The Atlantic Daily: A Catastrophic Week in the U.S. Pandemic

Once again, this outbreak is at risk of spiraling out of control.

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The Atlantic

The second surge is here. The U.S. logged more coronavirus cases in the past week than in any since the start of this outbreak.

This latest phase is striking states that were relatively spared earlier, such as Texas and Arizona. Residents of the Sun Belt “face a nearly unbroken chain of outbreaks stretching from South Carolina to California,” Alexis C. Madrigal and Robinson Meyer, who helped build the COVID Tracking Project, report.

The American coronavirus pandemic is once again at risk of spinning out of control,” they warn in their latest.

Spikes in the Sun Belt could spell political disaster for the president. “Democrats were already gaining ground in the region before the pandemic hit,” our polling expert Ronald Brownstein reports. The virus now threatens to exacerbate the trend.


Three resources worth revisiting, given the spike

1. See how many cases are in your state. Remember to consider the size of your local outbreak when calculating how much risk to take on.

2. Here’s a guide to staying safe as states reopen. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should: Legal doesn’t necessarily mean safe.

3. Better understand the “patchwork” nature of this pandemic. This Ed Yong story is worth rereading: “What’s happening is not one crisis, but many interconnected ones.”


One question, answered: Why are there so many conspiracy theories about fireworks circulating right now?

The reported rise in explosions is probably due, in some part, to quarantine-fueled boredom. So why all the conspiracy theories?

Our technology reporter Kaitlyn Tiffany explains:

Paranoia about secret government plots thrives in times of uncertainty, when strange things happen, and when people are bored. This summer is a trifecta.

What to read if … you’re quarantined and looking for something to read or watch:

What to read if … you’d like to better understand the current White House press secretary:

Emma Green, our award-winning religion and politics reporter, profiles Kayleigh McEnany, exploring how the ardent defender of faith—and Donald Trump—came to think of the press as her enemy.

What to read if … you’re looking for a distraction from the news:

You’re probably showering too much.

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