The Atlantic Daily: Four Things We Learned This Week

Plus, we’ll send you into the weekend with three new movie recommendations.

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As another week closes, America isn’t any nearer to regaining control over this outbreak. Let’s recap four things we learned while reporting on the pandemic. Then, we’ll send you into the weekend with three new movie recommendations.

Four Things We Learned

1. America is still failing its nursing homes.

More than 40 percent of all U.S. deaths have been in long-term care facilities, Olga Khazan reports. “Additional COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes are probable, and they will have been preventable,” she writes.

2. Many pandemic experts are at risk of burning out.

“As the pandemic once again intensifies, so too does their frustration and fatigue,” Ed Yong reports.

3. Our minds aren’t built for this kind of reopening.

“Individuals are being asked to decide for themselves what chances they should take, but a century of research on human cognition shows that people are bad at assessing risk in complex situations,” the psychology professor Tess Wilkinson-Ryan explains.

4. One unintended consequence of lockdowns: Roadkill dropped dramatically.

“This is the biggest conservation action that we’ve taken, possibly ever, certainly since the national parks were formed,” an expert says.


What to watch

“It’s a very good weekend for movies,” our critic David Sims points out. I asked him to pick three films worth watching. He chose:

1. Palm Springs (Hulu)

The time-loop film is “the comedy of the summer”—and even more relevant than when it premiered at Sundance.

2. First Cow (rent online)

This “masterwork of indie cinema” is David’s choice for movie of the year.

3. The Old Guard (Netflix)

Craving action? Try this “crisply made, globe-trotting adventure.”

Our critics also reviewed Padma Lakshmi’s new food show, Taste the Nation (“breezy in tone, but it exposes the betrayals at the heart of ‘American’ cuisine”), and Disney+’s filmed version of Hamilton the musical (“dated, timeless, and vital all at once”).

Prefer books? Take a peek at what our newsroom is reading this summer.

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