My Childhood in a Cult Prepared Me for COVID-19 Lockdown 

The Pandemic Pushed Me to Confront My Painful Past, and to Truly Help Save the World—By Listening to Science

I can vividly recall the final time I hugged friends before the lockdown. We were crowded in the velvety closeness of a dark music venue where they were performing. I was robed in embraces and rhythm—rich in love, not knowing this night would be the last of its kind for a long time.

When the pandemic hit, my life was rocked like everyone else’s. But while the changes were swift and thorough, they were not unlike anything I had experienced before.

In the 1970s, I was born into a …

Why Did Tougher COVID Restrictions Help State Economies? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Did Tougher COVID Restrictions Help State Economies?

An Economist Unravels the False Choice Between Business and Public Health

In April 2020, with the pandemic in full swing, the Economist published: “A Grim Calculus: COVID-19 presents stark choices between life, death and the economy.” Soon Americans were blaming the …

A Letter From Paris, Where the New Normal Is Less Grouchy Than You’d Expect | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Paris, Where the New Normal Is Less Grouchy Than You’d Expect

Through Three Lockdowns, Parisians Have Read, Biked, and Even Behaved Like Tourists in Their Own Town

What is the new normal here in Paris? The answer is one that’s less grouchy than you might expect. Mais ça commence à bien faire—it’s getting a little much.

We’re more …

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, …