Dispatches from the Covid-19 Crisis


New York Review writers on the coronavirus outbreak around the world


The Perils of Lockdown Living
May 7, 2020
Sayed Kashua

When my panic attacks became unbearable, I switched to Fox News to calm my nerves with the promises that everything is under full control, that there is a magic cure on its way, and that the president is the biggest gift one can ask for in such challenging days.

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The Covid-19 'Infowhelm'
May 6, 2020
Heather Houser

Covid-19 is undoubtedly testing our public health, medical, and economic systems. But it’s also testing our ability to process so much frightening and imminently consequential data.

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A Very British Debacle
May 4, 2020
Jonathan Myerson

The 52 percent who voted Leave in 2016 knew the post-Brexit promises were lies and it didn’t matter. What does matter now to half the country is the chance Never To Be Told, either by experts or anyone else, let alone Johnny Foreigner.

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Pandemic Journal
May 15, 2020
Coco Fusco, Lucas Adams, Sara Nović, Gavin Francis, and Amanda Fortini, et al.

Part five of a running series of brief dispatches by New York Review writers documenting the coronavirus outbreak around the world

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Essential Yet Disposable
April 27, 2020
Maeve Higgins

The millions in America who have tax IDs, so that they can work without formal authorization, are now denied help in the form of unemployment benefits—they are the only US taxpayers excluded from the coronavirus stimulus package.

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A Virus in the Neighborhood
April 30, 2020
Åsne Seierstad

The world is in disarray. The virus has spread to all continents. It has snuck in, even among those of us who are not directly affected. It forces our true personalities to the surface. In my district in Oslo, my neighbors have become closer to who they really are. Are we in this together? “The virus is a wake-up call,” one of my doctor friends says, standing in a white bikini on a dock by the Oslo fjord. “We have messed up nature. We have exploited it in places we shouldn’t have been.”

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End Notes: Palliative Care in a Pandemic
April 24, 2020
Jamieson Webster

I helped a man to see his father on a ventilator using WhatsApp on my phone since he couldn’t figure out how to use the Zoom system on the hospital tablets. The son was in Haiti. He was told that his father was “crashing” —a word used in the hospital now for when the lungs are giving out. Computers crash, stock markets crash, cars crash. Now lungs crash. There was a strange and unexpected intimacy in seeing the son seeing his father. I can’t get the look of serenity on his face out of my mind. Some greet fate with such grace.

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Numbering the Dead
April 21, 2020
Shannon Pufahl

A hundred and fifty years ago, a strange notion: the dead could be counted. Now, we speak easily in the statistics of absence, of fifty dead in a mass shooting, of fourteen hundred missing in an earthquake, as if this has always been done.

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What One Teacher Is Learning in a Pandemic
April 19, 2020
Amber Joseph

For many, the coronavirus outbreak is illuminating the fault lines of disenfranchisement, poverty, and disparity that course through our nation.

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‘How Can I Keep My Family Safe?’
April 16, 2020
Sarah Lustbader

I hear every day from the family members of incarcerated people who are asking themselves the same thing I am now: How can I keep my family safe?

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The Lost Art of Phone Conversation
April 15, 2020
Daphne Merkin

The old-fashioned fuddy-duddy telephone—which once seemed as dated as Dorothy Parker’s short story “The Telephone Call,” in which a young woman waits desperately for a man to call—is suddenly back in style.

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The Great Pandemic Census Crisis
April 14, 2020
Rich Benjamin

The entwined crises of the coronavirus and the 2020 Census are exposing a ruthless political economy in which only certain types of people count.

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People Power & Pandemic Democracy
April 13, 2020
Corey Robin

It would be foolish to understate the obstacles to democracy in America at the moment. Yet it’s also true that solidarity, the connections that are created and sustain democracy, is often a story of surprise.

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Pandemic Journal, April 6–12
April 11, 2020
Verlyn Klinkenborg, Hugh Eakin, Dalia Hatuqa, Zoé Samudzi, and Ariel Dorfman, et al.

Part four of a running series of brief dispatches by New York Review writers documenting the coronavirus outbreak around the world

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Running Alone Together
April 10, 2020
Rose George

Wild landscape was the only thing I finally came to miss after weeks at sea. It is the only thing I miss now. I am being a good citizen, and so I must run nearby, and make do with what my city can offer me.

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A Lasting Remedy for the Economic Crisis
April 8, 2020
Joseph E. Stiglitz

For the past forty years, we’ve been underfunding government—including spending that prepares us for crises and disasters—and that’s made our economy and our society less resilient.

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Passover 2020: A Virtual Seder
April 7, 2020
Marisa Mazria Katz, with art by Molly Crabapple

With seder guests: Etgar Keret in Israel • Anna Winger in Germany • Pamela Druckerman in France • Jonathan Freedland in England • Taffy Brodesser-Akner in New Jersey • Jenny Slate in Massachusetts

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Facing a New Sinophobia
April 6, 2020
Jiwei Xiao

We have no effective testing kit for this pestilence as long as it lurks among us. It doesn’t manifest until it attacks people. Anti-Asian incidents around the globe spiked after the epidemic outbreak.

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Rear Window
April 4, 2020
Liana Finck

I’ve been watching my neighbor for months, since I moved my desk from the front of my apartment to the back. But now that she and her neighbors are the people I see most everyday, beside my boyfriend and myself in the mirror, I feel especially invested in them. Park Slope looks as picturesque as a stage set: a quality that’s easy to miss in real life, when you’re being shoved and yelled at in the food coop.

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A Paris Clinic’s First Covid-19 Delivery
April 2, 2020
Ariane Chang

It didn’t occur to me that the virus would affect anyone my age, let alone me. I was simply focused on the baby’s arrival.

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Pandemic Journal, March 30–April 5
April 5, 2020
Danny Lyon, Andrew McGee, Nicole Rudick, Ali Bhutto, and Jamie Quatro, et al.

Part three of a running series of brief dispatches by New York Review writers documenting the coronavirus outbreak around the world

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Homeschooling in a Pandemic
March 30, 2020
Emily Raboteau

“I decided that with this gift of time, we might teach our kids the things we have not yet gotten around to teaching them: how to tie their shoes, ride bikes, and tell time.”

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Pandemic Journal, March 23–29
March 29, 2020
Michael Greenberg, Aida Alami, Tolu Ogunlesi, Merve Emre, and Rahmane Idrissa, et al.

Part two of a running series of brief dispatches by New York Review writers documenting the coronavirus outbreak around the world

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‘Since I Became Symptomatic’
March 26, 2020
Leslie Jamison

“The only person I have touched in a week is my two-year-old daughter. Every selfie I take of us is a photograph of me trying to inhale her. The streets outside are empty, the ambulance sirens constant, the sunshine an insult. Beyond our windows, the city is running out of ventilators.”

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Pandemic Journal, March 17–22
March 22, 2020
Anne Enright, Madeleine Schwartz, Joshua Hunt, Anna Badkhen, and Lauren Groff, et al.

The first part in a running series of brief dispatches by New York Review writers documenting the coronavirus outbreak around the world

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