I write today to thank you for supporting The Atlantic. A democratic civilization depends on an independent press to stay free, and an independent press counts on the generosity of readers to support it through vexing times. We are immensely grateful that you have chosen to support our mission, and we hope that you are finding our work helpful and illuminating.
Our own offices have emptied. Our team is scattered across the country—across much of the globe. But we are working harder than ever to provide you with the best possible information and analysis about the coronavirus pandemic. I am very proud of our team; they have trail-blazed all along the way, leading international coverage of this crisis.
We at The Atlantic often look to our long history for solace. Our magazine was born before the Civil War, and it survived that conflagration. It survived the 1918 influenza pandemic, and the Great Depression, and World War II, and every other period of tumult and dislocation in America these past 163 years. We will struggle through this new pandemic, and come out the other side needing to examine what went wrong, and how this experience has changed America, and the world.
One of my predecessors, Edward Weeks, wrote in 1957 that The Atlantic is most in demand during times of anxiety. An excellent way to answer anxiety is with information—smart, accurate, rigorously vetted information—information that our team has been providing our tens of millions of readers right from the beginning.
I want to share with you some of the best of our most recent work. The stories I've selected here were all written and published well ahead of the curve—a testament to the brilliance and tenacity of our journalists. Thank you again for your support, and let me wish you good health and safety at this trying moment.
Editor in Chief, The Atlantic
1. Here’s How Many People Have the Coronavirus in Your State
An investigation co-led by The Atlantic (March 20)
The country still hasn’t tested enough people to discover most cases, experts say. Our tracker has the latest numbers of confirmed cases for every state. You can explore our data by state here.
2. Exclusive: Amazon Confirms First Known Coronavirus Case in an American Warehouse
By Olga Khazan (March 18)
Workers at the Queens, New York, facility say employees were expected to come in for their night shift after the case was identified. Amazon denies this.
3. Exclusive: The Strongest Evidence Yet That America Is Botching Coronavirus Testing
By Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer (March 6)
The number of tests performed across the country has fallen far short of projections, despite extraordinarily high demand.
“I don’t know what went wrong,” a former CDC chief told The Atlantic.
4. Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful
By Ed Yong (March 20)
We’ve known about SARS-CoV-2 for only three months, but scientists can make some educated guesses about where it came from and why it’s behaving in such an extreme way.
5. You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus
By James Hamblin (February 24)
The emerging consensus among epidemiologists is that the most likely outcome of this outbreak is a new seasonal disease—a fifth “endemic” coronavirus. With the other four, people are not known to develop long-lasting immunity. If this one follows suit, and if the disease continues to be as severe as it is now, “cold and flu season” could become “cold and flu and COVID-19 season.”
6. What Will You Do If You Start Coughing?
By James Hamblin (March 11)
7. Cancel Everything
By Yascha Mounk (March 10)
We don’t yet know the full ramifications of the novel coronavirus. But three crucial facts have become clear in the first months of this extraordinary global event. And what they add up to is not an invocation to stay calm, as so many politicians around the globe are incessantly suggesting; it is, on the contrary, the case for changing our behavior in radical ways—right now.
8. The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’
By Kaitlyn Tiffany (March 12)
Experts weigh in on whether you should cancel your dates, dinner parties, and gym sessions, and whether you should take your kids to the playground or go to a park.
9. What Do You Tell Someone Who Still Won’t Stay Home?
By Joe Pinsker (March 19)
A guide to convincing your loved ones to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously
10. How You Should Get Food During the Pandemic
By Amanda Mull (March 14)
The coronavirus makes an age-old dilemma much more fraught: Order in, or cook at home?
11. A Frontline Physician Speaks Out on the Coronavirus
By Franklin Foer (March 16)
“I’ve been walking around for the last week seeing what’s coming and feeling somehow unable to share that clearly and effectively,” said Daniel Horn, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston helping lead a team charged with planning for the influx of coronavirus patients.
12. COVID-19 Is Upending Parents’ Birth Plans
By Ashley Fetters (March 19)
A global pandemic adds several more layers of logistical and emotional overwhelm to the already overwhelming time of new parenthood.
13. When it’s illegal to leave home
(Recorded on March 19)
As American cities start shutting down, Jeffrey Goldberg and Anne Applebaum talk through the consequences of increasing restrictions on civil liberties on our new podcast Social Distance.