Isolation and opioids during the pandemic



a close up of a woman: A Woman Alone


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In our new era of nearly unparalleled upheaval, as a pandemic ravages the bodies of some and the minds of nearly everyone, as the associated economic damage disposes of the livelihoods of many, and as even the promise of democracy fades, the people whose lives were already on a razor’s edge — who were vulnerable and isolated before the advent of Covid-19 — are in far greater danger than ever before.

Against this backdrop, many of us are scanning the news for any sign of hope, any small flicker of light whose gleam could indicate that everything, somehow, is going to be okay. In fact, there is just such a flicker coming from those who have been through the worst of it and have made it out the other side.

I spoke with Rafael Rodriguez of Holyoke, Massachusetts, on a

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Ignoring isolation request from NHS app is not illegal

Matt Hancock said today on Times Radio it wouldn't be illegal to ignore a message from the coronavirus app telling you to go into self-isolation. (PA)
Matt Hancock said today on Times Radio it wouldn’t be illegal to ignore a message from the coronavirus app telling you to go into self-isolation. (PA)

It will not be illegal to ignore the NHS app telling you to self-isolate, Matt Hancock confirmed today.

Speaking on Times Radio the health secretary said it was not mandatory to enter self-isolation if the app told you to, but it is if an NHS test and trace member of staff tells you to.

On Monday it will be illegal in England to not enter self-isolation after being told to do so by a staff member of NHS test and trace, with the threat of a £10,000 fine.

Hancock said: “If the app tells you to self isolate then you should self isolate, if an NHS test and trace contact tracer tells you to then you must by law.”

Watch: How does the Covid-19

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What Research in Antarctica Tells Us about the Science of Isolation

Over the past few months, the phrase “social distancing” has entered our lexicon. Many of us have found ourselves separated from family and friends—or at least from our normal social lives. As humans grapple with pandemic-induced isolation, science is starting to offer insight into what may be happening in our brains when our social contact with others is dramatically reduced.

That insight happens to come from a place with more penguins than people.

Tim Heitland of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research in Germany spent 14 months in Antarctica between 2016 and 2018. When he returned, daily life felt overwhelming—everything from the colors and vegetation to all the other people. Part of the shock may have come from returning with a different brain than the one he left with.

While the members of Heitland’s crew conducted research on the earth’s iciest continent, they themselves were

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