“Cleaning Supplies at the 99¢ only store” by futurowoman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Last week, I decided to paint my bathroom.

It seemed like a simple enough project. It’s the smallest room in the house, so it couldn’t possibly take long, I reasoned, to clean out and organize its cabinets and closet, then scrub, spackle, and sand the walls. And a fresh coat of paint would make it feel so clean: the pay-off was huge.

Days later, I’m still working on it; for such a small room, it really has been a disproportionate amount of work. …


An out-of-focused but totally packed weekly schedule
An out-of-focused but totally packed weekly schedule
“Busy schedule ;)” by lewro is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Most of us lost track of our 2020 planners sometime last spring. What did it matter? They were empty anyway. But now, as the ranks of the vaccinated grow, there are suddenly things to look forward to, trips being booked, and plans being made.

And while it’s natural to want to make up for lost time, loading up your social calendar with all the rescheduled events, postponed celebrations, and sorely missed get-togethers, it’s important not to overdo it. Too much obligation, especially after a year of very little of it, could damage our mental states and our relationships.

A 2020…


There are a lot of things Covid-19 took away that I want back. I want to get on planes. I want to sit on my friends’ couches and drink wine. I want to visit museums, eat pie at a diner counter, and run errands without having to think about how many people I might encounter, and whether there’s a clean mask in my car. I want to hug my grandfather, and take my great aunts out to dinner, and not be so worried about my parents all the time.

I want most things to go back to normal, but there’s…


A jumble of toy kitchen items strewn on a carpet.
A jumble of toy kitchen items strewn on a carpet.
“42c — Tiny Messy Kitchen” by TheBrownMike is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

For the first few months after the pandemic forced the whole world onto Zoom, I tried to look “presentable.” In the frantic minutes before a video call, I’d change my shirt, put on mascara, prop my laptop up on a stack of books to get the perspective right, and wedge myself into the far corner of my kitchen. It was not a comfortable place to sit, but it meant the background didn’t include the dishes in the sink, or the various detritus of life on the counters, waiting to be cleared off.

I’d spend the whole call monitoring the angle…


The next frontier of medicine is based in mRNA

Illustration by Virginia Gabrielli for Elemental

I can depend on my body. My muscles contract when I want them to — to carry me up mountains and down ski slopes, to pull my kayak paddle through the water, and move my hands across piano keys. When I drink my favorite red wine, my liver metabolizes the alcohol, and my digestive system handles all the carbonara I throw at it and then asks for more. My brain secretes adrenaline that protects me in dangerous situations and serotonin that reminds me how good it is to be alive.

My muscles, metabolism, and mind do all the things I…


How to dress for a pandemic winter

Illustrations: Sophi Gullbrants

Two Septembers ago, a South Dakota snowstorm caught me off guard. I packed light — too light — for a trip to the Black Hills, to participate in the Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival at Custer State Park. Huddled in the bed of a pickup truck in the middle of a thundering herd of buffalo, wearing every article of clothing I had and still cold all the way down in my bones, I swore I’d never be unprepared for the conditions again.

This winter, as the ongoing pandemic makes it unsafe to gather indoors, you may find yourself spending more…


The Election & Your Health

A look at what’s at stake

Illustration: Olivia Fields

As the country careens toward a presidential election in the midst of a raging pandemic, the dueling headlines on public health and politics are a stark indication that, no matter who wins in November, this election will have profound, far-reaching consequences for your physical health and well-being. All this week, Elemental is running a series of stories detailing what’s at stake, from insurance coverage to plans for a pandemic still in progress. Here’s what you should know about the implications of the election on reproductive health and family planning.

The influence of politics over reproductive rights and sexual health is…


The Election & Your Health

A look at what’s at stake for America’s gaping health disparities

Illustration: Olivia Fields

As the country careens towards a presidential election in the midst of a raging pandemic, the dueling headlines on public health and politics are a stark indication that, no matter who wins in November, this election will have profound, far-reaching consequences for your physical health and well-being. All this week, Elemental is running a series of stories detailing what’s at stake, from insurance coverage to plans for a pandemic still in progress. Here’s what you should know about the implications of the election on health for people of color and the LGBTQ+ community.

Social determinants of health — including education…


The Election & Your Health

A look at what’s at stake for the Affordable Care Act

Illustration: Olivia Fields

As the country careens toward a presidential election in the midst of a raging pandemic, the dueling headlines on public health and politics are a stark indication that, no matter who wins in November, this election will have profound, far-reaching consequences for your physical health and well-being. All this week, Elemental is running a series of stories detailing what’s at stake, from insurance coverage to plans for a pandemic still in progress. Here’s what you should know about the implications of the election on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Since the moment it was signed into law by President Barack…


The Election & Your Health

A look at what’s at stake for your health

Illustration: Olivia Fields

As the country careens toward a presidential election in the midst of a raging pandemic, the dueling headlines on public health and politics are a stark indication that no matter who wins in November, this election will have profound, far-reaching consequences for your physical health and well-being. All this week, Elemental is running a series of stories detailing what’s at stake, from insurance coverage to plans for a pandemic still in progress. Here’s what you should know about the implications of the election on Covid-19.

The United States leads the world in Covid-19 diagnoses, with confirmed cases now nearing 8…

Kate Morgan

Kate is a freelance journalist who’s been published by Popular Science, The New York Times, USA Today, and many more. Read more at bykatemorgan.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store