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This summer’s heat is no joke.
We’re not talking about an ice-cream-cone-melting, sweat-through-your-clothes kind of hot. This is a deadly, smothering, street-buckling hot. Extreme heat is a known killer, causing more deaths than other types of weather events most years. Vancouver police are already warning of a troubling spike in deaths.
Weather events such as the kind currently bearing down on the Pacific Northwest are not to be underestimated. Heat, and our ability to survive it, threatens to define the next century.
Our infrastructure isn’t ready for this. “It’s one more way that climate change will force us to improve every part of our society at once or suffer the consequences,” my colleague Robinson Meyer warns in his newsletter, The Weekly Planet. (Subscribe here.)
Give weather like this a name: “heat season.” And treat the season with the gravity that it deserves, argues Kathy Baughman McLeod, who advocates for heat awareness.
Heat is a new human-rights issue. “In the coming century,” Vann R. Newkirk II wrote last year, “the heat gap between rich and poor might be the world’s most daunting challenge.”
One question, answered: When traveling this summer, are states with low vaccination rates off-limits?
Our deputy managing editor Rachel Gutman answers in her piece on the dos and don’ts of vaccinated vacationing:
If you’re at least two weeks past your final dose (and you’re not immunosuppressed or immunocompromised), visiting areas of the U.S. with low vaccine rates isn’t necessarily dangerous for you …
Those who are worried about breakthrough infections—especially those who have vulnerable people in their household—might want to take more precautions in a low-vaccination area than they would in a high-vaccination one. If you’ve returned to indoor dining or CrossFit at home in a highly vaccinated region, consider skipping those activities while traveling to a place that has given out fewer shots.
Tonight’s Atlantic-approved activity:
Start a new book. Here’s one option, courtesy of our staff writer Shirley Li: “Pamela Des Barres’s breathlessly lewd memoir of her years as a groupie should come with a cover-up when taken to the beach.”
A break from the news:
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