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The Core Lesson of the COVID-19 Heart Debate

Editor’s Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here. Last Monday, when I called the cardiologist Amy Kontorovich in the late morning, she apologized for sounding tired. “I’ve been in my lab infecting heart cells…

The Immigrants Who Created New Possibilities

Of the many questions at stake in this fall’s election, one of the less obvious is this: Will the United States remain a country where someone like Barack Obama or Kamala Harris—a person of color with immigrant parents—is likely to be born? The answer depends,…

An Experiment in Wisconsin Might Reveal the Key to Defeating Trump

No state has haunted the Democratic Party’s imagination for the past four years like Wisconsin. While it was not the only state that killed Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes in 2016, it was the one where the knife plunged deepest. Clinton was so confident about Wisconsin…

Even the Coronavirus Can’t Kill the SAT and ACT

Over the summer, more than 400 colleges decided to stop requiring the SAT or the ACT for admissions, because the pandemic had made taking the tests (or even finding a location to take them) so difficult. Some institutions, such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, said…

Alexander Vindman: Trump Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’

Shortly after midnight on June 17, 1972, an unusually attentive security guard named Frank Wills discovered an unlocked door in the garage of the Watergate office complex. A piece of tape had been placed over the latch. Wills removed the tape and continued on his…

Making Joe Biden Cool

Ben Wessel was nervous. Joe Biden had just won the Democratic nomination, and the youth-focused super PAC Wessel runs, NextGen America, now had to figure out how to persuade the generation of TikTok and trigger warnings to turn out to vote for a 77-year-old man…

What Makes a Good Preschool Education

Editor’s Note: In the next five years, most of America’s most experienced teachers will retire. The Baby Boomers are leaving behind a nation of more novice educators. In 1988, a teacher most commonly had 15 years of experience. Less than three decades later, that number…

Learning From Black Educators

Editor’s Note: In the next five years, most of America’s most experienced teachers will retire. The Baby Boomers are leaving behind a nation of more novice educators. In 1988, a teacher most commonly had 15 years of experience. Less than three decades later, that number…

I Accidentally Pandemic-Prepped My House

My obsession with ventilation began long before the pandemic. Five years ago, when I moved from central Tokyo to the coast of Japan, a blanket of humidity seemed to levitate out from the sea and the surrounding mountains, wrapping everything I owned in a moist…

What Scares Charlie Kaufman

Charlie Kaufman’s first new movie in five years is a horror film. In some ways, the same could be said of every feature he’s made. Synecdoche, New York and Anomalisa were eerie tales of existential dread and loneliness. The earlier scripts that made his name…

The Sport That’s Like Playing in a Jazz Quartet

The new NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock is now offering the documentary A Most Beautiful Thing as a free feature. (Details here.) Last week I wrote about the movie, and its surprising timeliness and power, in this article. The film, based on a memoir by Arshay…

Willpower Is Not Going to Be Enough

College students are being invited back onto campus after a summer of isolation and confinement, with strict instructions to stay apart. School officials, pleading with students to treat their new autonomy gingerly, are leaning hard on shame to get compliance. The president of Penn State…

Listen: Plasma and Immunity

The writer F. T. Kola had COVID-19 in March, and she’s still dealing with the aftermath. She returns to the podcast Social Distance to ask about whether she should donate plasma, and if she should worry about “reinfection.” Also on this episode: Atlantic senior editor…

Mask Up and Shut Up

COVID-19 researchers have rightly extolled the virtues of masks, hailed the necessity of ventilation, and praised the salutary nature of outdoor activities. But another behavioral tactic hasn’t received enough attention, in part because it makes itself known by its absence. That tactic is silence. Yes,…

Your Tote Bag Can Make a Difference

My newly adopted home state is on fire again: Scorching heat and lightning strikes have sparked dozens of fires across California, burning an area the size of Rhode Island. Iowa is reeling from a deadly derecho. The mountain west is suffering through a severe drought.…

Paging Dr. Hamblin: Someone Tried to Pet My Dog

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, James Hamblin takes questions from readers about health-related curiosities, concerns, and obsessions. Have one? Email him at [email protected] Dear Dr. Hamblin, My girlfriend and I got a pandemic puppy. He’s a King Charles cavalier named Rooster, and he’s now six months…

The U.S. Is Facing the Possibility of a Truly Illegitimate Election

On Election Day, 1888, approximately one hour after the last vote was cast, four masked men burst into a polling place in Plumerville, Arkansas. Waving pistols and shouting threats, they forced election officials against a wall, seized the ballot box, and disappeared on horseback into…

The Exponential Threat of Pandemic Wildfires

Eleven thousand lightning strikes, 370 wildfires, a pandemic, a heat wave, and rolling blackouts—California has endured a lot this week. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned, and tens of thousands of people have had to evacuate. The largest of the blazes—the LNU Lightning Complex…

Biden’s Holiday From History

This year’s Democratic convention is heavy on biography, light on history. Speaker after speaker has told the story of Joe Biden’s personal life: his working-class roots, his family tragedies, his resilience. The message is that Biden cares about ordinary Americans because he sees their struggles…

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