Light at the End of COVID Tunnel

From eNewsletter 4/20/2020

DID YOU KNOW that cigarette smokers who aren't even smoking in front of you can still make the environment around you toxic? For the last decade, third-hand smoke has been described as the residual contamination from cigarette smoking that adheres to walls and other surfaces in places where smoking has previously occurred. Now, for the first time, third-hand smoke has been found to travel in large quantities into indoor, non-smoking environments by way of humans. The research suggests that even if someone is in a room where no one has smoked, that person could still be exposed to many of the hazardous chemical compounds that make up cigarette smoke, depending on who else had entered the room or previously visited it. The results were published in Science Advances. The researchers tracked thousands of compounds over the course of a week in a movie theater. A diverse range of volatile organic compounds found in tobacco smoke were found. The gas emissions were equal to that of being exposed to 1-10 cigarettes of secondhand smoke in a one-hour period. Now aren't you glad you're homebound?!


Light at the end of COVID tunnel? Discussion of how to safely remove shelter at home orders has begun.

While this should give us reason for optimism, we need to prepare ourselves for the new normal. Many aspects of our lives will still be temporarily, and in some cases permanently, altered. Pandemics have a way of doing this.

Remember last week we mentioned that socially, humans are amazingly adaptable? Taking this a step further, we'd like to ease your worry about young people having too much exposure to screens, smartphones and social media.

According to a new study from American Journal of Sociology, young people today are just as socially skilled as those from the previous generation.

Researchers compared teacher and parent evaluations of children who started kindergarten in 1998, six years before Facebook launched, with those who began school in 2010, when the first iPad debuted. Results showed both groups of kids were rated similarly on interpersonal skills such as the ability to form and maintain friendships and get along with people who are different. They were also rated similarly on self-control, such as the ability to regulate their temper. In virtually every comparison they made, either social skills stayed the same or actually went up modestly for the children born later. There's very little evidence that screen exposure was problematic for the growth of social skills.