AP Exams, Difficulty Concentrating, and a Mexican Beer Shortage

A roundup of stories we’re reading about Covid-19 today

Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog
2 min readMay 11, 2020

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  • Each year, high schoolers hoping to earn college credits take Advanced Placement exams in a classroom or examination hall, but the 3.4 million students signed up to do so this year will have a different experience, reports NPR. The pandemic has forced the grueling exams to be administered online, raising questions about fairness; many students in the U.S. still lack consistent internet access.
  • Science historians interviewed by the New York Times attempted to answer a question that’s on everyone’s minds: How will the pandemic end? There are two ways to think about it. Medically “ending” the pandemic means eliminating or eradicating the virus from the global population, but from a social perspective, “ending” might just mean learning to live alongside it. Both options are messy.
  • If you’ve felt your brain is foggier than usual during the pandemic, rest assured that you’re not alone. Neuroscientists tell the New Statesman the stress of Covid-19 does a number on your prefrontal cortex, a chunk of the brain behind your forehead that controls the ability to focus but is also very sensitive to spikes in stress. Concentration apps and other interventions, like reading aloud, can help (I’m partial to the Pomodoro Technique).
  • A black market for beer has emerged in Mexico after the production and distribution of the nation’s beloved cervezas — like Modelo, Tecate, Dos Equis, and Corona — was deemed nonessential by the government in April. The Washington Post reports commuters who pick up a few six-packs on the way home across the U.S.–Mexico border have supplied about 20% of the population with cold ones, but demand is still surging. According to one brewer: “It’s like toilet paper.”

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Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.