The Atlantic Daily: Violent Crime in America Is Surging Again

In the aftermath of not one but two mass shootings, Americans are again grieving and grappling with questions about gun control.

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First Atlanta, now Boulder. For the second time in a week, Americans are grieving the victims of a mass shooting. President Joe Biden has renewed calls for tougher gun regulations.

Both incidents arrive amid a troubling rise in such crime: Gun deaths in the U.S. reached an all-time high last year during the pandemic, my colleague Derek Thompson reports today.

“Americans can no longer say, as we could 10 years ago, that we are living in the safest time in our nation’s history,” Derek writes.

One question, answered: A listener named Camie, as well as her husband, came down with COVID-19. What surfaces should they disinfect after they recover?

James Hamblin responds on our Social Distance podcast:

This has been a point of a lot of confusion over the course of the pandemic. I and most other people making recommendations this time last year were much more about surfaces, about hand hygiene, about sterilizing high-touch surfaces. And then, over the course of the year, it’s really turned out that the [coronavirus] doesn’t linger very long on surfaces. And when it does, it doesn’t seem to happen in infectious doses. You’re just very unlikely to get enough of a viable virus onto your hand after you touch something and then touch your face and infect yourself. …

It seems like surface transmission can happen from touching something, but it would have to be within a very short period.

Listen to the full discussion on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved isolation activity:

Take on spring cleaning. Purge and donate what you can, our senior editor Nora Kelly Lee suggested in our list of 14 activities to break up the pandemic-induced monotony.

Today’s break from the news:

Demi Lovato’s Dancing With the Devil is the latest in a line of revealing celebrity documentaries. Stars now understand that their destruction is our entertainment, Spencer Kornhaber argues.