"Maybe that’s one thing the pandemic has allowed—for us to be a bit more honest about our struggles."
The World Continues to Need Octavia E. Butler
Pandemics, racist violence, climate change, democratic collapse: it’s finally clear that it’s Butler’s world. We’re just living in it.
A Statue Gives Romans a Voice: 2021, Rome, Italy
The people of Rome have been leaving notes on the Pasquino statue for over 500 years. And this practice continued in the pandemic, fortunately.
COVID: The Pandemic Without Honor?
“I don’t believe there was any conspiracy inside government to kill people off,” a health official explains. “From what I saw there was no plan.”
Portrait of the Global Migrant Crisis
COVID-19 highlights how the global order is built on, and excels in, closing the path of migrants unjustly.
Trapped Inside with Bo Burnham
Autofiction like Burnham’s—or Wallace’s, or Lerner’s—show white men using irony, self-deprecation, and vulnerability. Should we listen?
How the U.S. Weaponized COVID against Migrants
Immigrants in the United States during the pandemic faced the same discrimination, disenfranchisement, violence, and terror as before—only intensified.
Like Sands through the Hourglass
What will our children remember of this time, when their play and freedom are confined—or freed—by the digital?
What if comfort TV brought no comfort? Even the most innocuous shows can transform into horror, when the monster of racism bursts onto the scene.
Mother of a Pandemic
If there is a way forward for the “pandemic novel,” it may be in Emma Donoghue’s claustrophobic settings of motherhood and childbirth.
Think like a Virus
Rather than accepting that a virus will come, we can learn how viruses live and thrive—and work to suppress them before they take off.
The World Is a Factory Farm
If factory farming is the source of pathogens like SARS-CoV-2, could smaller-scale farms and communities—even in China—be the safest alternative?
Can Comics Save Your Life?
In lockdown, one shop asked for people to submit comics of “a utopian world after we survive this moment.” Hundreds around the world answered.
India in COVID-19: A Tragedy Foretold
The lockdown had terrible consequences on India’s informal economy, and will deepen the socioeconomic inequalities that divide the country.
Disease has never been merely a biological phenomenon. Instead, all illnesses—including COVID-19—are social problems for humans to solve.
The “Decameron”; or, How to Laugh through a Pandemic
Whereas the Black Death was reason to cultivate individualism, our own pandemic leads to an opposite conclusion: our need to help one another.