articles

  • In the fight against COVID, Brazil’s surge won’t stay in Brazil

    Fortune April 23, 2021

    By Carolyn Barber

    The helicopter view of the COVID-19 crisis gripping Brazil might, at first glance, look awfully familiar. It includes a botched initial response and the downplaying of its seriousness by those at the top, the undermining of science and vaccination efforts, the crush of patients on overloaded intensive care units, and the promotion of quack “cures” like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, among other missteps. But the […]

  • The Fast Lane for COVID Testing Has Opened Up in the U.S.

    Scientific American April 16, 2021

    By Carolyn Barber

    For a recent flight that required a negative COVID-19 test result, I went through a process so silly and laborious that it got me wondering. First, I booked an appointment at an approved testing center, about a 25-minute drive from my home. Upon arriving, I paid $175 to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. […]

  • The Best Medicine Doesn’t Always Come in a Bottle

    By Carolyn Barber

    Ed Bidwell lived a nightmare before waking up to a better day. A debilitating brain bleed caused by a burst artery turned his life on a dime. He temporarily lost consciousness. With the left side of his body subsequently weakened and his ability to work compromised, he soon lost his job, and he went into […]

  • So, What Can People Actually Do after Being Vaccinated?

    Scientific American March 10, 2021

    By Carolyn Barber

    The first raft of stories in the wake of the Biden administration’s dramatic acceleration of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the U.S. centered on all the things the newly vaccinated among us can and cannot do, as if we were working off a master list of approved activities. Like so many things associated with this […]

  • Will COVID wipe out standardized college testing?

    Fortune March 2, 2021

    By Carolyn Barber

    For students and colleges alike, the changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected virtually every facet of the educational process. It’s tougher to teach. It’s certainly tougher to learn. Many campuses have sat largely empty. And the idea of extracurricular activity has, for all intents, dried up. This is, of course, alarming in its […]

  • Going It Alone: 21-year-old Becomes the Youngest Woman Ever to Row Solo Across any Ocean

    Medium February 28, 2021

    By Carolyn Barber

    The alarm fired off at 4 a.m., and Jasmine Harrison, 21, knew what it meant. She sprinted out of her bunk to see what it was that had triggered the warning that another vessel was coming dangerously close to her 21-foot Argo boat. Looking up, she quickly got her answer: The Stena Forth, a 745-foot […]

  • Free food? Free weed? Cash? What would it take for you to get the COVID vaccine?

    By Carolyn Barber

    At a bar outside Tel Aviv, customers who’ve just received their shot at a nearby COVID-19 vaccination van may line up for a free beer. In Dubai, three restaurants keep it simple: Show proof of one vaccination and take 10% off your bill; if you’ve had both shots, it’s a 20% discount. And in Michigan, proof […]

  • Anatomy of a super station: How San Diego is using a ballpark to vaccinate the masses

    Fortune January 29, 2021

    By Carolyn Barber

    The day was cold, rainy, and gusty, almost shocking by San Diego’s temperate standards. Yet from a glance at the activity surrounding the city’s Petco Park baseball stadium, you’d have sworn a game between thehometown Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers was about to begin under perfect conditions. Block to block, cars lined up one […]

  • Southern California Ambulance Crews Are Running Out of Oxygen—and Gas

    Scientific American January 23, 2021

    By Carolyn Barber

    Mark Selapack could probably use a break. Stranded for a time aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship in March while he worked to transfer COVID patients, deployedto wildfires up and down California, and sent to skilled nursing facilities to provide badly needed patient care, the San Diego–based paramedic was not home for 160 days in 2020. Then […]

  • Will the vaccines work against the South African variant of COVID-19?

    Fortune January 8, 2021

    By Carolyn Barber

    It’s a familiar story. Cases are spreading at “record pace.” Hospitals are overwhelmed. Basic supplies like oxygen, beds, and ventilators are running low. The rising number of hospitalizations has led some facilities to ration care. Familiar, indeed—but not local. This worrying spike in COVID cases has occurred in South Africa, with the total recently surpassing 1 million and daily new cases climbing […]