Magazine April 20, 2020, Issue

The Social Costs of COVID-19 

Commuters at Whitehall Terminal wear protective face masks during the outbreak of the coronavirus in New York City, March 26, 2020. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)
They’re apt to be long-lasting, hard to measure, and heavy

‘Epidemics are not an esoteric subfield for the interested specialist but instead are a major part of the ‘big picture’ of historical change and development,” writes historian Frank M. Snowden, of Yale, in Epidemics and Society. “Infectious diseases, in other words, are as important to understanding societal development as economic crises, wars, revolutions, and demographic change.” So it is reasonable to assume that the coronavirus pandemic will exact a toll not only on our physical health and economic vitality. It will also change our society. And, if history is a guide, not for the better.

Already, populations around the world face

Something to Consider

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Trump has every right to boast about his TV ratings, but he really ought to give the virus some of the credit.

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