One last party, one last dance, then goodbye: College students decamp in the age of covid-19

WELLESLEY, Mass. — Hundreds of college seniors wearing graduation gowns stood in a line Saturday morning, then bent over and stuck one arm inside a large hoop — some wooden hoops, some plastic hoops conscripted for the purpose. “Ready. Set. Go!” a junior shouted, and each senior began twirling an arm to set their hoop rolling. Graduating seniors at Wellesley College have performed this hoop-rolling ritual for most of the school’s 145 years — but not on chilly March mornings at the end of midterms. Like so many other colleges throughout the country, Wellesley is making drastic changes to protect students and their communities from the covid-19 pandemic. Instead of months to wind down their co

Her son died. Two decades later, she met the medical student who got his heart

The young man handed her a stethoscope, opened his shirt, and pointed to where she should place it. Hesitantly, she reached forward, pressed it to his skin, and broke into tears. The heart Elisabeth Tilly heard inside the chest of a 25-year-old stranger was the same that once beat inside her son. Christopher, age 8, was killed more than two decades ago, by a truck barreling through a crosswalk in front of his elementary school. But the memory of her grievously injured son lying in a Salt Lake City hospital is still raw. A few doors down from Christopher, 4-year-old Jon Hochstein was fighting for his life. His heart had enlarged, damaged beyond repair, perhaps by a passing virus, or just bad

About me

Cover COVID-19 

and patient safety

for USA Today.

Former long-time health/science

journalist, contributing to The

New York Times, The Washington Post, 

Scientific, and others. Journalism educator and book author.


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