For a moment in the early 20th century, the world thrilled to new and utopian modes of domestic life. In 1930s Manhattan, apartment blocks were built with dumb waiters to ferry food to individual units from centralised kitchens (many of these Art Deco monoliths still visible if you’re strolling around Midtown); in Vienna, apartments were designed around communal nurseries and laundries; and in Israel’s agricultural kibbutzim, childcare, laundries and food preparation were socialised, redistributing the domestic work that usually fell to individual wives amongst specialists (if these specialists were, typically, other women). This, of course, was a moment before the…

journalist, London, UK

They are debilitating conditions that leave patients with muscle pain, headaches, brain fog, autonomic nervous system disruption and post-exertional fatigue that can make even the simplest of daily activities an uphill challenge.

And when Maddy Corper, a 56-year-old train driver from Hertfordshire, found that she was struggling with post-exertional fatigue, brain fog and sleep disturbance two months after falling ill with covid-19, the sensation of wading through her daily life felt eerily familiar.

“I knew I had long covid before I was diagnosed,” says Corper, who in her 30s recovered from seven years largely bedbound with CFS/ME…

In a 2014 study on a cohort of her undergraduates at Boston University, psychology professor Deborah Belle posed a riddle. A father and son are in a car crash that kills the father. The son is rushed to the hospital requiring emergency surgery. Just as he’s about to go under the knife the surgeon says: “Stop: I can’t operate on this boy: he’s my son!” Who is the surgeon?

If you concluded that the surgeon is the boy’s mother you’re amongst a surprising minority — 14 percent of the student cohort and 15 percent in a follow-up study of children…

Sally Howard

Journalist for British broadsheets, Radio 4 and The British Medical Journal @wanderingsal

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