Ed Yong Profile picture
Science writer at The Atlantic. Many words; some awards. Author of I Contain Multitudes (2016). Married to Liz Neeley. Parent to Typo https://t.co/znswoodKfp (he/him)
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Jan 18,
My new book—AN IMMENSE WORLD—comes out this summer. It’s about how other animals sense the world, and the very different version of reality that they perceive.

Here’s a thread about the book, why I wrote it, and why I hope you'll enjoy it. 1/

bookshop.org/books/an-immen… Two covers of An Immense Wo... All animals share the same world, but every species perceives a mere sliver of it. Each is trapped in a unique sensory bubble. This book is my attempt to step inside those bubbles, and imagine what it's truly like to be a bat—or a whale, spider, scallop, or star-nosed mole. 2/
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Jan 14,
It's real!

This cover is for the UK edition, out Jun 22.

The US edition is out Jul 12 w/ a different cover; I'll show you that one in a couple of days, and say more about what this book's about and why I hope you'll enjoy it. And yes, that is Typo (my corgi) on the cover.
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Jan 12,
I've interviewed a lot of health-care workers over the last two years, at various points of the pandemic.

Here's something you should bear in mind as you read these stories (and their first-hand accounts) about what they're experiencing. 1/

theatlantic.com/health/archive… I've often found that health-care workers are at their rawest and most emotionally vulnerable in the lulls, when hospitals are quieter (tho not quiet) and they can exhale and process. That's when people have just broken down on the phone. Or quit. 2/
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Jan 12,
🚨I wrote about the debate about whether people are being hospitalized "for COVID" or just "with COVID".

Many supposedly 'incidental' infections are being misleadingly described & minimized.

And whatever the case, hospitals are in serious trouble 1/

theatlantic.com/health/archive… Yes, some COVID hospitalizations really are incidental--someone breaks a limb and only finds out they have COVID when tested.

These exist, but the docs & nurses I've spoken to all say they're uncommon. 2/

theatlantic.com/health/archive…
Read 9 tweets
Jan 7,
🚨I wrote about what this surge is doing to the healthcare system.
It's bad.
Though less severe, Omicron is spreading quickly enough to inundate hospitals, which can't handle the strain cos so many healthcare workers had quit or are now sick. 1/
theatlantic.com/health/archive… The most important thing about this surge: It comes *after all the others*, & finds a workforce that’s exhausted, demoralized, & smaller because of waves of resignations.
Today’s system can’t handle what it used to handle. It must now handle a LOT. 2/ theatlantic.com/health/archive…
Read 16 tweets
Dec 23, 2021
I'm going to log off and try and take a break.

This piece lays out the stakes for the next few weeks.

And here's one last thread reflecting on my experience of covering the pandemic's second year. 1/

theatlantic.com/health/archive… I think the pandemic traps us (people broadly, and journalists specifically) in the present moment, always reacting (too late) to the current surge or lull. But to really understand how we got here and how to get out, we need to grapple with the past, both recent and distant. 2/
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Dec 17, 2021
I turn 40 today. I was planning to have a party but I canceled it last week because of Omicron.

I wrote about why I made that call, and how I thought about the risks—to myself, to my friends, and to our society. 1/

theatlantic.com/health/archive… This piece isn't a lecture or advice column. It's just me walking through my thoughts as I try to apply the lessons learned from my reporting to my own life.

I know many people are struggling with decisions about gatherings so maybe this might help. 2/

theatlantic.com/health/archive…
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Dec 16, 2021
🚨Well, I wrote about Omicron--what we know & what it means.

I feel the core problem is unchanged: The variant poses a much greater threat at the societal level than the individual one, making it the kind of problem the US has consistently flubbed. 1/
theatlantic.com/health/archive… First, a clarification. It's v. easy to ascribe everything to the new variant but even if Omicron hadn’t emerged, we’d still looking at a bad winter.

Hospitalizations are rising. 1000+ deaths /day. That’s Delta. What’ll Omicron do *on top of that*? 2/
theatlantic.com/health/archive…
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Nov 24, 2021
🚨I wrote about healthcare workers with long-COVID, & how their experience changed their view of medicine.

HCWs & long-haulers are often framed in opposition, but here's the story of people who sit across both worlds. 1/

theatlantic.com/health/archive… Most medically trained long-haulers I interviewed were shocked at how quick their own peers were to disregard their medical expertise and tell them their symptoms were in their heads. Their status as patients completely subsumed their qualifications. 2/
theatlantic.com/health/archive…
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Nov 23, 2021
We published this a week ago. Every day since, my inbox has filled with emails from HCWs who say it reflects their reality & mental state. Their messages are heartbreaking--stories of pain, anger, and moral distress, sometimes at essay-length, from people who've had enough. There are people who want to leave but are trapped by debt, people who saw medicine as a calling but can't cope any more, people who feel so hollow that they're strangers to their loved ones, people who are staring at what looks a lot like another winter surge with utter horror.
Read 7 tweets
Nov 16, 2021
🚨During surges, much is written about healthcare workers burning out. But they often get by on adrenaline only to find, once ICUs are empty, that so are they.

In the US, 1/5 have left. More plan too. I wrote about the hemorrhage happening right now. 1/ theatlantic.com/health/archive… I spoke to so many healthcare workers who’ve been broken by the pandemic—by the traumas they saw, the institutions that failed them, the moral distress of being unable to do their job. Many thought they were in medicine for life. They’ve quit, too. 2/

theatlantic.com/health/archive…
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Nov 10, 2021
End of an era. Flash Forward was a singular thing.

And no single journalist more heavily influenced my approach to pandemic coverage than Rose.

For years, I've marvelled at how she seamlessly wove science with history, culture, and sociology... 1/3

🧵
... how she eschewed easy technocratic solutions to complex problems; how she centered disabled, queer, POC, and other marginalized voices; and perhaps most importantly, how she maintained a core of hope even when talking about the bleakest futures. 2/3
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Nov 3, 2021
The whales killed during the 20th century collectively weighed 2x more than all the wild mammals alive today.

A new study reveals the enormous hole that their slaughter left in the ocean, and suggests a bold path for restoration.

My latest: theatlantic.com/science/archiv… Pre-industrial whaling, whales ate 2x as much krill as exist today every year. Or 2x the global fisheries catch.

Which was fine because their poop fertilized the same food webs that they gorged upon. When the whales were killed, those webs imploded.
theatlantic.com/science/archiv…
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Oct 25, 2021
There's a lot of Facebook coverage out there today, but I want to especially highlight this piece by Adrienne, not just because it's amazing in itself, but because it represents the latest of a deeply incisive series, all of which you should read 1/
Pair it, for example, with this piece from last December about Facebook as a doomsday machine. 2/ theatlantic.com/technology/arc…
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Oct 23, 2021
🚨I wrote about public health’s history; why it spent the 20thC moving away from broad coalitions, political advocacy, and a crusading spirit that actively pushed for social reforms; and why it must regain those things to be relevant and effective. 1/ theatlantic.com/health/archive… Public health is often cast as an underdog, invisible & ignored. That’s not the full story. In the 20thC, it made choices that silenced its voice, reduced its constituency, minimized its power. It “actively participated in its own marginalization.” 2/ theatlantic.com/health/archive…
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Oct 8, 2021
I wrote about planarian flatworms that reproduce by tearing themselves in two.

Each piece behaves like a full animal; the front of the tail fragment will start acting like a head.

Each piece will regenerate a complete body, regrowing a brain if needed

theatlantic.com/science/archiv… This piece begins with an animal ripping itself in two. And then it gets weird. theatlantic.com/science/archiv…
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Oct 2, 2021
This is the introductory essay that I wrote for the Best American Science & Nature Writing Anthology, which I edited this year. (Out Oct 12)

It’s about what it means to be a science writer, and how the pandemic changed the way I think about the field.

theatlantic.com/science/archiv… Here’s the anthology, which you can preorder. I’m so proud of this selection and the 26 amazing writers whose pieces are featured. bookshop.org/books/the-best…
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Sep 29, 2021
🚨Here's my new piece about our great challenge—control this pandemic while ALSO averting the next. For centuries, the US has been stuck in a Sisyphean cycle of panic & neglect. It can break that loop, but the window of opportunity is already closing. 1/
theatlantic.com/health/archive… The opening chapter of the next pandemic is being written right now. I know, I know. Next one?! Can’t we get through this one first? No, sadly, we can't. History tells us we don't have time. Learn from the past immediately, or repeat it imminently. 2/
theatlantic.com/health/archive…
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Sep 1, 2021
🚨I wrote a new piece about long-COVID, its future, and what long-haulers want.

The biomedical community is paying more attention but research is slow & often disregards the vast expertise that long-haulers have amassed about their own condition. 1/

theatlantic.com/science/archiv… When I first reported on long COVID last June, few scientists or medics knew about it. When I described it to one disease expert, he said, “That’s unusual.” But it wasn’t—even then.

Things are better now. More recognition, coverage, studies. But… 2/

theatlantic.com/science/archiv…
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Aug 12, 2021
🚨I wrote a big piece about how Delta affects the pandemic endgame.

Many folks are upset & confused by the last month. Here's an attempt to reset expectations, lay out our goals, map the near-term future, & show how the pandemic ends--which it will. 1/

theatlantic.com/health/archive… The bottom line: Vaccines remain the best way for *individuals* to protect themselves, but *societies* can't treat them as the only defense. Delta is so transmissible that vacc'n can blunt it, but we still need masks & the rest. 2/

theatlantic.com/health/archive…
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Jul 22, 2021
🚨Unvaccinated people aren't a monolith. It's a huge mistake to treat them all as anti-vaxxers who are being selfish or antagonistic.

I spoke to @RheaBoydMD about why some folks are still unvaccinated, what to do about it, & why she's still hopeful. 1/

theatlantic.com/health/archive… .@RheaBoydMD's views on vaccines, and why some people still haven't got theirs, are smart and nuanced. Perhaps more importantly, they're also wise and compassionate. She has certainly helped me rethink the problem. I hope you'll read this interview 2/ theatlantic.com/health/archive…
Read 6 tweets