• 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?

    Fortune February 25, 2021

    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 February 25, 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 […]

  • In the COVID vaccine rollout, our expectations don’t match reality

    Fortune January 4, 2021

    By Carolyn Barber

    When William Schaffner discusses the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, the health policy and infectious diseases expert compares it to a process that’s picking up steam—literally. He says he thinks about the rollout as the functional equivalent of starting a locomotive that’s sitting on the tracks. And locomotives can take a while to really get […]

  • The Problem of ‘Long Haul’ COVID

    Scientific American December 29, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    It was just a couple of months into the pandemic when patients in online support groups began describing the phenomenon. In some emergency departments, they said, their complaints were largely being dismissed—or at the very least diminished—by health care professionals. The patients felt they were not being heard, or perhaps even were outright disbelieved. The […]

  • New COVID studies bring some holiday cheer for pregnant women

    Fortune December 23, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    At first, Kate Elden’s choices when the coronavirus pandemic beganmade her stand out. She wore heavy personal protective equipment to work at a veterinary clinic, despite the worries of some of her colleagues that she would scare off clients. She decided against enrolling her toddler in preschool. And after a while, she decided to place […]

  • With COVID raging, why are we even still playing college basketball?

    Fortune December 14, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    It was public, shocking, and very real. In a game against rival Florida State on Saturday, the University of Florida basketball star Keyontae Johnson, just 21, collapsed facedown on the court, unconscious. He was removed by paramedics and taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where he was reported to be in critical, but stable condition. His Gators teammates, […]

  • Like drowning in slow motion’: Life on the ground at one of America’s hardest-hit COVID-19 hospitals

    Fortune December 1, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    He was young, polite, and nondescript. Even though he said he felt fine, he looked as though he had just finished running sprints. The symptoms were there: a cough, a low-grade fever, shortness of breath. His oxygen levels were low enough that his doctor admitted him. And thus did Oscar join the ranks of patients […]