The Atlantic Daily: Missouri Is a Warning

The Delta bump is here. For hospital workers, that means reliving a nightmare. Then: recommendations for the weekend.

A man wheels out a guerney. A body on the guerney covered by a flag and first responders salute in the background.
(Bill Greenblatt / UPI / Alamy)

In Missouri, the reprieve was brief. Now the hospitals are full again—some fuller than they were last time.

My colleague Ed Yong has a wrenching new report on the state of hospitals there, where unvaccinated communities are being pummeled by the Delta variant. The majority of hospitalized people had not gotten their shots.

​​The state’s southwest region serves as a cautionary tale, Ed warns.

The patients are younger.

They’re also doing worse. “Every physician and nurse in Missouri whom I spoke with told me that the 30- and 40-something COVID-19 patients they’re now seeing are much sicker than those they saw last year,” Ed reports.

Health-care workers are tired and frustrated.

They are battling exhaustion and trying to swallow their resentment toward unvaccinated patients. “You’re just angry,” one told Ed, “and you feel guilty for getting angry, because they’re sick and dying.”

Some patients don’t realize that they’re seriously ill until it’s too late.

One worker recalls a conversation with an elderly patient: “He said, ‘I’m embarrassed that I’m here,’ … He wanted to talk about the vaccine, and in the back of my mind I’m thinking, You have a very high likelihood of not leaving the hospital.

Read Ed’s report.

A person stands in front of a large bonfire.
(Charles McQuillan / Getty)

Revisit the week that was. Fire, flood, football, and flutes: Check out this collection of photographs taken around the world, curated by our senior editor Alan Taylor.

Read. A new piece of short fiction by Curtis Sittenfeld tells the story of a woman who babysits for a wealthy family—and then watches them rise to fame decades later.

Fall will be here before we know it. Until then, cram in some summer reading: Pick a book from our list of suggestions.

Watch. Ready for a blast from the past? Space Jam: A New Legacy is out in theaters today. Our critic David Sims says the movie is “essentially functioning as a glitzy advertisement for the studio that created it.”

If you’d rather start a new series, The White Lotus offers insight about the extremely wealthy: “They would rather be miserable than lose even a tiny fraction of the things they’ve been given,” Sophie Gilbert writes.

Or try The Mandalorian. It was nominated for 24 Emmys this week and, Spencer Kornhaber argues, it could save Star Wars.

Listen. Mystery packages of strange seeds sparked plenty of conspiracy theories last year. On this week’s episode of The Experiment, we finally get answers.

The Atlantic Crossword

21-Across, four letters: Characters that can exist in Live mode or Buy mode

Try your hand at our daily mini crossword (available on our site here), which gets more challenging through the week.

→ Challenge your friends, or try to beat your own solving time.

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Thanks for reading. This email was written by Caroline Mimbs Nyce.

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