Archive for October, 2020

Beyond trick-or-treating: Safe Halloween fun during the COVID-19 pandemic

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Celebrating Halloween by going trick-or-treating or attending a party could be very risky this year. Here are tips to help you and your family stay safe while having fun.

Coping with the loss of smell and taste

A majority of people with mild or moderate COVID-19 have reported problems with their sense of smell, and a similar percentage reported changes in taste perception. The loss of these senses may be temporary, but it can take as long as a year for them to return, and some people will not regain them at all.

Early, tight control of Crohn’s disease may have lasting benefits

Sarah Flier, MD


Treatment options for Crohn’s disease have evolved, and newer drugs are more effective than previously used ones. Researchers examined different approaches to treatment, based on either symptoms alone or combined with objective evidence of inflammation.

The tragedy of long COVID

Anthony Komaroff, MD

Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

Many thousands of people in the US have recovered from COVID-19 but continue to experience feelings of exhaustion, little energy, and mental fogginess that linger for months –– possible signs of long COVID, or PASC. These “long haulers” grapple with uncertainty around when –– and whether –– their health problems will resolve.

Stopping osteoarthritis: Could recent heart research provide a clue?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Currently no medication can slow the progress of osteoarthritis. And while a reanalysis of a study of people with heart disease suggests a promising approach, more definitive research will be necessary to confirm this.

Stress and the heart: Lessons from the pandemic

Doctors have begun to study the effects of COVID-related stress and anxiety on people. A recent study suggests that stress caused by the pandemic may already be affecting heart health.

Fibromyalgia: Exercise helps — here’s how to start

For people with fibromyalgia, pain is a part of daily life, and exercising is probably not something they feel like doing. But experts say it’s one of the most effective strategies to help manage the condition. So what’s the best approach to getting started?

Grandparenting: Navigating risk as the pandemic continues

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

As the pandemic reshaped lives in March, grandparents had to take heightened safety precautions around seeing their children and grandchildren. With fall here and winter on the way, basic preventive steps have not changed, but some grandparents are finding they need to balance rewards and risk, and that conversations with family members about expectations need to be ongoing.

Cultivating joy as a family

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but particularly for families. Everyone is feeling so much uncertainty and stress, but one thing we can do is look for ways to create small moments of joy every day. Games, activities, creativity, being outdoors — there are simple, fun ways to be together and make memories.

The hidden long-term cognitive effects of COVID-19

it is becoming increasingly clear that COVID-19 affects the nervous system along with the respiratory system. Research is suggesting that this may result in long-term neurologic damage in those who survive a COVID infection, including evidence of effects on cognitive function.