I Wrote a Novel About an Epidemic. Here’s What Living Through One Taught Me.

jhon yudha

The question arrives via email, DM, Facebook message. The wording varies, but boils down to this: Do you feel like you’re living in your own novel?



a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, Christopher Gower/Unsplash, chokja/iStock/Getty Images Plus, and Anshu A/Unsplash.


© Provided by Slate
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, Christopher Gower/Unsplash, chokja/iStock/Getty Images Plus, and Anshu A/Unsplash.

The Weight of Ink—the book these messages refer to—is partially set during London’s devastating 1665–66 plague outbreak. And yes, there’s an abundance of similarities between that 17th century catastrophe and ours—so much so that in my replies to these readers, I make sure to also underscore what I find reassuring. Unlike our 17th century counterparts, we live in a world of genome sequencing and double-blind studies. However devastating the mortality rate in this epidemic, it won’t match the 60–90 percent mortality rate of pre-antibiotics plague.

But my replies have felt hollow. I’ve avoided admitting the

Read More

The Mental Health Trauma of the Black Maternal Mortality Crisis

jhon yudha

Inequality is rampant throughout the health care system: Women of color are more likely to die of breast cancer, heart disease, and COVID-19, and more likely to report chronic, severe anxiety. There are many reasons—gaps in biomedical research, deliberate discrimination and racism, lack of resources, lack of empathy—all of which come to a head when a Black woman gets pregnant. Black women in the United States are three to five times more likely to die from pregnancy or postpartum issues than white women, a maternal mortality crisis that cannot be ignored. In Glamour’s Black Maternal Health series, we’re sharing these stories—and solutions.

Freedom Smith was scared to scream during childbirth. She was a 21-year-old single mother-to-be with no insurance, no family support, and no stable prenatal care, and the words of the staff in the maternity ward had weighed heavily on her mind. “I had a

Read More

A Complete Transformation: St. Luke’s Fitness Center Opens

jhon yudha

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

St. Luke's School has opened a new Wellness & Fitness Center
St. Luke’s School has opened a new Wellness & Fitness Center

The reimagined space includes a new weight training zone, a cardio-specific training area, a two-story rock climbing wall, a new viewing area for squash, a running ramp, and a turf training area.

The Class of 2020 Cardio and Training Mezzanine is home to six Peloton Bikes generously donated by the Barkley family. The cardio zone has two treadmills, two ellipticals, two rowing machines, and two additional exercise bikes for the St. Luke’s students and faculty to enjoy.

The weight room has

Read More