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The U.K.’s controversial plan shouldn’t be discarded as stupidity

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For the third time since the pandemic began, the U.K. is betting against the rest of the world.

The first time brought catastrophic consequences. The U.K. flirted with the idea of herd immunity and delayed a decision to go into a full lockdown despite the world urging it to, a step that ended up costing the lives of thousands.

The second time was less of a failure. The U.K. was the first western country to start a Covid-19 vaccination campaign. It later decided to take yet another controversial step and was the first to extend the period of time between…

A vaccine will be necessary to help the country’s economy

Photo illustration. Sources: alexey_ds/Getty Images, daboost/Getty Images

In late April, New Zealand’s public health officials announced that the spread of Covid-19 had ceased within its borders. The world cheered, and headlines trumpeted the strength and compassion of the country’s political leadership and its science-first policies as an important cause of its success.

These factors certainly helped New Zealand crush its epidemic curve, says John Crump, MD, a global health epidemiologist at the University of Otago in Auckland, but they don’t exist in a vacuum: New Zealand also has innate characteristics that both enabled and incentivized the approach its leaders took to eliminating Covid-19, he says — and…

Despite being hard hit by Covid-19, human kindness prevails

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I came to Iran in April of last year. By now, my husband and I thought we’d be back home in the United States. But with Covid-19 ravaging the country and the rest of the world, our tickets have been canceled. At first, I felt very insecure about being here, even as it is becoming clear that nowhere is safe from the spread of the coronavirus. We’re in a large city that is purely dependent on agriculture from other areas — questions of supply chain shortages and failures concerned me, as well as the potential for civil unrest. …

A personal account of life in China during COVID-19 and how we’ve reached the new normal

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Over a few short months, COVID-19 has evolved from an obscure virus to a full-blown global pandemic that has now spread to every continent, with the exception of Antarctica. Citizens around the world are falling into panic mode as governments sound alarms to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, in China, the epidemic is coming to a close with the rate of new cases steadily dropping from the thousands to just 27 new cases today.

Life has all but reached a new normal here — masks remain on everyone’s faces but the fear associated with the virus has died down…

Fear of the virus may be more infectious than the virus itself

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Follow Elemental’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here.

It can harm people’s health and weaken entire societies. Thanks to modern technology, it can spread rapidly around the world. And there is no effective vaccine.

I’m not referring to Covid-19, although the coronavirus can serve as its catalyst. Rather, an infectious agent that is as old as civilization itself and is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions: fear.

Fear can take both a physical and psychological toll. It thrives in an atmosphere of distrust and confusion. …

What I learned about outbreaks from surviving a pandemic

Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Follow Elemental’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here.

At the end of March 2003, I was sitting on the sofa of a borrowed studio apartment in Hong Kong, wondering if I was going to die.

It was the spring of SARS. The outbreak, which had originated in late 2002 across the border in the neighboring Chinese province of Guangdong, had been growing throughout the month. In Hong Kong, where I had been working as a reporter for TIME magazine for nearly two years, there had been a burst of cases at one of the city’s main hospitals. There were…


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