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This, but not that. Bars open, but not schools. Hygiene theater abounds.
With coronavirus cases at the highest levels they’ve ever been, Americans are caught playing a life-or-death game of safety hopscotch. The rules may vary by household or region. In some places, they lack logic entirely.
My colleague Ed Yong warned earlier this year that this pandemic would be a nightmare for intuition. And it’s proving such: In the absence of clear leadership, Americans have had to make their own judgments, and the result is a mess.
+ Sorry to burst your bubble ... Americans have wildly different definitions of pandemic “pods,” and that’s a problem, Rachel Gutman reports.
+ People make choices that are individually rational but collectively disastrous. “Three cognitive biases make it hard for us to avoid actions that put us in great collective danger,” Yascha Mounk argues.
+ Meanwhile, public-health messaging remains garbled and inconsistent. “Confusing policies and tangled messages from some of the country’s most celebrated local leaders are setting people up to die,” Amanda Mull warns.
One question, answered: America failed at COVID-19. But the economy’s okay. Why?