SLO Down, You Move Too Fast, California

In Praise of the Peaceful Pleasures of San Luis Obispo County

SLO down, California. Even in pandemic, you move too fast.

This new year, perhaps we should all resolve to model the spirit of SLO, the acronym that embodies San Luis Obispo, perhaps the easiest place in California to catch your breath and get a little rest.

SLO has been central to my own coping strategy during this miserable COVID year. Whenever work pressures or distance learning horrors or home confinement makes our family feel like we’re going insane, the five of us take our 2006 Toyota Scion three hours north from L.A. …

Our Favorite Events of 2020 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Favorite Events of 2020

Zócalo Went Virtual—But Managed to Stay Grounded in the Big Issues of the Moment

Connecting people to ideas and to each other—Zócalo’s mission for over 17 years now—was never going to be simple in 2020. Well before January, we knew that this year would …

Our Favorite Essays of 2020 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Favorite Essays of 2020

This Year, While We Were Stuck at Home, Our Contributors Brought the World to Us

2020 was not a year that went as anyone expected. Amid a global pandemic, a racial reckoning, and a defining presidential election—not to mention the murder hornets—it’s been an unprecedented …

The Street Vendors Who Make Christmas for New York City | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Street Vendors Who Make Christmas for New York City

With COVID Bearing Down, Gotham’s Neighborhood Tree Sellers May Be More Important Than Ever

It’s hard to imagine New York without Christmas, but what will Christmas look like in a city gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic? Gotham’s Christmas streetscapes are legendary: the towering 75-foot …

Why Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines Might Be Just as Hard as Developing Them | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines Might Be Just as Hard as Developing Them

From Liability Laws to Production Delays, the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine Rollout Offers a Cautionary Tale for Today

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 1,600,000 people worldwide, more than the population of Philadelphia, and it could kill far more if it isn’t brought under control. A number …

Why Is It so Hard to Mourn the Vast Number of COVID Dead? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Is It so Hard to Mourn the Vast Number of COVID Dead?

An Empathy Scientist Reveals How Our Brains Get in the Way of Comprehending Calamity on This Scale

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first U.S. death from COVID-19 on February 29. Within a month, more than 1,000 Americans were dying on a single day. …