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Issue No. 37 | Spring 2020

Pandemic Politics

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A Pandemic Foretold

Thirty years ago, an urgent report about microbial threats to public health was ignored by policymakers.

No Act of God

Hurricanes, pandemics, and droughts are acts of God. Private markets in housing, health care, and food — and the resulting deaths — are not.

It Came From Canada!

David Cronenberg’s first three films track the progress of epidemics “from the perspective of the disease.” What they reveal is a North American society already on the brink of disaster.

Beautifying the Apocalypse

In films like Annihilation and Ex Machina, director Alex Garland knows how to make the end of the world look majestic. But his new show, Devs, gives a grace and dignity to the apocalypse that you won’t find in our own world.

We Need Better Drugs

We’re in a race with bacteria to develop new classes of antibiotics. The free market isn’t helping.

Virulence and Contagiousness

Deadly pathogens may kill their host before the host has a chance to pass on the pathogen. That’s why there tends to be a trade-off between virulence and contagiousness.

Krona Virus

A magic money tree does exist — and not just in Scandinavia. The question is who gets to shake it first.

We Set Amazon on Fire

Millions of people stuck at home means more orders for Amazon. But squeezed Amazon employees in France and Italy didn’t want to be “essential workers” — and they launched a wave of strikes to demand a shutdown.

Corona C.R.E.A.M.

With the appalling Senate scandal over coronavirus insider trading, it is no longer possible to deny it: we are governed by a caste of the unimaginably rich, far removed from our realities.