These women lost their sense of smell with coronavirus
Medical experts are beginning to consider anosmia, the loss of smell, as an official symptom of the coronavirus. Lily contributor Soo Youn spoke with three women who have experienced it. Mary Hamilton, a 41-year-old dentist in New York, said that after experiencing coughing, exhaustion and chest pain, she stopped being able to smell or taste things. “I’ll stick my nose in our container of coffee hoping to smell something but I get nothing,” she said.
We’re also writing about what it’s like to be a woman living alone right now. We are looking for women who live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment, who are working or taking classes from home because of the coronavirus, and who are seeing very few other people. If this sounds like you, fill out our form.
The states banning abortion during the pandemic
What we know about pregnancy and coronavirus
A recommendation for candles
Today’s featured news
(iStock; Lily illustration)
States are banning abortion under new CDC guidelines
Access to abortion has come to the fore amid the pandemic. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that nonessential and elective medical procedures should be postponed indefinitely, Ohio, Texas and Mississippi deemed abortions “nonessential,” making them temporarily illegal. More states are likely to follow, experts say. Now, abortion providers are scrambling to determine which procedures are still legal, and have no idea how long the bans will last. As Lily staff writer Caroline Kitchener reports, abortion providers say the bans will disproportionately affect low-income women: While covid-19 has made it more difficult to leave certain states, women who can afford to travel probably still will.
New York’s expectant mothers won’t have to give birth alone
Last week, two hospital networks in New York City, New York-Presbyterian and Mount Sinai, decided to ban support people from labor and delivery rooms due to the pandemic. But for women who faced the prospect of delivering alone, that will no longer be the case: On Saturday, Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D), announced that an executive order would be issued requiring all hospitals to allow non-sick partners in labor and delivery rooms. State officials say women preparing to give birth will also not be required to be isolated from their partner or family while recovering post-delivery.
—Macy Freeman, Multiplatform Editor at The Washington Post
Military draft should include women, panel says
A final report from a bipartisan, congressionally mandated commission said that the Selective Service System should “expand draft eligibility to all individuals of the applicable age cohort.” As NPR reports, since 1980, only men with U.S. citizenship between 18 and 25 have been required to register with the Selective Service System. In a call with reporters, Debra Wada, the panel’s vice chair for military service, said:
“A qualified and capable force means we must extend the registration requirement to all Americans, men and women.”
In 2015, then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter opened all positions in the armed forces to women, including combat duty. Action by Congress is still required to modify the Selective Service Act to include women.
News by the numbers
What does it mean to be pregnant in a pandemic? As Lily contributor Abigail Higgins reports, there’s still a lot that we don’t know about how covid-19 affects pregnancy. There is limited research so far, but one analysis, based on 38 pregnant women with covid-19 in China and their infants, showed there’s no evidence that infected mothers will pass the virus on to their fetus. However, the real unknowns lie in how health-care systems, stretched to their breaking points, will accommodate pregnant women; experts are worried about the impact of disruptions in maternal health care. Read the full story here.
2. After the announcement that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be postponed until 2021, many athletes, including swimmer Katie Ledecky and runner Allyson Felix, expressed disappointment and uncertainty. The decision was a big deal: The Games have only been canceled for world wars and never postponed.
3. In a victory for Japan’s #KuToo movement, which challenged strict dress codes for women, Japan Airlines struck a requirement for female flight attendants to wear high heels or skirts. Starting next month, female crew members will be able to choose footwear that “best fits their needs.”
5. Last year, Tara Reade was one of several women to allege former vice president Joe Biden had kissed or touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable. In an interview with podcast host Katie Halper last week, Reade alleged Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 when she worked in his Senate office. Biden’s campaign denied Reade’s allegation.
A single panel from Pepita Sandwich
A quick Q&A
This week, we hear from artist Autumn Knight
(Courtesy of Autumn Knight)
Autumn Knight is an interdisciplinary artist working with performance, installation, video and text. Her performance work has been on view at various institutions, including the New Museum and the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Remembering her first piece of art: “It was probably a drawing. I’ve been doing art since I was very young. I went to an elementary school that had a full arts program, so I’ve always had a specialized art education.”
How she’d describe her performances: “Humor and discomfort are two things that come up over and over again. But you know, I think most of that is because there is interaction between myself and the audience. I think that in some ways is an automatic feeling of discomfort for an audience member.”
Why she includes audiences in her performances: “My intention is to see what’s there in the interaction, in the encounter. To examine some tough issues through an absurd lens so that there’s that distance from the issue.”
Being cooped up inside, I have been lighting candles more than ever. They provide a sweet moment of relaxation, even luxury. When I first moved to Washington, D.C., my roommate bought me a Homesick candle for San Francisco, where I’m originally from. Since then, it really has smelled like home — fresh, sea breeze-y. Mine’s almost out of wax, so I just put in another order. It also makes me feel connected to all my loved ones who are hunkered down there. Maybe I should send my parents a D.C. candle, so they can feel connected to me here, too. —Lena Felton, muliplatform editor