Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox
This spring, we first met bad. This winter, we’re set to meet worse.
To help understand just how bad things are getting, here’s a collection of recent coverage:
Pandemic data are stalling out. Thanksgiving has skewed reporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths, but one metric is still clear: Hospitalizations keep rising.
Keep your eye on hospitalizations. The metric is “a good number to watch for the most stable view of the situation,” Whet Moser advises. (The country broke records yesterday, reaching 100,000 for the first time.)
Iowa shows what happens when the government does nothing to fight the coronavirus. Our politics staff writer (and a native Iowan) Elaine Godfrey reports from the state: “To visit Iowa right now is to travel back in time to the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.”
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.
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.
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:
Correction: This newsletter originally misstated when Hannah Giorgis's review of The Undoing was published.