Apocalyptic novelist Max Brooks is something of an expert on planning for pandemics and other disasters. The author, whose books include World War Z, Germ Warfare and the forthcoming Devolution, has toured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has reviewed government response plans related to various emergency situations — all in the course of research.
Two years ago, science writer Ed Yong wrote an article for The Atlantic in which he warned that a new global pandemic was inevitable — and that the world would be unprepared for it when it arrived. Now, with the outbreak of COVID-19, much of what Yong warned about in his reporting has come true.
For more than two decades, trauma surgeon David Nott spent several weeks each year volunteering in some of the world's most dangerous conflict zones, including Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Yemen and Sarajevo. Now he's in London, applying some of what he learned in war zones and disaster areas as he treats patients with COVID-19.
Growing up in the Bronx as the only child of an academic and a real estate broker, actor Kerry Washington remembers her family had two cars and a dishwasher in their apartment — which meant, "in my neighborhood, in my context, we were rich."
As billions of people around the world face stay-at-home orders because of COVID-19, family dinners — and breakfasts and lunches — are resurgent. Former New York Times food editor Sam Sifton calls the shift to family meals one of the "precious few good things" happening as a result of the pandemic.
In his 1978 novel The Stand, author Stephen King wrote about a viral pandemic that decimated the world's population. And he gets it when fans say experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak feels like stepping into one of his horror stories.
President Trump's daily briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic have introduced millions of Americans to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. At times, the specialist in infectious diseases has differed with the president during the briefings, correcting him on the seriousness of the virus or on the timeline for developing a vaccine. That's fueled speculation that Fauci's tenure might be cut short.
Dan Harris says he's taken to saying, "if you're not anxious right now, you're not paying attention." Thru his daily online coronavirus meditations, he's been trying to help people quiet their anxiety with meditation and mindfulness techniques. Dan Harris wrote a memoir about how meditation helped calm the negative voices in his head, and he has an app.
COVID-19 has transformed home life — turning kitchen tables into home offices and classrooms and putting a spotlight on the countless household tasks typically performed by women. Brigid Schulte says the pandemic has laid bare the "grotesque inequality" that exists within many families. Schulte is the director of the Better Life Lab, a work-life, gender equity and social policy program at the New America think tank.
Of the roughly 100,000 Americans included in the official COVID-19 death count, 20,000 died in New York City in a period of two months. Time magazine reporter W.J. Hennigan recently spent several weeks looking into the practical challenge of how a city deals with so many bodies suffused with a deadly pathogen.
As millions of people remain socially isolated and anxious about COVID-19, several U.S. governors are at least making plans to relax controls in their states and revive economic activity — against the advice of many public health professionals.
New York Times science and health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. warns that the push to reopen is premature. "We're nowhere near getting on top of this virus," he says.