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The Virus Is a Marathon

2020-09-11 10:26:29

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The pandemic, he adds, is like a marathon with staggered start times.

The virus began spreading widely in Europe earlier than in North America. Much of Europe failed to contain it at first and suffered terrible death tolls. The per capita toll in a few countries, like Britain, Italy and Spain, remains somewhat higher than in the U.S. But those countries managed to get the virus under control by the late spring. Their caseloads plummeted.

In the U.S., the virus erupted later — yet caseloads never plummeted. Almost every day for the past six months, at least 20,000 Americans have been diagnosed with the virus. “Europe learned the hard lesson and applied remedies,” as Donald says. “We did not, even though we had more warning.”

This chart makes the point:

For now, the simplest summary seems to be this: Adjusting for time, there is no large, rich country that has suffered as much as the U.S.

The N.B.A. playoffs — despite being played in two fan-less arenas at a Walt Disney World “bubble”— have been gloriously entertaining so far. (Tonight brings a much-anticipated deciding seventh game between the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors.)

Why has the quality of play been so high? One reason seems to be that players are less tired than they normally are for the playoffs. The pandemic forced the league to take a four-month break in the middle of the regular season. And since the league restarted, teams have not had to endure frequent airplane trips. Stuck in the bubble, players also can’t go out on the town after games.

All of which has some people wondering whether the N.B.A. should make some changes after the pandemic is over. Sopan Deb, who covers the N.B.A. for The Times, says that this experience could increase calls to shorten the regular season from its usual 82 games. And Dennis Lindsey, a Utah Jazz executive, has suggested that the league consider scheduling back-to-back games in the same city between the same teams, as baseball already does.

“The players feel better,” Lindsey said, about the current playoffs, “and frankly, we need to listen to the players.”

Weekend cooking is easy with this one-pot dish of pasta and sausage. Cumin infuses it with earthiness, and the addition of spinach (or baby arugula, or kale) means you’re getting some greens in, too. Swap the meat for mushrooms to make it vegetarian.

End unpaid internships. Invest in a national arts program to foster local talent. Embrace online streaming of performances (even on TikTok feeds) for accessibility. Six months after most traditional venues were forced to shut down, The Times spoke with 20 figures in theater to map out next steps for changing — and improving — the industry.

A bittersweet goodbye: Ben Brantley, The Times’s chief theater critic for more than two decades, is stepping down. “This pandemic pause in the great, energizing party that is the theater seemed to me like a good moment to slip out the door,” Ben said. “But when the theater returns, I hope to be there — as a writer, an audience member and, above all, the stark raving fan I have been since I was a child.” You can revisit his work here.

After “Cuties,” the debut feature film by the French-Senegalese director Maïmouna Doucouré, arrived on Netflix this week, the hashtag #CancelNetflix began trending on social media.

The film follows the coming of age of an 11-year-old girl who joins a group of friends with their own dance troupe. Even before its American release, the movie was condemned online — in part by followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory — for promotional imagery that depicted the young girls posing provocatively. Its director received death threats as part of the backlash.

Many observers took the film’s marketing to “suggest that the film celebrates children’s sexualized behavior,” Richard Brody in The New Yorker writes. “In fact, the subject of the film is exactly the opposite: it dramatizes the difficulties of growing up female in a sexualized and commercialized media culture.”


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