The year-end review is a journalism trope that endeavors to understand the 12 months that have come before. Usually it’s music or film or something that’s easier to wrap your mind around. With COVID-19, we won’t have a full understanding of the implications to societies, economies, and cultures for years. This collection of stories, then, is not a summation, but rather an early glimpse at what may well be a civilizational shift. Read on and look ahead.
FDA Red Tape Entangles Coronavirus Test
A Harvard epidemiologist proposes a coronavirus test that is fast, inexpensive, and could be effective in stopping the pandemic. The only obstacle is getting the FDA to notice.
Nursing Home Owners Get a Free Pass on Pandemic Accountability
Despite 45 percent of US COVID-19 fatalities having occurred in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, some states are passing legislation that offers the owners freedom from accountability.
With Theaters Dark, a Broadway Seamstress Sews for a New Reason
When Broadway announced its shutdown in March, seamstress Amy Micallef decided to use her talents to sew thousands of masks to donate.
Tested: The Future of Education Post-Pandemic
A team of WhoWhatWhy reporters covered the challenges and opportunities presented by the disruption of the 2020 school year.
What Florida Officials May Be Hiding on COVID-19
Geographic data scientist Rebekah Jones was fired from the Florida Department of Health on May 18 just as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was pushing to reopen the state after two months of quarantine.
The Real ‘Preexisting Conditions’ That Explain Black COVID Deaths
A new report is a stunning indictment of racism and its economic and health consequences.
Coronavirus Is No Laughing Matter for Comedians
Comedians perform before live audiences to earn a living and to hone their craft. For many, the coronavirus eliminated — overnight — their ability to do either.
Coronavirus Pandemic Exacerbates Poll Worker Crisis in Swing States
Elderly poll workers have long been the backbone of US elections. Now they are quitting en masse because of the coronavirus pandemic. Will that suppress turnout in swing states?
Reagan-Era Medicare Changes Leave US Vulnerable to COVID-19, Experts Say
As the death toll of the coronavirus pandemic rises, experts say the US is now paying the price for cost-cutting measures implemented in the 1980s.
Coronavirus Wreaks Havoc on Fight for Fair Election Maps
2020 could have been the year to get politics out of redistricting in many states. Now, fair maps advocates are hoping they do not have to wait another 10 years to bolster fair elections.
Can the Coronavirus Heal America’s Broken Democracy?
A few sensible actions would not only protect Americans from being exposed to the coronavirus when voting, they would also make US democracy fairer and better.
Coronavirus: The West’s Superiority Complex Exposed
Whatever the pandemic lessons from Asia, the West always thinks that it knows best.
‘I Haven’t Seen My Mother for a Month’: Inside Italy’s Coronavirus Lockdown
WhoWhatWay correspondent describes life in the time of coronavirus as Italy faces its “darkest hour.” Her account may be a preview of what’s to come in the US.
Coronavirus Meets a Woefully Unprepared World
Most countries don’t have the health infrastructure to contain pandemics like the coronavirus. That’s a problem for all of us.