A.A. to Zoom, Substance Abuse Treatment Goes Online

Until the coronavirus pandemic, their meetings took place quietly, every day, discreet gatherings in the basements of churches, a spare room at the YMCA, the back of a cafe. But members of Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups of recovering substance abusers found the doors quickly shut this spring, to prevent the spread of Covid-19. What…

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Hermits Teach About Solitude, Loneliness, Isolation

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Paul Fredette and Karen Karper Fredette have made some changes to their lives: Ms. Fredette stopped attending her local exercise class, and the couple whittled their interactions with their neighbors down to waves. But in many ways, seclusion comes naturally to them. From a house they call Still Wood,…

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Smithsonian Closed, Hope Diamond Awaits Its Synthetic Twin

In the midst of the pandemic, diamonds (at least newly mined ones) may have lost their luster. But in the studio of his New York apartment, John Hatleberg is betting it will soon be back. For months, he has been at work hunched over a gem-faceting machine, where he is cutting and polishing a synthetic…

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A Chilling Question Divides Europe: Open Ski Slopes or Keep Them Closed?

Weeks before the coronavirus pandemic swept across Europe in February, some of the first virus clusters on the continent appeared in ski resorts in the Alps, leading to cascading outbreaks as ski enthusiasts returned home. Now, with the Christmas holiday season in sight, leaders in France, Germany and Italy indicated this week that ski slopes…

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McKinsey Proposed Paying Pharmacy Companies Rebates for OxyContin Overdoses

When Purdue Pharma agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving OxyContin, the Justice Department noted the role an unidentified consulting company had played in driving sales of the addictive painkiller even as public outrage grew over widespread overdoses. Documents released last week in a federal bankruptcy court in New York show that…

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How US Hospitals Are Stretched Way Too Thin Due to Covid-19

In excruciating pain with lesions on her face and scalp, Tracey Fine lay for 13 hours on a gurney in an emergency room hallway. All around her, Covid-19 patients filled the beds of the hospital in Madison, Wis. Her nurse was so harried that she could not remember Ms. Fine’s condition, and the staff was…

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Love Letter: Craving Comfort and Connection

By Charanna Alexander Since the onset of Covid-19, many people have found themselves feeling nostalgic for more certain times. For C Pam Zhang, the writer of this week’s Modern Love essay, her quick cure for heartache, grief and the isolation of the pandemic is the simple pleasure of her favorite childhood treat — crispy, golden…

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The Coziest White Bean Stew

Hello and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. Margaux here, filling in for Emily this week. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, whatever that looked like for you this year. Mine was small and different, but kind of perfect? It’s been a challenging several months in so many ways, and yet I’ve also never felt…

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Biden’s Plan for Seniors Is Not Just a Plan for Seniors

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has no shortage of ideas about how to transform caregiving. One striking feature of his team’s plan: It does not address elder care separately from child care, or divide plans to support family caregivers from those for paid caregivers. Rather, it takes on Medicaid benefits for older and disabled adults,…

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Ghost Ships

“We’re jumping in here?” I ask my sister, as we rush to jam fins on our feet and sling snorkels over salty ponytails. Nervousness lodges in my throat as I consider the blue deep that goes on forever under the catamaran’s rolling hull. Her husband keeps the 40-foot boat a short distance from the waves…

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