What We’re Reading: 09/25/20


A few highlights from around the web that made it into our feeds this week.

Not trusting the FDA, Black doctors’ group creates panel to vet Covid-19 vaccines

Task forces continue to grow in response to shifting priorities, leadership, and disparate information coming from federal health agencies. The one discussed here—organized by the National Medical Association—was started by a group of black physicians to establish an expert panel independently vetting regulators’ decisions about Covid-19 drugs, vaccines, and community recommendations. The article does a good job highlighting some of the recent political interference in the CDC and FDA and provides an important perspective on the suspicion rising around Covid-19 vaccines.  (From statnews.com)

‘I Had Heart Surgery in the Middle of a Coronavirus Hot Spot’

One example of a type of care you should really not delay—heart surgery for aortic aneurysm. Complications from aortic aneurysms account for about 15,000 deaths each year, and time-sensitive treatment is often lifesaving. Johnny Diaz, a reporter for the NYTimes, shares his experience wrestling options, weighing risk during the pandemic, and ultimately receiving valve-sparing aortic root repair in Miami in August. 

“I did not know which was worse, the silent grenade in my heart or the virus, but I wanted to take control of my situation.” Take it from Diaz, don’t put off your care. The hospital is safe.  (From nytimes.com)

The Race to Redesign Sugar

New forms of real sugar with significantly fewer calories? This article follows the quest to design a new sugar molecule, a “better” version of sugar. The exploration of science here is absolutely fascinating, from hollowing out the molecule to stuffing it with silica to making a sugar that mirrors those found on meteorites. A wildly interesting read that dives into the history of additive sugars, our addiction to sweetness, and how the industry seeks to evolve and profit.  (From newyorker.com)

And finally, a poem to close out this final Friday of September—

Improving My German

by Lydia Davis

This poem will take about 30 seconds to read, two seconds to crack a smile, and make you feel seen as a human in perpetuity. We hope.  (From parisreview.org)

If you’re still looking for more, check out Lydia Davis’ words on hypothyroidism from her story “Thyroid Diary” in the New Yorker. 

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