Croll: Confessions of an Extrovert During Quarantine

As the days of the pandemic drag on, and COVID-19 positivity rates continue to be high, some of us are acutely feeling the negative effects of having to quarantine. Extroverts like me who draw energy from being with other people have been stressed for a long time now about the lack of available connections. When a human being experiences stress, no matter what the cause, the body goes into fight or flight mode and the brain responds by releasing cortisol. Chronic activation of this stress response, say over a period of many months during a quarantine, can lead to serious health issues.

Read more

McNerney: 10 Months of COVID: My Observations

For the past 10 months, we have endured an experience that very few of us predicted, much less prepared for. We have experienced the closing of businesses, restaurants, and school buildings. We have been told to stay in our homes and stop spending time with family and friends. We have faced extreme anxiety for the health of ourselves and our loved ones for months at a time.

Read more

Lenhart: Riots at the Capitol

The riots and break-in at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, shocked and saddened the nation. They happened during a crucial—but normally uneventful—process whereby Congress counts the electoral votes to confirm the winner of the presidential election. But Congress’s effort to count the votes was disrupted this year by violence. These events are hard to fully comprehend—no one thought they would ever see rioters breaking into the House and Senate chambers. But these events are better understood against the backdrop of Constitutional provisions that were in play leading up to the Jan. 6 riots.

Read more

Croll: Before You Hand Your Child That Device, Please Read This

With COVID raging in our community, and school out for the holidays, many devices are likely to find their way in the hands of children this holiday season. Parents are tired and, frankly, many of us are out of ideas for how to entertain our kids at home. Letting children access screens makes them happy and it gives us a break. As a result, screen usage by kids has gone through the roof.

Read more

McNerney: The Sigh of Relief – A Quick Way to Reduce Anxiety

The internet is filled with clickbait promising instant results by using some simple technique. Usually, I scroll past these, knowing that the majority have no basis in science or haven’t been proven as effective. As a former biology major, I am always a skeptic when it comes to quick, easy solutions. The technique I will be sharing, though, is actually one that seems to tick all the boxes of being effective: It has been well researched, it is based on neurochemistry, and it works.

Read more