A blue mask rests on top of an eviction notice
The end of the pandemic may bring a flood of evictions. (Shutterstock)

Last March, Dr. Norrinda Hayat organized her first Twitterstorm. An assistant law professor at Rutgers Law School and the director of the Civil Justice Law Clinic in Newark, Hayat rallied her students and online community to spend a day tweeting to halt evictions in New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After having sat in on eviction court hearings in October of 2019 at the Essex County Courthouse, Hayat knew it wasn’t realistic to continue evicting people during the pandemic. “You know how packed it is, how many people are close together, how small the court is, how hot it gets,”…


one of those college streets (Image Source: Remax)

My professor walked into class on Wednesday morning wearing a full suit and Jordans. This, he said, was his walking outfit.

At the end of class, he took us on a tour of downtown New Brunswick. More specifically, a section of town called Unity Square.

To give you some context, New Brunswick is both a college town and a city. Near my university, there are three or four well-known streets where restaurants and shops cater to a young demographic. You’ll see things like vegan places, Instagram-worthy date spots, and a Rite-Aid for everything your dorm room would ever need. A…


(Image Source: Pharmacy Times)

My university is closing all of our on-campus pharmacies. Until I started reporting on it, I didn’t really care.

Honestly, this happens with a lot of healthcare-related news. We hear about or read about industry changes, recalls, and research but unless it directly relates to us, we scroll past all of it. Frankly, we do that with all news.

Last semester, I started writing for my campus newspaper. That means that every week, I pick two issues or stories that I care about or find interesting, the kind of things that would make me do a double-take on my Twitter…


(Image Source: ABC News)

This past summer, over 215 patients were hospitalized with mysterious respiratory problems. The majority were young and healthy despite having difficulty breathing, severe nausea, and fevers. A handful of these patients ended up in the ICU, in comas, or on ventilators. In Illinois, a young woman died after experiencing similar problems.

All of these cases are tied to vaping.

The term “vaping,” comes from the misconception that the vapor produced from the e-cigarettes, vape pens, or JUULs, is water vapor or steam. In reality, each device heats an e-liquid that produces an aerosol that the user inhales and exhales.

The…


CUSCO, PERU — An elderly woman wearing five sweaters shuffled through her purse to find the pills she had been taking. She pulled out a small sheet of four pills and another sheet of two pills.

This woman, like many patients at the clinic, had used antibiotics to cure her common cold, taking two pills here and three pills there as soon as her throat started to hurt. After one or two days, she’d be cured and would stop taking the pills.

In the United States, federal law states that the purchase of all antibiotics requires a doctor’s prescription. Why…


If you want to learn more about the existential crisis I have almost every day, you’re in luck. The New York Times just wrote about it.

“How Medicine Became the Stealth Family-Friendly Profession” was published this morning and talks about what medicine can teach other career fields about being family-friendly. Family-friendly, meaning it’s more common for female doctors to continue working after having children than female lawyers, female engineers, etc.

The article shares the story of Britni Herbert, a chief oncology resident who switched her specialty to internal medicine and geriatrics after having twins. With more flexible hours, she’s now…


the eclectic inside of laggart cafe

Tucked in a corner of Cusco’s bohemian district of San Blas is the quaint Laggart Cafe. There, they serve a delicious passionfruit cake and support local artists by displaying and selling their work.

You can pass hours here working and listening to smooth jazz, but you can also order one of a number of their medicinal infusions or teas.

As I flipped through the cafe’s menu, I was surprised to see a page that had more medicine than food. There were teas labeled for everyday medicinal needs: an anti-fever tea and an anti-gastritis tea, just to name a few. …


coca candy in stores (Image Source: Pedro Szekely, Flickr)

In almost every bodega on every corner in Cusco, there is a rack full of small bags of green candy. In La Plaza de Armas, the center of the city, men and women dressed in cultural garb will approach tourists and try to sell the same bags of green candy.

This candy is made of coca leaves, which are considered an herbal remedy for what locals call “sorroche,” or altitude sickness. Coca leaves are the raw material for cocaine and when unrefined and unprocessed, provide vitamins and minerals that boost metabolism and help “gringos,” or foreigners, adjust to the altitude…


For the past two to three weeks, my Instagram stories have been one thing: blue.

People have been changing their profile pictures to a particular shade of blue and reposting the same text-image that promises one meal for Sudanese children per every follow and share.

the post that was circulating on Instagram stories

This phenomenon is called the Sudan Meal Project. It’s an example of what I think is a new kind of grassroots movement that is taking the world of social-good by storm.

Whether it’s providing clean water to communities, planting trees, or making donations, a number of groups have made 2019 the year of Instagram charity…


Global Brigades’ impact model — It’s worth checking out their website

In March, I went to Panama for a week as part of a medical Global Brigade and helped run free clinics for various communities. During that week, about 20 other students from my university and I stayed at a compound, prepared posters and presentations to give to patients and children, packed medication for our makeshift pharmacy, and practiced taking vitals. Each day, we’d spend seven-ish hours at the clinic, taking vitals, recording patient history, helping out with dental procedures and eye exams, observing medical consultations, and reminding kids to brush their teeth. The communities were so welcoming and it was…

Aparna Ragupathi

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