A Letter From São Paulo, Where the Definition of ‘Unbearable’ Has Shifted

As Brazil’s Death Count Rises, a Writer of Fantasies Embraces Realism in Quarantine

I’ve been training myself to be productive at home since I finished high school. The very idea of becoming a writer came from an interview with Patricia Highsmith that I read in the 1990s; the journalist described her life in a beautiful house near the mountains in Switzerland. Still a teenager, I thought this was the kind of life I wanted. Not necessarily Switzerland, I thought. A small apartment in the city could also satisfy my dreams of quietude, if I were able to work at home.

But my teenage dreams …

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A Letter From Beijing, Where There Is No Normal to Go Back to | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Beijing, Where There Is No Normal to Go Back to

During Months in Lockdown, a Family Grows Closer and Gets Better at Taking Disappointments in Stride 

In China, people have recently emerged after spending months in their homes. Ching-Ching Ni, editor-in-chief of the New York Times Chinese website, explained to Zócalo how being stuck at home …

A Letter From Beirut, Where the Taxis Have Resumed Honking | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Beirut, Where the Taxis Have Resumed Honking

Amid Lebanon’s Economic Collapse, Fear of the Virus Briefly Amended the Social Contract

The eeriest thing about Beirut’s streets during the first weeks of the quarantine—the lull between two storms, before the protesters returned to the streets and started throwing Molotov cocktails at …

A Letter From Quezon City, Where the Stars Have Come Back | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Quezon City, Where the Stars Have Come Back

In the Philippines, COVID-19 Has Made the Air Cleaner—And Revealed the Nation’s Deeper Challenges

It’s amazing how much more you’re able to see when you can’t go wherever you want.

We’re now more than six weeks into the “enhanced community quarantine” for Luzon. Just as …

A Letter From Greece, Where a Photo of a Sheep Is Going Viral | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Greece, Where Quarantined Sheep Go for Walks

A Daily Debate About Safety and Freedom Has Kept Greeks Safe From Sickness

For Athens, I am in the middle of nowhere. It’s early morning, and I have walked up the hill that overlooks our apartment building with my dog, Skeletor, a young, …