Memorial Day Travel: What to Know

Memorial Day 2021 Travel Tips As Memorial Day approaches, many American families are making their first weekend travel plans since the start of the pandemic. Though holiday traffic is still not expected to surpass pre-COVID-19 volume, AAA research predicts a 60% increase in Memorial Day travel from 2020 to 2021. With millions eager to reclaim a sense of normalcy and leisure, it is as necessary as ever to keep safety a top priority this holiday weekend. Planning on driving? If your weekend plans entail hitting the road, you are far from alone. The same AAA report referenced above found that…

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Playing Spring Sports While Social Distancing — How to Have Fun AND Stay Injury-Free

  Competitive and recreational sports are starting to return after a long COVID-prompted break. Athletes are eager to hit the field, but even in outdoor environments, some element of risk remains. Still, it’s possible to get involved in spring sports without compromising your health, as we explain below: Avoid Locker Rooms So far, evidence suggests that limited spread occurs during actual athletic events. The bigger problem? Indoor settings such as restrooms and locker rooms, where athletes are more likely to be in close contact — often without masks. While changing prior to and after events may seem inconvenient, it’s the…

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Adjusting to Society Opening Up After COVID — Tips for Staying Safe And Sane

  The light has finally arrived at the end of the long tunnel that is the COVID pandemic. The vaccine rollout is going better than expected — and millions of the most vulnerable individuals have already been inoculated. Variants remain a concern, but we can finally begin to think about returning to the activities we took for granted prior to the pandemic. Nothing is risk-free, however, and even when the threat of spread is minimal, returning to normal life can feel scary. Keep these suggestions in mind as you make the adjustment: Wear Your Mask It should go without saying,…

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Understanding the Key Differences Among the Main Vaccines

With three main vaccines available in the United States, Americans are now being inoculated at a staggering pace. Some, however, are wary of the vaccines simply because they don’t understand the options. We’ve highlighted a few of the main differences below: How Many Shots? Perhaps the most noteworthy difference between the vaccines: how many times you need to show up. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine stands out due to its single-shot capacity. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses, spaced a few weeks apart. Vaccine Side Effects Many people are understandably worried about the potential side effects associated with…

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Vitamin D Deficiency During the Winter: Why It Happens And How to Avoid It

The ‘typical’ American diet includes excessive amounts of sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats, while also falling short on several key nutrients. Vitamin D, in particular, tends to be in short supply, with recent research suggesting that nearly six percent of Americans are severely deficient. A lack of vitamin D can lead to a variety of health problems, including reduced bone density, ultimately, osteoporosis. Alarmingly, deficiency also appears to play a problematic role in COVID recovery. Why Is Vitamin D Deficiency So Common During the Winter? For many people, vitamin D levels vary through the seasons, as sun exposure plays heavily…

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Long-Haul COVID: What Is It and Why Should We Be Alarmed? Part II

  With up to ten percent of COVID patients impacted by a long-haul version of the disease, it’s clear that pandemic concerns won’t be immediately over once the vaccine is distributed. At this point, the general symptoms of long-haul COVID are understood, but not why it persists in some people or how long we can expect the lingering symptoms to continue. Experts have a few predictions, however, as we highlight below: The Hunt for a Cause Medical experts remain stumped as to what, exactly causes some people to continue experiencing COVID symptoms months after they’re initially diagnosed. Identifying potential long-haul…

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Long-Haul COVID: What Is It and Why Should We Be Alarmed? Part I

  Throughout the early days of the pandemic, we largely focused on the urgent issues brought about by the disease, and for good reason: the rates of infection, hospitalization, and death were staggering. Now, as we strive to vaccinate as many Americans as possible, the long-term consequences of COVID are beginning to cause a greater degree of alarm. Known as long-haul COVID, this issue strikes a significant share of patients, many of whom can expect to experience several months of suffering. This reminds us that the concerns of COVID go far beyond the death rate and could have dramatic impacts…

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Where We Are With the COVID Vaccine in 2021 — And What to Expect Next: Part II

We are currently in the midst not only of a deadly pandemic, but also, history’s most ambitious vaccination campaign. In the first part of this series, we examined the latest developments with the vaccine’s rollout. Now, we’ll highlight expectations for when President-elect Joe Biden takes office — and whether his plan for the vaccine is realistic. Picking Up the Pace of Vaccination Under a New Biden Administration The future Biden administration has promised to vaccinate 100 million Americans within the first 100 days of taking office. Currently, however, key transition officials disagree about how and whether this objective can actually…

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Where We Are With the COVID Vaccine in 2021 — And What to Expect Next: Part I

Vaccines represent the light at the end of the tunnel during the darkest days of the pandemic. We are currently in the early stages of the rollout, with frontline health care workers and seniors quickly receiving the doses they so desperately need. Meanwhile, the rest of us are wondering when we’ll be eligible and what we can do to stay safe as we wait. Keep reading to find out: Recent Changes in Vaccine Guidance Previously, official vaccine guidance advocated for a tiered approach, in which recipients were categorized not only based on age, but also according to their health issues…

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Seasonal Depression Meets COVID-19 Depression

Seasonal depression, the “winter blues,” and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) all have one thing in common: timing. As winter approaches and the amount of daylight decreases, energy levels and moods begin to diminish for many people. Now, when adding the psychological effects of COVID-19 and being locked-down, experts are worried about what this could mean. According to Yale Medicine, symptoms of seasonal depression include but are not limited to “poor mood, low energy, excessive sleepiness during the day, craving carbohydrates, over-eating and gaining weight, and social withdrawal”. Although only 15% of the population are assumed to be affected,  more may…

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