Coronavirus and COVID-19

Which test is best for COVID-19?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

So much about testing for COVID-19 is confusing — from the types and number of tests available to woefully incomplete information about testing and the changing options. Understanding the current choices can help you make an informed decision about how to proceed if you want to be tested.

Rising temperatures: How to avoid heat-related illnesses and deaths

Hotter summer temperatures and prolonged periods of intense heat can lead to heat-related illness — and even deaths –– particularly in areas known as urban heat islands. People who are elderly and those with existing health problems are especially vulnerable. Know what to do to protect yourself and others.

Avoiding COVID-19 when following the guidelines seems impossible

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

By now people understand the measures intended to prevent the spread of coronavirus, yet people with certain conditions may not be able to follow these guidelines. Here are some suggestions that may help.

Youth sports during COVID-19: What parents need to know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Playing youth sports is a great way for children to be active and learn important socialization skills, but the risks of COVID-19 mean parents with children who participate in sports must consider a number of factors when deciding whether to play.

Vaccines for COVID-19 moving closer

Scientists around the world are trying to engineer safe, effective, long-lasting vaccines to help the body block the virus that causes COVID-19. Three vaccine approaches out of more than 100 are among the first to be tested clinically in the United States.

Metabolic syndrome is on the rise: What it is and why it matters

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Because metabolic syndrome boosts the risk of developing several serious health problems, a troubling rise in rates of occurrence of metabolic syndrome among certain segments of the US population is of great concern.

How risky is using a public bathroom during the pandemic?

Steve Calechman

Contributor

If you are wondering whether it’s safe to use a public restroom with the specter of COVID-19 hanging over us, your skepticism is justified. But maybe a restroom is just as safe (or unsafe) as any other indoor space at the moment. And there are things you can do to make your restroom visit less risky.

Making telemedicine more inclusive

As coronavirus cases multiplied, many medical offices and clinics shifted to seeing patient virtually through telemedicine. While its value quickly became obvious, virtual visits are not optimal for everyone who needs health care. Awareness of limitations can help care providers improve access to their services.

Protesting in the time of COVID-19

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and has worsened in some parts of the country, the rate of infection among those involved in recent protests has been low, because the events were outside and participants generally followed guidelines for wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

How risky is a hug right now?

Steve Calechman

Contributor

Even as we are moving toward re-establishing some normal activities, and as much as we might want to, it still feels risky to hug another person. Is there a way to do this safely? Is it worth the risk?