spoke about it in more thoughtful tones, and as it turned out, neither of us had ever been and we both had always wanted to go to Hawaii. I raised my eyebrows and widened my grin. I think we should do it. Not because its time to get married, I added, loudly. But because we have the perfect opportunity to do it. (Conner, 7/25)

The New York Times:The Way We Used To PlayAs kids, my seven siblings and I would run around outside under the night sky, the summer-hard soles of our bare feet the only shoes we needed, playing a game we made up called War. I grew up as one of a legion of kids living in Cedar Hills, Texas. We were also home schooled, so we were weird, and my world was made up of home and church. But in the evening we would play with the neighborhood kids, the ones with backpacks and clean shoes who waved to us on their way to and from school every day. (Lenz, 7/21)

The Atlantic:The Teaching That Works for Traumatized StudentsWhen Ben started flipping desks in the classroom, his teacher Heather Boyle ushered the rest of her first-grade class into the hallway for safety. Things had begun to unravel a few moments earlier, when Benwhose real name isnt being used, to protect his privacystruggled with a math lesson. He crawled under desks, bumping into other childrens legs. When his classmates complained, Boyle asked him to come out. I dont know how to do this stupid math, he screamed. (McKenna, 7/28)

Arizona Republic:The Navajo Nations Wait For Water Persists With Few AnswersThe line forms at the water spigotbefore dawn. In Chevrolets, Fords and Toyotas, men and women of all ages pull up, the beds of their pickups holding plastic tanks and barrels. Each day, all day long, people wait to take the white hose and let the water run into their tanks. Its the only reliable source of clean drinking water they can count on in this part of the Navajo Nation, and they come from miles around to fill up. (James, 7/28)

The New York Times:Why Some Mosquitoes Prefer HumansMosquitoes have been called the deadliest animal in the world: tiny creatures so dangerous that genetic engineering may be necessary to win the battle against them. But not all mosquitoes are equally responsible for devastating the human population by spreading disease. Out of thousands of species, only a few like to bite humans and even within the same species, mosquitoes from different places can have different preferences. Why do some find us irresistible, while others remain unimpressed? To answer that question, a team of Princeton researchers, working with a large network of local collaborators, spent three years driving around sub-Saharan Africa collecting the eggs of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are responsible for Zika, yellow fever and dengue. (Chen, 7/23)

The rest is here:

Longer Looks: Interesting Reads You Might Have Missed - Kaiser Health News

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