Articles from The Atlantic

Why We Laugh at the Coronavirus

My phone flashes bright. A new video’s appeared in the family WhatsApp group. Before I’ve even pressed play, I’m smiling—a roll of toilet paper is in shot, so it must be good. Someone replies with a video of a naked man riding a bicycle. Mud’s spattered up his backside. Another toilet gag. A third video arrives of a toddler crying because the local McDonald’s has had to close as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, forcing her to eat her parent’s cooking.

Canceling Everything Was the Easy Part

Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump are political allies, but the Florida governor still wasted weeks playing a deadly game of chicken with the president. Neither man wanted to be the one to tell residents of the third-most-populous state to stay home. Doing so was DeSantis’s job all along, but he was still insisting earlier this week that he would act only if the president told him to. Never mind that Florida has a large elderly population, that the state’s case count had soared past 7,000, or that the White House’s medical experts had been trying to signal the governor to issue an order.

Photos: The Volunteers

At a time when so many folks are in so many kinds of need, volunteers are stepping up around the world to give—to donate their time, skills, materials, and much more. To meet shortages, people are making masks and other personal protective equipment at home. To feed those in need, people are working at food banks and charities. People are shopping for and making deliveries to the more vulnerable, and producing and distributing sanitizers to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Perfect Quarantine Joke Is Not About Quarantine

The Video starts with a woman and a man, both dressed in black. He wears a straw hat. She has very long hair. He turns his back to the camera. She situates herself in front of him, facing the viewer, then bends at the waist, flipping her hair over. She moves her shoulders slightly. Together, the two people … look like a horse. Her hair is the tail. Her shoulders are the rump. That is the extent of the joke.

Face Masks Are In

“We want our country back. We’re not going to be wearing masks forever,” Donald Trump said this week when asked whether his administration would consider calling on Americans to wear masks en masse as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the nation, signaling that he wasn’t exactly comfortable with the idea.

The Coronavirus Exposes the EU’s Limited Power

The coronavirus has proved a great boon to the world’s authoritarians. From the imposition of border closures to the utilization of mass digital surveillance, moves that may have once been classed as dangerous expansions of state power are now being lauded as necessary steps in the global effort to curb a pandemic. Extraordinary times, it has been collectively agreed, call for extraordinary measures.