Fitter, better rested, more appreciative: research reveals the positive changes experienced by some during lockdown

Lynn Williams, University of Strathclyde National lockdowns have been the most profound and significant public health interventions within living memory. They have been difficult socially and economically, and have negatively affected people’s health in many different ways. But for some people lockdowns have provided an unexpected opportunity to make positive changes to their lives, running …

Bethlehem and beyond: how Christianity’s earliest sites were identified

Ken Dark, University of Reading Every Christmas, Bethlehem becomes a focus of global attention as the scene of the Nativity – the birth of Christ. In most years, the town’s centre is crowded with Christian pilgrims. Indeed, many people travel to the Holy Land throughout the year to visit places of religious importance – whether …

Pfizer vaccine: what an ‘efficacy rate above 90%’ really means

Zania Stamataki, University of Birmingham There was – rightfully – a lot of excitement when Pfizer and BioNTech announced interim results from their COVID vaccine trial. The vaccine, called BNT162b2, was reported to have an “efficacy rate above 90%”. This was soon translated in the press to be 90% “effective” at preventing COVID-19. Efficacy, effectiveness …

Depression and dementia in the age of COVID-19: Two sides, one coin

Donald Weaver, University of Toronto Every seven seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with dementia. A typical case that I often see in my practice is as follows: A 76-year-old woman has a two-year history of progressive worsening of short-term memory and cognitive decline. She can’t recall the names of her grandchildren and is …

How to calmly navigate personal interactions during COVID-19

Laura Rees, Queen’s University, Ontario Thanks to COVID-19, we’ve slowly built new routines centred on being at home. But as we start to enter various phases of reopening and increased contact, we may feel uncomfortable interacting in person again. Treating each interaction as a type of micro-negotiation provides a helpful road map for navigating these …