What Is “Skin Hunger”?

Kory Floyd has never been more popular. A professor of communication at the University of Arizona, Floyd researches affection and loneliness. Since the pandemic began, friends and journalists have been asking him: Why are we so hungry for touch? “I’m hearing a lot from people that this has been one of the biggest surprises about the pandemic:…

How to Talk to a New Sexual Partner About COVID-19 Risk

Your heart is beating fast. Your palms are sweating. You can hear your partner’s breath speed up, and you know it’s going to happen: for the first time, you and that special someone are about to take your face masks off. Dating has been a little different during the coronavirus pandemic, to say the least. While…

The State of Our Society

Obari Cartman’s work begins with stories. “I start with an individual and I say, ‘Tell me how you got here,’” said Dr. Cartman, a trauma-focused clinician and restorative justice coach who primarily works with young Black men in Chicago. “A lot of my work straddles that fence between individual therapy, and community advocacy and organizing.” When…

The State of Our Work

In early March, word started buzzing across Cambridge: things were about to change. It was more than two months after the novel coronavirus had begun to spread through Asia, and mere weeks after the first community transmission in the U.S. For Yiran He and her peers, graduating seniors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it…

These 7 Companies Ship Unique Seeds for Your Quarantine Garden

IN 1944, AT THE HEIGHT of World War II, 20 million home gardeners across the United States dug deep to support the war effort. As the country poured the bulk of its resources into the conflict, Americans grew Victory Gardens to bolster the domestic food supply. Nearly a century later, Jes Walton is trying to bring…

5 Ways to Support Your Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

It’s perhaps cliche to say that crisis brings out the deepest human love and solidarity, as well as the deepest grief. But that statement is a truism because it is true. Even during the horrors of the coronavirus pandemic, there is hope in community. If you, like billions around the world, are currently socially distancing…

Taste the Globe With Recipes From New York’s All-Grandma Kitchen Crew

WHEN JODY “JOE” SCARAVELLA OPENED Enoteca Maria in 2008, he was sorely in need of a grandmother. Scaravella grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, where his Nonna Domenica cared for him while his parents worked. “I remember her going to the market everyday, bringing her shopping cart,” Scaravella writes. “She stopped at the vegetable shops…

The Unexpected Benefits of Remote Dating During Social Distancing

In times of crisis, grave concerns tend to intersect with more mundane ones. The coronavirus pandemic has created a series of global shockwaves, from unprecedented strain on the healthcare system to economic instability, exacerbated inequality, and xenophobia. Some of us, due to health vulnerabilities, economic precarity, or housing instability, are more severely affected than others. But between grim…

The 1700s Plague Cure That Inspired an Uncannily Contemporary Cocktail

WHEN NICOLE LABOUFF AND EMILY Beck first decided to create a modern version of plague water, the potent herbal liquor that early-modern Europeans believed could help prevent epidemics, they had no idea how contemporary their experiment would soon prove. It was spring 2018, two years before a novel coronavirus would lead to the worst global pandemic…

Staying Safe When Socially Distancing With an Abuser

When stringent social distancing measures went into place to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in mid-March, the calls began. These weren’t calls to doctors from people concerned about symptoms, or to unemployment officers from people without work — though those calls started, too. Instead, they were calls to domestic violence hotlines, from abuse survivors…