• The business of renting wombs is thriving–and surrogates don’t always understand the risks. Here’s the reproductive ethics debate America should be having

    Fortune November 17, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    By the time Ceara Lewis considered becoming a surrogate, she’d already had two children of her own. Each of those pregnancies, she told me, was “perfect.” She delivered her babies so quickly that no epidural was administered either time. Lewis also worked at the San Diego Perinatal Center, where in her capacity as a supervisor, […]

  • Strokes, heart attacks, sudden deaths: Does America understand the long-term risks of catching COVID?

    Fortune October 6, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    A 35-year-old acquaintance drops dead from a hemorrhagic stroke. A friend in her 40s, and another in his 70s, experience recurrent spells of extreme dizziness, their hearts pounding in their chests when they stand. A 21-year-old student with no prior medical history is admitted to the ICU with heart failure, while a 48-year-old avid tennis […]

  • A DIY air purifier that costs under $100 to make is taking America’s classrooms by storm

    Fortune September 15, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    Late last year, Shiven Taneja was a person in search of a solution. His community of Mississauga, in Ontario, was entering its fifth COVID wave and Omicron was a fearsome, fast-spreading variant–yet rapid tests were in short supply and the availability of booster shots severely limited. He wanted a way to reduce risk. Taneja found […]

  • ‘Toasted skin syndrome’ is a real condition from the age of wood-burning stoves­–and another reason you shouldn’t use your laptop as a laptop

    Fortune August 31, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    Venkata Konanki is a pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, but it was a case inside his own home last year that caught his attention. After watching his grade-school daughter Shriya grind her way through an online school year and then begin a summer academy program, Konanki and his wife noticed an odd pattern emerging– literally. […]

  • Long COVID could be leading to a wave of erectile dysfunction as the pandemic invades our sex lives

    Fortune August 17, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    Two and a half years after the onset of the pandemic, we’re still calculating the damage done by SARS-CoV-2 and its worrisome scion, Long COVID. The Center for Disease Control says that nearly 20% of U.S. adults who have been infected by the virus–or one in 13 adults in our country–are still experiencing Long COVID […]

  • COVID finally got me. Will it come for you?

    Fortune July 13, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    I certainly had reasons to be concerned. As a cancer survivor, I have spent the past two and a half years exercising extreme caution in the face of the pandemic and avoiding crowds even when it meant missing the weddings of loved ones. After 25 years as an emergency physician, I’m well versed in the […]

  • Why a nurse’s recent homicide conviction could make America’s hospitals even less safe

    Fortune June 17, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    Far from the Nashville courtroom where nurse RaDonda Vaught was convicted of homicide for giving a patient the wrong drug, medical experts and talking heads have mostly asked the right questions. Will the case have a chilling effect on the nursing profession? Did software system issues at Vaught’s hospital contribute to the tragedy? Aren’t chronically […]

  • The threat of long COVID means we can’t pull punches on vaccines, tests, and masks

    Fortune April 19, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    Their stories are shared through social media, the fear and agony front and center in almost every conversation: breathing issues, chronic pain, unexplained bruising, hallucinations, brain fog. “No way to describe besides six daggers in my back,” wrote one. Added another, a doctor exposed on the job in 2020, “I am a shell of my former self.” Of the many facets […]

  • New Cases of Childhood Diabetes Rose during the Pandemic

    Scientific American April 15, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    The little girl felt poorly, but both she and her mom thought they knew the reason. Aliyah Davis, just nine years old, was battling COVID. Fatigued, repeatedly sick to her stomach, with no sense of smell or taste and some shortness of breath, she seemed to have a near-textbook case of the virus. Aliyah had […]

  • When Is It Safe to Have Sex after COVID?

    Scientific American March 9, 2022

    By Carolyn Barber

    Recently, my husband endured a mild case of COVID—a cough, a sore throat, some aches and fatigue. Fortunately, he is vaccinated and boosted, and he recovered quickly. On day 10 after infection, he produced a negative rapid antigen test. Cool! So when can we have sex? This, it turns out, is a more complicated question […]