Magazine May 18, 2020, Issue

Masque of the Red Death

A demonstrator during the coronavirus outbreak, Los Angeles, Calif., April 22, 2020 (Mike Blake/Reuters)

In the last few weeks, for some peculiar reason, every website I visit has ads for face masks. Some have pictures of masks in American-flag designs, which makes the people wearing them look like patriotic bank robbers. If you click on one of these ads — which is not advised, as it will spray tracking cookies at your computer like a skunk lifting its tail — you end up on a site that feels weird and wrong, in every detail.

There’s always a big headline: Here Is for Stay Live.

Huh? There might be a picture of a cute cat next to

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

GDP shrank 5 percent in the first quarter. Who says government can’t get anything done if it sets its mind to it?


The Latest

Let the Churches Speak

Let the Churches Speak

If politicians are starting to threaten religious institutions for internal decisions, maybe it’s time to challenge these erratic expression restrictions.