Just before this issue went to press, Scientific American published a news story describing a new condition coined by psychologists: cave syndrome. Uniquely relevant to the COVID world, those who experience it fear leaving home and interacting as they did before the pandemic, even though they have been fully vaccinated. Several members of my close circle could easily fit this description—despite having gotten their shots, they can’t imagine doing all the things they once did, like going into their friends’ apartments, meeting dates unmasked or eating indoors at a restaurant.
In this collection’s cover story, physician Carolyn Barber surveys the experts about how much freedom a vaccination truly confers (see “So What Can People Actually Do after Being Vaccinated?”). As she discovers, the science is young and constantly changing, giving cave syndromers a steady stream of variables and guidance to contend with.
COVID has other strange lingering effects: writer Claudia Wallis investigates the link between the disease and the onset of diabetes (see “Unraveling the Complex Link between COVID and Diabetes”). And journalist Mike May details all the other viral and bacterial threats lurking in the wings for humans to contend with (see “Tomorrow’s Biggest Microbial Threats”). But for now let’s all get out the door and begin healing from COVID-19 as best we can.