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The pandemic outlook in the United States is brightening: Cases are dropping nationally, and masks are coming off as states like New York and California roll back their restrictions. Many Americans may be resuming activities that felt too risky earlier this winter. The question of the moment is how much we should let go of precautions, as individuals and as a society.
The case for opening everything. Yascha Mounk, who advocated for canceling “everything” in March 2020, now argues that “we are once again in danger of prolonging the status quo more than is justifiable,” and should drop remaining COVID rules and “hygiene theater.”
The case for taking personal risks—wisely. “The best move right now isn’t to dive into a maskless mosh pit,” Katherine J. Wu writes. “But it also isn’t to resign ourselves to staying home forever.”
The news in three sentences:
(1) Prices rose 7.5 percent compared with a year earlier, reaching a 40-year high.
(2) Ongoing truck-driver protests at the Canadian border forced the closure of auto plants on both sides of the border.
(3) The January 6 House committee has reportedly found gaps in White House telephone logs from that day.
Today’s Atlantic-approved activity:
Revisit a classic book. Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son “deserves renewed attention 10 years on, at a time when agency, kindness, and love are more important to protect than ever,” Bethanne Patrick writes.
Find that and more on our list of novels that are worth giving a second look.
A break from the news:
Our health writer Olga Khazan gave herself three months to try and change her personality, using science. The results were mixed.
2-Down, three letters: Genre for many When We Were Young Festival performers
Try your hand at our daily mini crossword, available on our site, which gets more challenging through the week.
Sign up to receive our new weekly crossword newsletter.
Thanks for reading. This email was written by Caroline Mimbs Nyce.