How well is your community social distancing? This website grades states and counties.

Are people in your community being vigilant about the social distance measures we're being asked to practice?

If you just peer out your windows or walk around your neighborhood, it's hard to get an accurate gauge. Perhaps that close group of people you see is a family who lives together getting some fresh air, or maybe they're friends rebelliously gathering in public. The two guys you saw smoking off the same joint and then shaking hands with a random person on the street (true story) could be indicators of widespread ignorance, or they may just be a few fluke fools.

Unfortunately, it will be weeks before we can determine by infection numbers how well our social distancing measures have worked. But in the meantime, we have data that can give us an idea of how well people are following the directives to stay home and away from other people as much as possible.

Unacast is a company that uses smartphone GPS and mapping tools to track human activity for various data usage. (The founders originally wanted to find out where people went to concerts so they could create a better user experience for their music-streaming service in Norway.) And thanks to the ubiquity of cell phones with GPS and no one reading the fine print on where that information goes, they've created a tool to track whether or not people are socially distancing the way they should be.

To simplify the data, they've created an interactive map that's updated daily called the Covid-19 Social Distancing Scoreboard. According to how people's movement changes, they give each state and county a letter grade to let people know how social distance measures are being followed.

The county-specific information is helpful, especially in large states. My state gets a nice solid B, for example, but my county gets a big old F. Lovely.

Unacast.com

One thing that keeps coming up in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is the need for data. Who has the virus? Where are they located? How long have they been contagious? Who have they been in contact with?

Without data, we are flying blind. And though social distancing is just one piece of the puzzle, having a data-driven picture of where people are practicing it and where people aren't can help us know where we need to get the word out and perhaps even where to look for potential hot spots in the near future.

Click here to access the interactive map and see how social distancing is going in your community.

True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

Keep Reading Show less

Prior to baby formula, breastfeeding was the norm, but that doesn't mean it always worked.

As if the past handful of years weren't challenging enough, the U.S. is currently dealing with a baby formula crisis.

Due to a perfect storm of supply chain issues, product recalls, labor shortages and inflation, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with formula demand and retailers are rationing supplies. As a result, families that rely on formula are scrambling to ensure that their babies get the food they need.

Naturally, people are weighing in on the crisis, with some throwing out simplistic advice like, "Why don't you just do what people did before baby formula was invented and just breastfeed?"

That might seem logical, unless you understand how breastfeeding works and know a bit about infant mortality throughout human history.

Keep Reading Show less

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

True

The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

Your cat knows you better than you think.

Cats are often seen as being aloof or standoffish, even with their owners. Of course, that differs based on who that cat lives with and their lifetime of experience with humans. But when compared to man’s best friend, cats usually seem less interested in those around them, regardless of species.

However, a new study out of Japan has found that cats may be paying more attention to their fellow felines and human friends than most people thought. In fact, they could be listening to human conversations.

"What we discovered is astonishing," Saho Takagi, a research fellow specializing in animal science at Azabu University in Kanagawa Prefecture, told The Asahi Shimbun. "I want people to know the truth. Felines do not appear to listen to people's conversations, but as a matter of fact, they do."

How do we know they’re listening? Because the study shows that household cats often know the names of their human and feline friends.

Keep Reading Show less

Yuri has a very important message for his co-workers.

While every person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is different, there are some common communication traits that everyone should understand. Many with ASD process language literally and have a hard time understanding body language, social cues, exaggeration and cultural cues.

This can lead to misunderstandings that result in people with ASD appearing to be rude when it wasn't their intent. If more neurotypical people (those without ASD) better understood these communication differences, it’d be much easier for everyone to get along.

A perfect example of this problem and how to fix it was shared by Yuri, a transmasc person who goes by he/they, who posts on TikTok about having ADHD and ASD. In a post that has more than 2.3 million views, Yuri claims he was “booked for a disciplinary meeting for being a bad communicator.”

Keep Reading Show less