This article is part of our Women and Leadership special section, which focuses on approaches taken by women, minorities or other disadvantaged groups challenging traditional ways of thinking.In 2014, when Ebola was raging across West Africa and terrifying the world, Sheila Davis had a comfortable desk job in Boston.But Dr. Davis, who holds a Ph.D.…
This article is part of our Women and Leadership special section, which focuses on approaches taken by women, minorities or other disadvantaged groups challenging traditional ways of thinking.In 2014, when Ebola was raging across West Africa and terrifying the world, Sheila Davis had a comfortable desk job in Boston.But Dr. Davis, who holds a Ph.D.…
At 66, Bob Karger was losing language. It was not the tip-of-the-tongue feeling that melts when you recall a sought-after word. He had lost the connection between sounds and meaning — the way ba-na-na recalls a soft, yellow fruit or ea-gle calls to mind a large bird of prey. In a recent conversation, he had…
A Defense of Clowns

A Defense of Clowns

Joaquin Phoenix’s murderous clown in the film “Joker” has stirred up serious concerns about violence this fall. And for many people, the role of a clown as supervillain bolsters a long-held conviction that double-faced clowns are evil.But I’m here to offer a defense. As the mother of a child with special needs, clowns helped lighten…
When I was 12, my mother’s 32-year-old sister Emily experienced a berry-aneurysm rupture, which caused a stroke. One day she had a headache that she said felt like being hit with a two-by-four. She went on with life, and then collapsed the next week. The executive assistant whose fingers typed so fast that they blurred…
A Florida woman who cared for her disabled adult grandson on weekends faces second-degree murder charges after she told the police she gave him a fatal overdose over concerns about who would care for him when she died, the authorities said.The police responded to a call on Sunday afternoon in Bradenton, Fla., about 40 miles…
It’s not uncommon in the United States for two parents to spend long hours working hard — but the one who works outside the home is paid for it, while the one who does housework and child care is paid nothing. Now, several Democratic presidential candidates are proposing that parents who stay home to care…
I am typing this from inside an indoor playground in Portland. We are new to town, it’s the tail end of summer and my 4-year-old daughter can’t start her new preschool until next week. It’s also raining, and our house is full of boxes. We took a bus here and paid $11 to enter, and…
A New Wave of Caregivers: Men

A New Wave of Caregivers: Men

Third of three articles. Read the first article, on paid family leave, here, and the second, on state child support, here. When you hear the word “caregiver,” what image comes to mind?Most likely it is a woman in her 40s — someone tucking her children in with a phone call to her aging mother before…
America’s opioid epidemic will go down in history alongside the Spanish flu, typhoid, polio and AIDS as one of our worst public health disasters. Between 1999 and 2017, almost 218,000 people in the United States died from overdoses connected to prescription opioids, and almost as many more died from overdoses connected to illicit opioids. Of…
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