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This spring, we first met bad. This winter, we’re set to meet worse.  

“Grim” remains the key descriptor: Our friends at the COVID Tracking Project see a pandemic that is heading to its worst phase yet, setting dire new records along the way.

To help understand just how bad things are getting, here’s a collection of recent coverage:

Further reading: When this is all over, how will we remember it? We asked three artists to consider what a COVID-19 memorial might look like. See their designs.

Meanwhile, two contributing writers argue that America needs a commission, similar to the one launched after 9/11, to figure out what went so wrong.

JULIAN MONTAGUE

One question, answered: Is it safe to see my therapist in person?

An anonymous reader writes in from San Francisco:

She says she’s opening windows on both sides of her office, leaving one hour between appointments, requiring masks, and swapping the nylon cover on the couch between clients. I still don’t feel comfortable.

James Hamblin responds in his latest “Paging Dr. Hamblin” column:

You are overreacting. Because I’m not a therapist, I’ll tell you that directly, even though I understand it would be more effective to let you discover it yourself.

Continue reading. Every Wednesday, James takes questions from readers about health-related curiosities, concerns, and obsessions. Have one? Email James at paging.dr.hamblin@theatlantic.com.

What to read if … you’re looking for practical advice:

What to read if … you’re following Britain’s decision to approve the Pfizer vaccine:

The announcement “quickly morphed into another front in the never-ending war over Brexit,” Tom McTague, a staff writer based in London, reports.

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved isolation activity:

If you’re catching up on HBO’s murder mystery The Undoing tonight, our writers have some thoughts worth reflecting on.

HBO had an opportunity to highlight the serious problem of domestic violence, but instead treats it like a striptease, Eve Gerber writes. The show is also entranced by the uberrich world it finds immoral, Hannah Giorgis wrote.

Today’s break from the news:

Tires are a hidden environmental nuisance.


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Correction: This newsletter originally misstated when Hannah Giorgis's review of The Undoing was published.

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