March 27, 2020

Weekend reads: Can mail transmit the new coronavirus?

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    The new coronavirus pandemic, charted. How does the trajectory of the new coronavirus and associated deaths in the United States compare to other countries? The Financial Times put together a series of charts comparing the number of deaths from the new coronavirus and cases of the new coronavirus in each country, with projected trajectories based on how frequently death and cases double.

    Attention, beard growers. While many Americans are working from home to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus, some are wondering if they should grow a beard, Adam Tschorn reports for the Los Angeles Times. Is that a good idea? There's no scientific research on the subject, but John Swartzber, clinical professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health, suggests that it's possible a person could cough viral particles onto your beard that could then make their way into your mouth or eyes if you touch your beard and then your face.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    How safe is your mail? After research revealed that the new coronavirus can survive on some surfaces for days, people started to question whether they could pick up the virus from letters and packages. Here's what U.S. officials say about the risk of the virus spreading through the mail and whether mail disinfection should become widespread in the United States.

    Good news for caffeine fiends. It was hard for food writer Michael Pollan to give up caffeine cold turkey. In his audiobook "Caffeine: How Coffee and Tea Created the Modern World," he explains what he learned about coffee after giving it up, including how caffeine impacts our confidence, why caffeine withdrawal feels so terrible, and why you don't necessarily need to "avoid caffeine."

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