public health

Analyzing the effects of mask-wearing and social distancing on brain development in children

Throughout Homo sapiens’ rich history, our species has evolved to become deeply social animals. For instance, the first hunter-gatherers lived in bands, allowing their members to depend on each other for food and resources. Similarly, our most basic unit of community—the family—reflects our ability to develop deep relationships that often last us a lifetime. The unique social aspect of the human species has become so intrinsic to us that it’s even embedded in our biology; for example, during a child’s developmental years, their brains process social cues (e.g. facial expressions, reactions, and speech) to create complex neural circuits governing how they interact with others for the rest of their lives.

However, over the past few months, COVID-19 has greatly limited our ability to have social interactions. As experts believe this pandemic will last several years, mask-wearing will become a common ritual in our day-to-day lives, making most of the faces we see partially hidden. In addition, our in-person interactions will drastically decrease as we move to technology platforms. Could this affect the way our children interact with and treat each other?

public health

How COVID-19 is affecting the BLM movement: An intersection of public health and racial justice

In the last few weeks, we have seen a tremendous increase in awareness about racial inequality in America. Fortunately, progress is occurring at an accelerating pace thanks to the tireless efforts of protesters and activists. Because of our country’s history, protesting is deeply symbolic of our core American identity, as it represents our defiance towards injustice and wrongdoing. Now more than ever, it’s our duty to exercise our rights to speech by protesting for equality. However, due to the unfortunate intersection of this movement with the spread of the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement is being impacted in many ways.

anthropology, public health

How coronavirus has affected human cultures and religions around the world [Podcast]

Author’s note: At Anthro Analyst, we often analyze societal issues about public health from an anthropological perspective. In doing so, we try to provide unique insight into global public health trends and offer unique commentary from the perspective of high-school students. This is the first episode of our podcast which provides us a great platform to discuss anthropological ideas in…

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public health

How social distancing affects a social species: A survey-based study of high school students

Public health experts have concluded that coronavirus is one of the greatest threats of this century. In the last month, our cities have transformed from busy hubs of commerce and activity into ghost towns. It’s clear that the world will be impacted by this pandemic for many years to come. Yet, paralleling the havoc outside, this chaos has impacted our…

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anthropology, public health, social determinants of health

Moving beyond medicine: Using the social determinants of health to address public health disparities

Author’s note: This is the first post in a series in which I’ll write about international public health disparities and societal factors contributing to public health. In these posts, I’ll delve into my journey into the field of public health, specifically focusing on eye care/visual impairments in underprivileged communities, while describing my experiences along the way. Although the traditional approach…

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anthropology, public health

Xenophobic narratives surrounding the coronavirus have spread as quickly as the deadly disease itself

Last Updated: 2/28/2020, 9:42 PM CST – Section on Chinese wildlife consumption. In the last few weeks, the coronavirus, officially termed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), has infected thousands around the world. As of February 27th, it has been responsible for almost 3,000 deaths and more than 80,000 cases over 50 countries. Escalating from a few isolated cases…

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public health

Digital eye strain in 2019: Problems, causes, and possible solutions

We Americans spend 42% of our hours awake connected to devices, a figure trending upwards over the past five years. Sound startling? It is—studies show that this increased digital time may be responsible for the recent rise in myopia and other visual impairments across the population. Is there anything we can do to prevent this? Perhaps more importantly, are such…

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public health

Addressing another outbreak of Ebola in the DRC—what needs to be done?

Ebola. Just three days ago, an outbreak of this virulent infection was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The 2014–2016 Ebola epidemic started in West Africa and has since resulted in the deaths of millions. Saying that progress is desperately needed is by far an understatement. Yet, from a policy-centered standpoint, it remains unclear exactly how we will…

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