For some, the pandemic eased mental health distress

Children with pre-existing mental health issues thrived during the early phase of the pandemic.

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  • While COVID-19 physically affects adults more than children, mental health distress has increased across all age groups.
  • Children between 5 and 17 sought help for mental health issues at much higher rates in 2020.
  • However, a new study found children with pre-existing mental health issues experienced reduced symptoms when lockdowns began.
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Cotton masks outperform synthetic fibers in humidity test

Cotton mask fibers prove 33 percent more effective at blocking viruses in trials.

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  • In a new study, filtration efficiency increased by 33 percent with cotton fabrics.
  • Nine different types of cotton flannel were tested, with efficacy rates ranging from 12-45 percent better than synthetic fibers.
  • Nylon, rayon, and polyester all performed much worse than the cotton counterparts.
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5 big predictions for 2021

A deeper appreciation for science and less unnecessary spending could be in our future.

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  • The "Fauci effect" has helped produce a record number of medical school applications.
  • We'll soon no longer be able to avoid the reality of climate change, prompting more decisive action.
  • Work from home trends are likely to continue and, in many cases, become permanent.
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How to have a constructive conversation with vaccine skeptics

Jonathan Berman wants us to have better dialogues.

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  • In his book, "Anti-vaxxers," science educator Jonathan Berman aims to foster better conversations about vaccines.
  • While the anti-vax movement in America has grown, more Americans now say they'll get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • In this Big Think interview, Berman explains why he's offering an ear to the anti-vax movement.
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New study argues that migrating from cities, not travel bans, slows spread of disease

Of course, it's all about where you move. The authors argue that it needs to be less populous regions.

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  • Moving from densely-populated urban regions is more effective in stopping the spreading of disease than closing borders.
  • Two researchers from Spain and Italy ran 10,000 simulations to discover that travel bans are ultimately ineffective.
  • Smaller cities might suffer high rates of infection, but the nation overall could benefit from this model.
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