We Have to Get Out of This Phase”: Ashish Jha on the Future of the Pandemic

During the first year of the covid-19 pandemic, the public-health expert Ashish Jha posted hundreds of detailed Twitter threads, fielded thousands of interview requests, and was mentioned sixty [...]

How COVID Exploded in Hong Kong

At the beginning of 2022, Hong Kong stood out as a pandemic success story—proof that the so-called Zero covid approach, whatever its costs, could squash the virus’s medical toll. Less than one [...]

Are We About to Cure Sickle-Cell Disease?

In September, 1904, a twenty-year-old Grenadian man named Walter Clement Noel disembarked in New York after an eight-day voyage from Barbados. At the time, few Black people were permitted to [...]

Do the Omicron Numbers Mean What We Think They Mean?

There’s an urban legend about a Texas man who takes a rifle to the side of his barn and sprays bullets across the wall, more or less at random. Then he finds the densest clusters of holes and [...]

The World We Want to Live in After COVID

In 1909, the French ethnographer Arnold van Gennep published a book called “The Rites of Passage.” In it, he explored the rituals that cultures use to transition people from one stage of life to [...]

How to Think About the Risks of Omicron

For much of the past year, Americans have guided their behavior using a kind of cognitive triangulation. First, we’ve judged the risks of a coronavirus infection; second, we’ve assessed our [...]

What Has Omicron Changed?

The covid-19 pandemic, like every pandemic before it, is a story of equilibriums: between viral biology and human immune response; between news of the pathogen and fear of it; between the damage [...]

The Uncertainties of the Omicron Variant

The first case of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, also known as B.1.1.529, was detected in southern Africa this month. Just a few weeks ago, South Africa, where the most Omicron infections [...]

How Will the COVID Pills Change the Pandemic?

In March, 2020, researchers at Emory University published a paper about a molecule called NHC/EIDD-2801. At the time, there were no treatments available for the coronavirus. But NHC/EIDD-2801, [...]

The Complex Business of Vaccine Mandates

At the start of the American Revolution, ninety per cent of the deaths in the Continental Army were due to disease. Smallpox was especially devastating: nearly a third of those infected died. [...]