Bad Hair Day: Are magazines in salons dangerous?
On July 8, we sent out the first printed issue of Motif since April 1, a hiatus of three months. The world changed: On April 1 at least half of the usual distribution points were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but on July 8 the state was a week into Phase 3 of reopening […]
Phase 3 in RI: Staying the course, alone
As Rhode Island literally leads the nation in rate of decline for cases of COVID-19, Gov. Gina Raimondo moved forward with plans to enter Phase 3 of reopening the state economy on Tuesday, June 30. Depending upon criteria, Connecticut and New Jersey are in contention for second place, but everyone agrees RI is first. The […]
No Doctor? No Problem!: Before the pandemic, were people overusing health care?
In mid-April, as the medical world braced to contain the incoming flood from the coronavirus pandemic, doctors and patients alike were concerned about the disruption of preventative and elective health care. For some, the gap in visits was dangerous – newly diagnosed cancer patients had treatments cancelled when outpatient clinics were forced to close; early […]
RI COVID-19 Exposure: Surprisingly low, but highly disproportionate by race
Only 2.2% of Rhode Island residents have antibodies in their blood, known as “sero-prevalence,” against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Brown University Professor Philip Chan, MD, the consultant medical director for the Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease, and EMS at the RI Department of Health (RIDoH), announced this morning on a press conference […]
RI Enters Phase 1 of Reopening: The rules are clear, but poorly communicated
RI Gov. Gina Raimondo allowed her stay-at-home executive order to expire March 8, the next day beginning “Phase 1” of at least three such phases, each expected to last at least two weeks. On April 27, she laid out six specific criteria that all had to be met before any of the phased reopening could […]
A Toast!: RKO Army Raises $4,100 for RI Pride Food Drive
“The Rocky Horror Stay-at-Home Show” was an online event on May 8 that raised more than $4,100 for the RI Pride Emergency Supply Drive, a COVID-19 relief program that provides boxes containing a one-week supply of food and hygiene supplies to those in need. After The Rocky Horror Picture Show film was released in 1975 […]
Turning to Taiwan: A cultural anthropologist discusses the country’s success keeping coronavirus cases down
When Taiwan closed its borders at midnight on March 20, the country had just seen its cases of coronavirus double from 54 to 108 over the course of one week. Only 81 miles of water separated the country from mainland China, and travelers had been returning from Chinese New Year celebrations, many from Hubei province, […]
Smoothing the Curve: Recent data display from the gov is more artistic than mathematic
RI Gov. Gina Raimondo at her press conference on Saturday, May 2, displayed a chart showing new hospitalizations per day from March 13 to April 26. The point of the chart, the governor claimed, was to illustrate discontinuities on April 1, “Two weeks after first closures,” and April 13, “Two weeks after stay at home […]
The Speed of Infection: Why does COVID-19 spread so rapidly?
Had it been possible to contain COVID-19 in any reasonable manner, this illness would have attracted no more attention than the seasonal flu. For most of us, the symptoms are not that menacing; only 20% of the population is vulnerable to the more serious and often fatal effects. On Facebook, one can find multiple posts […]
Pandemic Non-fiction: What you don’t know can kill you
There is no shortage of books about diseases through human history, but a few have become definitive classics. I’ve curated an admittedly highly opinionated selection of the best. Some books that arguably would have qualified have been left off simply because they are too old, and medicine changes so rapidly that it could be misleading […]