Martin Bazant, MIT professor of mathematics, who built an interactive model that predicts the infectiousness of COVID-19 in different environments, suggests “running strong ventilation, ideally with HEPA air filtration, and opening windows with fans for a few hours before resuming normal occupancy without masks,” he says. In other words, strategic use of windows, fans, and HEPA filters could clear the White House air in less than a day. David Edwards, Harvard bioengineering researcher and entrepreneur, adds that, “There will be dead zones where air does not circulate well—desks, seats, couches, bathrooms,” he says. These places should be identified and addressed by circulating and filtering the air. (A portable HEPA filter could handle that.) … [Read more...] about You can’t use bleach to sterilize the White House. Here’s what experts recommend instead
A divisive political landscape was a defining attribute of 2020, and will continue to be one in 2021. However, one universally agreed-upon issue is the endlessly exhausting toll the pandemic has on caregivers. Working parents are facing brutal economic, healthcare, and childcare trade-offs. Nearly a year into the COVID-19 crisis, most people have exhausted their short-term leave options, and large numbers are simply leaving the workforce. In September 2020 at the start of the school year, 865,000 women dropped out of the labor force—or 4x the rate of men. COVID-19 has laid bare the gaps in our caregiving infrastructure. … [Read more...] about In the face of divisive politics, paid family leave should remain a bipartisan priority
This will come down to changing consumer behavior, which isn’t an easy task. Until recently, there was often a stigma associated with buying used products, but the wave of online resale platforms have helped rebrand it. These companies often market themselves as a way to get good deals on coveted products, but they also make the case that it’s more eco-friendly to buy used. This argument appears to be working: Thredup commissioned a study which found that many shoppers—particularly younger ones—feel proud to shop secondhand, while they feel guilty about buying fast fashion, which they see as less sustainable. … [Read more...] about Poshmark’s explosive IPO bodes well for the resale industry, but how sustainable is secondhand?
how technology might enable rewilding in the U.K. and Europe. Riggall had begun thinking about the historical landscape when he studied environmental archaeology as a university student. “My first introduction to the concept that Europe had a wildwood was through the archaeological record,” he says. Over the years, as he worked in the climate change sector, he noticed a disparity in how that past was discussed—developing countries would be criticized for cutting down forests to farm, but few people talked about the fact that the same thing had happened earlier in Europe at a massive scale, and again when Europeans arrived in America. … [Read more...] about Why we need to “rewild” our environment
We would expect to see anxiety levels rising during COVID-19, but in fact we first made this observation before the pandemic. Passengers reported that they experience anxiety about getting to the airport on time. They’re anxious about spending time in close proximity with strangers, TSA staff, and the airline crew. There’s anxiety about suitcases being over the weight limit, and about properly emptying their pockets before going through the TSA line. Even after clearing Security, there’s anxiety about boarding the flight and whether there will be room for a carry-on. COVID-19 compounds all these worries, as passengers shuffle through a seemingly motionless queue, struggling to keep a proper social distance. … [Read more...] about Three shockingly obvious ways to make flying less miserable