COVID Commentaries

The Virus Without a Vaccine

John D. Inazu

We are also in the throes of an information virus.

How COVID Can Change What Schools Are For

Jeffrey Guhin

What if the purpose of education has nothing to do with social mobility?

The Dirty Work of Killing

Joanna Sierks Smith

It doesn’t feel like a coincidence that meat consumption has risen as fewer Americans participate in or even think about the slaughter that allows it.

Our Chekhov Moment

Eric B. Schnurer

Who will emerge as the new elite from this particular moment’s cast of winners and losers?

How to Cook a Wolf Under Lockdown

Laurel Berger

My quarrel with M.F.K. Fisher was part of a larger quarrel I’ve been having with myself ever since we went to ground in March. 

Cousin Starfish

David Egan

Mother Nature sees you not as a soul shimmering with intelligence but as one solution to the problem of metabolism. 

Two Cheers for Assisted Living

Missy DeRegibus

The COVID crisis has changed our perceptions of assisted living communities, perhaps permanently.

The Uniqueness of the Here and Now

Cecile McWilliams

The solitude of sickness is not a waste of time but rather a compression of it, a bundle the size of a pill bottle.

The Price of Freedom

Eric B. Schnurer

The point of reopening is not to free voluntary workers but to place more into the category of “mandatory worker.”

Against Projection; For Promise

Alan Jacobs

To make promises, to stand by one words, to be answerable for them, is to open oneself to blame.

Healthy, Wealthy, or Wise?

Mark Hoipkemier

Aristotle and the pandemic debates we aren’t having.

Crisis and Beholding

Benjamin Chan

The importance of learning to see beyond our preoccupations.

Our Once and Future Citizens

Richard Hughes Gibson

How might the pandemic alter civic engagement?

No Longer an Extraordinary Event

Joseph E. Davis

Our exploitive relationship to the natural order is greatly magnifying the possibility of spillover and increasing virus virulence.

Learning from Typhoid Mary

B.D. McClay

Efforts to protect public health can often lead to selective punishment and prejudice.

Moral Imagination Holds the Key

James Mumford

How do we more lastingly move beyond the impasses we have reached on a host of ethical issues at the heart of our highly politicized culture wars?

COVID and the Common Good

Mark Hoipkemier

The common good is back, yet again.

Conditions of Life

Jan Hinrichsen

A comment on Giorgio Agamben’s reading of the corona pandemic.

The Machine Pauses

Stuart Whatley

It is precisely at such moments of technological dependency that one might consider interrogating one’s relationship with technology more broadly.

Lockdown Nostalgia

S.D. Chrostowska

The return to normalcy will be long, and we might even change our mind along the way.

The Dance of the Porcupines

Marie Kolkenbrock

There is a risk that we will compensate for the current sense of crisis and isolation with too much closeness.

Wearing a Mask in France Would Be a Revolution

Frédéric Keck

In France, wearing a COVID-19 mask will mean a real revolution in norms governing behavior in its public space. 

Pruning the Mind During a Crisis

Margarita Mooney

Why should anyone focus on the life of the mind when individual and societal survival is threatened? 


Alan Jacobs

Time to adopt a new hero: Lew Archer, private detective.

A Painter Crawling toward God

Leanne Ogasawara

A deeply personal encounter with the plague.

Covidien and the Failure of Corporate Social Responsibility

Kyle Edward Williams

We can’t take CEOs’ high-flown gestures at face value.

False Positive

Eric B. Schnurer

How are we to respond when faced with competing  uncertainties?

The School of Anxiety

Matt Dinan

Anxiety teaches nothing but possibility, but I, at least, am a finite being.

Radical Hope Amid Catastrophe

Vafa Ghazavi

What happens to a culture—a social order—and the beliefs that sustain it, in the face of a microscopic enemy that has little regard for borders, power, class, or celebrity?

Unveiling Our New Modernity

Jonathan D. Teubner

Our world is increasingly discontinuous with the twentieth century.

The Advantages of Disadvantages

Tomáš Sedláček

People should always be glad when something derails us from our routine, and this is truly a massive derailment, a derailment into peace.

Weird Tales

Alan Jacobs

Ghost stories and other tales of horror concern unpredictable, sometimes ambiguous or indescribable, forces that display hostility or at best indifference to us.

On Tele-teaching

Richard Hughes Gibson

Any channel through which we can still communicate is good. It’s just not enough.

The Good Life of Staying at Home

Jeffrey Guhin

As far back as Aristotle, we’ve known that material inequality makes the good life easier to get.

Avoiding the Trap of Sacrificial Math

Robert Reed

Must we pit the health of the economy against the lives of the many people projected to die if strong measures are not taken against the spread of the coronavirus?

In Self-Isolation with The Plague

John Rosenthal

To the relatives of the dead, the plague is here.