Health and science writer • PhD in 🧠 • Words in Scientific American, STAT, The Atlantic, The Guardian • Award-winning Covid-19 coverage for Elemental


Your executive control center has helped your mental health survive the pandemic thus far. Here’s how to strengthen it for the future.

Illustration: Carolyn Figel

It’s not b.s. — the practice really can strengthen your mind like a muscle

Credit: Martin Puddy / Getty Images

Your Poor Pandemic Brain

The toll a year of loneliness, stress, fear, trauma, and loss takes on the structure and function of the brain

Animation: Carolyn Figel for Elemental

Vaccinated and unvaccinated individual households can also gather safely, as long as no one is at high risk for severe Covid-19

Photo: Education Images/Getty Images

Your brain responds to stress differently when you’re by yourself

Credit: Justin Paget / Getty Images

If you knew and loved one of the 500,000-plus people lost to the pandemic, here’s what might be going on in your brain right now.

Credit: sdominick / Getty Images

The viral strain causes a longer period of infection, which could explain its increased transmissibility

Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings attempts a three in front of his masked teammates on January 13, 2021. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Dana G Smith

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