The Atlantic Daily: Our Relationship to the Coronavirus Will Have to Change

The virus isn’t going away—not now, maybe not ever. Plus: a new summer album to stream.

COVID-19 is not going away. The virus that causes it is on track to become endemic, like the ones that cause the common cold. You’ll probably encounter it at some point, if you haven’t already.

That doesn’t mean you should stop taking precautions. We can still buy ourselves time—time to vaccinate more people and avoid deadly hospital surges. But the virus will be part of our lives in the long term.

“We need to prepare people that [the current wave of cases is] not going to come down to zero,” one psychologist warned my colleague Sarah Zhang.

A family boards a military airplane
(Master Sergeant Donald R. Allen / U.S. Air Force / Reuters)

The news in three sentences:

(1) Fifteen hundred Americans remain in Afghanistan, as the United States enters the final days of evacuations from the country. (2) COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to rise. (3) Delta Air Lines will charge unvaccinated employees $200 a month, noting that the average COVID-19 hospitalization costs the company $40,000.

What to read if … you’re looking for practical advice on how to manage your risk in light of the Delta variant:

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved activity:

Discover new music. Our culture writer Spencer Kornhaber rounds up five summer albums that he’s had on repeat.

A break from the news:

This otherworldly creature has legs that can taste, smell, and breathe.