Hospitals Have Circadian Rhythms, Too
Plus: Luxury houseplants, indoor camping, and anti-COVID bus shelters
First, as usual, a smattering of book news:
An excerpt from my hospital chapter—which includes a section about how we can build hospitals that reduce the spread of infectious disease—is out in Discover. A column about the book also appears in the new issue of Scientific American.
The Great Indoors was featured in the Boston Globe’s “The Story Behind the Book” column.
I wrote a short piece for Elemental about how to create healthier homes, we need to find ways to bring the outdoors in. And in a separate piece for AAAS, I wrote about what it’s been like releasing a book about the indoors in the midst of a pandemic.
Back in the Before Times (you know, back in February or so), I came across a fascinating study. In hospitals, researchers found, medications tend to be dispensed on predominantly in the mornings, a schedule that isn’t necessarily in sync with our bodies’ daily rhythms. As I write in a new story for The Atlantic:
This schedule—what the researchers call a “systemic bias in the timing of medicine”—may be convenient for clinicians, but it’s not necessarily best for patients or consistent with their biological clock.
Hospitals run all day and night, and in theory medications could be doled out whenever they’re needed. “Our findings challenge this notion,” the study’s authors write, “and reveal a potential operational barrier to best clinical care.” For busy doctors, time is a scarce resource—and hospitals are generally designed to deliver care as quickly and efficiently as possible. But the human body keeps its own time, so optimal care may be less of a race than a chronologically choreographed dance.
Read the full story here.
“South Korea has opened a high-tech new front in the battle against coronavirus, fortifying bus shelters in the capital with temperature-checking doors and ultraviolet disinfection lamps.”
Covid-19 comes to Whittier, Alaska, where 85% of residents live in a single apartment building
A growing trend in Taiwan: camping in the great indoors
What it takes to build a high-level biohazard lab
“Even your home office is sexist”
A houseplant sold for more than $5,000 (or more than $1,000 a leaf!)
It’s well past time to rethink the nursing home
The University of Arizona caught two COVID-19 cases by monitoring the sewage flowing out of each dorm
Pizza Huts are closing. What will their strange buildings become?
How street vendors are coping with the pandemic
Another legacy of redlining? Racial and economic disparities in the urban heat environment. “In cities like Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Portland and New York, neighborhoods that are poorer and have more residents of color can be 5 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit hotter in summer than wealthier, whiter parts of the same city.”
“Suburban sprawl: is it a COVID-19 super-spreader?”
Bonus Interspecies Animal Content
Just a puppy playing with a duck.
See you in September!
The Great Indoors is now out! You can find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, IndieBound, or your local independent bookstore. (And if you’ve already read the book, please consider leaving an Amazon rating or review!)