The Atlantic Daily: What Will Happen to Social Life This Winter?

We recap three things we learned this week while covering the pandemic—and look ahead to what you can expect as the weather turns cold.

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This pandemic was once counted in weeks, then months; now we measure time in seasons, and hope that doesn’t slip into years.

Today, we recap three things we learned this week while covering the pandemic—and look ahead to what you can expect as the weather turns cold.

1. The outbreak may worsen come winter.

That’s when the cold will bring many indoors. “We know that the biggest risk of spread for this virus is when meaningful numbers of people gather indoors for any extended period of time,” one expert told Joe Pinsker.

2. Immunology is central to the pandemic’s biggest mysteries.

Understanding it is key. “Which is unfortunate because, you see, the immune system is very complicated,” Ed Yong, who also wrote one of our latest cover stories, explains.

3. Even after this is all over, the coronavirus will likely stick around.

“We will probably be living with this virus for the rest of our lives,” our Science reporter Sarah Zhang warns. “In fact, virologists have wondered whether the common-cold coronaviruses also got their start as a pandemic, before settling in as routine viruses.”

One question, answered: Will Americans ever go back to working full-time in offices again?

With the pandemic closing workspaces, the internet, Derek Thompson reports, “seems poised to weaken the spatial relationship between work and home.”

When the pandemic is over, one in six workers is projected to continue working from home or co-working at least two days a week, according to a recent survey by economists at Harvard Business School. Another survey of hiring managers by the global freelancing platform Upwork found that one-fifth of the workforce could be entirely remote after the pandemic.

What will that shift mean for the workforce—and society at large? Continue reading for three predictions from Derek.

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