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June 17, 2021

Long weekend reads: 7 key questions about vaccination cards, answered

Daily Briefing

    How these Covid-19 survivors are coping with their changed sense of smell, the tiny culprits behind dozens of people getting their feet stained on the beaches of Maine and New Hampshire, and more.

    Ben Palmer's reads

    How these Covid-19 survivors are dealing with their changed sense of smell. A number of Covid-19 patients have developed parosmia, a condition in which their smell and taste are distorted. Writing for the New York Times, Deborah Schoch looks at some Covid-19 survivors whose sense of smell has changed entirely, including one who said her coffee now smells like gasoline and another who said she has to hold her breath when shampooing her hair because of the smell.

    What you need to know about your vaccination card. As more Americans get Covid-19 vaccines and travel begins to pick up once again, people have started using their vaccination cards to show they've been vaccinated. Writing for the New York Times, Concepción de León answers seven questions about vaccine cards, including whether you need the card to travel and what happens if you lose it.

    Marcelle Maginnis' reads

    Why one man decided to stop taking his medication—and why he'll never do it again. Writing for the Washington Post, Steven Petrow discusses why he decided one day to reduce his dose of a prescribed medication without telling his physician—and the serious consequence that followed. Noting that such behavior is common among patients hoping to stretch out a costly prescription or avoid a complex daily regimen of pills, Petrow concludes, "From here on out, I will remember that my doctors have something I don't—a medical degree—and that being honest with them is what's best for me in the long run (and makes it more likely that I will have a long run)."

    What was staining their feet? A horde of dead insects. Dozens of people across Maine and New Hampshire complained that the sand on the beaches had left dark stains on their feet without any clear explanation for the phenomenon. Writing for the New York Times, Heather Murphy explains the mystery may finally be solved. According to Maine's Department of Agriculture, "millions of tiny black kelp flies that feed off decaying seaweed appeared to have died on one stretch of beach," Murphy writes, and the naturally occurring pigment in those insect carcasses may be the culprit.

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