eliminate Coronavirus Crisis

The Coronavirus Crisis

The Coronavirus Crisis

The Coronavirus Crisis | The New Yorker=n&&++i>=n&&(i=0,r=n-1),t[r%n]=s,r++},this.asArray=function(){var s=t.slice(i,Math.min(r,n)),u=t.slice(0,Math.max(r-n,0));return s.concat(u)},this.list=t}function r(t,r){for(var i=r,s=0;s<t.length;s++){var u=t[s],a=i.r;a[u]||(a[u]={w:u,r:{},i:n++}),i=a[u]}return i}function i(n,t,r){var i;return r[n]?i=r[n]:(i=function(n,t){for(var r=[[t,0]],i={},s=[];r.length;){var u=r.shift(),a=u[0],e=u[1],o=a.r,f=n[e];if(void 0===f&&a.fn&&!i[a.i]?(i[a.i]=1,s.push(a.fn)):o[f]&&r.push([o[f],e+1]),o["#"])for(var h=e;h-1&&a.splice(n,1)}}function o(n,t){var r=Date.now();a.push([n,r]);for(var e=i(n,s,u),o={topic:n},f=0;f<e.length;f++)for(var h=e[f],c=0;c<h.length;c++)h[c](t,o)}this.emit=o,this.on=e,this.history=function(t){var s={w:"",r:{},i:n++};r(t.split("."),s).fn=1;for(var u=[],e={},o=a.asArray(),f=0;f

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The Life You Save May Be Your Ownu003c/a>,” is a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.”,”email”:””,”bio”:null,”social”:[],”url”:”/contributors/paul-elie”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”Monitoring the human face through technology has become the default mode of public encounter.”,”hed”:”Mask Mandates Are Easing, but the Way We Look at Faces Has Changed Forever”,”inlineEmbeds”:{},”issueDate”:””,”ledeCaption”:””,”modifiedAt”:”2021-05-04T22:02:18.798Z”,”photos”:{“tout”:[{“id”:”609195c2fc2181c05c3e055e”,”modelName”:”photo”,”collection”:”photos”,”aspectRatios”:{“2:1”:{“width”:2559,”height”:1279,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:0,”y”:525,”height”:1279,”width”:2559}},”duration”:null},”2:2″:{“width”:1021,”height”:1021,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:850,”y”:600,”height”:1021,”width”:1021}},”duration”:null},”16:9″:{“width”:2325,”height”:1307,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:141,”y”:497,”height”:1307,”width”:2325}},”duration”:null},”4:3″:{“width”:2039,”height”:1529,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:152,”y”:275,”height”:1529,”width”:2039}},”duration”:null},”1:1″:{“width”:1555,”height”:1555,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:472,”y”:249,”height”:1555,”width”:1555}},”duration”:null},”master”:{“format”:”JPEG”,”url”:”https://cn-copilot-media.s3.amazonaws.com/public/tny-services/production/2021/05/04/609195c2fc2181c05c3e055d_Elie-FaceMasks2.jpg”,”width”:2560,”height”:1805,”duration”:null}},”caption”:[“div”,[“p”,”The United States is far from leaving masks behind, since so much of public life takes place indoors—on subways, in offices, and in houses of worship.”]],”altText”:”A man sits on the train wearing a mask.”,”credit”:”Photograph by Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg / Getty”,”filename”:”Elie-FaceMasks2.jpg”,”revision”:7,”tags”:[],”title”:””,”variants”:{}}]},”promoDek”:”Monitoring the human face through technology has become the default mode of public encounter.”,”promoHed”:”Mask Mandates Are Easing, but the Way We Look at Faces Has Changed Forever”,”pubDate”:”May 4, 2021″,”related”:[],”rubric”:{“name”:”Daily Comment”,”url”:”/news/daily-comment”},”seoDescription”:”Paul Elie on the relaxing of mask mandates and how technologies, including Zoom and facial recognition, have changed the way we apprehend the human face. “,”seoTitle”:”Mask Mandates Are Easing, but the Way We Look at Faces Has Changed Forever”,”socialDescription”:”Monitoring the human face through technology has become the default mode of public encounter.”,”socialTitle”:”Mask Mandates Are Easing, but the Way We Look at Faces Has Changed Forever”,”subChannel”:”Daily Comment”,”tags”:[“Coronavirus”,”Masks”,”Facial Recognition”,”Infinite Jest”,”Technology”],”url”:”/news/daily-comment/mask-mandates-are-easing-but-the-way-we-look-at-faces-has-changed-forever”,”videos”:{},”issue”:{},”isoPubDate”:”2021-05-04T22:00:00.000Z”,”photo”:{“id”:”609195c2fc2181c05c3e055e”,”modelName”:”photo”,”collection”:”photos”,”aspectRatios”:{“2:1”:{“width”:2559,”height”:1279,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:0,”y”:525,”height”:1279,”width”:2559}},”duration”:null},”2:2″:{“width”:1021,”height”:1021,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:850,”y”:600,”height”:1021,”width”:1021}},”duration”:null},”16:9″:{“width”:2325,”height”:1307,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:141,”y”:497,”height”:1307,”width”:2325}},”duration”:null},”4:3″:{“width”:2039,”height”:1529,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:152,”y”:275,”height”:1529,”width”:2039}},”duration”:null},”1:1″:{“width”:1555,”height”:1555,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:472,”y”:249,”height”:1555,”width”:1555}},”duration”:null},”master”:{“format”:”JPEG”,”url”:”https://cn-copilot-media.s3.amazonaws.com/public/tny-services/production/2021/05/04/609195c2fc2181c05c3e055d_Elie-FaceMasks2.jpg”,”width”:2560,”height”:1805,”duration”:null}},”caption”:[“div”,[“p”,”The United States is far from leaving masks behind, since so much of public life takes place indoors—on subways, in offices, and in houses of worship.”]],”altText”:”A man sits on the train wearing a mask.”,”credit”:”Photograph by Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg / Getty”,”filename”:”Elie-FaceMasks2.jpg”,”revision”:7,”tags”:[],”title”:””,”variants”:{}}}],”itemsPerPage”:5,”template”:”secondary”,”layout”:””,”totalCount”:3,”containerTemplateName”:”top-articles”},{“id”:”5b58e6d992497e4fd00174af”,”dek”:””,”hed”:”The Latest”,”items”:[{“id”:”609d9e8c3d13be160443401c”,”modelName”:”article”,”collection”:”articles”,”body”:[“div”,[“p”,”When “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/coronavirus”},”coronavirus”],” quarantines were announced, more than a year ago, artists began sending in sketches about our new, locked-in reality. One of those sketches, from Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu, who is based in Istanbul, looked far ahead, imagining the thrill and poignancy of a world reopening. Today, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/indias-crisis-marks-a-new-phase-in-the-pandemic”},”the pandemic is far from over”],”, but many countries are finally exhaling, and it seemed apt to publish Ekşioğlu’s image. We recently talked to the artist about his pandemic experience.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”How has “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID-19″],” affected you in the past year?”]],[“p”,”During the crisis, I felt a deep anxiety and fear of death. Having to be home all the time made me feel as if my soul were in the dark. But now that I and many of my friends and family are vaccinated, I feel much better.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”Did you remain confined for a long time, and, if so, how did that affect your artistic production?”]],[“p”,”Ironically, the lockdown positively affected my artistic production. I probably drew about twenty new pieces, which I published on social media. I also produced work for a personal exhibition that will open after the pandemic. And, since I’m a professor at a university, I’ve continued my courses online.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”This image expresses what many of us feel when there’s an easing of restrictions. Is life in Istanbul regaining some normalcy?”]],[“p”,”Unfortunately, only about fifteen per cent of the population is vaccinated in Turkey. So, no: we’re still under lockdown, there are many curfews, and we have to use masks everywhere. But one can hope. I dreamed of returning to life while I was working on this image. Today, I am happy to be closer to that dream.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”What’s the first place you’ll want to visit once it’s safe to be out in the world?”]],[“p”,”I want to come back to New York as soon as I can. It’s been ten years since I was last there, and I miss the city very much.”],[“p”,”See below for more covers by Ekşioğlu:”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22feature-small%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22callout%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522callout%2522%252C%2522name%2522%253A%2522group-3%2522%252C%2522body%2522%253A%2522%253Cinline-embed%2520type%253D%255C%2522image%255C%2522%2520meta%253D%255C%2522%25257B%252522type%252522%25253A%252522image%252522%25252C%252522url%252522%25253A%252522%25252Fphotos%25252F609eb0303cb60a570a4defdc%252522%25252C%252522width%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522height%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522caption%252522%25253A%252522%25253Cp%25253E%25253Ca%252520href%25253D%25255C%252522https%25253A%25252F%25252Farchives.newyorker.com%25252Fnewyorker%25252F1992-01-06%25252Fflipbook%25252FCV1%25252F%25255C%252522%25253E%2525E2%252580%25259CJanuary%2525206%25252C%2525201992%2525E2%252580%25259D%25253C%25252Fa%25253E%25253C%25252Fp%25253E%25255Cn%252522%25257D%255C%2522%2520ref%253D%255C%2522609eb0303cb60a570a4defdc%255C%2522%253E%253C%252Finline-embed%253E%253Cinline-embed%2520type%253D%255C%2522image%255C%2522%2520meta%253D%255C%2522%25257B%252522type%252522%25253A%252522image%252522%25252C%252522url%252522%25253A%252522%25252Fphotos%25252F609eb022c44baf2477a6188d%252522%25252C%252522width%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522height%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522caption%252522%25253A%252522%25253Cp%25253E%25253Ca%252520href%25253D%25255C%252522https%25253A%25252F%25252Farchives.newyorker.com%25252Fnewyorker%25252F2003-09-15%25252Fflipbook%25252FCV1%25252F%25255C%252522%25253E%2525E2%252580%25259CTwin%252520Towers%2525E2%252580%25259D%25253C%25252Fa%25253E%25253C%25252Fp%25253E%25255Cn%252522%25257D%255C%2522%2520ref%253D%255C%2522609eb022c44baf2477a6188d%255C%2522%253E%253C%252Finline-embed%253E%253Cinline-embed%2520type%253D%255C%2522image%255C%2522%2520meta%253D%255C%2522%25257B%252522type%252522%25253A%252522image%252522%25252C%252522url%252522%25253A%252522%25252Fphotos%25252F609eb0be98e3953d886a0526%252522%25252C%252522width%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522height%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522caption%252522%25253A%252522%25253Cp%25253E%25253Ca%252520href%25253D%25255C%252522https%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.newyorker.com%25252Fnews%25252Fnews-desk%25252Fcover-story-erasing-osama%25255C%252522%25253E%2525E2%252580%25259CRubbed%252520Out%2525E2%252580%25259D%25253C%25252Fa%25253E%25253C%25252Fp%25253E%25255Cn%252522%25257D%255C%2522%2520ref%253D%255C%2522609eb0be98e3953d886a0526%255C%2522%253E%253C%252Finline-embed%253E%2522%252C%2522attrs%2522%253A%257B%257D%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%22%5C%22%3E%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22image%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522image%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fphotos%252F609eb0303cb60a570a4defdc%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%253Cp%253E%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Farchives.newyorker.com%252Fnewyorker%252F1992-01-06%252Fflipbook%252FCV1%252F%255C%2522%253E%25E2%2580%259CJanuary%25206%252C%25201992%25E2%2580%259D%253C%252Fa%253E%253C%252Fp%253E%255Cn%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%22609eb0303cb60a570a4defdc%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22image%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522image%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fphotos%252F609eb022c44baf2477a6188d%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%253Cp%253E%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Farchives.newyorker.com%252Fnewyorker%252F2003-09-15%252Fflipbook%252FCV1%252F%255C%2522%253E%25E2%2580%259CTwin%2520Towers%25E2%2580%259D%253C%252Fa%253E%253C%252Fp%253E%255Cn%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%22609eb022c44baf2477a6188d%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22image%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522image%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fphotos%252F609eb0be98e3953d886a0526%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%253Cp%253E%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fnews%252Fnews-desk%252Fcover-story-erasing-osama%255C%2522%253E%25E2%2580%259CRubbed%2520Out%25E2%2580%259D%253C%252Fa%253E%253C%252Fp%253E%255Cn%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%22609eb0be98e3953d886a0526%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%3Cp%3EFind%20G%C3%BCrb%C3%BCz%20Do%C4%9Fan%20Ek%C5%9Fio%C4%9Flu%E2%80%99s%20covers%2C%20cartoons%2C%20and%20more%20at%20the%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22http%3A%2F%2Fcondenaststore.com%2Ffeatured%2Fswitch.html%3Fcatalogid%3DTNY-2021-05-24%5C%22%3ECond%C3%A9%20Nast%20Store%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22callout%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522callout%2522%252C%2522name%2522%253A%2522inline-ad%2522%252C%2522body%2522%253A%2522%253Cp%253Eadvertisement%253C%25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has a long and complicated relationship with the Olympics. Tokyo’s successful bid for the 1940 Summer Games was the first such campaign by a non-Western nation, but Japan’s invasion of China in 1937 compelled the government to forfeit its hard-won hosting privileges to the runner-up city of Helsinki. (The Games were eventually cancelled altogether, after the outbreak of the Second World War.) The 1964 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo, represented a triumphant comeback for a country that in wartime defeat had fallen to the status of a “fourth-rate nation,” as General Douglas MacArthur “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/d/dower-defeat.html”},”put it”],” just days after Japan’s surrender. Now, in 2021, the Tokyo Olympics teeter on the brink once again. The cause, this time, isn’t war or geopolitics. It is the collective voice of Japanese citizens, energized in their demands that the Games be cancelled.”],[“p”,”Their problem isn’t with the Olympics per se, although local commentators have decried the vast sums being spent on the efforts—the equivalent of some “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://apnews.com/article/tokyo-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-tokyo-olympics-japan-olympic-games-3c46bce81928865d9aae0832b5ddd9e3″},”$15.4 billion”],”, double the amount that Tokyo’s organizers claimed would be needed when they won the bid, in 2013. Rather, the Olympics have become a symbol of the Japanese government’s inept response to the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/coronavirus”},”coronavirus pandemic”],”.”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-right%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22externallink%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522externallink%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fexternallinks%252F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%225e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”externallink”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22externallink%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fexternallinks%2F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd”}]],[“p”,”Despite the government’s having procured more than three hundred million vaccine doses from foreign manufacturers—the largest amount of any country in Asia—a combination of “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/02/6b5b9a101956-fewer-people-to-get-pfizer-vaccine-in-japan-due-to-syringe-shortage.html”},”logistical blunders”],”, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/03/07/national/japan-may-approve-second-covid-19-vaccine-may-health-minister-says/”},”regulatory hurdles”],”, and “,[“a”,{“href”:”http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14329805″},”lack of manpower”],” for administering shots has conspired to keep the vast majority out of the arms of citizens. Immunizations for the nation’s nearly five million frontline health-care workers began in February, but less than a third of this group has been fully vaccinated. And efforts to vaccinate the population at large began only in April, with citizens sixty-five and older; as of May 13th, only forty-five thousand senior citizens had completed both doses of the Pfizer regimen. (Due to bureaucratic red tape, Pfizer remains the only vaccine currently approved for use in Japan.) Infections continue to rage in major cities—the nation experienced “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h01009/”},”more deaths”],” from “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 in the first four months of 2021 than it did in all of 2020, and, as a percentage of the population, the death rate in Osaka is currently outstripping that of India. Yet there remains no official timetable for when those under sixty-five will begin to receive shots. The situation led the Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, to extend through the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-government-seeks-extend-state-emergency-may-31-2021-05-07/”},”remainder of the month”],” a state of emergency that had been expected to end on May 11th.”],[“p”,”The government’s insistence on holding the Olympics in spite of it all has led to widespread discontent in Japan. Originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, the Games were “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/28946033/tokyo-olympics-officially-postponed-2021″},”postponed”],” for a year; in March, with the nation’s borders still locked down to nonresidents, the government “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/03/4f0072fe1b20-spectators-not-allowed-at-start-of-tokyo-olympic-torch-relay.html”},”announced”],” that the events would have to proceed without overseas spectators. Suga has sworn that he is committed to a “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210423/p2g/00m/0na/112000c”},”safe and secure Olympics”],”,” but in practice has done little to inspire confidence. The announcement that he had procured vaccines for the visiting athletes and their entourages sparked questions, still unanswered, about the safety of thousands of unvaccinated Japanese volunteers. Then, in “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/20210502-OYT1T50197/”},”April”],”, six Olympic officials came down with “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 while overseeing the running of the torch in Kagoshima. (In a cruel irony, several seem to have caught it while holding up signs encouraging social distancing among the spectators.) Organizers’ subsequent requests for hundreds of doctors and nurses to volunteer at the Games, even as hospital facilities in several major cities are nearing their “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/1635/”},”breaking points”],”, have drawn “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/may/03/japan-nurses-voice-anger-at-call-to-volunteer-for-tokyo-olympics-amid-covid-crisis”},”sharp rebukes”],” from health-care professionals. “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASP4D6GW7P4DUZPS004.html”},”Recent surveys”],” show that a majority of citizens want the Games either stopped or postponed again; meanwhile, an “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.change.org/p/%E8%8F%85%E7%BE%A9%E5%81%89%E9%A6%96%E7%9B%B8-%E4%BA%BA%E3%80%85%E3%81%AE%E5%91%BD%E3%81%A8%E6%9A%AE%E3%82%89%E3%81%97%E3%82%92%E5%AE%88%E3%82%8B%E3%81%9F%E3%82%81%E3%81%AB-%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%AC%E4%BA%94%E8%BC%AA%E3%81%AE%E9%96%8B%E5%82%AC%E4%B8%AD%E6%AD%A2%E3%82%92%E6%B1%82%E3%82%81%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99-04a29b1b-b19d-4582-9b7b-7b29f030ccc3?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_28685503_ja-JP%3A0&recruiter=1199662576&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition”},”online petition”],” calling for their cancellation garnered three hundred and fifty thousand signatures.”],[“p”,”Suga has promised to accelerate the pace of vaccinations to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/05/42095757c1b3-urgent-japan-in-talks-with-moderna-novavax-for-200-mil-vaccine-doses-suga.html”},”a million a da”],”y, but has articulated little in the way of concrete plans, couching his vision in terms of broad “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://twitter.com/Ninetail_foxQ/status/1390859925518098433?s=20″},”aims”],”.” During a recent press conference, the vaccine czar Taro Kono admitted that municipal vaccine-reservation hotlines had been “,[“a”,{“href”:”http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14345662″},”overwhelmed”],”, but “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/05/08/national/coronavirus-rollout-bottleneck-japan/”},”requested”],” that “people refrain from issuing complaints.””],[“p”,”They have not refrained. On Tuesday, the publisher Takarajimasha took out “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://twitter.com/Matt_Alt/status/1391918821607313410?s=20″},”two-page color ads”],” in several national newspapers. Above a vintage black-and-white photograph of schoolchildren being drilled with makeshift weapons in the desperate last days of the Second World War, a crimson rendering of a coronavirus hovers in a grotesque parody of Japan’s national flag. The tagline reads, “No vaccines. No medicine. Do you expect us to fight with bamboo spears? If things keep up like this, we’ll be killed by politics.””],[“p”,”To date, the 1940 Games remain Japan’s only forfeited Olympics, but they are joined by a famous failure from fantasy. The 1988 anime film “Akira,” directed by Katsuhiro Otomo and based on his manga series of the same name, is set in a post-apocalyptic “Neo-Tokyo” of 2019. The promise of a glimmering skyline filled with futuristic skyscrapers is quickly betrayed by violence unfolding in the streets below, where hapless citizens are menaced by vicious biker gangs, militarized police, political extremists, money-grubbing politicians, bizarre millennial cults, and military-engineered killer psychics. The climax takes place in an Olympic stadium that is still under construction. The sign out front marks a hundred and forty-seven days remaining until the opening ceremony, exhorting, “Let’s all pull together to make this a success.” But visible beneath this cheerful slogan is a spray-painted graffito: “”,[“em”,”Chuushi da chuushi”],””—“Cancel it, cancel!” or, in a more prosaic translation, “Just stop it.””],[“p”,”As of this writing, there are far fewer than a hundred and forty-seven days left until the real-life Olympics, and, as opening day approaches, the lines between fact and fantasy are blurring. Japanese netizens were quick to note the connection between “Akira” and the events unfolding in the real world. Student protesters at Kyoto University erected a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://twitter.com/demokyoto/status/1233596624594591749″},”simulacrum”],” of the Akira billboard in February of 2020, and, over the course of the year, the phrase “Just stop it” emerged as a rallying cry for those opposed to holding the Games. At street protests in “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaf8nfhRtpU”},”March”],”, participants marched through the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo behind a banner festooned with the phrase in English and Japanese. On May 9th, more than a hundred protesters marched outside of Tokyo’s National Stadium with similar signs.”],[“p”,”Throughout the nineteen-sixties and early seventies, increasingly sophisticated forms of anime and manga nourished the Japanese student-protest movement, in much the same way that folk rock embodied the spirit of American antiwar activism. For decades, this remained a local phenomenon, but, as anime has grown from a subculture into a major international export, this has begun to happen abroad as well. In recent years, anime characters have been pressed into service by aggrieved groups across the political spectrum, ranging from the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2015/11/dreaded-anime-avatar-explained.html”},”acolytes of Donald Trump”],” to those fighting for democracy in the streets of “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://qz.com/1729995/japanese-anime-is-coming-to-life-in-the-hong-kong-protests/”},”Hong Kong”],” and “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/thai-youths-resort-to-subversive-anime-in-pro-democracy-protest”},”Thailand”],”. One could say that the Tokyo Olympic protesters’ use of anime imagery represents a return to roots.”],[“p”,”At the climax of “Akira,” the film’s protagonist, Kaneda, and his foil, Tetsuo, a biker buddy transformed into an enormous amoeba-like creature, destroy the Olympic stadium while Neo-Tokyo’s citizens riot in the streets. In present-day Tokyo, things have not reached this crescendo of chaos. The protests have been orderly, focussed on the matter at hand, and refreshingly without digressions into nationalism or xenophobia. But the numerous and serious concerns about the government’s response to the pandemic remain. Prominent voices have begun speaking out. “If it’s putting people at risk, and if it’s making people very uncomfortable, then it definitely should be a discussion” as to whether the Games should be held, the tennis star “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/sports/sporting-scene/naomi-osaka-the-most-thrilling-athlete-of-her-generation-wins-the-australian-open”},”Naomi Osaka”],” “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/31416008/naomi-osaka-conflicted-holding-tokyo-olympics”},”said”],”. The C.E.O. of Rakuten, Japan’s domestic e-commerce giant, was more blunt in an “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://edition.cnn.com/videos/business/2021/05/14/rakuten-ceo-olympics-suicide-mission-hiroshi-mikitani-tokyo-2020-spt-intl-business.cnn/video/playlists/international-sport-playlist-general-videos/”},”interview with CNN”],”, declaring the Games a “suicide mission.” It is unclear whether Tokyo will play host to the Summer Olympics as planned, or if the event will fade into memory alongside the phantom Games of 1940. But, however it plays out, chances are that history will frame this period in much the same terms as that epic animated conflict from “Akira”: furious Japanese citizens battling a mutating foe, against the backdrop of an Olympics that nobody save politicians seems to want.”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Chr%3E%5Cn%3Ch2%3EMore%20on%20the%20Coronavirus%3C%2Fh2%3E%5Cn%3Cul%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhat%20will%20it%20take%20to%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fwhat-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Epandemic-proof%20the%20United%20States%3C%2Fa%3E%3F%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20last%20time%20a%20vaccine%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fthe-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esaved%20America%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhen%20the%20virus%20arrived%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdispatch%2Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3ESweden%20embarked%20on%20a%20risky%20experiment%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EIn%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20outbreak%2C%20a%20trauma%20surgeon%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fa-doctors-dark-year%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Etravelled%20to%20the%20edge%20and%20back%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20head%20of%20the%20American%20Federation%20of%20Teachers%20on%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fq-and-a%2Frandi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Ehow%20to%20reopen%20schools%20safely%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EEven%20before%20the%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20crisis%2C%20global%20instability%20had%20caused%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fthe-politics-of-stopping-pandemics%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eworrying%20rise%20in%20epidemics%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“hr”],[“h2″,”More on the Coronavirus”],[“ul”,[“li”,”What will it take to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/what-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”pandemic-proof the United States”],”?”],[“li”,”The last time a vaccine “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/the-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”saved America”],”.”],[“li”,”When the virus arrived, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/swedens-pandemic-experiment?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”Sweden embarked on a risky experiment”],”.”],[“li”,”In the heart of the outbreak, a trauma surgeon “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/a-doctors-dark-year?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”travelled to the edge and back”],”.”],[“li”,”The head of the American Federation of Teachers on “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/randi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”how to reopen schools safely”],”.”],[“li”,”Even before the “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 crisis, global instability had caused a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-politics-of-stopping-pandemics?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”worrying rise in epidemics”],”.”]]]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5c2e1c8b2710c62d10815433″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Summer”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”summer”},{“id”:”5c2e1cdd36cecf401921427e”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Olympics”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”olympics”},{“id”:”5c2e1c7d36cecf40192141d9″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Japan”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”japan”},{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”}],”sections”:[{“id”:”590411aa6870945b4d262380″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Culture”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”culture”,”children”:[{“id”:”5907ef00ebe912338a37171f”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[{“id”:”5907ef00ebe912338a37171f”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Cultural Comment”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”cultural-comment”},{“id”:”590411aa6870945b4d262380″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Culture”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”culture”},{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”}],”name”:”Cultural Comment”,”parent”:[{“id”:”590411aa6870945b4d262380″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Culture”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”culture”}],”photos”:{},”root”:{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”},”slug”:”cultural-comment”}]}]},”channel”:”Culture”,”contentSource”:”web”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Matt Alt”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Matt Alt is the author of “u003ca href=”https://www.amazon.com/Pure-Invention-Japans-Culture-Conquered/dp/1984826697″>Pure Invention: How Japan Made the Modern Worldu003c/a>.””,”email”:””,”bio”:null,”social”:[],”url”:”/contributors/matt-alt”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”The government’s inept response to the coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread discontent about hosting the Games.”,”hed”:”Japan’s Olympic-Sized Problem”,”inlineEmbeds”:{},”issueDate”:””,”ledeCaption”:””,”modifiedAt”:”2021-05-17T01:19:17.209Z”,”photos”:{“tout”:[{“id”:”609ef1ba3cf0efd82bd84fe1″,”modelName”:”photo”,”collection”:”photos”,”aspectRatios”:{“2:1”:{“width”:2559,”height”:1279,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:0,”y”:191,”height”:1279,”width”:2559}},”duration”:null},”2:2″:{“width”:1707,”height”:1707,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:212,”y”:0,”height”:1707,”width”:1707}},”duration”:null},”16:9″:{“width”:2560,”height”:1440,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“height”:1440,”width”:2560,”x”:0,”y”:0}},”duration”:null},”4:3″:{“width”:2276,”height”:1707,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“height”:1707,”width”:2276,”x”:142,”y”:0}},”duration”:null},”1:1″:{“width”:1707,”height”:1707,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:197,”y”:0,”height”:1707,”width”:1707}},”duration”:null},”master”:{“format”:”JPEG”,”url”:”https://cn-copilot-media.s3.amazonaws.com/public/tny-services/production/2021/05/14/609ef1ba3cf0efd82bd84fe0_Alt-OlympicsProtest.jpg”,”width”:2560,”height”:1707,”duration”:null}},”caption”:[“div”,[“p”,”Many Japanese citizens oppose the government’s plan to hold the Tokyo Olympics despite a coronavirus surge and lagging immunization rates.”]],”altText”:”People protest the Tokyo Olympics, holding signs reading, “Just Stop It” and “Abolish IOC””,”credit”:”Photograph by Yuichi Yamazaki / Getty”,”filename”:”Alt-OlympicsProtest.jpg”,”revision”:7,”tags”:[],”title”:””,”variants”:{}}]},”promoDek”:”The government’s inept response to the coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread discontent about hosting the Games.”,”promoHed”:”Japan’s Olympic-Sized Problem”,”pubDate”:”May 16, 2021″,”related”:[],”rubric”:{“name”:”Cultural Comment”,”url”:”/culture/cultural-comment”},”seoDescription”:”Matt Alt writes about the Japanese government’s inept response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the resulting widespread discontent about the country’s plan to move forward with hosting the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics.”,”seoTitle”:”Japan’s Olympic-Sized Problem”,”socialDescription”:”The government’s inept response to 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just before the new year, Ramanan Laxminarayan, an epidemiologist and economist at Princeton, has been camped out with his family in an apartment in New Delhi. Laxminarayan is the founder and director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy, and is an expert in antibiotic resistance. During the pandemic, he’s been studying “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/coronavirus”},”coronavirus”],” transmission in India. He works from home, spending nearly all his time indoors until five-thirty each day, when he takes his dog out for a stroll. Together, they explore Vasant Vihar, an embassy-filled neighborhood in the southwest of the city.”],[“p”,”Laxminarayan’s walks have changed in recent weeks. Coronavirus deaths in India have “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/how-covid-19-surged-again-in-india”},”skyrocketed”],”, and a frightening atmosphere has descended. New Delhi is roughly as dense as New York City, with some thirty thousand residents per square mile. But now Laxminarayan passes just a few scattered people; almost everyone stays inside if they can, venturing out only in search of food, medication, or medical care. Before the surge, mask-wearing had declined, but now everyone’s face is covered again. “You need public-health enforcement when the pandemic is invisible,” Laxminarayan told me. “Now fear is the dominant force changing people’s behavior.””],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-right%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22externallink%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522externallink%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fexternallinks%252F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%225e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”externallink”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22externallink%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fexternallinks%2F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd”}]],[“p”,”Government statistics indicate that the virus is newly infecting millions of Indians each week, and that some twenty thousand or thirty thousand people are dying weekly. But most experts, including Laxminarayan, believe that those numbers capture a fraction of the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/indias-uncounted-covid-19-deaths”},”true “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 toll”],”. “It’s a war zone,” Laxminarayan said. “It’s worse than what you’re reading in the papers or seeing on TV. Whatever the numbers are, they don’t tell the full story. The human toll is devastating.” The current surge differs fundamentally from India’s experience last year. “This is truly a national wave,” Laxminarayan said. “It’s not urban. It’s not rural. It’s not north or south. It’s everywhere.” He went on, “During the first wave, the poor suffered the bulk of the health and economic toll. Now everyone is affected. I personally don’t know a single family that doesn’t have “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” in it right now. I don’t mean in their extended family. I mean in their nuclear family.””],[“p”,”In late April, after his dentist’s parents both died and after a colleague fell ill and couldn’t get oxygen, Laxminarayan decided to shift from “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” research to “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” relief. He and his team at C.D.D.E.P. decided to focus on India’s oxygen-supply problem, which has fundamentally limited the nation’s hospital capacity. They launched an initiative called OxygenForIndia, raising eight and a half million dollars in two weeks; with the help of corporate partners, among them Verizon Media, Logitech, and UiPath, they have secured more than two thousand oxygen concentrators—portable devices that remove nitrogen from the air to produce purified oxygen—and thirty thousand cylinders to store gaseous oxygen. By “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/more-covid-19-help-pours-in-for-india-questions-raised-about-aid-allocation-101620098535360.html”},”some estimates”],”, those cylinder donations add up to more gaseous oxygen than India has received through foreign aid to date. “Right now, no one wants to leave a hospital bed they’re in,” Laxminarayan said. “It’s the only place they know perhaps they can get oxygen. We want to assure people they will have oxygen at home, so that hospital capacity is freed up for the sickest patients.” Laxminarayan thinks that bolstering critical-care capacity is a long-term proposition—“You can’t make doctors and nurses overnight”—and that India is better served today by making more efficient use of its existing infrastructure.”],[“p”,”OxygenForIndia has “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6795241004300570624/”},”already started”],” delivering oxygen to people’s homes, but the organization’s larger goal is to partner with hospitals in urban areas: Delhi, Bangalore, and Kolkata, among others. Doctors, along with algorithms, will triage patients upon presentation or as they improve before discharge. Those deemed safe to go home with supportive oxygen will be given a Q.R. code to be scanned at a nearby warehouse, where they can collect an oxygen cylinder or concentrator to keep as long as they need. (Cylinders must be refilled at the warehouse each day; concentrators can be used continuously at home.) “I’m hoping this is a scalable model that can be used by other countries when they face their big “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” wave,” Laxminarayan said. “Because there’s no reason to believe they won’t.””]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EThe%20air%20around%20us%2C%20which%20contains%20twenty-one-per-cent%20oxygen%2C%20must%20be%20concentrated%20and%20purified%20to%20produce%20the%20medical-grade%20gas%20that%20people%20need%20when%20the%20coronavirus%20besieges%20their%20lungs.%20The%20most%20efficient%20way%20to%20accomplish%20this%E2%80%94the%20default%20in%20wealthy%20countries%E2%80%94is%20for%20factories%20to%20produce%20liquid%20oxygen%2C%20which%20tanker%20trucks%20then%20deliver%20to%20hospitals%2C%20where%20it%20can%20be%20stored%20in%20large%20containers%20and%20then%20piped%20into%20patients%E2%80%99%20rooms.%20Many%20hospitals%20in%20poor%20countries%2C%20however%2C%20aren%E2%80%99t%20equipped%20to%20store%20liquid%20oxygen%2C%20and%20must%20rely%20on%20an%20external%20supply.%20If%20a%20hospital%20is%20in%20a%20remote%20location%2C%20this%20can%20be%20a%20serious%20logistical%20challenge.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAnother%20option%20is%20to%20install%20on-site%20plants%20that%20extract%20oxygen%20from%20the%20air.%20These%20systems%2C%20which%20use%20a%20technology%20known%20as%20pressure%20swing%20adsorption%2C%20or%20P.S.A.%2C%20are%20expensive%2C%20and%20require%20maintenance.%20In%20October%2C%20the%20Indian%20government%20announced%20plans%20to%20build%20a%20hundred%20and%20sixty-two%20such%20plants%20around%20the%20country%3B%20thus%20far%2C%20thirty-three%20have%20been%20installed.%20Laxminarayan%E2%80%99s%20organization%20also%20hopes%20to%20create%20dozens%20of%20oxygen-generation%20plants%20at%20Indian%20hospitals.%20For%20now%2C%20many%20hospitals%20rely%20on%20simpler%2C%20decentralized%20technology%2C%20which%20comes%20with%20disadvantages%3A%20the%20gaseous%20oxygen%20contained%20in%20cylinders%20can%20cost%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2021%2F05%2F04%2Fworld%2Foxygen-shortage-covid.html%5C%22%3Eten%20times%20as%20much%3C%2Fa%3E%20as%20its%20liquid%20equivalent%2C%20and%20oxygen%20concentrators%20are%20usually%20intended%20for%20only%20one%20or%20a%20few%20patients%20at%20a%20time.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EWhatever%20the%20process%2C%20it%E2%80%99s%20clear%20that%20too%20many%20Indians%20are%20going%20without%20the%20oxygen%20they%20need.%20Since%20this%20February%2C%20India%E2%80%99s%20oxygen%20requirements%20have%20increased%20fifteenfold%3B%20it%20now%20needs%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fscroll.in%2Farticle%2F992928%2Fhow-grave-is-indias-oxygen-emergency-worse-than-the-government-admits%5C%22%3Enearly%20three%20times%3C%2Fa%3E%20as%20much%20medical-grade%20oxygen%20as%20it%20did%20during%20the%20height%20of%20its%20first%20wave.%20Some%20hospitals%20have%20run%20out%20of%20oxygen%2C%20and%20others%20are%20on%20the%20precipice.%20Hospitals%20won%E2%80%99t%20admit%20patients%20whom%20they%20can%E2%80%99t%20treat%3B%20many%20Indians%20therefore%20suffer%20a%20suffocating%20illness%20at%20home.%20The%20government%20is%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wsj.com%2Farticles%2Findias-oxygen-express-races-to-supply-hospitals-but-covid-patients-die-as-stocks-run-out-11620213025%5C%22%3Edoing%20what%20it%20can%3C%2Fa%3E%3A%20granting%20oxygen-transport%20vehicles%20an%20ambulance-like%20status%20on%20roads%3B%20leveraging%20the%20national%20railway%20service%20to%20move%20tankers%20around%20the%20country%3B%20enlisting%20the%20air%20force%20to%20transport%20empty%20containers%20back%20to%20factories%20to%20be%20refilled.%20On%20Wednesday%2C%20India%E2%80%99s%20Supreme%20Court%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnbc.com%2F2021%2F05%2F06%2Findia-covid-crisis-cases-fatalities-rise-as-oxygen-shortage-persists.html%5C%22%3Eordered%3C%2Fa%3E%20the%20federal%20government%20to%20present%20a%20more%20comprehensive%20plan%20to%20meet%20New%20Delhi%E2%80%99s%20oxygen%20needs.%20Meanwhile%2C%20foreign%20governments%20and%20international%20aid%20organizations%20are%20sending%20ventilators%2C%20concentrators%2C%20and%20cylinders.%20Still%2C%20each%20day%20brings%20fresh%20reports%20of%20people%20dying%20because%20they%20can%E2%80%99t%20get%20oxygen.%20(The%20shortage%20is%20likely%20to%20spread%3A%20globally%2C%20the%20deficit%20of%20medical%20oxygen%E2%80%94the%20gap%20between%20what%E2%80%99s%20needed%20and%20what%E2%80%99s%20being%20produced%E2%80%94has%20tripled%20in%20recent%20months%2C%20in%20part%20owing%20to%20the%20unmet%20need%20in%20India%20but%20also%20because%20of%20growing%20demand%20in%20South%20America%20and%20the%20Middle%20East.)%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3ETechnically%2C%20Indians%20have%20access%20to%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.commonwealthfund.org%2Finternational-health-policy-center%2Fcountries%2Findia%5C%22%3Euniversal%20health%20coverage%3C%2Fa%3E%3A%20the%20country%E2%80%99s%20constitution%20guarantees%20everyone%20a%20%E2%80%9Cright%20to%20life%2C%E2%80%9D%20and%20people%20can%20receive%20care%20at%20government%20facilities%20free%20of%20charge.%20But%2C%20over%20decades%2C%20low%20levels%20of%20public%20financing%20have%20led%20to%20poor%20quality%20and%20severe%20staff%20and%20supply%20shortages.%20India%E2%80%99s%20federal%20government%20spends%20around%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reuters.com%2Farticle%2Fus-india-budget%2Findias-get-well-soon-budget-boosts-healthcare-spending-135-opens-up-insurance-idUSKBN2A00WU%5C%22%3Eone%20per%20cent%3C%2Fa%3E%20of%20G.D.P.%20on%20health%20care%E2%80%94far%20less%20than%20most%20large%20economies.%20Moreover%2C%20states%20share%20responsibility%20with%20the%20federal%20government%20for%20health-care%20delivery%2C%20and%20that%20has%20resulted%20in%20a%20large%20variation%20in%20funding%20and%20quality.%20Many%20Indians%20therefore%20opt%20to%20pay%20for%20private%20health%20care%2C%20if%20they%20can%20afford%20it%2C%20and%20the%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nejm.org%2Fdoi%2F10.1056%2FNEJMp1414214%3Furl_ver%3DZ39.88-2003%26amp%3Brfr_id%3Dori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org%26amp%3Brfr_dat%3Dcr_pub%2520%25200pubmed%5C%22%3Eprivate%20sector%20now%20provides%3C%2Fa%3E%20most%20care%20in%20India%2C%20even%20though%20commercial%20health%20insurance%20is%20available%20to%20only%20a%20fraction%20of%20the%20population%20and%20out-of-pocket%20costs%20can%20be%20devastating.%20In%202018%2C%20the%20central%20government%20launched%20a%20major%20effort%20aimed%20at%20insuring%20that%20low-income%20people%20could%20receive%20care%20at%20private%20facilities.%20But%20relatively%20few%20Indians%20have%20a%20regular%20place%20of%20care%20where%20they%20can%20receive%20ongoing%20management%20of%20their%20medical%20conditions%20or%20outpatient%20testing%20and%20treatment%20for%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThe%20coronavirus%20has%20severely%20strained%20India%E2%80%99s%20critical-care%20capacity%2C%20which%20was%20lacking%20even%20before%20the%20pandemic%3A%20during%20normal%20times%2C%20the%20country%20has%20around%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reuters.com%2Farticle%2Findia-hospitals%2Fbattling-doctor-shortage-indian-hospitals-offer-intensive-care-from-afar-idINL3N15H3NE%5C%22%3Efifteen%20per%20cent%3C%2Fa%3E%20of%20the%20critical-care%20specialists%20it%20needs.%20More%20generally%2C%20India%20has%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.who.int%2Fdata%2Fgho%2Fdata%2Findicators%2Findicator-details%2FGHO%2Fmedical-doctors-(per-10-000-population)%5C%22%3Enine%20doctors%3C%2Fa%3E%20for%20every%20ten%20thousand%20people%E2%80%94about%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reuters.com%2Farticle%2Findia-hospitals%2Fbattling-doctor-shortage-indian-hospitals-offer-intensive-care-from-afar-idINL3N15H3NE%5C%22%3Ehalf%20the%20global%20average%3C%2Fa%3E%2C%20and%20only%20a%20third%20as%20many%20as%20the%20U.S.%20There%E2%80%99s%20also%20the%20issue%20of%20maldistribution%3A%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fdata.worldbank.org%2Findicator%2FSP.RUR.TOTL.ZS%3Flocations%3DIN%5C%22%3Etwo-thirds%3C%2Fa%3E%20of%20India%E2%80%99s%20population%20lives%20in%20rural%20areas%2C%20where%20only%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aljazeera.com%2Fnews%2F2020%2F9%2F11%2Fwhat-explains-surge-in-coronavirus-numbers-in-india%5C%22%3Etwenty%20per%20cent%3C%2Fa%3E%20of%20the%20nation%E2%80%99s%20doctors%20work.%20(Shortages%20of%20nurses%20and%20other%20clinicians%20can%20be%20even%20worse.)%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EStill%2C%20India%E2%80%99s%20physician-to-patient%20ratio%20is%20higher%20than%20that%20of%20Bangladesh%2C%20Nepal%2C%20or%20any%20nation%20in%20sub-Saharan%20Africa.%20Many%20of%20the%20globe%E2%80%99s%20myriad%20health-care%20systems%20share%20the%20fundamental%20constraints%20that%20have%20transformed%20India%E2%80%99s%20second%20wave%20into%20a%20humanitarian%20crisis%E2%80%94including%20an%20oxygen-delivery%20infrastructure%20that%20is%20unable%20to%20meet%20the%20demands%20of%20a%20vast%20viral%20surge.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”The air around us, which contains twenty-one-per-cent oxygen, must be concentrated and purified to produce the medical-grade gas that people need when the coronavirus besieges their lungs. The most efficient way to accomplish this—the default in wealthy countries—is for factories to produce liquid oxygen, which tanker trucks then deliver to hospitals, where it can be stored in large containers and then piped into patients’ rooms. Many hospitals in poor countries, however, aren’t equipped to store liquid oxygen, and must rely on an external supply. If a hospital is in a remote location, this can be a serious logistical challenge.”],[“p”,”Another option is to install on-site plants that extract oxygen from the air. These systems, which use a technology known as pressure swing adsorption, or P.S.A., are expensive, and require maintenance. In October, the Indian government announced plans to build a hundred and sixty-two such plants around the country; thus far, thirty-three have been installed. Laxminarayan’s organization also hopes to create dozens of oxygen-generation plants at Indian hospitals. For now, many hospitals rely on simpler, decentralized technology, which comes with disadvantages: the gaseous oxygen contained in cylinders can cost “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/world/oxygen-shortage-covid.html”},”ten times as much”],” as its liquid equivalent, and oxygen concentrators are usually intended for only one or a few patients at a time.”],[“p”,”Whatever the process, it’s clear that too many Indians are going without the oxygen they need. Since this February, India’s oxygen requirements have increased fifteenfold; it now needs “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://scroll.in/article/992928/how-grave-is-indias-oxygen-emergency-worse-than-the-government-admits”},”nearly three times”],” as much medical-grade oxygen as it did during the height of its first wave. Some hospitals have run out of oxygen, and others are on the precipice. Hospitals won’t admit patients whom they can’t treat; many Indians therefore suffer a suffocating illness at home. The government is “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.wsj.com/articles/indias-oxygen-express-races-to-supply-hospitals-but-covid-patients-die-as-stocks-run-out-11620213025″},”doing what it can”],”: granting oxygen-transport vehicles an ambulance-like status on roads; leveraging the national railway service to move tankers around the country; enlisting the air force to transport empty containers back to factories to be refilled. On Wednesday, India’s Supreme Court “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/06/india-covid-crisis-cases-fatalities-rise-as-oxygen-shortage-persists.html”},”ordered”],” the federal government to present a more comprehensive plan to meet New Delhi’s oxygen needs. Meanwhile, foreign governments and international aid organizations are sending ventilators, concentrators, and cylinders. Still, each day brings fresh reports of people dying because they can’t get oxygen. (The shortage is likely to spread: globally, the deficit of medical oxygen—the gap between what’s needed and what’s being produced—has tripled in recent months, in part owing to the unmet need in India but also because of growing demand in South America and the Middle East.)”],[“p”,”Technically, Indians have access to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.commonwealthfund.org/international-health-policy-center/countries/india”},”universal health coverage”],”: the country’s constitution guarantees everyone a “right to life,” and people can receive care at government facilities free of charge. But, over decades, low levels of public financing have led to poor quality and severe staff and supply shortages. India’s federal government spends around “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-budget/indias-get-well-soon-budget-boosts-healthcare-spending-135-opens-up-insurance-idUSKBN2A00WU”},”one per cent”],” of G.D.P. on health care—far less than most large economies. Moreover, states share responsibility with the federal government for health-care delivery, and that has resulted in a large variation in funding and quality. Many Indians therefore opt to pay for private health care, if they can afford it, and the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMp1414214?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed”},”private sector now provides”],” most care in India, even though commercial health insurance is available to only a fraction of the population and out-of-pocket costs can be devastating. In 2018, the central government launched a major effort aimed at insuring that low-income people could receive care at private facilities. But relatively few Indians have a regular place of care where they can receive ongoing management of their medical conditions or outpatient testing and treatment for “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19.”],[“p”,”The coronavirus has severely strained India’s critical-care capacity, which was lacking even before the pandemic: during normal times, the country has around “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.reuters.com/article/india-hospitals/battling-doctor-shortage-indian-hospitals-offer-intensive-care-from-afar-idINL3N15H3NE”},”fifteen per cent”],” of the critical-care specialists it needs. More generally, India has “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/indicators/indicator-details/GHO/medical-doctors-(per-10-000-population)”},”nine doctors”],” for every ten thousand people—about “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.reuters.com/article/india-hospitals/battling-doctor-shortage-indian-hospitals-offer-intensive-care-from-afar-idINL3N15H3NE”},”half the global average”],”, and only a third as many as the U.S. There’s also the issue of maldistribution: “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.RUR.TOTL.ZS?locations=IN”},”two-thirds”],” of India’s population lives in rural areas, where only “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/9/11/what-explains-surge-in-coronavirus-numbers-in-india”},”twenty per cent”],” of the nation’s doctors work. (Shortages of nurses and other clinicians can be even worse.)”],[“p”,”Still, India’s physician-to-patient ratio is higher than that of Bangladesh, Nepal, or any nation in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of the globe’s myriad health-care systems share the fundamental constraints that have transformed India’s second wave into a humanitarian crisis—including an oxygen-delivery infrastructure that is unable to meet the demands of a vast viral surge.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EMany%20Indians%20have%20experienced%20the%20current%20surge%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Finside-indias-covid-19-surge%5C%22%3Eas%20a%20surprise%3C%2Fa%3E.%20But%20the%20forces%20driving%20it%20are%20fundamentally%20familiar.%20%E2%80%9CSociety%20opened%20up%20without%20restraint%2C%E2%80%9D%20K.%20Srinath%20Reddy%2C%20the%20president%20of%20the%20Public%20Health%20Foundation%20of%20India%20and%20the%20former%20chair%20of%20cardiology%20at%20the%20All%20India%20Institute%20of%20Medical%20Sciences%2C%20told%20me.%20%E2%80%9CIt%20was%20widely%20perceived%20that%20the%20pandemic%20is%20behind%20us%2C%20that%20we%20are%20unlikely%20to%20have%20a%20second%20wave.%20We%20didn%E2%80%99t%20just%20return%20to%202019%E2%80%94we%20entered%202021%20with%20an%20extra%20degree%20of%20exuberance.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EPoliticians%20encouraged%20people%20to%20gather%20at%20massive%20rallies%3B%20cricket%20stadiums%20filled%20with%20fans%3B%20malls%20opened%20to%20shoppers%20and%20weddings%20welcomed%20guests.%20The%20government%20sanctioned%20the%20Kumbh%20Mela%2C%20a%20Hindu%20religious%20festival%2C%20and%20millions%20of%20people%20made%20the%20pilgrimage%20to%20Haridwar%2C%20in%20the%20northern%20state%20of%20Uttarakhand%2C%20to%20wash%20in%20the%20River%20Ganges.%20The%20festival%20started%20on%20April%201st%20and%20continued%20for%20nearly%20three%20weeks%20before%20the%20coronavirus%20toll%20became%20unbearable%20and%20undeniable.%20Afterward%2C%20people%20carried%20the%20virus%20back%20to%20far-flung%20cities%20and%20villages.%20%E2%80%9CThe%20euphoria%20of%20putting%20the%20pandemic%20behind%20us%20was%20a%20widely%20prevalent%20emotion%2C%20and%20it%20suited%20everyone%2C%E2%80%9D%20Reddy%20said.%20%E2%80%9CIndustry%20wanted%20to%20get%20back%20to%20full%20production.%20Small%20traders%20wanted%20to%20get%20back%20to%20business.%20Ordinary%20citizens%20wanted%20to%20get%20back%20to%20their%20lives.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EMany%20countries%20have%20engaged%20in%20wishful%20thinking%20during%20the%20pandemic%3B%20all%20have%20struggled%20to%20fight%20the%20virus%20while%20avoiding%20economic%20collapse.%20The%20Indian%20experience%20speaks%20specifically%20to%20the%20problem%20of%20endurance%2C%20and%20raises%20the%20question%20of%20how%20long%20low-%20and%20middle-income%20countries%20can%20maintain%20pandemic%20protocols%20absent%20a%20clear%20time%20line%20for%20widespread%20vaccination.%20The%20U.S.%20and%20much%20of%20Europe%20have%20navigated%20the%20pandemic%20while%20looking%20forward%20to%20early%20and%20reliable%20access%20to%20vaccines%3B%20if%20we%20didn%E2%80%99t%20have%20a%20firm%20end%20date%2C%20we%20at%20least%20knew%20that%20an%20end%20was%20approaching.%20Under%20such%20conditions%2C%20politicians%20and%20the%20public%20can%20examine%2C%20debate%2C%20and%20accept%20the%20costs%20of%20restrictions.%20But%20that%20calculus%20is%20harder%2C%20perhaps%20impossible%2C%20without%20some%20assurance%20that%20pandemic%20life%20is%20temporary.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThe%20global%20vaccination%20effort%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2021%2F05%2F05%2Fworld%2Feurope%2Fcoronavirus-covax-vaccination.html%5C%22%3Ehas%20faltered%3C%2Fa%3E%2C%20with%20poor%20countries%20receiving%20a%20fraction%20of%20the%20vaccines%20they%20had%20expected.%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVAX%3C%2Fem%3E%2C%20the%20world%E2%80%99s%20primary%20initiative%20to%20promote%20vaccine%20equity%2C%20had%20planned%20to%20deliver%20two%20billion%20doses%20in%202021%3B%20so%20far%2C%20it%E2%80%99s%20sent%20out%20about%20fifty%20million.%20Less%20than%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fworld-55795297%5C%22%3Ehalf%20of%20one%20per%20cent%3C%2Fa%3E%20of%20all%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20vaccines%20have%20been%20administered%20in%20poor%20nations.%20%E2%80%9CWe%E2%80%99re%20now%20in%20this%20very%20strange%20situation%20where%20we%E2%80%99re%20talking%20about%20fourteen-year-olds%20in%20America%20getting%20vaccinated%2C%20while%20older%20people%20around%20the%20world%20remain%20vulnerable%20and%20entire%20countries%20are%20devastated%2C%E2%80%9D%20Ashish%20Jha%2C%20the%20dean%20of%20Brown%E2%80%99s%20public-health%20school%2C%20told%20me.%20%E2%80%9CIt%E2%80%99s%20a%20moral%20issue%2C%20but%20it%E2%80%99s%20also%20an%20epidemiological%20one.%20We%E2%80%99re%20placing%20everyone%20at%20risk%20when%20we%20let%20the%20virus%20run%20rampant.%20It%20creates%20a%20huge%20substrate%20for%20new%20variants.%20We%20need%20to%20quadruple%20our%20efforts%20to%20get%20the%20world%20vaccinated.%20That%20has%20to%20be%20the%20No.%201%20priority%20for%20the%20Biden%20Administration%20going%20forward.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThe%20U.S.%20has%20committed%20four%20billion%20dollars%20to%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%2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Indians have experienced the current surge “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/inside-indias-covid-19-surge”},”as a surprise”],”. But the forces driving it are fundamentally familiar. “Society opened up without restraint,” K. Srinath Reddy, the president of the Public Health Foundation of India and the former chair of cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told me. “It was widely perceived that the pandemic is behind us, that we are unlikely to have a second wave. We didn’t just return to 2019—we entered 2021 with an extra degree of exuberance.””],[“p”,”Politicians encouraged people to gather at massive rallies; cricket stadiums filled with fans; malls opened to shoppers and weddings welcomed guests. The government sanctioned the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu religious festival, and millions of people made the pilgrimage to Haridwar, in the northern state of Uttarakhand, to wash in the River Ganges. The festival started on April 1st and continued for nearly three weeks before the coronavirus toll became unbearable and undeniable. Afterward, people carried the virus back to far-flung cities and villages. “The euphoria of putting the pandemic behind us was a widely prevalent emotion, and it suited everyone,” Reddy said. “Industry wanted to get back to full production. Small traders wanted to get back to business. Ordinary citizens wanted to get back to their lives.””],[“p”,”Many countries have engaged in wishful thinking during the pandemic; all have struggled to fight the virus while avoiding economic collapse. The Indian experience speaks specifically to the problem of endurance, and raises the question of how long low- and middle-income countries can maintain pandemic protocols absent a clear time line for widespread vaccination. The U.S. and much of Europe have navigated the pandemic while looking forward to early and reliable access to vaccines; if we didn’t have a firm end date, we at least knew that an end was approaching. Under such conditions, politicians and the public can examine, debate, and accept the costs of restrictions. But that calculus is harder, perhaps impossible, without some assurance that pandemic life is temporary.”],[“p”,”The global vaccination effort “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/05/world/europe/coronavirus-covax-vaccination.html”},”has faltered”],”, with poor countries receiving a fraction of the vaccines they had expected. “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVAX”],”, the world’s primary initiative to promote vaccine equity, had planned to deliver two billion doses in 2021; so far, it’s sent out about fifty million. Less than “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.bbc.com/news/world-55795297″},”half of one per cent”],” of all “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 vaccines have been administered in poor nations. “We’re now in this very strange situation where we’re talking about fourteen-year-olds in America getting vaccinated, while older people around the world remain vulnerable and entire countries are devastated,” Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown’s public-health school, told me. “It’s a moral issue, but it’s also an epidemiological one. We’re placing everyone at risk when we let the virus run rampant. It creates a huge substrate for new variants. We need to quadruple our efforts to get the world vaccinated. That has to be the No. 1 priority for the Biden Administration going forward.””],[“p”,”The U.S. has committed four billion dollars to “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVAX”],”, which still faces a funding shortfall of “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.bbc.com/news/world-55795297″},”tens of billions of dollars”],”. Last week, the Biden Administration also announced its support for waiving intellectual-property protections for “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 vaccines. The proposed waiver—it must be approved by the World Trade Organization—has been hailed by many public-health practitioners; the director-general of the W.H.O., Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called Biden’s support for the proposal “a monumental moment” in the fight against the pandemic. But others have sounded a cautionary note, raising the possibility that the spectre of patent waivers will disincentivize companies from investing in vaccine and drug development in the future. “I wonder whether we want to send potential firms the message that the larger the health crisis, the less we will respect and protect your I.P.,” Craig Garthwaite, a professor at Northwestern University, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://twitter.com/C_Garthwaite/status/1390022963597094920″},”tweeted”],”, after the Biden Administration’s announcement. “That’s a great system if you think this is the last pandemic we’ll face.””],[“p”,”Jha told me that he worries less about I.P. and incentives than about the practical obstacles to vaccine production. The primary barriers to vaccine availability, he said, are not rigid intellectual-property protections but limited manufacturing capacity and poor distribution infrastructure. Only a small number of companies have the expertise needed to manufacture “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 vaccines, especially ones that use new mRNA technology, and scaling up takes time. “The world wasn’t ready to produce five or ten billion doses of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” vaccines,” Jha said. “We don’t just have all this excess capacity sitting around. You need raw materials, production capabilities, liner bags, a whole bunch of complex machinery and supplies.” Absent “a broader package of funding, supplies, manufacturing, and people with technical know-how,” Jha said, waiving I.P. rights wouldn’t help India escape the crisis that it faces today.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EAt%20the%20close%20of%20the%20Second%20World%20War%2C%20much%20of%20Europe%20lay%20in%20tatters.%20Air%20strikes%20had%20devastated%20major%20cities.%20Industrial%20facilities%2C%20roads%2C%20bridges%2C%20and%20railways%20had%20been%20destroyed%3B%20trade%20routes%20were%20severely%20disrupted%3B%20hunger%20was%20widespread%3B%20and%20hundreds%20of%20thousands%20of%20refugees%20crowded%20into%20camps.%20By%20comparison%2C%20the%20U.S.%20had%20escaped%20relatively%20unscathed%E2%80%94its%20infrastructure%20intact%2C%20its%20economic%20might%20unquestioned.%20In%201948%2C%20the%20nation%20began%20the%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2007%2F08%2F27%2Fdollar-diplomacy%5C%22%3EMarshall%20Plan%3C%2Fa%3E%E2%80%94a%20more%20than%20thirteen-billion-dollar%20effort%20to%20rebuild%20Western%20Europe%20by%20modernizing%20industrial%20and%20agricultural%20practices%2C%20removing%20trade%20barriers%2C%20providing%20direct%20relief%2C%20and%20stabilizing%20European%20currencies.%20The%20initiative%20offered%20economic%20and%20technical%20assistance%20to%20more%20than%20a%20dozen%20countries%E2%80%94France%2C%20Great%20Britain%2C%20Italy%2C%20and%20West%20Germany%20among%20them.%20In%20an%20address%2C%20the%20plan%E2%80%99s%20namesake%2C%20Secretary%20of%20State%20George%20Marshall%2C%20told%20the%20world%2C%20%E2%80%9COur%20policy%20is%20not%20directed%20against%20any%20country%20but%20against%20hunger%2C%20poverty%2C%20desperation%2C%20and%20chaos.%E2%80%9D%20The%20eventual%20impact%20of%20the%20Marshall%20Plan%20remains%20the%20subject%20of%20debate.%20Some%20scholars%20argue%20that%20it%20was%20modest%2C%20though%20others%20note%20that%2C%20by%201952%2C%20the%20economy%20of%20every%20participating%20country%20had%20sailed%20past%20prewar%20levels.%20But%20America%E2%80%99s%20commitment%20to%20a%20more%20stable%2C%20prosperous%2C%20and%20democratic%20world%20was%20widely%20recognized.%20Over%20four%20years%2C%20the%20U.S.%20sent%20more%20than%20five%20per%20cent%20of%20its%201948%20G.D.P.%20to%20both%20allies%20and%20enemies%3B%20the%20program%20enjoyed%20high%20levels%20of%20bipartisan%20support.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EIs%20a%20Marshall%20Plan%20for%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E%20a%20possibility%3F%20The%20U.S.%20and%20other%20wealthy%20countries%20are%20now%20approaching%20an%20inflection%20point%3A%20with%20vaccination%20speeding%20up%2C%20coronavirus%20cases%20and%20deaths%20are%20falling%20across%20the%20developed%20world%2C%20even%20as%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20ravages%20people%2C%20health%20systems%2C%20and%20economies%20in%20much%20of%20the%20Global%20South.%20In%20America%2C%20the%20crushing%20economic%20and%20medical%20toll%20of%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20is%20beginning%20to%20lighten.%20The%20war%20is%20winding%20down.%20Our%20next%20pandemic%20battle%20must%20focus%20on%20helping%20other%20nations%20cross%20the%20finish%20line.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThe%20needed%20action%20falls%20along%20two%20dimensions%3A%20immediate%20relief%20and%20medium-term%20preparedness.%20The%20former%20involves%20a%20robust%2C%20standardized%20aid%20package%E2%80%94testing%20kits%2C%20oxygen-delivery%20devices%2C%20ventilators%2C%20therapeutics%2C%20and%20vaccines%E2%80%94that%20could%20be%20tailored%20and%20sent%20to%20countries%20in%20need%20that%20are%20facing%20or%20anticipating%20a%20viral%20surge.%20The%20latter%20requires%20investing%20in%20local%20infrastructure%20for%20vaccine%20manufacturing%2C%20oxygen%20production%2C%20and%20public%20health.%20As%20it%20stands%2C%20without%20massive%20investment%20and%20co%C3%B6rdinated%20effort%2C%20billions%20of%20people%20could%20be%20left%20without%20vaccines%2C%20ventilators%2C%20medications%2C%20oxygen%2C%20medical%20care%E2%80%94and%2C%20relatedly%2C%20without%20food%2C%20shelter%2C%20stability%2C%20or%20hope.%20America%20has%20chosen%20to%20be%20a%20generous%20nation%20before.%20Will%20it%20choose%20that%20path%20again%3F%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EFor%20Laxminarayan%2C%20the%20pandemic%20has%20revealed%20the%20best%20and%20the%20worst%20in%20people.%20He%20frequently%20gets%20calls%20from%20healthy%20individuals%20trying%20to%20hoard%20oxygen.%20When%20he%20asks%20why%20they%20need%20it%2C%20they%20say%20that%20they%E2%80%99re%20hoping%20for%20a%20kind%20of%20insurance%20policy%20for%20the%20future.%20%E2%80%9CIt%E2%80%99s%20astounding%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said.%20%E2%80%9CPeople%20are%20dying%20this%20second%20because%20they%20can%E2%80%99t%20breathe%2C%20and%20you%E2%80%99re%20trying%20to%20stash%20oxygen%20away%20for%20yourself%3F%E2%80%9D%20On%20the%20other%20hand%2C%20he%E2%80%99s%20been%20overwhelmed%20by%20the%20outpouring%20of%20generosity%2C%20from%20within%20India%20and%20around%20the%20world.%20Donations%20have%20streamed%20in%3B%20a%20network%20of%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%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhen%20the%20virus%20arrived%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdispatch%2Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3ESweden%20embarked%20on%20a%20risky%20experiment%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EIn%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20outbreak%2C%20a%20trauma%20surgeon%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fa-doctors-dark-year%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Etravelled%20to%20the%20edge%20and%20back%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20head%20of%20the%20American%20Federation%20of%20Teachers%20on%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fq-and-a%2Frandi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Ehow%20to%20reopen%20schools%20safely%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EEven%20before%20the%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20crisis%2C%20global%20instability%20had%20caused%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fthe-politics-of-stopping-pandemics%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eworrying%20rise%20in%20epidemics%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”At the close of the Second World War, much of Europe lay in tatters. Air strikes had devastated major cities. Industrial facilities, roads, bridges, and railways had been destroyed; trade routes were severely disrupted; hunger was widespread; and hundreds of thousands of refugees crowded into camps. By comparison, the U.S. had escaped relatively unscathed—its infrastructure intact, its economic might unquestioned. In 1948, the nation began the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/08/27/dollar-diplomacy”},”Marshall Plan”],”—a more than thirteen-billion-dollar effort to rebuild Western Europe by modernizing industrial and agricultural practices, removing trade barriers, providing direct relief, and stabilizing European currencies. The initiative offered economic and technical assistance to more than a dozen countries—France, Great Britain, Italy, and West Germany among them. In an address, the plan’s namesake, Secretary of State George Marshall, told the world, “Our policy is not directed against any country but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.” The eventual impact of the Marshall Plan remains the subject of debate. Some scholars argue that it was modest, though others note that, by 1952, the economy of every participating country had sailed past prewar levels. But America’s commitment to a more stable, prosperous, and democratic world was widely recognized. Over four years, the U.S. sent more than five per cent of its 1948 G.D.P. to both allies and enemies; the program enjoyed high levels of bipartisan support.”],[“p”,”Is a Marshall Plan for “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” a possibility? The U.S. and other wealthy countries are now approaching an inflection point: with vaccination speeding up, coronavirus cases and deaths are falling across the developed world, even as “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 ravages people, health systems, and economies in much of the Global South. In America, the crushing economic and medical toll of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 is beginning to lighten. The war is winding down. Our next pandemic battle must focus on helping other nations cross the finish line.”],[“p”,”The needed action falls along two dimensions: immediate relief and medium-term preparedness. The former involves a robust, standardized aid package—testing kits, oxygen-delivery devices, ventilators, therapeutics, and vaccines—that could be tailored and sent to countries in need that are facing or anticipating a viral surge. The latter requires investing in local infrastructure for vaccine manufacturing, oxygen production, and public health. As it stands, without massive investment and coördinated effort, billions of people could be left without vaccines, ventilators, medications, oxygen, medical care—and, relatedly, without food, shelter, stability, or hope. America has chosen to be a generous nation before. Will it choose that path again?”],[“p”,”For Laxminarayan, the pandemic has revealed the best and the worst in people. He frequently gets calls from healthy individuals trying to hoard oxygen. When he asks why they need it, they say that they’re hoping for a kind of insurance policy for the future. “It’s astounding,” he said. “People are dying this second because they can’t breathe, and you’re trying to stash oxygen away for yourself?” On the other hand, he’s been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity, from within India and around the world. Donations have streamed in; a network of colleagues and volunteers is working around the clock. Many receive no compensation for their time and effort. “Their goodness makes me cry,” he said.”],[“p”,”When I spoke with Laxminarayan last week over Zoom, it was past 2 “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”A.M.”],” in India. That was the only time he was available. In recent days, the coronavirus seemed to have tightened its grip on his circle. Two of his friends had lost their fathers to “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19. Another woman he knows died of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 just after childbirth; her newborn child entered the world without a mother. His colleague—the man whose search for oxygen had initially motivated Laxminarayan to raise money for cylinders and concentrators—had also passed away. Laxminarayan looked tired, and his voice cut in and out over the spotty Internet connection. I thanked him for speaking with me so late, but he waved it off: I wasn’t his last meeting of the night. During our conversation, he twice paused to accept other calls, each time apologizing for the interruption. They were pleas for help. “People are begging for oxygen, no matter how poor or rich, how isolated or well connected,” he said. “In those moments, everyone is the same. They’re scared. They can’t breathe. They need help.””],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Chr%3E%5Cn%3Ch2%3EMore%20on%20the%20Coronavirus%3C%2Fh2%3E%5Cn%3Cul%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhat%20will%20it%20take%20to%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fwhat-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Epandemic-proof%20the%20United%20States%3C%2Fa%3E%3F%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20last%20time%20a%20vaccine%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fthe-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esaved%20America%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhen%20the%20virus%20arrived%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdispatch%2Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3ESweden%20embarked%20on%20a%20risky%20experiment%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EIn%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20outbreak%2C%20a%20trauma%20surgeon%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fa-doctors-dark-year%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Etravelled%20to%20the%20edge%20and%20back%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20head%20of%20the%20American%20Federation%20of%20Teachers%20on%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fq-and-a%2Frandi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Ehow%20to%20reopen%20schools%20safely%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EEven%20before%20the%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20crisis%2C%20global%20instability%20had%20caused%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fthe-politics-of-stopping-pandemics%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eworrying%20rise%20in%20epidemics%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“hr”],[“h2″,”More on the Coronavirus”],[“ul”,[“li”,”What will it take to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/what-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”pandemic-proof the United States”],”?”],[“li”,”The last time a vaccine “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/the-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”saved America”],”.”],[“li”,”When the virus arrived, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/swedens-pandemic-experiment?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”Sweden embarked on a risky experiment”],”.”],[“li”,”In the heart of the outbreak, a trauma surgeon “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/a-doctors-dark-year?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”travelled to the edge and back”],”.”],[“li”,”The head of the American Federation of Teachers on “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/randi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”how to reopen schools safely”],”.”],[“li”,”Even before the “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 crisis, global instability had caused a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-politics-of-stopping-pandemics?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”worrying rise in epidemics”],”.”]]]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”},{“id”:”5c2e1e1c41e4c73c088d7940″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Pandemics”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”pandemics”},{“id”:”5c2e1c8681ab3335f580f17f”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”India”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”india”},{“id”:”5c2e1de922d4972cd5b8340a”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Oxygen”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”oxygen”},{“id”:”5c2e1cb541c92e2c9b85da7b”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Health 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Dispatch”,”parent”:[{“id”:”5904126272dadf5d0a508802″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Science”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”science”}],”photos”:{},”root”:{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”},”slug”:”medical-dispatch”}]}]},”channel”:”Science”,”contentSource”:”web”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Dhruv Khullar”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Dhruv Khullar, a contributing writer at The New Yorker, is a practicing physician and an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.”,”email”:””,”bio”:[“div”,[“p”,”Dhruv Khullar is a contributing writer at “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],”, where he writes primarily about medicine, health care, and politics. He is also a practicing physician and an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College. His research focusses on value-based care, health disparities, and medical innovation, and has been published in “,[“em”,”JAMA”],” and “,[“em”,”The New England Journal of Medicine”],”. He serves as the director of policy dissemination at the Physicians Foundation Center for the Study of Physician Practice and Leadership, and was recently a senior research fellow at NYC Health + Hospitals. His writing has previously appeared in the New York “,[“em”,”Times”],”, the Washington “,[“em”,”Post”],”, “,[“em”,”The Atlantic”],”, and other publications. Khullar earned his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine and completed his medical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He also received a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a fellow at the Center for Public Leadership.”]],”social”:[],”url”:”/contributors/dhruv-khullar”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”In countries where the storm is lifting, it’s time to turn outward and help the rest of the world.”,”hed”:”India’s Crisis Marks a New Phase in the 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ance.%20Hospital%20administrators%20tweeted%20appeals%20for%20oxygen.%20On%20the%20morning%20of%20April%2029th%2C%20administrators%20at%20a%20children%E2%80%99s%20hospital%20in%20Delhi%20posted%20that%20the%20facility%20had%20less%20than%20twenty%20minutes%E2%80%99%20worth%20of%20liquid%20oxygen%20left.%20Help%20arrived.%20Three%20days%20later%2C%20officials%20at%20the%20same%20hospital%20tweeted%20that%20their%20supply%20was%20again%20nearly%20exhausted.%20Twelve%20hours%20later%2C%20they%20announced%20that%20the%20hospital%20would%20no%20longer%20accept%20patients%20who%20required%20oxygen%2C%20%E2%80%9Cdue%20to%20inconsistent%20liquid%20oxygen%20supply.%E2%80%9D%20On%20April%2028th%2C%20seven%20patients%20died%20when%20hospitals%20in%20Uttar%20Pradesh%20ran%20out%20of%20oxygen.%20Three%20days%20later%2C%20twelve%20patients%20died%20when%20a%20hospital%20in%20New%20Delhi%20did%20as%20well.%20Dr.%20Prashant%20Mishra%2C%20a%20senior%20administrator%20at%20a%20hospital%20in%20Lucknow%2C%20told%20me%20that%20doctors%20were%20rationing%20oxygen.%20%20%E2%80%9CNow%20everybody%20wants%20oxygen.%20I%E2%80%99m%20working%20in%20the%20capital%20of%20a%20state%20and%20here%20we%20have%20managed%20those%20things%2C%20but%20in%20the%20interior%20there%20would%20have%20been%20an%20issue%2C%20because%20no%20one%20was%20prepared%20for%20such%20a%20massive%20outbreak%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said.%20%E2%80%9CWe%E2%80%99re%20trying%20to%20manage%20the%20maximum%20patients%20with%20the%20available%20resources.%E2%80%9D%20He%20told%20me%20that%2C%20on%20average%2C%20he%20received%20forty%20to%20fifty%20calls%20a%20night%20from%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20patients%20or%20their%20families.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”On April 4th, three days after the commencement of the Kumbh Mela, during which millions of Hindu pilgrims converged in the town of Haridwar to bathe in the Ganges, servers at one of India’s most popular online health services registered an uptick in searches that displayed an alarming pattern. The site, myUpchar, is a destination for residents of India’s smaller cities and towns, where doctors and health-care providers have long been in short supply. Each day, more people arrived at the site with questions about “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/coronavirus”},[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19″],”.”],[“p”,”As the virus’s second wave washed over India, and hospital beds and oxygen grew scarce, visitors to the site frantically hunted for medicines rumored to treat the disease: Fabiflu, remdesivir, azithromycin, ivermectin, doxycycline. Then, on April 28th, those search terms were all overshadowed—by a factor of three—by queries for an obscure homeopathic nasal spray. The popularity of the treatment baffled Manuj Garg, the site’s co-founder, who had never heard of it. Then he saw a viral WhatsApp clip of a sickly old man lying on his side, his finger in an oximeter. A caregiver seated beside him made a specious claim: the nasal spray was a miracle cure that obviated the need for oxygen. “We gave him the spray five minutes ago. That’s how fast this is,” the person promised. “Anyone, anyone whose oxygen levels are falling, go and get this spray. You won’t need to run around for an oxygen cylinder.” When Garg looked up where the online queries were coming from, he saw that they spanned the country. “This is a sign of desperation,” Garg told me. “When there’s no information, bad information finds a way.””],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-right%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22externallink%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522externallink%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fexternallinks%252F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%225e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”externallink”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22externallink%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fexternallinks%2F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd”}]],[“p”,”At the onset of the pandemic, Indians relied on briefings by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to make sense of where the virus was headed. But officials rarely gave reporters a chance to ask questions—or get meaningful answers. “The briefings weren’t designed to be useful,” Anoo Bhuyan, a health reporter at IndiaSpend, a data-journalism nonprofit, recalled. “It was theatre. It was frustrating.” Officials presented PowerPoint slides of self-serving government talking points, and tried to blame the outbreak on a gathering of Muslims in Delhi. “There was denialism, and a resistance to share information and be transparent,” Bhuyan said.”],[“p”,”As the virus has spread, the chief minister of the state where the Kumbh Mela was held said that “Maa Ganga’s blessings are there in the flow. So, there should be no corona.” A legislator in another state claimed that the purifying properties of cow urine and dung would combat the virus. The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, said that a fit mind and yoga were effective preventative measures. Harsh Vardhan, India’s health minister, attended the product launch of “the first evidence-based medicine for “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19,” which, according to the event’s organizers, had been sanctioned by the World Health Organization. (The W.H.O. immediately denied the claim.) And, in one of his monthly addresses to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi played images from a viral video, in which a doctor suggested that a nebulizer was a viable alternative to an oxygen machine. After an outcry from medical experts, the government removed the images from its coronavirus materials.”],[“p”,”As confusion spread, desperate patients began taking drugs of any kind. “Indians are self-prescribing steroids,” Sakshi Pandit, a molecular biologist, told me. Some physicians have peddled false elixirs as well. “Doctors seem to be prescribing everything under the sun,” Pandit said. “My dad was given azithromycin ‘just to be on the safe side.’ And don’t even get me started on plasma transfusions. People are taking cancer drugs. They’re running around taking antivirals and antibiotics right now. What if they stop being effective? I don’t know what’s happening. Nobody is being held accountable.””],[“p”,”At first, as “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 overwhelmed other nations, it seemed to miss India, giving rise to theories about the superior immunity of its citizens, the secret advantages of its climate, and the effectiveness of its leaders. In January, as daily cases remained low, Modi declared that India had “saved humanity from a big disaster by containing corona effectively.” Soon after, election officials announced that state-assembly elections would take place in March and April, including eight phases of voting in West Bengal—with an estimated population of a hundred million. (A judge later assailed the move, telling election-commission officials that they “should be put up on murder charges.”) Campaigning in the state proceeded. In April, as the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/first-vs-second-wave-of-covid-19-in-india-things-you-need-to-know/articleshow/82143427.cms”},”second wave”],” grew, Modi held a rally for his supporters and told them, “Today, I see people in every direction. It’s the first time I’ve seen such a crowd. You have shown such strength that wherever I look I can see people. You have done something wonderful.””],[“p”,”In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus has torn through the country’s social safety net. It has seemingly spread everywhere, to every family; the wealthy flew abroad, the rest of us hunkered down in fear. Each of the fourteen people I interviewed for this article knew someone who had been infected. I asked one source when a particular acquaintance had died. He replied with one date, then corrected himself: “Wait, last Saturday was another friend. She died the previous week.””],[“p”,”Twitter became a stream of S.O.S.s. Someone’s wife’s father needed plasma, someone needed oxygen, someone else medicines, another an ambulance. Hospital administrators tweeted appeals for oxygen. On the morning of April 29th, administrators at a children’s hospital in Delhi posted that the facility had less than twenty minutes’ worth of liquid oxygen left. Help arrived. Three days later, officials at the same hospital tweeted that their supply was again nearly exhausted. Twelve hours later, they announced that the hospital would no longer accept patients who required oxygen, “due to inconsistent liquid oxygen supply.” On April 28th, seven patients died when hospitals in Uttar Pradesh ran out of oxygen. Three days later, twelve patients died when a hospital in New Delhi did as well. Dr. Prashant Mishra, a senior administrator at a hospital in Lucknow, told me that doctors were rationing oxygen. “Now everybody wants oxygen. I’m working in the capital of a state and here we have managed those things, but in the interior there would have been an issue, because no one was prepared for such a massive outbreak,” he said. “We’re trying to manage the maximum patients with the available resources.” He told me that, on average, he received forty to fifty calls a night from “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 patients or their families.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3ENews%20of%20one%20Gujarati%20family%E2%80%99s%20experience%20spread%20rapidly%20online%2C%20exacerbating%20fears%20of%20poor%20care%20and%20hidden%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E%20deaths.%20According%20to%20press%20reports%2C%20Rupal%20Thakkar%2C%20a%20forty-eight-year-old%20mother%20of%20a%20toddler%2C%20grew%20weak%20and%20her%20condition%20began%20to%20deteriorate.%20Days%20before%2C%20her%20husband%20had%20tested%20positive%20for%20the%20coronavirus.%20Her%20family%20began%20searching%20for%20hospital%20beds%20and%20found%20one%20in%20a%20private%20hospital.%20After%20she%20was%20admitted%20on%20April%2016th%2C%20hospital%20officials%20told%20her%20family%20that%20Thakkar%E2%80%99s%20oxygen%20levels%20were%20dropping%20and%20that%20the%20family%20should%20move%20her%20to%20a%20facility%20with%20more%20resources.%20%20Several%20hours%20later%2C%20a%20doctor%20called%20to%20say%20that%20her%20heart%20had%20stopped.%20(A%20hospital%20spokesperson%20told%20a%20local%20news%20outlet%20that%20Thakkar%20%E2%80%9Cwas%20admitted%20in%20the%20hospital%20within%20time%20and%20proper%20treatment%20was%20given%20to%20her%20by%20the%20medical%20team.%E2%80%9D)%20The%20death%20certificate%20issued%20by%20the%20hospital%20listed%20%E2%80%9Csudden%20cardiac%20death%E2%80%9D%20as%20the%20cause.%20A%20document%20issued%20by%20a%20crematorium%20described%20her%20cause%20of%20death%20as%20an%20%E2%80%9Cattack.%E2%80%9D%20After%20Indian%20newspapers%20began%20looking%20into%20Thakkar%E2%80%99s%20case%2C%20the%20hospital%20issued%20a%20new%20death%20certificate%2C%20which%20described%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20as%20a%20contributing%20cause.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAcross%20India%2C%20journalists%20have%20reported%20that%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20deaths%20are%20being%20undercounted.%20Recently%2C%20in%20Gujarat%2C%20so%20many%20mourners%20crowded%20crematoriums%20that%20police%20threatened%20to%20beat%20them%20if%20they%20did%20not%20disperse.%20One%20reporter%20likened%20the%20Indian%20government%E2%80%99s%20response%20to%20that%20of%20Soviet%20officials%20during%20the%20Chernobyl%20disaster%2C%20calling%20it%20a%20%E2%80%9CSoviet%20system%20where%20you%20hide%20one%20number%2C%20and%20then%20cover%20up%20another%20number%20to%20hide%20the%20first.%20And%20then%20you%20create%20policy%20based%20on%20the%20fake%20number.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAs%20India%E2%80%99s%20recorded%20death%20count%20surpasses%20the%20two-hundred-thousand%20mark%2C%20and%20its%20daily%20official%20case%20count%20rises%20above%20three%20hundred%20thousand%2C%20pressure%20on%20Modi%20is%20growing.%20Judges%20have%20ordered%20the%20government%20to%20insure%20that%20Delhi%20is%20supplied%20with%20the%20oxygen%20it%20needs.%20Longtime%20critics%20of%20Modi%20have%20called%20for%20the%20Prime%20Minister%20to%20resign%20or%2C%20at%20least%2C%20to%20answer%20growing%20questions%20about%20the%20oxygen%20shortages%2C%20a%20troubled%20immunization%20policy%2C%20and%20his%20role%20in%20encouraging%20superspreader%20events.%20In%20response%2C%20the%20Prime%20Minister%E2%80%99s%20aides%20assure%20citizens%2C%20on%20a%20regular%20basis%2C%20that%20he%20is%20personally%20looking%20into%20the%20%E2%80%9Coxygen%20situation.%E2%80%9D%20The%20country%E2%80%99s%20foreign%20minister%2C%20according%20to%20a%20local%20news%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Findianexpress.com%2Farticle%2Findia%2Fcounter-one-sided-world-media-narrative-on-govts-pandemic-failure-jaishankar-tells-indian-diplomats-7296036%2F%5C%22%3Ereport%3C%2Fa%3E%2C%20urged%20Indian%20diplomats%20to%20counter%20a%20%E2%80%9Cone-sided%20narrative%E2%80%9D%20being%20spread%20by%20international%20media%20about%20the%20country%E2%80%99s%20management%20of%20the%20pandemic.%20The%20Ministry%20of%20Information%20and%20Broadcasting%20hosted%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Feconomictimes.indiatimes.com%2Fnews%2Findia%2Fcentre-calls-meeting-of-secretaries-for-effective-communication%2Farticleshow%2F82376402.cms%5C%22%3Eworkshop%3C%2Fa%3E%20to%20help%20civil%20servants%20better%20convey%20%E2%80%9Cinformation%20that%20concerns%20the%20government%E2%80%99s%20efforts%20to%20manage%20and%20address%20the%20ongoing%20Covid%20pandemic.%E2%80%9D%20Indians%20will%20have%20more%20information%2C%20just%20not%20the%20kind%20they%20need.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22callout%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522callout%2522%252C%2522name%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522body%2522%253A%2522%253Chr%253E%255Cn%253Ch2%253EMore%2520on%2520the%2520Coronavirus%253C%252Fh2%253E%255Cn%253Cul%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253EWhat%2520will%2520it%2520take%2520to%2520%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fscience%252Fannals-of-medicine%252Fwhat-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america%253Fitm_co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of one Gujarati family’s experience spread rapidly online, exacerbating fears of poor care and hidden “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” deaths. According to press reports, Rupal Thakkar, a forty-eight-year-old mother of a toddler, grew weak and her condition began to deteriorate. Days before, her husband had tested positive for the coronavirus. Her family began searching for hospital beds and found one in a private hospital. After she was admitted on April 16th, hospital officials told her family that Thakkar’s oxygen levels were dropping and that the family should move her to a facility with more resources. Several hours later, a doctor called to say that her heart had stopped. (A hospital spokesperson told a local news outlet that Thakkar “was admitted in the hospital within time and proper treatment was given to her by the medical team.”) The death certificate issued by the hospital listed “sudden cardiac death” as the cause. A document issued by a crematorium described her cause of death as an “attack.” After Indian newspapers began looking into Thakkar’s case, the hospital issued a new death certificate, which described “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 as a contributing cause.”],[“p”,”Across India, journalists have reported that “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 deaths are being undercounted. Recently, in Gujarat, so many mourners crowded crematoriums that police threatened to beat them if they did not disperse. One reporter likened the Indian government’s response to that of Soviet officials during the Chernobyl disaster, calling it a “Soviet system where you hide one number, and then cover up another number to hide the first. And then you create policy based on the fake number.””],[“p”,”As India’s recorded death count surpasses the two-hundred-thousand mark, and its daily official case count rises above three hundred thousand, pressure on Modi is growing. Judges have ordered the government to insure that Delhi is supplied with the oxygen it needs. Longtime critics of Modi have called for the Prime Minister to resign or, at least, to answer growing questions about the oxygen shortages, a troubled immunization policy, and his role in encouraging superspreader events. In response, the Prime Minister’s aides assure citizens, on a regular basis, that he is personally looking into the “oxygen situation.” The country’s foreign minister, according to a local news “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://indianexpress.com/article/india/counter-one-sided-world-media-narrative-on-govts-pandemic-failure-jaishankar-tells-indian-diplomats-7296036/”},”report”],”, urged Indian diplomats to counter a “one-sided narrative” being spread by international media about the country’s management of the pandemic. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting hosted a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/centre-calls-meeting-of-secretaries-for-effective-communication/articleshow/82376402.cms”},”workshop”],” to help civil servants better convey “information that concerns the government’s efforts to manage and address the ongoing Covid pandemic.” Indians will have more information, just not the kind they need.”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Chr%3E%5Cn%3Ch2%3EMore%20on%20the%20Coronavirus%3C%2Fh2%3E%5Cn%3Cul%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhat%20will%20it%20take%20to%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fwhat-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Epandemic-proof%20the%20United%20States%3C%2Fa%3E%3F%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20last%20time%20a%20vaccine%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fthe-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esaved%20America%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhen%20the%20virus%20arrived%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdispatch%2Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3ESweden%20embarked%20on%20a%20risky%20experiment%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EIn%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20outbreak%2C%20a%20trauma%20surgeon%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fa-doctors-dark-year%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Etravelled%20to%20the%20edge%20and%20back%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20head%20of%20the%20American%20Federation%20of%20Teachers%20on%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fq-and-a%2Frandi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Ehow%20to%20reopen%20schools%20safely%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EEven%20before%20the%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20crisis%2C%20global%20instability%20had%20caused%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fthe-politics-of-stopping-pandemics%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eworrying%20rise%20in%20epidemics%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“hr”],[“h2″,”More on the Coronavirus”],[“ul”,[“li”,”What will it take to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/what-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”pandemic-proof the United States”],”?”],[“li”,”The last time a vaccine “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/the-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”saved America”],”.”],[“li”,”When the virus arrived, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/swedens-pandemic-experiment?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”Sweden embarked on a risky experiment”],”.”],[“li”,”In the heart of the outbreak, a trauma surgeon “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/a-doctors-dark-year?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”travelled to the edge and back”],”.”],[“li”,”The head of the American Federation of Teachers on “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/randi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”how to reopen schools safely”],”.”],[“li”,”Even before the “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 crisis, global instability had caused a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-politics-of-stopping-pandemics?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”worrying rise in epidemics”],”.”]]]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”},{“id”:”5c2e1c8681ab3335f580f17f”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”India”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”india”},{“id”:”5c2e2c632396212cbb9fce1d”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Narendra 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Bhatia”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Rahul Bhatia is a journalist based in Mumbai.”,”email”:””,”bio”:null,”social”:[],”url”:”/contributors/rahul-bhatia”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”As patients and families frantically seek treatment, elected officials—and some physicians—have fuelled denialism and specious talk of miracle cures.”,”hed”:”India’s Epidemic of False COVID-19 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a year of battling “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”‑19, parts of the United States are celebrating a gradual turn toward normalcy, but the pandemic isn’t over—and it may never be over, exactly. “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/atul-gawande”},”Atul Gawande”],” tells David Remnick that a hard core of vaccine resisters, along with reservoirs of the virus in domestic animals, may make herd immunity elusive. Rather, he says, the correct goal is to bring the impact of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”‑19 down to that of something like the flu. Meanwhile, India is now overwhelmed by a devastating death toll, reported at around four thousand per day but likely much higher. “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/siddhartha-mukherjee”},”Siddhartha Mukherjee”],”, who “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/01/why-does-the-pandemic-seem-to-be-hitting-some-countries-harder-than-others”},”reported”],” on the pandemic in developing nations, says that commitments from the West such as extra doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will barely scratch the surface. A national mobilization will be required to even begin to flatten the 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For the first time in a long while, people are tapping into their senses for proximity, touch, intimacy. We recently talked to the artist Kadir Nelson about his portrait of a young couple locked in embrace.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”Your characters seem to emerge through a combination of observation and inspiration. Is people-watching a part of your process?”]],[“p”,”I think that people-watching comes with the job of being an artist. It certainly inspired this painting. I saw a young couple embracing each other downtown, shortly before the start of the pandemic. Such a display of public affection was a common sight then, but it holds much greater significance after more than a year of isolation.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”You lived in Brooklyn while you were a student at Pratt. What are your favorite places in the borough?”]],[“p”,”I’d have to say that Pratt is my favorite place in Brooklyn, but Brooklyn Heights and the waterfront near the Brooklyn Bridge are a close second.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”You capture an early-spring energy here that feels very New York. Living in the Los Angeles area, do you miss the changing of the seasons?”]],[“p”,”My first spring as a young adult in Brooklyn was magical, especially because I’d spent the previous decade in Southern California, where the changing of the seasons is much more subtle. It seemed like the whole city had awakened from a long sleep. The snow had finally melted away, flowers bloomed, people were outdoors, and music blared from apartment windows. Everyone seemed happier. We don’t get that experience as much in SoCal.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”You’re currently painting a series for children’s books. Is your approach to a series different from your approach to conceptualizing a single image?”]],[“p”,”I love creating stand-alone images; the whole story can be told at once. Working on a series can be more challenging, because I have to maintain a consistent look for the whole while varying palette and composition from page to page. But every painting I make, whether it’s stand-alone or part of a series, tells a story. This image tries to capture a significant experience while we’re living through a pandemic, one that will hopefully inspire us not to take human connection for granted.”],[“p”,”See below for more covers about love in the big 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the spring of 2019, Arthur De Meyer, a twenty-nine-year-old Belgian journalist, toured the Disgusting Food Museum, in Malmö, Sweden. As with the Museum of Sex, in New York City, and the Museum of Ice Cream, in San Francisco, the Disgusting Food Museum is conceptually closer to an amusement park than to a museum. There are eighty-five culinary horrors on display—ordinary fare and delicacies from thirty countries—and each tour concludes with a taste test of a dozen items. De Meyer, the son of a cookbook author and a food photographer, told me that he’d always been an adventurous eater. As a reporter, he also prided himself on his ability to maintain his composure. “But the taste test was war,” he said. “The kind where you’re defenseless, because the bombs are going off invisibly, inside of you.””],[“p”,”An Icelandic shark dish, called hákarl, was the first assault on his stomach. “Eating it was like gnawing on three-week-old cheese from the garbage that had also been pissed on by every dog in the neighborhood,” he said. Next up was durian, a spiky, custard-like fruit from Southeast Asia that “smelled like socks at the bottom of a gym locker, drizzled with paint thinner.” But worst of all was surströmming, a fermented herring that is beloved in northern Sweden. De Meyer said that eating it was like taking a bite out of a corpse.”],[“p”,”He vomited ten times, topping the museum’s previous record of six. Mercifully, admission tickets are printed on airplane-style barf 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balut%2C%20a%20Filipino%20egg-fetus%20snack%20that%20is%20eaten%20straight%20from%20the%20shell%E2%80%94feathers%2C%20beak%2C%20blood%2C%20and%20all.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAfter%20the%20men%20chose%20the%20items%2C%20they%20had%20to%20contend%20with%20customs%20and%20transportation.%20Svi%C3%B0%2C%20a%20traditional%20Icelandic%20dish%20in%20which%20a%20sheep%E2%80%99s%20head%20is%20cut%20in%20half%20and%20boiled%2C%20was%20impossible%20to%20procure%2C%20for%20%E2%80%9Clogistical%20reasons%2C%E2%80%9D%20Ahrens%20said.%20The%20food%20is%20instead%20represented%20by%20a%20photo%20of%20the%20head%20next%20to%20helpings%20of%20mashed%20potatoes%20and%20pureed%20root%20vegetables.%20The%20same%20goes%20for%20ortolan%2C%20a%20nearly%20extinct%20French%20songbird%2C%20which%20is%20prepared%20by%20blinding%20the%20bird%20and%20then%20drowning%20it%20in%20brandy%2C%20a%20practice%20that%20is%20now%20banned%20in%20the%20European%20Union.%20Raw%20monkey%20brain%2C%20which%20was%20supposedly%20served%20at%20Chinese%20imperial%20banquets%2C%20is%20represented%20by%20a%20type%20of%20wooden%20table%20that%20would%20have%20been%20used%20to%20hold%20down%20a%20live%20monkey%20while%20the%20top%20of%20its%20head%20was%20sliced%20open%20and%20spooned%20out.%20(%E2%80%9CIt%20is%20unclear%20whether%20it%E2%80%99s%20an%20urban%20legend%2C%20or%20something%20that%E2%80%99s%20still%20being%20served%20in%20China%2C%E2%80%9D%20an%20accompanying%20sign%20says.)%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EEven%20the%20foods%20that%20appear%20at%20the%20museum%20in%20their%20real%20forms%20posed%20unusual%20difficulties.%20To%20make%20cuy%2C%20a%20Peruvian%20dish%2C%20West%20had%20to%20watch%20several%20YouTube%20videos%20on%20how%20to%20skin%20and%20boil%20a%20guinea%20pig.%20%E2%80%9CI%20sent%20my%20wife%20and%20children%20away%20the%20day%20I%20did%20it%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20recalled.%20%E2%80%9CIt%20just%20felt%20wrong%2C%20bordering%20on%20criminal.%E2%80%9D%20For%20a%20South%20Korean%20wine%20that%20demanded%20the%20%E2%80%9Cfresh%20turds%E2%80%9D%20of%20children%2C%20Ahrens%20found%20himself%20scooping%20up%20his%20eight-year-old%20daughter%E2%80%99s%20excrement%20and%20fermenting%20it%20with%20rice%20wine.%20The%20final%20product%20is%20on%20display%20at%20the%20museum%2C%20in%20a%20gallon%20jug%2C%20though%20Ahrens%20has%20not%20mustered%20the%20will%20to%20try%20it.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”The Disgusting Food Museum, which opened in 2018, is the brainchild of Samuel West, a forty-seven-year-old psychologist who was born in California and has lived in Sweden for more than two decades. In 2016, during a trip to Zagreb, Croatia, he wandered into the Museum of Broken Relationships. As he studied the remnants of strangers’ failed romances—photos of hookup spots; a diet book that a woman received from her fiancé—West came up with an idea for a museum dedicated to failed business products and services. A year later, in Helsingborg, Sweden, he opened the Museum of Failure, where the takeaway was simple: blunders are the midwives of success. One example on display at the museum was the Newton, a personal digital assistant released by Apple in 1993. Its shoddy handwriting software and exorbitant price nearly torpedoed the entire company, but its sleek black design eventually inspired the iPhone. The exhibits also included Bic for Her, a line of pens, from 2011, that were designed for women; DivX, a 2003 trademark for “self-destructing” DVDs that could be watched for only forty-eight hours; a collection of Harley-Davidson perfumes, from the mid-nineties; and Trump: The Game, a Monopoly ripoff released in 1989. (The game was pulled from shelves after Trump said that it was “too complicated.”)”],[“p”,”The Museum of Failure was a resounding commercial success, attracting visitors from across the world and attention from the “,[“em”,”Times,”],” the Washington “,[“em”,”Post”],”, and “,[“em”,”National Geographic”],”. By 2018, though, West was on to his next project, after reading an article about how reducing beef consumption could slow climate change. The piece explained that a dire problem could be eased by a simple solution—eating insects, a good source of protein—but that the First World had rejected this idea out of disgust. West realized that if the experience of failure had expedited human innovation, then the experience of disgust was potentially holding us back. Could that aversion be challenged or changed? “I just wanted to know, Why is it that even talking about eating certain things makes my skin crawl?” he told me, animatedly, over Zoom.”],[“p”,”The planning for the museum began with a more basic question: What counts as food? West recruited his friend Andreas Ahrens, a former I.T. entrepreneur and a foodie, to help him choose which items would qualify for exhibition. The men ruled out artificially flavored gag gifts—such as Rocket Fizz’s barf soda and Jelly Belly’s booger jelly beans—and novelty foods like deep-fried Oreos and a Polish beer that had been brewed with a woman’s vaginal yeast. Four hundred items made it through the initial screening, after which they were culled based on four criteria: taste, texture, smell, and the process by which they were made. Foie gras “failed” the taste, texture, and smell tests, which is to say that West and Ahrens found it inoffensive on those fronts. But the dish, which is typically produced by force-feeding ducks until their livers swell to ten times their normal size, easily passed the process test, earning itself a place at the museum. (According to Ahrens, many visitors, after reading about the process, swear to never eat foie gras again.) The winnowing of the foods was spirited and combative. West emerged as the bigger wimp; he threw up so many times that he lost count. Ahrens found plenty of the foods unpleasant, but he got sick only after tasting balut, a Filipino egg-fetus snack that is eaten straight from the shell—feathers, beak, blood, and all.”],[“p”,”After the men chose the items, they had to contend with customs and transportation. Svið, a traditional Icelandic dish in which a sheep’s head is cut in half and boiled, was impossible to procure, for “logistical reasons,” Ahrens said. The food is instead represented by a photo of the head next to helpings of mashed potatoes and pureed root vegetables. The same goes for ortolan, a nearly extinct French songbird, which is prepared by blinding the bird and then drowning it in brandy, a practice that is now banned in the European Union. Raw monkey brain, which was supposedly served at Chinese imperial banquets, is represented by a type of wooden table that would have been used to hold down a live monkey while the top of its head was sliced open and spooned out. (“It is unclear whether it’s an urban legend, or something that’s still being served in China,” an accompanying sign says.)”],[“p”,”Even the foods that appear at the museum in their real forms posed unusual difficulties. To make cuy, a Peruvian dish, West had to watch several YouTube videos on how to skin and boil a guinea pig. “I sent my wife and children away the day I did it,” he recalled. “It just felt wrong, bordering on criminal.” For a South Korean wine that demanded the “fresh turds” of children, Ahrens found himself scooping up his eight-year-old daughter’s excrement and fermenting it with rice wine. The final product is on display at the museum, in a gallon jug, though Ahrens has not mustered the will to try it.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EOn%20Tripadvisor%2C%20the%20Disgusting%20Food%20Museum%20is%20ranked%20No.%201%20on%20a%20list%20of%20ninety-four%20things%20to%20do%20in%20Malm%C3%B6%2C%20the%20third-largest%20city%20in%20Sweden.%20Visitors%20are%20often%20surprised%20to%20find%20that%20the%20museum%20is%20situated%20on%20the%20first%20floor%20of%20a%20shopping%20mall%2C%20between%20a%20furniture%20store%20and%20an%20art%20gallery.%20Daniela%20Nusfelean%2C%20a%20Romanian%20college%20student%20who%20visited%20the%20museum%20in%20January%2C%20said%20that%20one%20of%20the%20first%20things%20she%20noticed%20was%20the%20absence%20of%20any%20odor.%20%E2%80%9CThis%20place%20is%20supposed%20to%20have%20so%20much%20food%2C%E2%80%9D%20Nusfelean%20remembered%20thinking.%20%E2%80%9CHow%20can%20food%20not%20smell%3F%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThe%20stinkier%20items%20are%20secured%20under%20bell%20jars%2C%20Ahrens%2C%20the%20museum%E2%80%99s%20director%2C%20said%2C%20when%20he%20gave%20me%20a%20tour%20over%20Zoom%2C%20earlier%20this%20year.%20Most%20foods%2C%20such%20as%20kale%20pache%E2%80%94an%20Iranian%20soup%20made%20from%20a%20sheep%E2%80%99s%20head%20and%20hooves%2C%20which%20are%20boiled%20overnight%20to%20eliminate%20any%20smells%E2%80%94were%20displayed%20in%20bowls%20or%20pots%20that%20sat%20atop%20a%20series%20of%20white%20tables%2C%20illuminated%20by%20long-necked%20lamps.%20(Some%20of%20the%20foods%20are%20made%20fresh%20every%20week%3B%20others%2C%20like%20the%20poop%20wine%2C%20have%20a%20lengthy%20shelf%20life.)%20The%20museum%2C%20whose%20walls%20were%20bright%20and%20bare%2C%20looked%20as%20sterile%20as%20a%20science%20lab%2C%20until%20Ahrens%2C%20who%20wore%20a%20T-shirt%20that%20bore%20the%20museum%E2%80%99s%20logo%20and%20the%20word%20%E2%80%9CYuck!%2C%E2%80%9D%20gestured%20to%20a%20chalkboard%20that%20read%20%E2%80%9C2%20days%20since%20last%20vomit.%E2%80%9D%20%E2%80%9CThis%20is%20the%20scoreboard%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said%2C%20grinning.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EWe%20went%20on%20to%20the%20exhibits%2C%20each%20of%20which%20was%20accompanied%20by%20a%20placard%20that%2C%20in%20English%20and%20Swedish%2C%20noted%20a%20dish%E2%80%99s%20history%20and%20its%20country%20of%20origin.%20First%20stop%3A%20dried%20stinkbugs%20from%20Zimbabwe%2C%20which%20vaguely%20resembled%20the%20buds%20of%20microgreen%20sprouts.%20Then%20there%20was%20kungu%20cake%20(East%20Africa)%2C%20a%20dessert%20made%20from%20millions%20of%20crushed%20flies%3B%20fried%20locusts%20(Israel)%2C%20the%20only%20insect%20that%20the%20Torah%20considers%20kosher%3B%20frog%20juice%20(Peru)%2C%20a%20frothy%20green%20beverage%20containing%20frogs%20and%20quail%20eggs%3B%20and%20mouse%20wine%20(China)%2C%20a%20jug%20of%20rice%20wine%20infused%20with%20two%20hundred%20baby%20rodents.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22callout%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522callout%2522%252C%2522name%2522%253A%2522inset-left%2522%252C%2522body%2522%253A%2522%253Cinline-embed%2520type%253D%255C%2522cartoon%255C%2522%2520meta%253D%255C%2522%25257B%252522type%252522%25253A%252522cartoon%252522%25252C%252522url%252522%25253A%252522%25252Fcartoons%25252F6095ddfa64d0befc076d58df%252522%25252C%252522width%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522height%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522caption%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25257D%255C%2522%2520ref%253D%255C%25226095ddfa64d0befc076d58df%255C%2522%253E%253C%252Finline-embed%253E%2522%252C%2522attrs%2522%253A%257B%257D%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%22%5C%22%3E%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22cartoon%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522cartoon%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fcartoons%252F6095ddfa64d0befc076d58df%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%226095ddfa64d0befc076d58df%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%3Cp%3EEventually%2C%20Ahrens%20led%20me%20to%20a%20Warhol-esque%20wall%20of%20yellow%20and%20red%20cans.%20%E2%80%9COur%20most%20popular%20selfie%20destination%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said%2C%20adding%20that%20the%20cans%2C%20which%20were%20full%20of%20surstr%C3%B6mming%2C%20the%20fermented%20herring%2C%20had%20induced%20more%20vomiting%20than%20any%20other%20item%20in%20the%20museum.%20(%E2%80%9CSurstr%C3%B6mming%20is%20one%20of%20the%20worst%20smelling%20foods%20in%20the%20world%2C%E2%80%9D%20a%20placard%20read.)%20The%20exhibit%20featured%20a%20smell%20jar%2C%20inviting%20visitors%20to%20lift%20the%20lid%20and%20to%20take%20a%20sniff.%20Before%20the%20pandemic%2C%20one%20of%20the%20highlights%20of%20the%20museum%20was%20a%20photo%20booth%20that%20sprayed%20jet%20streams%20of%20various%20scents%E2%80%94durian%2C%20stinky%20tofu%20(a%20fermented%20bean-curd%20dish)%E2%80%94and%20captured%20visitors%E2%80%99%20facial%20expressions%20as%20they%20inhaled.%20%E2%80%9CInstagram%2C%E2%80%9D%20Ahrens%20explain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Tripadvisor, the Disgusting Food Museum is ranked No. 1 on a list of ninety-four things to do in Malmö, the third-largest city in Sweden. Visitors are often surprised to find that the museum is situated on the first floor of a shopping mall, between a furniture store and an art gallery. Daniela Nusfelean, a Romanian college student who visited the museum in January, said that one of the first things she noticed was the absence of any odor. “This place is supposed to have so much food,” Nusfelean remembered thinking. “How can food not smell?””],[“p”,”The stinkier items are secured under bell jars, Ahrens, the museum’s director, said, when he gave me a tour over Zoom, earlier this year. Most foods, such as kale pache—an Iranian soup made from a sheep’s head and hooves, which are boiled overnight to eliminate any smells—were displayed in bowls or pots that sat atop a series of white tables, illuminated by long-necked lamps. (Some of the foods are made fresh every week; others, like the poop wine, have a lengthy shelf life.) The museum, whose walls were bright and bare, looked as sterile as a science lab, until Ahrens, who wore a T-shirt that bore the museum’s logo and the word “Yuck!,” gestured to a chalkboard that read “2 days since last vomit.” “This is the scoreboard,” he said, grinning.”],[“p”,”We went on to the exhibits, each of which was accompanied by a placard that, in English and Swedish, noted a dish’s history and its country of origin. First stop: dried stinkbugs from Zimbabwe, which vaguely resembled the buds of microgreen sprouts. Then there was kungu cake (East Africa), a dessert made from millions of crushed flies; fried locusts (Israel), the only insect that the Torah considers kosher; frog juice (Peru), a frothy green beverage containing frogs and quail eggs; and mouse wine (China), a jug of rice wine infused with two hundred baby rodents.”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-left%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22cartoon%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522cartoon%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fcartoons%252F6095ddfa64d0befc076d58df%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%226095ddfa64d0befc076d58df%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”cartoon”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22cartoon%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fcartoons%2F6095ddfa64d0befc076d58df%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”6095ddfa64d0befc076d58df”}]],[“p”,”Eventually, Ahrens led me to a Warhol-esque wall of yellow and red cans. “Our most popular selfie destination,” he said, adding that the cans, which were full of surströmming, the fermented herring, had induced more vomiting than any other item in the museum. (“Surströmming is one of the worst smelling foods in the world,” a placard read.) The exhibit featured a smell jar, inviting visitors to lift the lid and to take a sniff. Before the pandemic, one of the highlights of the museum was a photo booth that sprayed jet streams of various scents—durian, stinky tofu (a fermented bean-curd dish)—and captured visitors’ facial expressions as they inhaled. “Instagram,” Ahrens explained.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EThe%20term%20%E2%80%9Cdisgust%E2%80%9D%20entered%20the%20English%20language%20more%20than%20four%20hundred%20years%20ago%2C%20from%20the%20Old%20French%20word%20%3Cem%3Edesgouster%3C%2Fem%3E%2C%20meaning%20%E2%80%9Cto%20put%20off%20one%E2%80%99s%20appetite.%E2%80%9D%20But%20disgust%20wasn%E2%80%99t%20considered%20worthy%20of%20scientific%20examination%20until%201872%2C%20when%20Charles%20Darwin%20defined%20it%20as%20a%20reaction%20to%20%E2%80%9Csomething%20revolting%2C%20primarily%20in%20relation%20to%20the%20sense%20of%20taste%C2%A0.%C2%A0.%C2%A0.%20and%20secondarily%20to%20anything%20which%20causes%20a%20similar%20feeling%2C%20through%20the%20sense%20of%20smell%2C%20touch%20and%20even%20of%20eyesight.%E2%80%9D%20Darwin%20theorized%20that%20disgust%20is%20a%20basic%20human%20emotion%E2%80%94like%20anger%2C%20fear%2C%20or%20sadness%E2%80%94and%20that%20it%20is%20expressed%20with%20a%20universal%20%E2%80%9Cdisgust%20face.%E2%80%9D%20If%20you%20are%20presented%20with%20a%20glass%20of%20sour%20milk%2C%20you%20will%20almost%20certainly%20scrunch%20up%20your%20nose%2C%20purse%20your%20lips%2C%20and%20blow%20out%20air%20between%20them%2C%20making%20an%20%E2%80%9Cack%E2%80%9D%20or%20%E2%80%9Cugh%E2%80%9D%20sound%20through%20clenched%20teeth.%20If%20you%20are%20forced%20to%20drink%20the%20milk%2C%20you%20might%20open%20your%20mouth%20wide%2C%20tense%20your%20brows%2C%20and%20retract%20your%20upper%20lip%20to%20decrease%20inhalation%2C%20pinching%20your%20features%20into%20the%20likeness%20of%20the%20vomit-face%20emoji%20(all%20of%20which%20is%20often%20a%20precursor%20to%20the%20act%20itself).%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThere%20is%20a%20reason%20that%20we%20find%20certain%20foods%20offensive.%20A%20prehistoric%20human%20who%20scarfed%20down%20decomposing%20meat%20or%20bacteria-ridden%20feces%20wouldn%E2%80%99t%20have%20lived%20long.%20%E2%80%9CLife%20would%20have%20been%20simpler%20if%20we%20were%20koala%20bears%2C%E2%80%9D%20Daniel%20Fessler%2C%20an%20evolutionary%20anthropologist%20at%20U.C.L.A.%2C%20told%20me.%20Koala%20bears%20eat%20only%20eucalyptus%20leaves%2C%20so%20there%20isn%E2%80%99t%20a%20lot%20of%20hand-wringing%20about%20what%E2%80%99s%20for%20dinner.%20But%20humans%20have%20made%20it%20a%20lot%20further%20in%20life%20than%20koalas%2C%20in%20large%20part%20because%20of%20our%20diet.%20Eating%20meat%20has%20allowed%20our%20digestive%20tracts%20to%20shrink%20and%20our%20brains%20to%20grow%20in%20outsized%20proportion%20to%20our%20bodies%2C%20because%20the%20animals%20we%20consume%20have%20already%20extracted%20the%20nutrients%20we%20need.%20Meat%20consumption%2C%20however%2C%20has%20also%20entangled%20our%20species%20in%20the%20omnivore%E2%80%99s%20dilemma%3A%20we%20must%20be%20flexible%20enough%20to%20consume%20a%20variegated%20diet%2C%20yet%20wary%20enough%20of%20novelty%20to%20avoid%20accidental%20death.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EEvolutionary%20psychologists%20often%20cite%20the%20Swiss%20Army%20knife%20as%20an%20analogy%20for%20the%20mind%2C%20because%20both%20have%20all-purpose%20tools%20designed%20to%20cope%20with%20an%20unpredictable%20world.%20Disgust%20is%20simply%20one%20blade%20of%20many.%20If%20the%20blade%20is%20kept%20sharp%2C%20it%20helps%20you%20avoid%20disease%2C%20but%20if%20it%20becomes%20too%20sharp%20you%20might%20not%20ingest%20enough%20calories.%20%E2%80%9CEvolution%20has%20optimized%20this%20trade-off%20so%20that%20priority%20is%20placed%20on%20the%20more%20urgent%20goal%2C%E2%80%9D%20Fessler%20said.%20If%20you%E2%80%99re%20starving%2C%20then%20the%20blade%20is%20dulled%3A%20you%20may%20be%20more%20likely%20to%20eat%20something%20that%20you%E2%80%99d%20otherwise%20find%20disgusting%2C%20such%20as%20rotting%20leftovers.%20(As%20Cervantes%20wrote%20in%20%E2%80%9CDon%20Quixote%2C%E2%80%9D%20%E2%80%9CHunger%20is%20the%20best%20sauce.%E2%80%9D)%20%E2%80%9CThe%20key%20point%20here%20is%20that%20people%20do%20not%20need%20to%20make%20conscious%20decisions%20about%20these%20trade-offs%2C%E2%80%9D%20Fessler%20said.%20Evolved%20psychological%20mechanisms%20do%20the%20work.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EDisgust%20may%20have%20originated%20as%20a%20food-rejection%20system%2C%20Paul%20Rozin%2C%20a%20psychology%20professor%20at%20the%20University%20of%20Pennsylvania%2C%20told%20me%2C%20%E2%80%9Cbut%20it%20has%20expanded%20into%20a%20vehicle%20for%20perceiving%20the%20social%20and%20moral%20world.%E2%80%9D%20Rozin%20is%20the%20pioneer%20of%20a%20subfield%20called%20disgust%20studies.%20His%20favorite%20experiment%20involves%20dropping%20a%20cockroach%20into%20a%20glass%20of%20juice.%20Most%20people%2C%20of%20course%2C%20refuse%20to%20drink%20the%20juice%2C%20citing%20the%20dirtiness%20of%20cockroaches.%20%E2%80%9CWhat%E2%80%99s%20amazing%20is%20that%20even%20if%20you%20disinfect%20the%20cockroach%20and%20convincingly%20demonstrate%20that%20the%20juice%20is%20harmless%2C%20people%20still%20won%E2%80%99t%20want%20to%20drink%20it%2C%E2%80%9D%20Rozin%20said.%20The%20juice%20has%20been%20irrevocably%20contaminated.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThe%20concept%20of%20contamination%20is%20one%20example%20of%20how%20biology%20maps%20onto%20cultural%20systems.%20Both%20Islam%20and%20Judaism%20forbid%20the%20consumption%20of%20pork%3B%20many%20cultures%20avoid%20other%20kinds%20of%20meat.%20These%20taboos%20may%20have%20been%20provoked%20by%20disgust%20(pigs%20are%20thought%20to%20be%20unclean%2C%20raw%20meat%20tends%20to%20be%20slimy%20and%20unappetizing%2C%20and%20both%20can%20cause%20disease%20if%20prepared%20incorrectly)%2C%20but%20disgust%20can%20also%20be%20perpetuated%20by%20taboos.%20Lebanese%20Christians%20are%20technically%20allowed%20to%20eat%20pork%2C%20but%20many%20of%20them%20abstain%2C%20owing%20to%20the%20influence%20of%20their%20pork-avoidant%20neighbors%20in%20the%20Muslim-majority%20country.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3ELike%20a%20regional%20dialect%20or%20a%20style%20of%20dress%2C%20most%20food%20taboos%20advertise%20and%20affirm%20membership%20within%20a%20group.%20Humans%20evolved%20in%20tribes%2C%20and%20food%20taboos%20helped%20to%20define%20coalitions.%20In%20a%20Hobbesian%20past%2C%20a%20cohesive%20tribe%20would%20have%20had%20a%20better%20chance%20of%20domination.%20Chimps%20know%20this%20just%20as%20well%20as%20high-school%20cliques%20do.%20A%20show%20of%20strength%20intimidates%20the%20loners%E2%80%94by%20making%20them%20feel%20like%20losers.%20It%E2%80%99s%20not%20an%20accident%20that%20minorities%20with%20unfamiliar%20customs%20can%20pique%20our%20suspicion%2C%20Mark%20Schaller%2C%20a%20social%20psychologist%20at%20the%20University%20of%20British%20Columbia%2C%20told%20me.%20Our%20behavioral%20immune%20system%2C%20much%20like%20our%20biological%20immune%20system%2C%20is%20meant%20to%20detect%20danger.%20But%20it%20can%20go%20into%20overdrive.%20Schaller%20compared%20it%20to%20a%20smoke%20detector.%20%E2%80%9CIt%E2%80%99s%20designed%20to%20be%20hypersensitive%20for%20a%20reason%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said.%20%E2%80%9CIn%20the%20wild%2C%20it%E2%80%99s%20O.K.%20to%20make%20small%20errors%20by%20overestimating%20a%20threat%2C%20but%2C%20if%20you%20underestimate%2C%20you%20are%20dead.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”The term “disgust” entered the English language more than four hundred years ago, from the Old French word “,[“em”,”desgouster”],”, meaning “to put off one’s appetite.” But disgust wasn’t considered worthy of scientific examination until 1872, when Charles Darwin defined it as a reaction to “something revolting, primarily in relation to the sense of taste . . . and secondarily to anything which causes a similar feeling, through the sense of smell, touch and even of eyesight.” Darwin theorized that disgust is a basic human emotion—like anger, fear, or sadness—and that it is expressed with a universal “disgust face.” If you are presented with a glass of sour milk, you will almost certainly scrunch up your nose, purse your lips, and blow out air between them, making an “ack” or “ugh” sound through clenched teeth. If you are forced to drink the milk, you might open your mouth wide, tense your brows, and retract your upper lip to decrease inhalation, pinching your features into the likeness of the vomit-face emoji (all of which is often a precursor to the act itself).”],[“p”,”There is a reason that we find certain foods offensive. A prehistoric human who scarfed down decomposing meat or bacteria-ridden feces wouldn’t have lived long. “Life would have been simpler if we were koala bears,” Daniel Fessler, an evolutionary anthropologist at U.C.L.A., told me. Koala bears eat only eucalyptus leaves, so there isn’t a lot of hand-wringing about what’s for dinner. But humans have made it a lot further in life than koalas, in large part because of our diet. Eating meat has allowed our digestive tracts to shrink and our brains to grow in outsized proportion to our bodies, because the animals we consume have already extracted the nutrients we need. Meat consumption, however, has also entangled our species in the omnivore’s dilemma: we must be flexible enough to consume a variegated diet, yet wary enough of novelty to avoid accidental death.”],[“p”,”Evolutionary psychologists often cite the Swiss Army knife as an analogy for the mind, because both have all-purpose tools designed to cope with an unpredictable world. Disgust is simply one blade of many. If the blade is kept sharp, it helps you avoid disease, but if it becomes too sharp you might not ingest enough calories. “Evolution has optimized this trade-off so that priority is placed on the more urgent goal,” Fessler said. If you’re starving, then the blade is dulled: you may be more likely to eat something that you’d otherwise find disgusting, such as rotting leftovers. (As Cervantes wrote in “Don Quixote,” “Hunger is the best sauce.”) “The key point here is that people do not need to make conscious decisions about these trade-offs,” Fessler said. Evolved psychological mechanisms do the work.”],[“p”,”Disgust may have originated as a food-rejection system, Paul Rozin, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told me, “but it has expanded into a vehicle for perceiving the social and moral world.” Rozin is the pioneer of a subfield called disgust studies. His favorite experiment involves dropping a cockroach into a glass of juice. Most people, of course, refuse to drink the juice, citing the dirtiness of cockroaches. “What’s amazing is that even if you disinfect the cockroach and convincingly demonstrate that the juice is harmless, people still won’t want to drink it,” Rozin said. The juice has been irrevocably contaminated.”],[“p”,”The concept of contamination is one example of how biology maps onto cultural systems. Both Islam and Judaism forbid the consumption of pork; many cultures avoid other kinds of meat. These taboos may have been provoked by disgust (pigs are thought to be unclean, raw meat tends to be slimy and unappetizing, and both can cause disease if prepared incorrectly), but disgust can also be perpetuated by taboos. Lebanese Christians are technically allowed to eat pork, but many of them abstain, owing to the influence of their pork-avoidant neighbors in the Muslim-majority country.”],[“p”,”Like a regional dialect or a style of dress, most food taboos advertise and affirm membership within a group. Humans evolved in tribes, and food taboos helped to define coalitions. In a Hobbesian past, a cohesive tribe would have had a better chance of domination. Chimps know this just as well as high-school cliques do. A show of strength intimidates the loners—by making them feel like losers. It’s not an accident that minorities with unfamiliar customs can pique our suspicion, Mark Schaller, a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia, told me. Our behavioral immune system, much like our biological immune system, is meant to detect danger. But it can go into overdrive. Schaller compared it to a smoke detector. “It’s designed to be hypersensitive for a reason,” he said. “In the wild, it’s O.K. to make small errors by overestimating a threat, but, if you underestimate, you are dead.””]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EWhen%20I%20was%20a%20child%20in%20Chongqing%2C%20in%20the%20nineteen-eighties%2C%20food%20forged%20the%20rules%20and%20the%20language%20of%20existence.%20To%20be%20fed%20was%20to%20be%20loved%2C%20and%20to%20live%20was%20to%20taste%20the%20world.%20(In%20Chinese%2C%20the%20character%20for%20%E2%80%9Clife%E2%80%9D%20contains%20the%20component%20word%20%E2%80%9Ctongue.%E2%80%9D)%20I%20grew%20up%20on%20an%20Army%20compound%E2%80%94my%20mother%20was%20in%20the%20military%E2%80%94and%20the%20adults%20I%20knew%20had%20a%20habit%20of%20pinching%20the%20round%20bums%20of%20young%20children%2C%20appraising%20them%20as%20%E2%80%9Cgreat%20juicy%20cuts%20of%20meat%20for%20dumplings.%E2%80%9D%20Many%20of%20those%20adults%2C%20my%20father%20included%2C%20had%20lived%20through%20the%20worst%20famine%20in%20history%2C%20during%20which%20some%20villagers%20had%20cannibalized%20one%20another.%20When%20I%20wondered%2C%20at%20the%20age%20of%20four%2C%20if%20human%20flesh%20tasted%20like%20pork%2C%20it%20did%20not%20occur%20to%20me%20that%20the%20thought%20might%20be%20disgusting.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAs%20a%20young%20Army%20recruit%2C%20my%20mother%20ate%20the%20rats%20that%20scurried%20outside%20the%20granary%20she%20guarded%2C%20and%20for%20years%20she%20ate%20kernels%20of%20rice%20that%20she%20found%20on%20the%20ground%E2%80%94something%20I%20was%20told%20by%20other%20adults%20never%20to%20do.%20To%20be%20the%20first%20member%20of%20my%20family%20spared%20the%20pangs%20of%20hunger%20was%20to%20live%20through%20an%20epochal%20transition%20that%20felt%20like%20cultural%20transformation.%20Still%2C%20the%20threat%20of%20deprivation%20hung%20over%20our%20lives%20like%20the%20dangling%20carcasses%20in%20the%20village%20wet%20markets.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAt%20those%20markets%2C%20my%20mother%20traded%20her%20extra%20grain%20coupons%E2%80%94which%20she%20began%20to%20receive%20after%20becoming%20an%20Army%20doctor%E2%80%94for%20eggs%2C%20an%20expensive%20protein%20in%20the%20hierarchy%20of%20foods.%20Shortly%20before%20I%20began%20first%20grade%2C%20my%20mother%20stopped%20feeding%20me%20the%20rice%20porridge%20and%20the%20pickles%20that%20she%20and%20my%20grandmother%20ate%20every%20morning%20and%20started%20me%20on%20a%20special%20breakfast%20of%20what%20she%20called%20%E2%80%9Cbrain%20foods%E2%80%9D%3A%20a%20warm%2C%20viscous%20puddle%20of%20milk%2C%20bobbing%20with%20chunks%20of%20raw%20egg%20yolk.%20My%20Swiss%20Army%20knife%20was%20already%20being%20honed.%20Disgust%20welled%20up%20in%20me%2C%20but%20it%20contended%20with%20other%20blades%20that%20were%20necessary%20for%20survival%3A%20the%20shame%20of%20ingratitude%2C%20and%20the%20fear%20of%20disobedience.%20I%20ate%20the%20brain%20foods%20every%20morning%20for%20two%20interminable%20years.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EEven%20so%2C%20disgust%20did%20not%20leave%20a%20lasting%20mark%20on%20my%20psyche%20until%201992%2C%20when%2C%20at%20the%20age%20of%20eight%2C%20on%20a%20flight%20to%20America%20with%20my%20mother%2C%20I%20was%20served%20the%20first%20non-Chinese%20meal%20of%20my%20life.%20In%20a%20tinfoil-covered%20tray%20was%20what%20looked%20like%20a%20pile%20of%20dumplings%2C%20except%20that%20they%20were%20square.%20I%20picked%20one%20up%20and%20took%20a%20bite%2C%20expecting%20it%20to%20be%20filled%20with%20meat%2C%20and%20discovered%20a%20gooey%2C%20creamy%20substance%20inside.%20Surely%20this%20was%20a%20dessert.%20Why%20else%20would%20the%20squares%20be%20swimming%20in%20a%20thick%20white%20sauce%3F%20I%20was%20grossed%20out%2C%20but%20ate%20the%20whole%20meal%2C%20because%20I%20had%20never%20been%20permitted%20to%20do%20otherwise.%20For%20weeks%20afterward%2C%20the%20taste%20festered%20in%20my%20thoughts%2C%20goading%20my%20gag%20reflex.%20Years%20later%2C%20I%20learned%20that%20those%20curious%20squares%20were%20called%20cheese%20ravioli.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EOlives%20were%20another%20mystery.%20In%20Chongqing%2C%20I%20had%20been%20introduced%20to%20them%20as%20a%20fig-like%20snack%2C%20dried%20or%20cured%2C%20that%20had%20a%20sweet-tart%20kick.%20In%20the%20U.S.%2C%20I%20placed%20a%20dark-green%20drop%20onto%20my%20tongue%20and%2C%20for%20the%20first%20time%20in%20my%20life%2C%20spat%20something%20out%20of%20my%20mouth%20and%20into%20my%20palm.%20Salty%20and%20greasy%20weren%E2%80%99t%20what%20I%20was%20expecting%2C%20and%20my%20reaction%20was%20born%20as%20much%20of%20disgust%20as%20it%20was%20of%20having%20been%20deceived.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3ETo%20be%20a%20new%20immigrant%20is%20to%20be%20trapped%20in%20a%20disgusting-food%20museum%2C%20confused%20by%20the%20unfamiliar%20and%20unsettled%20by%20the%20familiar-looking.%20The%20firm%2C%20crumbly%20white%20blocks%20that%20you%20mistake%20for%20tofu%20are%20called%20feta.%20The%20vanilla%20icing%20that%20tastes%20spoiled%20is%20served%20on%20top%20of%20potatoes%20and%20is%20called%20sour%20cream.%20At%20a%20certain%20point%2C%20the%20trickery%20of%20food%20starts%20to%20become%20mundane.%20Disgusting%20foods%20become%20regulars%20in%20the%20cafeteria%2C%20and%20at%20the%20dinner%20table.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”When I was a child in Chongqing, in the nineteen-eighties, food forged the rules and the language of existence. To be fed was to be loved, and to live was to taste the world. (In Chinese, the character for “life” contains the component word “tongue.”) I grew up on an Army compound—my mother was in the military—and the adults I knew had a habit of pinching the round bums of young children, appraising them as “great juicy cuts of meat for dumplings.” Many of those adults, my father included, had lived through the worst famine in history, during which some villagers had cannibalized one another. When I wondered, at the age of four, if human flesh tasted like pork, it did not occur to me that the thought might be disgusting.”],[“p”,”As a young Army recruit, my mother ate the rats that scurried outside the granary she guarded, and for years she ate kernels of rice that she found on the ground—something I was told by other adults never to do. To be the first member of my family spared the pangs of hunger was to live through an epochal transition that felt like cultural transformation. Still, the threat of deprivation hung over our lives like the dangling carcasses in the village wet markets.”],[“p”,”At those markets, my mother traded her extra grain coupons—which she began to receive after becoming an Army doctor—for eggs, an expensive protein in the hierarchy of foods. Shortly before I began first grade, my mother stopped feeding me the rice porridge and the pickles that she and my grandmother ate every morning and started me on a special breakfast of what she called “brain foods”: a warm, viscous puddle of milk, bobbing with chunks of raw egg yolk. My Swiss Army knife was already being honed. Disgust welled up in me, but it contended with other blades that were necessary for survival: the shame of ingratitude, and the fear of disobedience. I ate the brain foods every morning for two interminable years.”],[“p”,”Even so, disgust did not leave a lasting mark on my psyche until 1992, when, at the age of eight, on a flight to America with my mother, I was served the first non-Chinese meal of my life. In a tinfoil-covered tray was what looked like a pile of dumplings, except that they were square. I picked one up and took a bite, expecting it to be filled with meat, and discovered a gooey, creamy substance inside. Surely this was a dessert. Why else would the squares be swimming in a thick white sauce? I was grossed out, but ate the whole meal, because I had never been permitted to do otherwise. For weeks afterward, the taste festered in my thoughts, goading my gag reflex. Years later, I learned that those curious squares were called cheese ravioli.”],[“p”,”Olives were another mystery. In Chongqing, I had been introduced to them as a fig-like snack, dried or cured, that had a sweet-tart kick. In the U.S., I placed a dark-green drop onto my tongue and, for the first time in my life, spat something out of my mouth and into my palm. Salty and greasy weren’t what I was expecting, and my reaction was born as much of disgust as it was of having been deceived.”],[“p”,”To be a new immigrant is to be trapped in a disgusting-food museum, confused by the unfamiliar and unsettled by the familiar-looking. The firm, crumbly white blocks that you mistake for tofu are called feta. The vanilla icing that tastes spoiled is served on top of potatoes and is called sour cream. At a certain point, the trickery of food starts to become mundane. Disgusting foods become regulars in the cafeteria, and at the dinner table.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3ERecently%2C%20I%20joined%20a%20few%20Asian-American%20friends%20at%20a%20restaurant%20in%20Queens%20to%20have%20hot%20pot%2C%20a%20fondue-like%20communal%20meal%20in%20which%20ingredients%20are%20dipped%20in%20a%20shared%20pot%20of%20boiling%20broth%20at%20the%20center%20of%20the%20table.%20By%20the%20time%20I%20arrived%2C%20bowls%20of%20sliced%20pig%20arteries%2C%20pig%20intestines%2C%20cow%20stomach%2C%20duck%20feet%2C%20and%20pale-pink%20brains%20of%20unidentified%20provenance%20already%20sat%20around%20a%20burbling%20vat%20of%20broth%2C%20spices%2C%20and%20chili%20oil.%20All%20of%20these%20would%20have%20made%20it%20into%20a%20Westerner%E2%80%99s%20encyclopedia%20of%20disgusting%20foods%2C%20but%20everyone%20at%20the%20table%20knew%20that%20the%20gusto%20with%20which%20we%20consumed%20the%20entrails%20and%20viscera%20connected%20us.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EI%20asked%20my%20companions%20if%20they%E2%80%99d%20had%20any%20memorable%20encounters%20with%20disgusting%20food.%20Nearly%20all%20of%20them%20named%20dairy%20products%20that%20they%20had%20tried%20for%20the%20first%20time%20in%20the%20United%20States.%20A%20Chengdu%20native%20recalled%20the%20chalky%20taste%20of%20a%20protein%20shake%2C%20making%20the%20classic%20disgust%20face%20as%20she%20spoke.%20%E2%80%9CThe%20first%20time%20I%20had%20pizza%20was%20bad%2C%E2%80%9D%20Alex%2C%20a%20forty-year-old%20network%20engineer%2C%20said.%20It%20was%20margherita%20pizza%2C%20and%20he%20thought%20that%20the%20little%20white%20splotches%20of%20melted%20burrata%20were%20fresh%20vomit.%20%E2%80%9CI%20couldn%E2%80%99t%20believe%20that%20there%20were%20people%20who%20ate%20this%20regularly%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20continued.%20%E2%80%9CBut%20Americans%20told%20me%20this%20was%20a%20very%20common%20food%20here.%E2%80%9D%20He%20bit%20into%20the%20muscled%20leg%20of%20a%20bullfrog.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3E%E2%80%9CAnd%3F%E2%80%9D%20I%20asked.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3E%E2%80%9CAnd%20I%20just%20learned%20to%20get%20used%20to%20it.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EI%20had%20had%20almost%20the%20exact%20same%20experience%20with%20a%20Sicilian%20slice%20some%20three%20decades%20before.%20Assimilating%20requires%20you%20to%20adopt%20a%20foreign%20tongue%2C%20in%20more%20ways%20than%20one.%20But%20when%20the%20choice%20is%20between%20annihilation%20and%20assimilation%2C%20you%20assimilate.%20This%20was%20as%20true%20for%20prehistoric%20humans%20as%20it%20is%20for%20a%20young%2C%20deracinated%20Chinese%20immigrant%20in%20America.%20One%20of%20the%20wonders%20of%20the%20tongue%20is%20its%20sheer%20malleability.%20New%20tastes%20are%20acquired%20and%20seamlessly%20incorporated%20into%20the%20tapestry%20of%20one%E2%80%99s%20gastronomic%20predilections.%20I%20don%E2%80%99t%20remember%20the%20exact%20moment%20when%20I%20began%20relishing%20Western%20olives%2C%20but%20the%20change%20felt%20natural%3B%20with%20each%20new%20experience%2C%20the%20tapestry%20is%20rewoven.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”Recently, I joined a few Asian-American friends at a restaurant in Queens to have hot pot, a fondue-like communal meal in which ingredients are dipped in a shared pot of boiling broth at the center of the table. By the time I arrived, bowls of sliced pig arteries, pig intestines, cow stomach, duck feet, and pale-pink brains of unidentified provenance already sat around a burbling vat of broth, spices, and chili oil. All of these would have made it into a Westerner’s encyclopedia of disgusting foods, but everyone at the table knew that the gusto with which we consumed the entrails and viscera connected us.”],[“p”,”I asked my companions if they’d had any memorable encounters with disgusting food. Nearly all of them named dairy products that they had tried for the first time in the United States. A Chengdu native recalled the chalky taste of a protein shake, making the classic disgust face as she spoke. “The first time I had pizza was bad,” Alex, a forty-year-old network engineer, said. It was margherita pizza, and he thought that the little white splotches of melted burrata were fresh vomit. “I couldn’t believe that there were people who ate this regularly,” he continued. “But Americans told me this was a very common food here.” He bit into the muscled leg of a bullfrog.”],[“p”,”“And?” I asked.”],[“p”,”“And I just learned to get used to it.””],[“p”,”I had had almost the exact same experience with a Sicilian slice some three decades before. Assimilating requires you to adopt a foreign tongue, in more ways than one. But when the choice is between annihilation and assimilation, you assimilate. This was as true for prehistoric humans as it is for a young, deracinated Chinese immigrant in America. One of the wonders of the tongue is its sheer malleability. New tastes are acquired and seamlessly incorporated into the tapestry of one’s gastronomic predilections. I don’t remember the exact moment when I began relishing Western olives, but the change felt natural; with each new experience, the tapestry is rewoven.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EShortly%20before%20my%20virtual%20tour%20of%20the%20Disgusting%20Food%20Museum%2C%20I%20had%20received%20a%20temperature-controlled%20package%20in%20the%20mail.%20It%20contained%20goat-stomach%20cheese%2C%20fermented%20shark%2C%20surstr%C3%B6mming%2C%20and%20several%20other%20items%20from%20the%20museum%E2%80%99s%20taste%20test.%20I%20arranged%20the%20food%20in%20small%20saucers%20around%20my%20laptop%20and%20launched%20Zoom%2C%20where%20Andreas%20Ahrens%20was%20waiting%20for%20me.%20Before%20I%20dug%20in%2C%20he%20suggested%20I%20check%20that%20the%20items%20had%20made%20it%20through%20their%20transatlantic%20journey%20O.K.%20%E2%80%9CMaybe%20smell%20them%20just%20to%20make%20sure%20they%20haven%E2%80%99t%20gone%20bad%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said.%20But%2C%20wait%2C%20I%20said%2C%20weren%E2%80%99t%20most%20of%20them%20supposed%20to%20smell%20bad%3F%20He%20laughed.%20%E2%80%9CGood%20luck%2C%20then.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EI%20opened%20a%20pouch%20of%20German%20sauerkraut%20juice.%20Its%20putrid%20gray%20color%20reminded%20me%20of%20stagnant%20gutter%20water.%20By%20way%20of%20encouragement%2C%20Ahrens%20said%2C%20%E2%80%9CVery%20few%20people%20try%20nothing.%20Most%20try%20more%20than%20they%20thought%20they%20would.%E2%80%9D%20I%20had%20skipped%20lunch%20to%20prepare%20for%20the%20taste%20test%2C%20and%20by%20then%20my%20stomach%20was%20growling%20so%20loudly%20that%20I%20felt%20obliged%20to%20apologize%20to%20the%20screen.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22callout%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522callout%2522%252C%2522name%2522%253A%2522inset-left%2522%252C%2522body%2522%253A%2522%253Cinline-embed%2520type%253D%255C%2522cartoon%255C%2522%2520meta%253D%255C%2522%25257B%252522type%252522%25253A%252522cartoon%252522%25252C%252522url%252522%25253A%252522%25252Fcartoons%25252F6095ddf9fa6f8ed1e90a01e5%252522%25252C%252522width%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522height%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25252C%252522caption%252522%25253A%252522%252522%25257D%255C%2522%2520ref%253D%255C%25226095ddf9fa6f8ed1e90a01e5%255C%2522%253E%253C%252Finline-embed%253E%2522%252C%2522attrs%2522%253A%257B%257D%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%22%5C%22%3E%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22cartoon%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522cartoon%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fcartoons%252F6095ddf9fa6f8ed1e90a01e5%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%226095ddf9fa6f8ed1e90a01e5%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%3Cp%3EThe%20juice%20tasted%20cool%20and%20refreshing%E2%80%94a%20blend%20of%20pickles%20and%20kimchi.%20Next%20was%20bagoong%2C%20a%20Filipino%20fermented%20shrimp%2C%20which%20tasted%20so%20much%20like%20a%20beloved%20Chinese%20fish%20sauce%20that%20I%20was%20tempted%20to%20spoon%20it%20over%20some%20leftover%20rice.%20Things%20started%20getting%20real%20with%20h%C3%A1karl%2C%20the%20Icelandic%20shark.%20My%20head%20cocked%20back%20at%20the%20taste%20of%20ammonia%2C%20but%20the%20chewy%20texture%20reminded%20me%20pleasantly%20of%20squid.%20I%20moved%20on%20to%20the%20insects%2C%20beginning%20with%20grasshoppers%20from%20Oaxaca%2C%20Mexico%2C%20which%20had%20been%20marinated%20with%20dried%20chilies.%20They%20were%20delicious%E2%80%94crispy%2C%20sour%2C%20and%20spicy%2C%20like%20lime-tossed%20tortilla%20chips.%20A%20bag%20of%20dehydrated%20mixed%20bugs%20contained%20mole%20crickets%20and%20sago%20worms.%20The%20hardest%20part%20was%20knowing%20that%20you%20were%20eating%20something%20that%20you%20last%20saw%20crawling%20on%20the%20bathroom%20floor.%20Crunchiness%2C%20I%20discovered%2C%20was%20a%20crucial%20factor%20in%20palatability%3B%20the%20crickets%20could%20have%20passed%20for%20salty%20granola.%20The%20worms%2C%20which%20looked%20like%20deformed%20prunes%2C%20were%20denser%20and%20nuttier.%20Everything%20tasted%20considerably%20better%20than%20it%20looked.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EWhile%20I%20sniffed%20and%20chewed%2C%20periodically%20watching%20my%20features%20contort%20onscreen%2C%20I%20couldn%E2%80%99t%20help%20but%20think%20of%20De%20Meyer%2C%20the%20hapless%20Belgian.%20My%20lack%20of%20disgust%20felt%20like%20cheating.%20The%20Chinese%20pidan%2C%20for%20example%E2%80%94a%20clay-preserved%20egg%20with%20a%20swampy%20blue-green%20hue%E2%80%94has%20been%20one%20of%20my%20comfort%20foods%20since%20childhood.%20The%20thought%20of%20stinky%20tofu%20makes%20me%20salivate.%20Durian%20was%20more%20complicated.%20I%20don%E2%80%99t%20like%20its%20smell%2C%20which%20some%20describe%20as%20a%20mix%20of%20turpentine%20and%20onions%2C%20but%20I%E2%80%99ve%20eaten%20enough%20durian-flavored%20desserts%20to%20reflexively%20separate%20the%20fruit%E2%80%99s%20odor%20from%20its%20taste%2C%20which%20is%20simultaneously%20creamy%2C%20sweet%2C%20and%20savory%E2%80%94like%20chives%2C%20garlic%2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before my virtual tour of the Disgusting Food Museum, I had received a temperature-controlled package in the mail. It contained goat-stomach cheese, fermented shark, surströmming, and several other items from the museum’s taste test. I arranged the food in small saucers around my laptop and launched Zoom, where Andreas Ahrens was waiting for me. Before I dug in, he suggested I check that the items had made it through their transatlantic journey O.K. “Maybe smell them just to make sure they haven’t gone bad,” he said. But, wait, I said, weren’t most of them supposed to smell bad? He laughed. “Good luck, then.””],[“p”,”I opened a pouch of German sauerkraut juice. Its putrid gray color reminded me of stagnant gutter water. By way of encouragement, Ahrens said, “Very few people try nothing. Most try more than they thought they would.” I had skipped lunch to prepare for the taste test, and by then my stomach was growling so loudly that I felt obliged to apologize to the screen.”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-left%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22cartoon%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522cartoon%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fcartoons%252F6095ddf9fa6f8ed1e90a01e5%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%226095ddf9fa6f8ed1e90a01e5%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”cartoon”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22cartoon%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fcartoons%2F6095ddf9fa6f8ed1e90a01e5%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”6095ddf9fa6f8ed1e90a01e5″}]],[“p”,”The juice tasted cool and refreshing—a blend of pickles and kimchi. Next was bagoong, a Filipino fermented shrimp, which tasted so much like a beloved Chinese fish sauce that I was tempted to spoon it over some leftover rice. Things started getting real with hákarl, the Icelandic shark. My head cocked back at the taste of ammonia, but the chewy texture reminded me pleasantly of squid. I moved on to the insects, beginning with grasshoppers from Oaxaca, Mexico, which had been marinated with dried chilies. They were delicious—crispy, sour, and spicy, like lime-tossed tortilla chips. A bag of dehydrated mixed bugs contained mole crickets and sago worms. The hardest part was knowing that you were eating something that you last saw crawling on the bathroom floor. Crunchiness, I discovered, was a crucial factor in palatability; the crickets could have passed for salty granola. The worms, which looked like deformed prunes, were denser and nuttier. Everything tasted considerably better than it looked.”],[“p”,”While I sniffed and chewed, periodically watching my features contort onscreen, I couldn’t help but think of De Meyer, the hapless Belgian. My lack of disgust felt like cheating. The Chinese pidan, for example—a clay-preserved egg with a swampy blue-green hue—has been one of my comfort foods since childhood. The thought of stinky tofu makes me salivate. Durian was more complicated. I don’t like its smell, which some describe as a mix of turpentine and onions, but I’ve eaten enough durian-flavored desserts to reflexively separate the fruit’s odor from its taste, which is simultaneously creamy, sweet, and savory—like chives, garlic, and caramel, blended into a butter.”],[“p”,”It was time to try the surströmming, which Ahrens had packed in a vacuum-sealed bag. I used a teaspoon to scoop out a moist, grayish morsel. It was so salty that it tasted bitter. But it was the smell—of rotten eggs brined in raw sewage—that made me jerk my body back like Keanu Reeves dodging bullets in “The Matrix.” The fish’s scent is so foul, Ahrens told me, that a German man was once evicted from his building after leaving surströmming in the stairwell to annoy his neighbor, with whom he was engaged in a petty dispute. (The man sued his landlord, but a judge ruled in favor of the eviction, stating that “the disgusting smell of the fish brine far exceeded the degree that fellow-tenants in the building could be expected to tolerate.”) Ahrens said that, of all the items in the taste test, he’d found the smell of surströmming the most objectionable. The fact that the two of us—a Swede and a Chinese-American—more or less aligned on this pleased me. Disgust, at least in this instance, seemed to unify rather than divide.”],[“p”,”The final item was Lakkris Djöflar, a type of salmiak, or salty licorice candy, that is popular in Nordic countries. Easy, I thought. I don’t love licorice, but its herbal taste reminds me of the medicinal soups that my mother fed me as a child. One second after I put the candy in my mouth, though, I spat it out with such force that it left a sticky mark on my screen, where Ahrens’s mouth was curled into a smile.”],[“p”,”There was a bowl of the vile confection on his countertop. He ate two, emitting a satisfied “Mmm” as he chewed. “It’s one of my favorite things,” he said.”],[“p”,”“But isn’t it horribly salty and bitter?” I asked, incredulous, clutching my glass of water. When the candy was in my mouth, I’d felt as if I were drowning in brackish seawater.”],[“p”,”“That’s what makes it good,” he said. “People naturally like foods they grew up eating.””]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EAfter%20finishing%20the%20taste%20test%2C%20I%20called%20up%20De%20Meyer.%20It%20had%20been%20two%20years%20since%20his%20visit%20to%20the%20museum%2C%20and%20from%20what%20I%20could%20tell%20via%20Zoom%E2%80%94he%20was%20slouched%20on%20a%20sofa%2C%20chain-smoking%20Camels%E2%80%94it%20looked%20like%20he%20had%20mostly%20recovered%20from%20the%20experience.%20%E2%80%9CI%20feel%20lucky%20that%20I%20was%20able%20to%20go%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20told%20me.%20It%20had%20been%20%E2%80%9Crefreshing%E2%80%9D%20to%20be%20taken%20out%20of%20his%20comfort%20zone%2C%20even%20if%20it%20had%20involved%20going%20through%20a%20dozen%20barf%20bags.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAfter%20a%20pause%2C%20he%20recounted%20how%20he%E2%80%99d%20recently%20cooked%20onions%20in%20a%20miso-butter%20glaze%20for%20his%20six-year-old%20niece.%20%E2%80%9CShe%20hated%20it%20the%20first%20time%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said.%20But%20he%20kept%20encouraging%20her%20to%20try%20it%2C%20telling%20her%20that%20it%20wasn%E2%80%99t%20weird%2C%20and%2C%20by%20the%20fourth%20bite%2C%20she%20was%20fully%20on%20board.%20%E2%80%9CThat%E2%80%99s%20why%20it%20was%20a%20privilege%20to%20go%20to%20the%20museum%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said.%20%E2%80%9CIt%20takes%20ten%20tries%20for%20people%20to%20like%20something%20new.%20But%2C%20if%20you%20don%E2%80%99t%20start%20somewhere%2C%20how%20else%20would%20you%20expand%20your%20reference%20point%3F%20How%20else%20would%20my%20niece%20learn%20that%20she%20loves%20miso%20butter%3F%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAhrens%E2%80%99s%20goal%20is%20to%20replicate%20such%20experiences%20on%20a%20large%20scale.%20He%20recently%20took%20over%20the%20Disgusting%20Food%20Museum%2C%20and%2C%20later%20this%20year%2C%20he%20will%20open%20two%20more%20locations%2C%20in%20Bordeaux%20and%20Berlin%2C%20that%20will%20feature%20site-specific%20exhibits%2C%20such%20as%20Berliner%20schnitzel%20made%20from%20cow%20udders.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThe%20museum%20in%20Malm%C3%B6%20has%20been%20mostly%20well%20received%20by%20tourists%2C%20but%20it%20also%20has%20numerous%20critics%2C%20who%20have%20accused%20it%20of%20cultural%20insensitivity%20and%2C%20in%20some%20cases%2C%20of%20outright%20racism.%20In%202018%2C%20the%20L.A.%20%3Cem%3ETimes%3C%2Fem%3E%20columnist%20Lucas%20Kwan%20Peterson%20argued%20that%20the%20museum%20reinforces%20prejudices%20by%20oversimplifying%20the%20customs%20of%20other%20countries%20and%20reducing%20their%20foods%20to%20clich%C3%A9s.%20A%20museum%E2%80%99s%20use%20of%20the%20word%20%E2%80%9Cdisgusting%E2%80%9D%20in%20its%20name%20implies%20an%20endorsement%20of%20the%20term%2C%20he%20wrote.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EWhen%20I%20asked%20Ahrens%20about%20his%20use%20of%20the%20word%20%E2%80%9Cdisgusting%2C%E2%80%9D%20and%20whether%20he%E2%80%99d%20considered%20using%20a%20different%20name%20for%20the%20new%20museums%2C%20he%20nodded.%20%E2%80%9C%C2%A0%E2%80%98Disgusting%E2%80%99%20is%20a%20controversial%20word%2C%20but%20if%20we%20used%20%E2%80%98unusual%E2%80%99%20or%20%E2%80%98strange%E2%80%99%20it%E2%80%99s%20just%20not%20the%20same%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3E%E2%80%9C%C2%A0%E2%80%98Disgusting%E2%80%99%20calls%20attention%20to%20itself%2C%E2%80%9D%20I%20said.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3E%E2%80%9CExactly%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20replied.%20%E2%80%9CAnd%20we%20are%20a%20museum%20that%20relies%20on%20public%20support.%20That%20is%20how%20we%20survive.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAs%20Peterson%20wrote%2C%20%E2%80%9CThe%20museum%20is%20trying%20to%20have%20it%20both%20ways%E2%80%94poking%20the%20bear%2C%20then%20backing%20away%2C%20hands%20raised%20innocently.%E2%80%9D%20Even%20those%20who%20believe%20in%20the%20museum%E2%80%99s%20statement%20of%20purpose%20question%20whether%20it%20can%20be%20put%20into%20practice.%20The%20trouble%20with%20cultural%20institutions%2C%20Casey%C2%A0R.%20Kelly%2C%20the%20author%20of%20%E2%80%9CFood%20Television%20and%20Otherness%20in%20the%20Age%20of%20Globalization%2C%E2%80%9D%20said%2C%20is%20that%20those%20who%20run%20them%20can%E2%80%99t%20always%20control%20what%E2%80%99s%20being%20communicated.%20%E2%80%9COn%20the%20one%20hand%2C%20the%20museum%20is%20introducing%20visitors%20to%20new%20foods%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said%2C%20%E2%80%9Cbut%2C%20on%20the%20other%2C%20there%E2%80%99s%20a%20cosmopolitan%20sanitization%20process%20at%20work%2C%E2%80%9D%20in%20which%20foods%20are%20being%20stripped%20of%20their%20cultural%20context%20and%20then%20presented%20at%20a%20museum%20that%20keeps%20track%20of%20how%20many%20people%20they%20make%20vomit.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”After finishing the taste test, I called up De Meyer. It had been two years since his visit to the museum, and from what I could tell via Zoom—he was slouched on a sofa, chain-smoking Camels—it looked like he had mostly recovered from the experience. “I feel lucky that I was able to go,” he told me. It had been “refreshing” to be taken out of his comfort zone, even if it had involved going through a dozen barf bags.”],[“p”,”After a pause, he recounted how he’d recently cooked onions in a miso-butter glaze for his six-year-old niece. “She hated it the first time,” he said. But he kept encouraging her to try it, telling her that it wasn’t weird, and, by the fourth bite, she was fully on board. “That’s why it was a privilege to go to the museum,” he said. “It takes ten tries for people to like something new. But, if you don’t start somewhere, how else would you expand your reference point? How else would my niece learn that she loves miso butter?””],[“p”,”Ahrens’s goal is to replicate such experiences on a large scale. He recently took over the Disgusting Food Museum, and, later this year, he will open two more locations, in Bordeaux and Berlin, that will feature site-specific exhibits, such as Berliner schnitzel made from cow udders.”],[“p”,”The museum in Malmö has been mostly well received by tourists, but it also has numerous critics, who have accused it of cultural insensitivity and, in some cases, of outright racism. In 2018, the L.A. “,[“em”,”Times”],” columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson argued that the museum reinforces prejudices by oversimplifying the customs of other countries and reducing their foods to clichés. A museum’s use of the word “disgusting” in its name implies an endorsement of the term, he wrote.”],[“p”,”When I asked Ahrens about his use of the word “disgusting,” and whether he’d considered using a different name for the new museums, he nodded. “ ‘Disgusting’ is a controversial word, but if we used ‘unusual’ or ‘strange’ it’s just not the same,” he said.”],[“p”,”“ ‘Disgusting’ calls attention to itself,” I said.”],[“p”,”“Exactly,” he replied. “And we are a museum that relies on public support. That is how we survive.””],[“p”,”As Peterson wrote, “The museum is trying to have it both ways—poking the bear, then backing away, hands raised innocently.” Even those who believe in the museum’s statement of purpose question whether it can be put into practice. The trouble with cultural institutions, Casey R. Kelly, the author of “Food Television and Otherness in the Age of Globalization,” said, is that those who run them can’t always control what’s being communicated. “On the one hand, the museum is introducing visitors to new foods,” he said, “but, on the other, there’s a cosmopolitan sanitization process at work,” in which foods are being stripped of their cultural context and then presented at a museum that keeps track of how many people they make vomit.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EAt%20the%20Disgusting%20Food%20Museum%2C%20I%20felt%20both%20like%20a%20tourist%20and%20like%20one%20of%20the%20exhibits.%20Twenty-nine%20of%20the%20eighty-five%20dishes%20on%20display%20are%20Asian%2C%20and%20twelve%20are%20from%20China.%20Despite%20Ahrens%E2%80%99s%20reminder%20that%20Asia%20is%20underrepresented%20at%20the%20museum%20compared%20with%20its%20population%2C%20seeing%20stinky%20tofu%2C%20century%20eggs%2C%20and%20other%20staples%20of%20my%20childhood%20branded%20as%20%E2%80%9Cdisgusting%E2%80%9D%20stung%20me%20with%20self-consciousness.%20Those%20foods%20were%20in%20my%20fridge%20at%20that%20very%20moment.%20Turtle%20soup%20and%20dog%20meat%2C%20also%20among%20the%20exhibits%2C%20were%20dishes%20that%20I%E2%80%99d%20eaten%20in%20Chongqing%3B%20though%20I%E2%80%99d%20likely%20never%20revisit%20them%2C%20I%20knew%20them%20well%20enough%20as%20communal%20holiday%20fare.%20Meanwhile%2C%20mouse%20wine%2C%20monkey%20brain%2C%20and%20virgin-boy%20eggs%20(eggs%20boiled%20in%20young%20boys%E2%80%99%20urine)%20were%20as%20foreign%20to%20me%20as%20surstr%C3%B6mming.%20Ahrens%20and%20West%E2%80%99s%20decision%20to%20categorize%20them%20all%20under%20%E2%80%9CChina%E2%80%9D%20felt%20simultaneously%20alienating%20and%20reasonable%3A%20the%20Westerner%20in%20me%20understood%20the%20urge%20not%20to%20differentiate%20them%2C%20while%20the%20Chinese%20rebelled%20at%20the%20notion%20that%20they%20would%20ever%20belong%20together.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EJust%20as%20Michelangelo%E2%80%99s%20David%20represents%20the%20height%20of%20the%20Italian%20Renaissance%2C%20and%20cobalt%20porcelain%20the%20cultural%20apogee%20of%20the%20Ming%20dynasty%2C%20the%20exhibits%20at%20the%20Disgusting%20Food%20Museum%2C%20divided%20as%20they%20are%20by%20geography%2C%20perform%20an%20act%20of%20synecdoche%2C%20with%20the%20foods%20standing%20in%20for%20individual%20places%20or%20peoples.%20This%20makes%20sense%20as%20a%20method%20of%20cataloguing%20exhibits%2C%20but%20it%20can%20obviate%20the%20obvious%3A%20foods%20in%20the%20pre-modern%20era%20were%20often%20disgusting%E2%80%94at%20least%20to%20the%20uninitiated%20palate%E2%80%94but%20they%20were%20also%20ingenious.%20Why%20is%20h%C3%A1karl%20the%20token%20food%20of%20Iceland%3F%20The%20Vikings%20wanted%20a%20way%20to%20eat%20sleeper%20sharks%2C%20which%20are%20plentiful%20but%20poisonous%3B%20consequently%2C%20they%20invented%20a%20technique%20for%20purifying%20the%20two-thousand-pound%20beasts.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EWhen%20food%20is%20available%20only%20to%20a%20select%20few%2C%20it%20becomes%20a%20symbol%20for%20one%E2%80%99s%20social%20position.%20The%20reason%20that%20the%20French%20aristocracy%20once%20ate%20ortolans%20is%20probably%20similar%20to%20the%20reason%20that%20monkey%20brains%20would%20have%20been%20served%20at%20royal%20banquets%20in%20China.%20Across%20cultures%2C%20the%20%C3%A9lite%20gravitate%20toward%20foods%20that%20are%20inaccessible%20to%20the%20masses%2C%20owing%20to%20price%2C%20scarcity%2C%20or%20difficulty%20of%20preparation.%20It%20was%20in%20part%20the%20pursuit%20of%20%E2%80%9Cexotic%E2%80%9D%20spices%20that%20led%20to%20Western%20conquests%20in%20Africa%20and%20East%20Asia%2C%20which%20in%20turn%20created%20asymmetries%20of%20power%20that%20surface%20in%20the%20modern%20sociological%20concept%20of%20%E2%80%9Ctaste%2C%E2%80%9D%20or%20in%20a%20worldly%20palate%20informed%20by%20various%20cultural%20or%20class-based%20rituals.%20(By%20using%20the%20phrase%20%E2%80%9Cin%20good%20taste%2C%E2%80%9D%20one%20invokes%20the%20gastronomically%20satisfying%20to%20connote%20something%20that%20is%20socially%20sanctioned.)%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EIn%20the%20twentieth%20century%2C%20powerful%20nations%20seemed%20to%20reinvent%20food%20by%20processing%20the%20disgust%20out%20of%20it.%20At%20the%20Disgusting%20Food%20Museum%2C%20the%20U.S.%20is%20represented%20mostly%20by%20calorie-packed%2C%20nutritionally%20deficient%20snacks%2C%20such%20as%20Twinkies%2C%20Spam%2C%20and%20Pop-Tarts.%20The%20element%20of%20disgust%2C%20as%20detailed%20by%20the%20museum%E2%80%99s%20placards%2C%20exists%20largely%20in%20the%20factory%20farms%2C%20the%20economies%20of%20waste%2C%20the%20misuse%20of%20growth%20hormones%2C%20and%20the%20exploitation%20it%20takes%20to%20produce%20these%20items.%20Kelly%20said%20that%20Americans%20are%20generally%20uninterested%20in%20knowing%20where%20their%20food%20comes%20from%3A%20%E2%80%9CThere%20is%20entitlement%20in%20this%20willful%20ignorance%E2%80%94to%20be%20in%20a%20place%20where%20you%20don%E2%80%99t%20have%20to%20think%20about%20how%20to%20make%20the%20feet%20and%20beak%20of%20a%20bird%20palatable.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAt%20the%20beginning%20of%20the%20pandemic%2C%20many%20Americans%20were%20suddenly%20confronted%20with%20the%20threat%20of%20food%20insecurity%2C%20as%20the%20virus%20exposed%20the%20fragility%20of%20our%20supply%20chain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the Disgusting Food Museum, I felt both like a tourist and like one of the exhibits. Twenty-nine of the eighty-five dishes on display are Asian, and twelve are from China. Despite Ahrens’s reminder that Asia is underrepresented at the museum compared with its population, seeing stinky tofu, century eggs, and other staples of my childhood branded as “disgusting” stung me with self-consciousness. Those foods were in my fridge at that very moment. Turtle soup and dog meat, also among the exhibits, were dishes that I’d eaten in Chongqing; though I’d likely never revisit them, I knew them well enough as communal holiday fare. Meanwhile, mouse wine, monkey brain, and virgin-boy eggs (eggs boiled in young boys’ urine) were as foreign to me as surströmming. Ahrens and West’s decision to categorize them all under “China” felt simultaneously alienating and reasonable: the Westerner in me understood the urge not to differentiate them, while the Chinese rebelled at the notion that they would ever belong together.”],[“p”,”Just as Michelangelo’s David represents the height of the Italian Renaissance, and cobalt porcelain the cultural apogee of the Ming dynasty, the exhibits at the Disgusting Food Museum, divided as they are by geography, perform an act of synecdoche, with the foods standing in for individual places or peoples. This makes sense as a method of cataloguing exhibits, but it can obviate the obvious: foods in the pre-modern era were often disgusting—at least to the uninitiated palate—but they were also ingenious. Why is hákarl the token food of Iceland? The Vikings wanted a way to eat sleeper sharks, which are plentiful but poisonous; consequently, they invented a technique for purifying the two-thousand-pound beasts.”],[“p”,”When food is available only to a select few, it becomes a symbol for one’s social position. The reason that the French aristocracy once ate ortolans is probably similar to the reason that monkey brains would have been served at royal banquets in China. Across cultures, the élite gravitate toward foods that are inaccessible to the masses, owing to price, scarcity, or difficulty of preparation. It was in part the pursuit of “exotic” spices that led to Western conquests in Africa and East Asia, which in turn created asymmetries of power that surface in the modern sociological concept of “taste,” or in a worldly palate informed by various cultural or class-based rituals. (By using the phrase “in good taste,” one invokes the gastronomically satisfying to connote something that is socially sanctioned.)”],[“p”,”In the twentieth century, powerful nations seemed to reinvent food by processing the disgust out of it. At the Disgusting Food Museum, the U.S. is represented mostly by calorie-packed, nutritionally deficient snacks, such as Twinkies, Spam, and Pop-Tarts. The element of disgust, as detailed by the museum’s placards, exists largely in the factory farms, the economies of waste, the misuse of growth hormones, and the exploitation it takes to produce these items. Kelly said that Americans are generally uninterested in knowing where their food comes from: “There is entitlement in this willful ignorance—to be in a place where you don’t have to think about how to make the feet and beak of a bird palatable.””],[“p”,”At the beginning of the pandemic, many Americans were suddenly confronted with the threat of food insecurity, as the virus exposed the fragility of our supply chains. Restaurants shuttered, bottled water was rationed, and egg prices rose threefold overnight. I asked Ahrens if his view of disgust or of the museum had changed during the pandemic. (Although Sweden did not shut down, ninety-nine per cent of the museum’s visitors disappeared overnight.) In slow, methodical tones, he spoke to me about the health impact of food. “The more foreign foods I come across, the more I realize how little I know about the food I eat, and the more I want to know,” he said. The museum is planning a temporary exhibit on dangerous foods, in which danger is defined as everything from “poison or toxin, like fungus, to manufacturing errors that cause the end product to be injurious.” What’s dangerous is what we don’t know, Ahrens told me. The horseshoe bat, which early in the pandemic was thought to be responsible for the transmission of the coronavirus in China, will be prominently featured in the exhibit.”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-left%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22cartoon%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522cartoon%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fcartoons%252F6095ddfa5ee7f96e27835654%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%226095ddfa5ee7f96e27835654%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”cartoon”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22cartoon%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fcartoons%2F6095ddfa5ee7f96e27835654%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”6095ddfa5ee7f96e27835654″}]]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3ELast%20spring%2C%20shortly%20after%20Donald%20Trump%20referred%20to%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20as%20the%20%E2%80%9CChina%20virus%2C%E2%80%9D%20I%20received%20a%20Twitter%20message%20from%20a%20stranger.%20%E2%80%9CY%E2%80%99all%20Chinese%20ppl%20want%20eat%20bat%20soup%20%26amp%3B%20alive%20mice%20no%20wonder%20this%20coronavirus%20started%20y%E2%80%99all%20dirty%20asses%20eating%20shit%20wit%20rabies%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20wrote.%20%E2%80%9CGet%20the%20fuck%20out%20the%20us%20go%20back%20to%20China%20with%20the%20rest%20of%20y%E2%80%99all%20eating%20animals%20alive%20ass%20family%20members.%E2%80%9D%20This%20was%20also%20when%20photos%20of%20bats%20began%20arriving%20in%20my%20social-media%20in-boxes.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EOne%20afternoon%2C%20while%20I%20was%20talking%20on%20the%20phone%20at%20a%20grocery%20store%2C%20a%20passerby%2C%20hearing%20me%20speak%20Mandarin%2C%20hissed%2C%20%E2%80%9CNasty%20Chinese.%E2%80%9D%20Another%20day%2C%20when%20I%20was%20riding%20the%20subway%20for%20the%20first%20time%20in%20months%2C%20a%20man%20called%20me%20a%20%E2%80%9Cdisgusting%20Chink%E2%80%9D%20over%20and%20over%20until%20he%20reached%20his%20station%20and%20left%20the%20car.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3ESomething%20happens%20when%20you%20discover%20that%20you%20yourself%20are%20%E2%80%9Cdisgusting.%E2%80%9D%20It%20does%20not%20matter%20whether%20you%20believe%20it%20to%20be%20true.%20Shame%20and%20fear%20flood%20your%20body%2C%20as%20involuntarily%20as%20the%20disgust%20face%2C%20until%20a%20kind%20of%20self-disgust%20takes%20root.%20The%20origins%20of%20self-disgust%20have%20yet%20to%20be%20fully%20understood%2C%20but%20scientists%20speculate%20that%20the%20emotion%20likely%20arises%20from%20the%20internalization%20of%20others%E2%80%99%20disgust.%20It%20is%20also%20a%20unique%20form%20of%20torture%3B%20to%20be%20perceived%20as%20repugnant%20is%20to%20live%20inside%20that%20repugnance%2C%20desperate%20to%20expel%20you%20from%20yourself.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3E%E2%80%9CHave%20Americans%20always%20been%20like%20this%3F%E2%80%9D%20my%20mother%E2%80%99s%20Chinese%20health%20aide%2C%20Ying%2C%20asked%20me%20the%20other%20day%2C%20as%20she%20showed%20me%20a%20news%20story%20about%20yet%20another%20unprovoked%20attack%20on%20an%20elderly%20Asian%20woman%20in%20Chinatown.%20Ying%20was%20wearing%20a%20hat%20and%20a%20mask%2C%20not%20only%20for%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E%20safety%2C%20she%20told%20me%2C%20but%20also%20because%20she%20was%20anxious%20about%20being%20identified%20as%20Asian%E2%80%94an%20abstract%20feeling%20that%2C%20in%20recent%20weeks%2C%20had%20concretized%20to%20an%20acute%20fear.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EPerhaps%20this%20is%20what%20terrifies%20me%20the%20most%20about%20disgust%3A%20its%20ability%20to%20weaponize%20one%E2%80%99s%20gut%20in%20service%20of%20the%20outlandish.%20The%20idea%20that%20all%20Chinese%20carry%20the%20coronavirus%20because%20it%20could%20have%20originated%20from%20eating%20bats%20is%20risible.%20But%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E%E2%80%99s%20invisibility%20has%20lent%20credence%20to%20the%20tribalist%20notion%20that%20disgusting-food-consuming%20Asians%20must%20surely%20be%20the%20ones%20who%20are%20carrying%20and%20spreading%20the%20virus.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EIf%20only%20nature%20were%20so%20straightforward.%20In%20food%2C%20funky%20smells%20raise%20an%20alarm%20that%20warns%20against%20ingestion%3B%20respiratory%20droplets%20expelled%20during%20a%20conversation%20with%20an%20asymptomatic%20carrier%20of%20the%20coronavirus%20raise%20no%20such%20alarms.%20Disgust%20can%E2%80%99t%20protect%20us%20from%20this%20particular%20virus.%20If%20anything%2C%20it%20leaves%20us%20more%20vulnerable%20than%20we%20were%20before.%20Many%20people%20who%20contract%20the%20virus%20lose%20their%20senses%20of%20taste%20and%20smell.%20A%20friend%20of%20mine%20who%20got%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E%20in%20March%20of%202020%20can%20smell%C2%A0and%20taste%20again%2C%20but%20can%20no%20longer%20eat%20meat.%20%E2%80%9CHamburgers%2C%20ground%20turkey%E2%80%9D%E2%80%94foods%20that%20were%20once%20staples%20of%20her%20diet%E2%80%94%E2%80%9Cit%E2%80%99s%20all%20become%20gross%2C%E2%80%9D%20she%20told%20me.%20Pamela%20Dalton%2C%20an%20experimental%20psychologist%20who%20studies%20the%20interaction%20between%20emotion%20and%20odor%20perception%2C%20told%20me%20that%20many%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E%20patients%20have%20reported%20a%C2%A0distortion%20of%20their%20senses%20of%20taste%20and%20smell%20while%20recovering%20from%20the%20virus%2C%20resulting%20in%20disgusting%20sensations.%20%E2%80%9CThe%20olfactory%20system%20is%20playing%20a%20protective%20role%20here%2C%E2%80%9D%20Dalton%20said.%20%E2%80%9CIt%E2%80%99s%20not%20surprising%20that%20if%20parts%20of%20the%20system%20have%20gone%20awry%20due%20to%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E%20the%20default%20setting%20is%20to%20turn%20tastes%20and%20smells%20unpleasant%2C%20so%20as%20to%20help%20us%20avoid%20high-risk%20foods.%E2%80%9D%20Like%20meat.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EIf%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E%20is%2C%20in%20some%20ways%2C%20a%20failure%20of%20disgust%2C%20it%20is%20also%20a%20breeding%20ground%20for%20it.%20The%20question%E2%80%94similar%20to%20the%20one%20that%20inspired%20West%20to%20open%20the%20Disgusting%20Food%20Museum%E2%80%94is%20whether%20this%20disgust%2C%20particularly%20as%20it%20pertains%20to%20other%20people%2C%20can%20be%20swallowed%20for%20the%20greater%20good.%20Kevin%20Arceneaux%2C%20a%20political%20scientist%20at%20Temple%20University%2C%20told%20me%2C%20%E2%80%9CYour%20intuition%20may%20tell%20you%20that%20the%20immigrant%20across%20the%20street%20smells%20weird%2C%20cooks%20weird%20food%2C%20and%20therefore%20does%20not%20belong.%20But%20we%20also%20possess%20the%20capacity%20to%20reflect%20and%20override%20our%20intuitions%20with%20conscious%20reason.%20This%20second%20step%20is%20harder%2C%20but%20the%20capacity%20to%20do%20so%20is%20also%20what%20makes%20us%20uniquely%20human.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3ETo%20be%20disgusted%20is%20natural%2C%20but%20to%20understand%20why%20we%20are%20disgusted%20requires%20us%20to%20reconfigure%20the%20way%20we%20see%20the%20world.%20%E2%80%9CHuman%20beings%20are%20accustomed%20to%20protecting%20themselves%20and%20their%20own%2C%E2%80%9D%20Arceneaux%20said.%20%E2%80%9CBut%20a%20pandemic%20is%20the%20kind%20of%20unprecedented%20event%20that%20requires%20people%20to%20reframe%20the%20threat.%E2%80%9D%20The%20purpose%20of%20wearing%20a%20mask%20is%20not%20to%20protect%20yourself%20but%20to%20protect%20others%20around%20you.%20%E2%80%9CThe%20only%20way%20to%20save%20yourself%20from%20a%20contagion%20%3Cem%3Eis%3C%2Fem%3E%20to%20save%20the%20strangers%20who%20may%20disgust%20you%2C%E2%80%9D%20Arceneaux%20said.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”Last spring, shortly after Donald Trump referred to “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 as the “China virus,” I received a Twitter message from a stranger. “Y’all Chinese ppl want eat bat soup & alive mice no wonder this coronavirus started y’all dirty asses eating shit wit rabies,” he wrote. “Get the fuck out the us go back to China with the rest of y’all eating animals alive ass family members.” This was also when photos of bats began arriving in my social-media in-boxes.”],[“p”,”One afternoon, while I was talking on the phone at a grocery store, a passerby, hearing me speak Mandarin, hissed, “Nasty Chinese.” Another day, when I was riding the subway for the first time in months, a man called me a “disgusting Chink” over and over until he reached his station and left the car.”],[“p”,”Something happens when you discover that you yourself are “disgusting.” It does not matter whether you believe it to be true. Shame and fear flood your body, as involuntarily as the disgust face, until a kind of self-disgust takes root. The origins of self-disgust have yet to be fully understood, but scientists speculate that the emotion likely arises from the internalization of others’ disgust. It is also a unique form of torture; to be perceived as repugnant is to live inside that repugnance, desperate to expel you from yourself.”],[“p”,”“Have Americans always been like this?” my mother’s Chinese health aide, Ying, asked me the other day, as she showed me a news story about yet another unprovoked attack on an elderly Asian woman in Chinatown. Ying was wearing a hat and a mask, not only for “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” safety, she told me, but also because she was anxious about being identified as Asian—an abstract feeling that, in recent weeks, had concretized to an acute fear.”],[“p”,”Perhaps this is what terrifies me the most about disgust: its ability to weaponize one’s gut in service of the outlandish. The idea that all Chinese carry the coronavirus because it could have originated from eating bats is risible. But “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”’s invisibility has lent credence to the tribalist notion that disgusting-food-consuming Asians must surely be the ones who are carrying and spreading the virus.”],[“p”,”If only nature were so straightforward. In food, funky smells raise an alarm that warns against ingestion; respiratory droplets expelled during a conversation with an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus raise no such alarms. Disgust can’t protect us from this particular virus. If anything, it leaves us more vulnerable than we were before. Many people who contract the virus lose their senses of taste and smell. A friend of mine who got “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” in March of 2020 can smell and taste again, but can no longer eat meat. “Hamburgers, ground turkey”—foods that were once staples of her diet—“it’s all become gross,” she told me. Pamela Dalton, an experimental psychologist who studies the interaction between emotion and odor perception, told me that many “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” patients have reported a distortion of their senses of taste and smell while recovering from the virus, resulting in disgusting sensations. “The olfactory system is playing a protective role here,” Dalton said. “It’s not surprising that if parts of the system have gone awry due to “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” the default setting is to turn tastes and smells unpleasant, so as to help us avoid high-risk foods.” Like meat.”],[“p”,”If “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” is, in some ways, a failure of disgust, it is also a breeding ground for it. The question—similar to the one that inspired West to open the Disgusting Food Museum—is whether this disgust, particularly as it pertains to other people, can be swallowed for the greater good. Kevin Arceneaux, a political scientist at Temple University, told me, “Your intuition may tell you that the immigrant across the street smells weird, cooks weird food, and therefore does not belong. But we also possess the capacity to reflect and override our intuitions with conscious reason. This second step is harder, but the capacity to do so is also what makes us uniquely human.””],[“p”,”To be disgusted is natural, but to understand why we are disgusted requires us to reconfigure the way we see the world. “Human beings are accustomed to protecting themselves and their own,” Arceneaux said. “But a pandemic is the kind of unprecedented event that requires people to reframe the threat.” The purpose of wearing a mask is not to protect yourself but to protect others around you. “The only way to save yourself from a contagion “,[“em”,”is”],” to save the strangers who may disgust you,” Arceneaux said.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EOne%20day%20this%20past%20winter%2C%20when%20my%20mother%E2%80%99s%20nursing%20facility%20was%20locked%20down%2C%20her%20aide%2C%20Ying%2C%20turned%20up%20on%20my%20doorstep%20with%20a%20bag%20that%20refused%20to%20stay%20still.%20A%20dozen%20crabs%20were%20squirming%20inside.%20My%20mother%20had%20told%20Ying%20(accurately)%20that%20I%20had%20been%20living%20on%20ramen%20and%20takeout%20for%20a%20while%20and%20that%20I%20loved%20steamed%20crabs%2C%20though%20I%20almost%20never%20cooked%20them%20at%20home.%20Both%20of%20them%20assumed%20that%20this%20was%20because%20I%20couldn%E2%80%99t%20deal%20with%20the%20inconvenience%2C%20but%20the%20truth%20was%20more%20complicated%3A%20the%20prospect%20of%20boiling%20the%20crabs%20alive%2C%20as%20my%20mother%20had%20done%20while%20I%20was%20growing%20up%2C%20disgusted%20me.%20Ying%20would%20not%20have%20understood%20this.%20My%20refusal%20to%20accept%20the%20food%20probably%20would%20have%20struck%20her%20as%20callous%20and%20rude.%20I%20thanked%20her%20and%20took%20the%20crabs.%20%E2%80%9CBoil%20them%20quickly%20or%20they%20will%20die%20and%20no%20longer%20be%20fresh!%E2%80%9D%20she%20admonished.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAs%20I%20stood%20in%20my%20kitchen%2C%20a%20few%20minutes%20later%2C%20agonizing%20over%20what%20to%20do%2C%20I%20became%20aware%20of%20my%20hypocrisy%3A%20I%20was%20ready%20to%20eat%20the%20crabs%20when%20they%20were%20served%20by%20someone%20else%2C%20but%20I%20was%20too%20cowardly%20to%20do%20the%20killing%20myself.%20Still%2C%20if%20I%20left%20them%20in%20the%20bag%20on%20my%20kitchen%20floor%2C%20they%20would%20die%2C%20and%20I%20would%20have%20squandered%20Ying%E2%80%99s%20effort.%20Reluctantly%2C%20I%20dropped%20the%20crabs%E2%80%99%20writhing%20bodies%20into%20a%20pot%2C%20covered%20it%20with%20a%20lid%2C%20and%20turned%20on%20the%20stove.%20Outside%2C%20two%20ambulances%20sped%20by%2C%20sirens%20blaring.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EI%20poured%20vinegar%20and%20chopped%20ginger%20and%20tried%20to%20think%20about%20anything%20besides%20the%20crustaceans%20in%20my%20kettle.%20Egocentric%20pain.%20This%20was%20what%20evolutionary%20biologists%20would%20call%20my%20uneasiness.%20Our%20ability%20to%20empathize%20with%20animals%20is%20a%20function%20of%20their%20phylogenetic%20proximity%20to%20us%3B%20we%20can%20see%20the%20emotions%20of%20a%20dog%20much%20more%20clearly%20than%20those%20of%20a%20crab.%20And%20yet%20there%20was%20an%20unbearable%20scratching%20and%20scraping%20inside%20the%20pot%E2%80%94a%20mad%20scramble%20for%20life.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EIt%20occurred%20to%20me%20that%20what%20I%20felt%20was%20not%20disgust%20with%20the%20crabs%20or%20with%20the%20process%20but%20with%20myself%2C%20and%20what%20I%20had%20the%20power%20to%20do%E2%80%94or%20not%20to%20do.%20The%20doomed%20fight%20for%20survival%20is%20what%20the%20crabs%20and%20I%20had%20in%20common.%20Steam%20and%20the%20smell%20of%20the%20ocean%20had%20begun%20to%20fill%20my%20kitchen%20when%20the%20phone%20rang.%20It%20was%20Ying%2C%20and%20there%20was%20an%20impossible%20tenderness%20in%20her%20voice%20when%20she%20asked%20about%20the%20dinner%3A%20Had%20I%20cooked%20it%20yet%3F%C2%A0%E2%99%A6%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”One day this past winter, when my mother’s nursing facility was locked down, her aide, Ying, turned up on my doorstep with a bag that refused to stay still. A dozen crabs were squirming inside. My mother had told Ying (accurately) that I had been living on ramen and takeout for a while and that I loved steamed crabs, though I almost never cooked them at home. Both of them assumed that this was because I couldn’t deal with the inconvenience, but the truth was more complicated: the prospect of boiling the crabs alive, as my mother had done while I was growing up, disgusted me. Ying would not have understood this. My refusal to accept the food probably would have struck her as callous and rude. I thanked her and took the crabs. “Boil them quickly or they will die and no longer be fresh!” she admonished.”],[“p”,”As I stood in my kitchen, a few minutes later, agonizing over what to do, I became aware of my hypocrisy: I was ready to eat the crabs when they were served by someone else, but I was too cowardly to do the killing myself. Still, if I left them in the bag on my kitchen floor, they would die, and I would have squandered Ying’s effort. Reluctantly, I dropped the crabs’ writhing bodies into a pot, covered it with a lid, and turned on the stove. Outside, two ambulances sped by, sirens blaring.”],[“p”,”I poured vinegar and chopped ginger and tried to think about anything besides the crustaceans in my kettle. Egocentric pain. This was what evolutionary biologists would call my uneasiness. Our ability to empathize with animals is a function of their phylogenetic proximity to us; we can see the emotions of a dog much more clearly than those of a crab. And yet there was an unbearable scratching and scraping inside the pot—a mad scramble for life.”],[“p”,”It occurred to me that what I felt was not disgust with the crabs or with the process but with myself, and what I had the power to do—or not to do. The doomed fight for survival is what the crabs and I had in common. Steam and the smell of the ocean had begun to fill my kitchen when the phone rang. It was Ying, and there was an impossible tenderness in her voice when she asked about the dinner: Had I cooked it yet? ♦”]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5c2e1c79ee7fe02cbd163329″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Food”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”food”},{“id”:”5c2e1cd62bfcc72cd92d05a7″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Meals”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”meals”},{“id”:”5c2e1c8781ab3335f580f185″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Museums”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”museums”},{“id”:”5c2e1e262396212cbb9fcb44″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Taste”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”taste”},{“id”:”5c2e1c8c36cecf40192141f8″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Immigrants”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”immigrants”},{“id”:”5c2e1c7a2396212cbb9fc995″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Asian-Americans”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”asian-americans”},{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”},{“id”:”5c2e1dff2396212cbb9fcb0c”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Discrimination”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”discrimination”}],”sections”:[{“id”:”59040e521048cc5ce9e6a56c”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Magazine”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”magazine”,”children”:[{“id”:”591baf291b3bb347bfacd9be”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[{“id”:”591baf291b3bb347bfacd9be”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Annals of Gastronomy”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”annals-of-gastronomy”},{“id”:”59040e521048cc5ce9e6a56c”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Magazine”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”magazine”},{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”}],”name”:”Annals of Gastronomy”,”parent”:[{“id”:”59040e521048cc5ce9e6a56c”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Magazine”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”magazine”}],”photos”:{},”root”:{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”},”slug”:”annals-of-gastronomy”}]}]},”channel”:”Magazine”,”contentSource”:”magazine”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Jiayang Fan”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Jiayang Fan became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 2016.”,”email”:””,”bio”:[“div”,[“p”,”Jiayang Fan became a staff writer at “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],” in 2016. 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Mastriano, a Republican state senator from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and parts of neighboring counties, was a little-known figure in state politics before the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/coronavirus”},”coronavirus”],” pandemic. But, in the past year, he has led rallies against mask mandates and other public-health protocols, which he has characterized as “the governor’s autocratic control over our lives.” He has become a leader of the Stop the Steal campaign, and claims that he spoke to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/donald-trump”},”Donald Trump”],” at least fifteen times between the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/2020-election”},”2020 election”],” and the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/01/25/among-the-insurrectionists”},”insurrection at the Capitol”],”, on January 6th. He urged his followers to attend the rally at the Capitol that led to the riots, saying, “I’m really praying that God will pour His Spirit upon Washington, D.C., like we’ve never seen before.” Throughout this time, he has cast the fight against both lockdowns and Trump’s electoral loss as a religious battle against the forces of evil. He has come to embody a set of beliefs characterized as “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/american-christianitys-white-supremacy-problem”},”Christian nationalism”],”, which center on the idea that God intended America to be a Christian nation, and which, when mingled with “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/22/whats-new-about-conspiracy-theories”},”conspiracy theory”],” and white nationalism, helped to fuel the insurrection. “Violence has always been a part of Christian nationalism,” Andrew Whitehead, a sociologist and co-author of “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.amazon.com/dp/0190057882″},”Taking America Back for God”],”,” told me. “It’s just that the nature of the enemy has changed.””],[“p”,”Mastriano grew up mostly in New Jersey, in a military family, and attended Eastern College, a Christian university outside Philadelphia. After he graduated, in 1986, he joined the military, and, as a junior intelligence officer, was stationed at the border of West Germany and Czechoslovakia. Mastriano, like many conservative Christians, came to see the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/cold-war”},”Cold War”],” as a spiritual campaign, applying religious notions of good and evil to U.S. foreign policy. “Seeing awful things in the East, and atheistic, communistic, socialist regimes oppressing people” convinced him of the need for “protecting freedom, the free people of the West,” he told “Crosspoint,” a Christian podcast, in 2018. While deployed, Mastriano often carried a Bible under his arm. “It wasn’t for show,” he said.”],[“p”,”In 1991, as the Cold War was winding down, Mastriano was deployed to Iraq to fight in the Gulf War. He believed that he was on the front lines of a new religious conflict, this time against radical Islam. Mastriano’s wife, Rebecca, knew little about his posting, which was classified, and gathered people to engage in what she called “spiritual warfare,” praying that he would prevail against evil on the battlefield. In late February of that year, Mastriano’s unit was about to face Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard, when a sandstorm struck. “Thunder and lightning and rain and sand, and it blinds the Iraqis. We can miraculously see through this silicon and moisture in the air, and we start picking off the enemy,” he said, on the podcast. “Because of this, our small regiment, compared to the armored divisions we were facing, was able to break the back of the Iraqi line and therefore end the war rapidly.” Days later, a ceasefire was announced.”],[“p”,”Mastriano believed that this was a miracle, and evidence that Rebecca’s spiritual warfare had tangible results. “I believe I was saved by God, who answered the prayers of Pennsylvanians,” Mastriano wrote to me in an e-mail. “Rebbie played a significant role in leading those prayer efforts as she had more than twenty churches praying specifically for my unit.” For the next three decades, he continued to serve in military intelligence in “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/iraq”},”Iraq”],” and “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/afghanistan”},”Afghanistan”],”, where he appears to have developed a dim view of Islam. In recent years, he has often spread Islamophobic memes online. In one, he spread a conspiracy theory that Ilhan Omar, the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, directed fellow-Muslims to throw a five-year-old over a balcony. In another, he shared a graphic that read “Islam wants to kill gay rights, Judaism, Christianity and pacifism.” In yet another, he encouraged the idea that the fire at the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/on-the-roof-of-notre-dame-before-it-burned”},”Notre-Dame”],” cathedral, in Paris, was started by Muslims, captioning a photo of two dark-skinned men grinning, “Something wicked this way comes.” (Mastriano did not respond to a request for comment on these social-media posts.)”],[“p”,”In 2019, after retiring from the military and teaching at the U.S. Army War College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Mastriano decided to run for office. “Our freedoms are being encroached,” he wrote to me, “and the precious lives of babies are eliminated without concern, while free speech is under attack by Orwellian-like ideologies that are taking over our public institutions.” Mastriano won a seat as a state representative in Pennsylvania. He soon began attending events held by a movement called the New Apostolic Reformation, a loosely linked network of charismatics and Pentecostals that, over the past decade, has played an influential role in conservative American circles. (Mastriano denied working directly with the group.) Many members believe that God speaks to them directly, and that they have been tasked with battling real-world demons who control global leaders. Prominent members in the group go by the title Apostle or Prophet to hark back to early Christianity. The N.A.R.’s overarching agenda—to return the United States to an idealized Christian past—is largely built upon the work of the pseudo-historian David Barton, who has advanced the idea that America was founded as a Christian nation. “Mastriano’s significance, alongside that of the N.A.R., is that he is attempting to create a theonomy—a system of enacting God’s law on earth,” Frederick Clarkson, a research analyst at Political Research Associates, told me. Bills that Mastriano supported in the legislature would have mandated teaching the Bible in public schools and would have made it legal for adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples, among other things.”],[“p”,”As lockdowns took hold, Mastriano railed against what he saw as the curtailment of God-given freedoms. “It says in John 8:36 that if Jesus set you free, you are free indeed,” he wrote to me. “This is why my motto is ‘Walk as Free People.’ ” On nightly Facebook fireside chats, he suggested that his viewers find new congregations if their pastors weren’t leading in-person worship services. He gained increasingly extreme followers; last June, at a gun-rights protest on the steps of the state capitol, he posed for pictures with white men in fatigues carrying AR-15s and several others in Hawaiian shirts, a hallmark of the Boogaloo Bois, a white-nationalist militia. In July, Mastriano attended a rally on the Gettysburg battlefield, where “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-national-security-case-for-fixing-social-media”},”militia members gathered”],” in response to a hoax circulated on social media that “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/02/trump-antifa-movement-portland”},”Antifa”],” was going to topple Confederate statues. “A lot of people here just keeping an eye on stuff,” he said. “Americans doing American things. Isn’t that beautiful?””]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EMany%20white%20evangelicals%20reject%20the%20Christian-nationalist%20label.%20%E2%80%9CChristian%20nationalism%20doesn%E2%80%99t%20exist%2C%E2%80%9D%20Franklin%20Graham%2C%20the%20evangelical%20leader%2C%20told%20me%2C%20calling%20it%20%E2%80%9Cjust%20another%20name%20to%20throw%20at%20Christians.%E2%80%9D%20He%20added%2C%20%E2%80%9CThe%20left%20is%20very%20good%20at%20calling%20people%20names.%E2%80%9D%20Mastriano%20also%20rejected%20the%20phrase%2C%20writing%20to%20me%2C%20%E2%80%9CIs%20this%20a%20term%20you%20fabricated%3F%20What%20does%20it%20mean%20and%20where%20have%20I%20indicated%20that%20I%20am%20a%20Christian%20Nationalist%3F%E2%80%9D%20But%20historians%20and%20sociologists%20have%20found%20the%20term%20useful%20to%20describe%20an%20undercurrent%20of%20nativist%20religion%20that%20runs%20through%20American%20history.%20%E2%80%9CChristian%20nationalism%20was%20part%20of%20our%20cultural%20framework%20since%20the%20arrival%20of%20the%20colonists%2C%20who%20located%20what%20they%20were%20doing%20in%20the%20sacred%2C%20as%20part%20of%20God%E2%80%99s%20plan%2C%E2%80%9D%20the%20author%20Andrew%20Whitehead%20said.%20John%20Winthrop%2C%20the%20seventeenth-century%20puritan%20leader%2C%20preached%20that%20Colonial%20America%20would%20become%20the%20%E2%80%9Ccity%20on%20a%20hill%E2%80%9D%20that%20Jesus%20described%20in%20his%20Sermon%20on%20the%20Mount.%20%E2%80%9CIn%20order%20to%20advance%20this%20Christian%20civilization%2C%20violence%20was%20required%2C%E2%80%9D%20John%20Fea%2C%20a%20professor%20of%20history%20at%20Messiah%20College%2C%20told%20me.%20%E2%80%9CWinthrop%20regularly%20talked%20about%20killing%20Indians%20in%20a%20providential%20way%2C%20and%2C%20two%20hundred%20years%20later%2C%20this%20language%20leads%20directly%20into%20Manifest%20Destiny.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThroughout%20U.S.%20history%2C%20a%20combination%20of%20Christianity%20and%20patriotism%20often%20served%20as%20a%20rallying%20cry%20against%20a%20common%20enemy.%20Following%20the%20Second%20World%20War%2C%20many%20Christians%20came%20to%20believe%2C%20as%20Mastriano%20did%2C%20that%20the%20battle%20against%20communism%20was%20a%20religious%20struggle%2C%20in%20part%20as%20a%20result%20of%20the%20Soviet%20Union%E2%80%99s%20massacres%20of%20clergy%20members.%20President%20Dwight%20Eisenhower%20encouraged%20the%20pastor%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fculture%2Fcultural-comment%2Fbilly-grahams-striking-gospel-of-social-action%5C%22%3EBilly%20Graham%3C%2Fa%3E%20to%20stoke%20this%20fervor.%20Matthew%20Avery%20Sutton%2C%20a%20professor%20of%20history%20at%20Washington%20State%20University%2C%20told%20me%2C%20%E2%80%9CFrom%20President%20Truman%20to%20Ronald%20Reagan%2C%20American%20Presidents%20allied%20with%20the%20Vatican%20and%20orthodox%20Christian%20leaders%20to%20frame%20the%20crusade%20against%20communism%20and%20atheism%20in%20hyper-religious%20terms.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EBy%20the%20nineties%20and%20two-thousands%2C%20many%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2008%2F06%2F30%2Fthe-new-evangelicals%5C%22%3Ewhite%20evangelicals%3C%2Fa%3E%20had%20come%20to%20understand%20Islam%20to%20be%20the%20primary%20threat%20to%20America.%20%E2%80%9CWhite%20evangelicals%20were%20already%20worried%20about%20the%20growth%20of%20Islam%2C%20especially%20beginning%20in%20the%20seventies%20with%20the%20Arab-Israeli%20war%20and%20the%20rise%20of%20oil%2C%E2%80%9D%20Sutton%20told%20me.%20%E2%80%9CWhat%209%2F11%20shifts%20is%20that%20Muslims%20are%20no%20longer%20just%20a%20threat%20to%20Israel%20but%20a%20direct%20threat%20to%20the%20United%20States.%E2%80%9D%20This%20hostility%20also%20turned%20on%20Muslim%20communities%20in%20America.%20At%20megachurches%2C%20pastors%20preached%20about%20the%20spread%20of%20%E2%80%9Csharia%20law.%E2%80%9D%20Secular%20liberalism%20and%20movements%20for%20social%20justice%20were%20also%20seen%20as%20threatening.%20%E2%80%9CIn%20the%20early%20two-thousands%2C%20among%20conservative%20pastors%2C%20you%E2%80%99d%20often%20hear%20that%20the%20gays%20are%20softening%20up%20our%20society%20in%20preparation%20for%20Islam%2C%E2%80%9D%20Michelle%20Goldberg%2C%20the%20author%20of%20%E2%80%9C%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fdp%2F0393329763%5C%22%3EKingdom%20Coming%3A%20The%20Rise%20of%20Christian%20Nationalism%3C%2Fa%3E%2C%E2%80%9D%20told%20me.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThe%20election%20of%20Donald%20Trump%20intensified%20certain%20strains%20of%20Christian%20nationalism.%20He%20fanned%20fears%20of%20pluralism%20with%20Islamophobic%20and%20anti-immigrant%20rhetoric.%20He%20often%20invoked%20Christianity%2C%20albeit%20in%20terms%20that%20were%20largely%20about%20ethnic%20identity%20rather%20than%20faith.%20%E2%80%9CThe%20greatest%20ethnic%20dog%20whistle%20the%20right%20has%20ever%20come%20up%20with%20is%20%E2%80%98Christian%2C%E2%80%99%20be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white evangelicals reject the Christian-nationalist label. “Christian nationalism doesn’t exist,” Franklin Graham, the evangelical leader, told me, calling it “just another name to throw at Christians.” He added, “The left is very good at calling people names.” Mastriano also rejected the phrase, writing to me, “Is this a term you fabricated? What does it mean and where have I indicated that I am a Christian Nationalist?” But historians and sociologists have found the term useful to describe an undercurrent of nativist religion that runs through American history. “Christian nationalism was part of our cultural framework since the arrival of the colonists, who located what they were doing in the sacred, as part of God’s plan,” the author Andrew Whitehead said. John Winthrop, the seventeenth-century puritan leader, preached that Colonial America would become the “city on a hill” that Jesus described in his Sermon on the Mount. “In order to advance this Christian civilization, violence was required,” John Fea, a professor of history at Messiah College, told me. “Winthrop regularly talked about killing Indians in a providential way, and, two hundred years later, this language leads directly into Manifest Destiny.””],[“p”,”Throughout U.S. history, a combination of Christianity and patriotism often served as a rallying cry against a common enemy. Following the Second World War, many Christians came to believe, as Mastriano did, that the battle against communism was a religious struggle, in part as a result of the Soviet Union’s massacres of clergy members. President Dwight Eisenhower encouraged the pastor “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/billy-grahams-striking-gospel-of-social-action”},”Billy Graham”],” to stoke this fervor. Matthew Avery Sutton, a professor of history at Washington State University, told me, “From President Truman to Ronald Reagan, American Presidents allied with the Vatican and orthodox Christian leaders to frame the crusade against communism and atheism in hyper-religious terms.””],[“p”,”By the nineties and two-thousands, many “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/06/30/the-new-evangelicals”},”white evangelicals”],” had come to understand Islam to be the primary threat to America. “White evangelicals were already worried about the growth of Islam, especially beginning in the seventies with the Arab-Israeli war and the rise of oil,” Sutton told me. “What 9/11 shifts is that Muslims are no longer just a threat to Israel but a direct threat to the United States.” This hostility also turned on Muslim communities in America. At megachurches, pastors preached about the spread of “sharia law.” Secular liberalism and movements for social justice were also seen as threatening. “In the early two-thousands, among conservative pastors, you’d often hear that the gays are softening up our society in preparation for Islam,” Michelle Goldberg, the author of “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.amazon.com/dp/0393329763″},”Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism”],”,” told me.”],[“p”,”The election of Donald Trump intensified certain strains of Christian nationalism. He fanned fears of pluralism with Islamophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric. He often invoked Christianity, albeit in terms that were largely about ethnic identity rather than faith. “The greatest ethnic dog whistle the right has ever come up with is ‘Christian,’ because it means ‘people like us,’ it means white,” Samuel Perry, a sociologist at the University of Oklahoma and co-author of “Taking America Back For God,” told me. In 2019, Trump hosted “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/01/14/viktor-orbans-far-right-vision-for-europe”},”Viktor Orbán”],”, Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister, at the White House, and praised him for building a border fence to keep immigrants out, saying, “You have been great with respect to Christian communities. You have really put a block up, and we appreciate that very much.””],[“p”,”Those who espouse Christian-nationalist ideas also appeared to grow more militant during this period. In the early years of Trump’s term, membership in white-supremacist militias grew rapidly, but the backlash to the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-battle-of-charlottesville”},”Charlottesville rally”],”, in 2017, proved damaging. “Since then, there has been a major shift among far-right groups, white nationalists, and militias toward espousing Christian nationalism, much like the Ku Klux Klan did,” Alexander Reid Ross, a geography lecturer at Portland State University, said. Beginning in 2018, white supremacists donned suits and appeared at conferences held by the N.A.R. and similar groups. “The tactic has been to use Christian nationalism to cool down the idea of fascism without losing the fascism,” Ross said. For example, after the white-nationalist organization Identity Evropa was dissolved, a former leader aligned himself with America First, a movement to make America a “white Christian nation.” (America First was one of the most prominent groups at the Capitol insurrection.)”],[“p”,”A long-standing distrust of educational institutions and the mainstream media, coupled with a tradition of “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-wasting-of-the-evangelical-mind”},”anti-intellectualism”],”, has also left white evangelicals vulnerable to conspiracy theory. Many prominent conspiracy theories draw heavily on Christian-nationalist ideas; “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-flashing-warning-of-qanon”},”QAnon”],”, which holds that America must be saved from a cabal of pedophilic Democrats, speaks of believers as an “elect,” and references Scripture and end-times theology. A “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.americansurveycenter.org/research/after-the-ballots-are-counted-conspiracies-political-violence-and-american-exceptionalism/”},”recent study”],” by the American Enterprise Institute found that twenty-seven per cent of white evangelicals, more than any other religious group, believe that the basic tenets of QAnon are “mostly true.” (Mastriano denies any affiliation with QAnon, though he has made several appearances on QAnon-connected media outlets.)”],[“p”,”As a result, during Trump’s Presidency, many white evangelicals came to believe that his government, the one chosen by God, was under threat from an internal enemy: a shadowy conspiracy of leftists. And, when Trump started claiming that the 2020 election had been stolen from him, many evangelicals took up the call. According to Perry’s research, some sixty-seven per cent of evangelicals believe that the results of the 2020 election were “not at all fair.” Trump’s most powerful evangelical allies, including Franklin Graham, repeatedly undermined the results of the election. “Was there funny business in this last election? Sure there was,” Graham told me. “And there’s mountains of evidence.” Paula White, Trump’s religious adviser and a leader of the New Apostolic Reformation, held a televised campaign in which she led prayers against those with a “demonic agenda” that included “trying to steal this election.” Mastriano has likened his political agenda to that of the Old Testament figure of Esther, a queen who stopped the ancient Persians from massacring the Israelites; Mastriano said that “if we get the call, we’re not going to stand away from our Esther moment.” “His trajectory is precisely what we see in white evangelicalism,” Kristin Kobes Du Mez, a professor of history at Calvin University and the author of “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.amazon.com/dp/163149905X”},”Jesus and John Wayne”],”,” told me. “Anti-communism from the late nineteen-forties to the nineteen-sixties was really the crucible in which this sense of ‘us versus them’ and militarism was formed. After 9/11, Islam became the new enemy.” She added, “Now, for some, the enemy has become the forces of secular democracy.””]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EAs%20the%20effort%20to%20delegitimize%20the%20election%20heated%20up%2C%20Mastriano%20told%20his%20supporters%20on%20Facebook%2C%20%E2%80%9CYou%20know%2C%20when%20things%20go%20wrong%2C%20oftentimes%20Christians%20will%20say%2C%20%E2%80%98Oh%2C%20it%E2%80%99s%20God%E2%80%99s%20will%2C%E2%80%99%20and%20kind%20of%20throw%20their%20hands.%20That%E2%80%99s%20nonsense.%20What%20a%20cop-out.%20Please%20don%E2%80%99t%20do%20that.%20This%20isn%E2%80%99t%20His%20will.%E2%80%9D%20He%20appeared%20on%20Steve%20Bannon%E2%80%99s%20radio%20show%2C%20%E2%80%9CWar%20Room%2C%E2%80%9D%20as%20well%20as%20on%20a%20right-wing%20Christian%20show%20called%20%E2%80%9CThe%20Eric%20Metaxas%20Radio%20Show%2C%E2%80%9D%20during%20which%20Trump%20called%20in%20and%20said%2C%20%E2%80%9CDoug%20is%20a%20hero!%E2%80%9D%20In%20Pennsylvania%2C%20Mastriano%20supported%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fus-journal%2Ftrumps-battle-to-undermine-the-vote-in-pennsylvania%5C%22%3Ebarrage%20of%20lawsuits%3C%2Fa%3E%20and%20a%20bid%20to%20appoint%20special%20electors.%20On%20November%2025th%2C%20he%20hosted%20a%20theatrical%20hearing%20in%20Gettysburg%2C%20featuring%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Four-columnists%2Frudy-giuliani-is-a-hot-mess%5C%22%3ERudy%20Giuliani%3C%2Fa%3E%20as%20a%20faux%20prosecutor.%20That%20afternoon%2C%20Mastriano%20and%20his%20son%20drove%20from%20Gettysburg%20to%20the%20White%20House%20at%20the%20President%E2%80%99s%20invitation.%20(Mastriano%20tested%20positive%20for%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20and%20was%20reportedly%20ushered%20out%20of%20the%20meeting%20with%20Trump.)%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EOn%20December%2012th%2C%20Mastriano%20returned%20to%20Washington%2C%20D.C.%2C%20to%20participate%20in%20a%20series%20of%20%E2%80%9CJericho%20Marches%E2%80%9D%20organized%20by%20leaders%20of%20the%20New%20Apostolic%20Reformation%20in%20which%20conservative%20Christians%2C%20among%20a%20hodgepodge%20of%20QAnon%20followers%20and%20white%20nationalists%2C%20gathered%20to%20pray%20that%20God%20would%20keep%20Trump%20in%20office.%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdaily-comment%2Fdonald-trump-and-the-amazing-alex-jones%5C%22%3EAlex%20Jones%3C%2Fa%3E%2C%20of%20Infowars%2C%20attended%2C%20as%20did%20members%20of%20the%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fnews-desk%2Fa-former-marine-stormed-the-capitol-as-part-of-a-far-right-militia%5C%22%3EOath%20Keepers%20militia%3C%2Fa%3E.%20Participants%20dressed%20in%20Colonial%20knickers%2C%20to%20evoke%20the%20American%20Revolution%2C%20or%20in%20animal%20skins%2C%20to%20evoke%20the%20Israelites.%20Jack%20Jenkins%2C%20a%20reporter%20for%20Religion%20News%20Service%2C%20told%20me%2C%20%E2%80%9CThey%20blew%20on%20shofars%E2%80%9D%E2%80%94ram%E2%80%99s%20horns%20that%20Israelite%20priests%20blew%2C%20according%20to%20the%20Bible%2C%20to%20bring%20down%20the%20sinful%20city%20of%20Jericho%E2%80%94%E2%80%9Cbelieving%20they%20could%20literally%20overturn%20the%20election%20results.%E2%80%9D%20Mastriano%20exhorted%20his%20followers%20to%20%E2%80%9Cdo%20what%20George%20Washington%20asked%20us%20to%20do%20in%201775.%20Appeal%20to%20Heaven.%20Pray%20to%20God.%20We%20need%20an%20intervention.%E2%80%9D%20The%20phrase%20%E2%80%9Cappeal%20to%20heaven%E2%80%9D%20comes%20from%20John%20Locke%E2%80%99s%20argument%20in%20support%20of%20the%20right%20to%20violent%20revolution%20in%20the%20face%20of%20tyranny.%20%E2%80%9CAn%20Appeal%20to%20Heaven%E2%80%9D%20appeared%20on%20a%20flag%20that%20a%20squadron%20of%20George%20Washington%E2%80%99s%20warships%20reportedly%20flew%2C%20and%20has%20grown%20popular%20among%20N.A.R.%20members.%20Mastriano%20has%20hung%20a%20sign%20reading%20%E2%80%9CAn%20Appeal%20to%20Heaven%E2%80%9D%20on%20his%20office%20door%2C%20and%20the%20flag%20sometimes%20appears%20behind%20him%20during%20his%20fireside%20chats.%20He%20told%20his%20followers%20that%20laws%20and%20governments%20made%20by%20man%20needn%E2%80%99t%20always%20be%20respected%2C%20reminding%20them%20that%20Hitler%2C%20too%2C%20was%20an%20elected%20official.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EMany%20who%20hold%20Christian-nationalist%20beliefs%20think%20that%20God%E2%80%99s%20will%20should%20determine%20America%E2%80%99s%20course.%20%E2%80%9CChristian%20nationalists%20take%20the%20view%20that%20because%20America%20is%20a%20%E2%80%98Christian%20nation%2C%E2%80%99%20any%20party%20or%20leader%20who%20isn%E2%80%99t%20Christian%20in%20the%20%E2%80%98right%E2%80%99%20way%2C%20or%20who%20fails%20to%20conform%20to%20their%20agenda%2C%20is%20illegitimate%2C%E2%80%9D%20Katherine%20Stewart%2C%20the%20author%20of%20%E2%80%9C%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fdp%2F163557787X%5C%22%3EThe%20Power%20Worshippers%3C%2Fa%3E%2C%E2%80%9D%20told%20me.%20%E2%80%9CLegitimacy%20derives%20not%20from%20elections%20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the effort to delegitimize the election heated up, Mastriano told his supporters on Facebook, “You know, when things go wrong, oftentimes Christians will say, ‘Oh, it’s God’s will,’ and kind of throw their hands. That’s nonsense. What a cop-out. Please don’t do that. This isn’t His will.” He appeared on Steve Bannon’s radio show, “War Room,” as well as on a right-wing Christian show called “The Eric Metaxas Radio Show,” during which Trump called in and said, “Doug is a hero!” In Pennsylvania, Mastriano supported a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/us-journal/trumps-battle-to-undermine-the-vote-in-pennsylvania”},”barrage of lawsuits”],” and a bid to appoint special electors. On November 25th, he hosted a theatrical hearing in Gettysburg, featuring “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/rudy-giuliani-is-a-hot-mess”},”Rudy Giuliani”],” as a faux prosecutor. That afternoon, Mastriano and his son drove from Gettysburg to the White House at the President’s invitation. (Mastriano tested positive for “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 and was reportedly ushered out of the meeting with Trump.)”],[“p”,”On December 12th, Mastriano returned to Washington, D.C., to participate in a series of “Jericho Marches” organized by leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation in which conservative Christians, among a hodgepodge of QAnon followers and white nationalists, gathered to pray that God would keep Trump in office. “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/donald-trump-and-the-amazing-alex-jones”},”Alex Jones”],”, of Infowars, attended, as did members of the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-former-marine-stormed-the-capitol-as-part-of-a-far-right-militia”},”Oath Keepers militia”],”. Participants dressed in Colonial knickers, to evoke the American Revolution, or in animal skins, to evoke the Israelites. Jack Jenkins, a reporter for Religion News Service, told me, “They blew on shofars”—ram’s horns that Israelite priests blew, according to the Bible, to bring down the sinful city of Jericho—“believing they could literally overturn the election results.” Mastriano exhorted his followers to “do what George Washington asked us to do in 1775. Appeal to Heaven. Pray to God. We need an intervention.” The phrase “appeal to heaven” comes from John Locke’s argument in support of the right to violent revolution in the face of tyranny. “An Appeal to Heaven” appeared on a flag that a squadron of George Washington’s warships reportedly flew, and has grown popular among N.A.R. members. Mastriano has hung a sign reading “An Appeal to Heaven” on his office door, and the flag sometimes appears behind him during his fireside chats. He told his followers that laws and governments made by man needn’t always be respected, reminding them that Hitler, too, was an elected official.”],[“p”,”Many who hold Christian-nationalist beliefs think that God’s will should determine America’s course. “Christian nationalists take the view that because America is a ‘Christian nation,’ any party or leader who isn’t Christian in the ‘right’ way, or who fails to conform to their agenda, is illegitimate,” Katherine Stewart, the author of “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.amazon.com/dp/163557787X”},”The Power Worshippers”],”,” told me. “Legitimacy derives not from elections or any democratic process but from representing an alleged fidelity to their version of the American past and what they believe is the will of God.” As a result, overthrowing an election, if it seems to have subverted God’s will, would be justified. “That kind of anti-democratic ideology made it very easy for these radicals to imagine they were being patriotic, even while they were attacking the most basic institutions of democracy: the U.S. Congress and the election process.””],[“p”,”Two days before the Capitol riots, Mastriano said that he was heading to Washington, D.C., and “calling out to God for divine revelation.” He used campaign funds to charter six buses to shuttle followers to Washington, D.C., and told them that he would speak on the Capitol steps. Around 1 “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”P.M.”],”, rioters broke into the Capitol, some wielding Bibles, “Jesus 2020” signs, “An Appeal to Heaven” flags, and shofars. On the Senate floor, one insurrectionist called out from the dais, “Jesus Christ, we invoke your name!” Another thanked God for “filling this chamber with patriots that love you and that love Christ” and for “allowing the United States of America to be reborn.” One later told an interviewer that he and the others were guided by the “An Appeal to Heaven” flag to storm the building, saying, “We appeal to heaven, because we, as individuals, are powerless.””],[“p”,”Later that evening, Mastriano appeared on Facebook Live for his fireside chat, looking spooked. He told viewers that he had left the Capitol after he saw things “get weird,” saying, “When it was apparent that this was no longer a peaceful protest, my wife and I left the area.” Mastriano later told a radio interviewer that he stayed long enough to witness both the first and second breaches of the building. “There were several speaking events planned,” he told me, by e-mail. “It was to be a peaceful gathering as it had been previously. When it no longer looked that way, the buses departed.” James Sinclair, a man from Bensalem, Pennsylvania, who rode one of the buses to the Capitol, was arrested for a curfew violation and possession of a weapon. Sandy Weyer, a bus rider who was photographed at the door of the Capitol with her fist raised, tweeted, “Truth be known about storming the capitol . . . we were sick and tired of DITHERING!!!” Rick Groves, another bus rider, told a local radio host, of the insurrection, “All I saw was unity and love, and it was a beautiful thing, like Woodstock almost, with Trump flags.””]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EAfter%20the%20insurrection%2C%20Mastriano%E2%80%99s%20colleagues%20in%20the%20state%20legislature%20were%20outraged.%20%E2%80%9CHe%20needs%20to%20be%20expelled%2C%E2%80%9D%20Vincent%20Hughes%2C%20a%20Democratic%20state%20senator%20from%20Philadelphia%2C%20said.%20%E2%80%9CThis%20was%20not%20a%20bus%20trip%20to%20the%20casino.%20This%20was%20a%20trip%20organized%20to%20overthrow%20the%20government.%E2%80%9D%20Brian%20Sims%2C%20a%20Democratic%20state%20representative%2C%20has%20called%20for%20Mastriano%20to%20be%20court-martialed.%20%E2%80%9CHe%E2%80%99s%20not%20just%20a%20preacher%20screaming%20from%20the%20rooftops.%20He%20has%20been%20trained%20in%20subterfuge%20and%20destabilization%20in%20military%20intelligence%20for%20other%20countries.%20Mirroring%20those%20actions%20here%20is%20very%2C%20very%20dangerous%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EIn%20March%2C%20a%20group%20of%20concerned%20citizens%20from%20Mastriano%E2%80%99s%20district%20met%20with%20Sims%20via%20Zoom.%20They%20wanted%20to%20inform%20Sims%20that%20some%20of%20Mastriano%E2%80%99s%20funding%20came%20from%20groups%20associated%20with%20Jeffrey%20Yass%2C%20a%20libertarian%20businessman%20and%20Koch%20brothers%E2%80%99%20associate.%20The%20group%20also%20had%20been%20amassing%20alarming%20Facebook%20videos%2C%20which%20Mastriano%20often%20removes%20after%20they%20air.%20They%20found%20Mastriano%E2%80%99s%20mix%20of%20Biblical%20references%20and%20warlike%20talk%20troubling.%20%E2%80%9CI%E2%80%99ve%20worked%20with%20the%20Department%20of%20Defense%20for%20thirty%20years%20and%20fought%20in%20three%20wars%2C%E2%80%9D%20a%20businessman%20said.%20%E2%80%9CThis%20is%20not%20what%20the%20U.S.%20military%20teaches.%E2%80%9D%20As%20Mastriano%E2%80%99s%20following%20came%20to%20include%20an%20increasing%20number%20of%20white%20nationalists%20and%20militia%20members%2C%20the%20members%20of%20the%20group%20of%20concerned%20citizens%20had%20grown%20cautious%20about%20speaking%20out%20against%20him.%20%E2%80%9CI%E2%80%99m%20getting%20scared%2C%E2%80%9D%20a%20woman%20on%20a%20treadmill%20said%20at%20the%20Zoom%20meeting.%20%E2%80%9CThe%20farm%20behind%20me%20got%20their%20Biden%20sign%20wrapped%20around%20a%20dead%20cat.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EChristian-nationalist%20ideas%20don%E2%80%99t%20seem%20to%20be%20receding.%20%E2%80%9CThere%E2%80%99s%20been%20a%20doubling%20down%2C%E2%80%9D%20Perry%2C%20the%20sociology%20professor%2C%20told%20me.%20According%20to%20his%20research%2C%20in%20August%20of%202020%2C%20sixty-eight%20per%20cent%20of%20white%20evangelicals%20believed%20that%20the%20Declaration%20of%20Independence%20and%20the%20Constitution%20were%20divinely%20inspired%3B%20by%20this%20February%2C%20that%20figure%20had%20jumped%20to%20seventy-four%20per%20cent.%20%E2%80%9CThat%E2%80%99s%20a%20big%20climb%2C%E2%80%9D%20Perry%20added.%20The%20majority%20of%20white%20evangelicals%20still%20believe%20that%20the%20Presidential%20election%20was%20illegitimate.%20(Around%20sixty-eight%20per%20cent%20also%20believe%20that%20the%20January%206th%20insurrection%20was%20the%20work%20of%20Black%20Lives%20Matter%20and%20Antifa.)%20Some%20experts%20believe%20that%20the%20narrative%20of%20a%20stolen%20election%20will%20inflame%20Christian-nationalist%20sentiment.%20Perry%20told%20me%2C%20%E2%80%9CTrump%20has%20become%20the%20foremost%20martyr%20of%20this%20time.%E2%80%9D%20Others%20believe%20that%20Christian%20nationalism%20is%20well%20positioned%20to%20become%20more%20dominant%20in%20the%20Republican%20Party%2C%20cloaking%20Trump%E2%80%99s%20inflammatory%20xenophobia%20in%20religious%20language%20that%20may%20be%20more%20broadly%20palatable.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EMastriano%20has%20toned%20down%20his%20rhetoric%2C%20and%20spends%20his%20fireside%20chats%20flipping%20through%20a%20scrapbook%20of%20his%20service%20during%20Desert%20Storm.%20But%20he%20continues%20to%20push%20Trump%E2%80%99s%20claims%20of%20a%20stolen%20election%2C%20and%20has%20introduced%20legislation%20to%20limit%20mail-in%20voting%20in%20the%20state.%20(%E2%80%9CI%20am%20after%20truth%2C%E2%80%9D%20Mastriano%20wrote%20to%20me.%20%E2%80%9CIs%20it%20not%20appropriate%20to%20ask%20questions%20and%20seek%20answers%20to%20ensure%20each%20person%20has%20a%20legal%20vote%3F%E2%80%9D)%20Most%20recently%2C%20he%20has%20vociferously%20opposed%20vaccine%20passports%2C%20penning%20an%20op-ed%20in%20a%20local%20paper%2C%20and%20reintroduced%20legislation%20to%20ban%20most%20legal%20abortion.%20He%20appears%20to%20be%20preparing%20to%20run%20for%20governor%20in%202022.%20%E2%80%9CHe%E2%80%99s%20built%20this%20relationship%20with%20Donald%20Trump%20that%20I%20don%E2%80%99t%20think%20any%20other%20Republican%20in%20Pennsylvania%20has%2C%E2%80%9D%20J.%20J.%20Abbott%2C%20the%20executive%20director%20of%20Commonwealth%20Communications%2C%20a%20progressive%20advocacy%20group%2C%20told%20me.%20%E2%80%9CHe%20has%20a%20very%20unique%20profile%20to%20be%20successful%20in%20a%20post-Trump%20Republican%20Party.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EOn%20a%20Monday%20afternoon%20in%20February%2C%20at%20the%20statehouse%2C%20Mastriano%20stood%20at%20a%20lectern%2C%20wearing%20a%20gray%20suit%20and%20a%20yellow%20tie%2C%20and%20gave%20a%20speech%20celebrating%20the%20first%20day%20of%20the%20Fast%20of%20Jonah.%20He%20spoke%20of%20the%20Assyrian%20Christians%20who%20were%20forced%20by%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Ftopics%2Fisis%5C%22%3E%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3EISIS%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fa%3E%20to%20flee%20Iraq%2C%20and%20compared%20them%20to%20early%20American%20settlers%3A%20%E2%80%9CThe%20parallels%20between%20the%20people%20of%20ancient%20Assyria%20as%20well%20as%20those%20Quakers%20of%20William%20Penn%E2%80%99s%20ancestry%2C%20who%20settled%20Pennsylvania%2C%20are%20likewise%20profound.%E2%80%9D%20Following%20Mastriano%E2%80%99s%20speech%2C%20Tim%20Kearney%2C%20a%20Democratic%20state%20senator%2C%20addressed%20his%20colleagues%20via%20Zoom.%20He%20called%20for%20further%20investigation%20into%20Mastriano%E2%80%99s%20role%20in%20inciting%20violence%20at%20the%20Capitol%2C%20quoting%20a%20claim%20that%20Mastriano%20had%20made%20a%20day%20before%20the%20insurrection%20that%20Republicans%20%E2%80%9Cwere%20in%20a%20death%20match%E2%80%9D%20with%20Democrats.%20He%20said%2C%20%E2%80%9CIf%20you%20call%20for%20a%20death%20match%20with%20your%20political%20opponents%2C%20you%20cannot%20be%20surprised%20when%20people%20turn%20to%20violence.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22callout%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522callout%2522%252C%2522name%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522body%2522%253A%2522%253Chr%253E%255Cn%253Ch2%253ERead%2520More%2520About%2520the%2520Attack%2520on%2520the%2520Capitol%253C%252Fh2%253E%255Cn%253Cul%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253EThe%2520risks%2520of%2520the%2520%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fnews%252Four-columnists%252Fthe-risks-of-trumps-impeachment-trial%253Fitm_content%253Dfooter-recirc%255C%2522%253Esecond%2520Trump%2520impeachment%2520trial%253C%252Fa%253E.%253C%252Fli%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253EA%2520reporter%2520captures%2520%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fnews%252Fvideo-dept%252Fa-reporters-footage-from-inside-the-capitol-siege%253Fitm_content%253Dfooter-recirc%255C%2522%253E%2520the%2520siege%2520on%2520video%253C%252Fa%253E.%253C%252Fli%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253EJohn%2520Sullivan%2520claims%2520that%2520he%2520attended%2520the%2520insurrection%2520as%2520a%2520journalist.%2520Others%2520believe%2520he%2520%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fnews%252Fus-journal%252Fwhen-reporting-becomes-a-defense-for-rioting%253Fitm_content%253Dfooter-recirc%255C%2522%253Eurged%2520the%2520mob%2520on%253C%252Fa%253E.%253C%252Fli%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253E%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fnews%252Fnews-desk%252Fa-pennsylvania-mothers-path-to-insurrection-capitol-riot%253Fitm_content%253Dfooter-recirc%255C%2522%253EIdentifying%2520the%2520Bullhorn%2520Lady%253C%252Fa%253E%252C%2520a%2520Pennsylvania%2520mother%2520of%2520eight%2520who%2520became%2520a%2520fugitive%2520from%2520the%2520F.B.I.%253C%252Fli%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253E%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fnews%252Fdaily-comment%252Fthe-mob-is-gone-but-the-crisis-of-the-republican-party-has-only-begun%253Fitm_content%253Dfooter-recirc%255C%2522%253EThe%2520crisis%2520of%2520the%2520Republican%2520Party%253C%252Fa%253E%2520has%2520only%2520begun.%253C%252Fli%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253ESign%2520up%2520for%2520our%2520%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fnewsletter%252Fdaily%253Fitm_content%253Dfooter-recirc%255C%2522%253Edaily%2520newsletter%253C%252Fa%253E%2520for%2520insight%2520and%2520analysis%2520from%2520our%2520reporters%2520and%2520columnists%252C%2520and%2520%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fsubscribe.condenastdigital.com%252Fsubscribe%252Fsplits%252Fnewyorker%252FNYR_Generic%253Fsource%253DHCL_NYR_TEXTLINK_0_ReadMore_ZZ%255C%2522%253Esubscribe%2520to%2520the%2520magazine%253C%252Fa%253E.%253C%252Fli%253E%255Cn%253C%252Ful%253E%255Cn%2522%252C%2522attrs%2522%253A%257B%257D%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%22%5C%22%3E%3Chr%3E%5Cn%3Ch2%3ERead%20More%20About%20the%20Attack%20on%20the%20Capitol%3C%2Fh2%3E%5Cn%3Cul%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20risks%20of%20the%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Four-columnists%2Fthe-risks-of-trumps-impeachment-trial%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esecond%20Trump%20impeachment%20trial%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EA%20reporter%20captures%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fvideo-dept%2Fa-reporters-footage-from-inside-the-capitol-siege%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3E%20the%20siege%20on%20video%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2F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the insurrection, Mastriano’s colleagues in the state legislature were outraged. “He needs to be expelled,” Vincent Hughes, a Democratic state senator from Philadelphia, said. “This was not a bus trip to the casino. This was a trip organized to overthrow the government.” Brian Sims, a Democratic state representative, has called for Mastriano to be court-martialed. “He’s not just a preacher screaming from the rooftops. He has been trained in subterfuge and destabilization in military intelligence for other countries. Mirroring those actions here is very, very dangerous,” he said.”],[“p”,”In March, a group of concerned citizens from Mastriano’s district met with Sims via Zoom. They wanted to inform Sims that some of Mastriano’s funding came from groups associated with Jeffrey Yass, a libertarian businessman and Koch brothers’ associate. The group also had been amassing alarming Facebook videos, which Mastriano often removes after they air. They found Mastriano’s mix of Biblical references and warlike talk troubling. “I’ve worked with the Department of Defense for thirty years and fought in three wars,” a businessman said. “This is not what the U.S. military teaches.” As Mastriano’s following came to include an increasing number of white nationalists and militia members, the members of the group of concerned citizens had grown cautious about speaking out against him. “I’m getting scared,” a woman on a treadmill said at the Zoom meeting. “The farm behind me got their Biden sign wrapped around a dead cat.””],[“p”,”Christian-nationalist ideas don’t seem to be receding. “There’s been a doubling down,” Perry, the sociology professor, told me. According to his research, in August of 2020, sixty-eight per cent of white evangelicals believed that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were divinely inspired; by this February, that figure had jumped to seventy-four per cent. “That’s a big climb,” Perry added. The majority of white evangelicals still believe that the Presidential election was illegitimate. (Around sixty-eight per cent also believe that the January 6th insurrection was the work of Black Lives Matter and Antifa.) Some experts believe that the narrative of a stolen election will inflame Christian-nationalist sentiment. Perry told me, “Trump has become the foremost martyr of this time.” Others believe that Christian nationalism is well positioned to become more dominant in the Republican Party, cloaking Trump’s inflammatory xenophobia in religious language that may be more broadly palatable.”],[“p”,”Mastriano has toned down his rhetoric, and spends his fireside chats flipping through a scrapbook of his service during Desert Storm. But he continues to push Trump’s claims of a stolen election, and has introduced legislation to limit mail-in voting in the state. (“I am after truth,” Mastriano wrote to me. “Is it not appropriate to ask questions and seek answers to ensure each person has a legal vote?”) Most recently, he has vociferously opposed vaccine passports, penning an op-ed in a local paper, and reintroduced legislation to ban most legal abortion. He appears to be preparing to run for governor in 2022. “He’s built this relationship with Donald Trump that I don’t think any other Republican in Pennsylvania has,” J. J. Abbott, the executive director of Commonwealth Communications, a progressive advocacy group, told me. “He has a very unique profile to be successful in a post-Trump Republican Party.””],[“p”,”On a Monday afternoon in February, at the statehouse, Mastriano stood at a lectern, wearing a gray suit and a yellow tie, and gave a speech celebrating the first day of the Fast of Jonah. He spoke of the Assyrian Christians who were forced by “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/topics/isis”},[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”ISIS”]],” to flee Iraq, and compared them to early American settlers: “The parallels between the people of ancient Assyria as well as those Quakers of William Penn’s ancestry, who settled Pennsylvania, are likewise profound.” Following Mastriano’s speech, Tim Kearney, a Democratic state senator, addressed his colleagues via Zoom. He called for further investigation into Mastriano’s role in inciting violence at the Capitol, quoting a claim that Mastriano had made a day before the insurrection that Republicans “were in a death match” with Democrats. He said, “If you call for a death match with your political opponents, you cannot be surprised when people turn to violence.””],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Chr%3E%5Cn%3Ch2%3ERead%20More%20About%20the%20Attack%20on%20the%20Capitol%3C%2Fh2%3E%5Cn%3Cul%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20risks%20of%20the%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Four-columnists%2Fthe-risks-of-trumps-impeachment-trial%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esecond%20Trump%20impeachment%20trial%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EA%20reporter%20captures%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fvideo-dept%2Fa-reporters-footage-from-inside-the-capitol-siege%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3E%20the%20siege%20on%20video%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EJohn%20Sullivan%20claims%20that%20he%20attended%20the%20insurrection%20as%20a%20journalist.%20Others%20believe%20he%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fus-journal%2Fwhen-reporting-becomes-a-defense-for-rioting%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eurged%20the%20mob%20on%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3E%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fnews-desk%2Fa-pennsylvania-mothers-path-to-insurrection-capitol-riot%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3EIdentifying%20the%20Bullhorn%20Lady%3C%2Fa%3E%2C%20a%20Pennsylvania%20mother%20of%20eight%20who%20became%20a%20fugitive%20from%20the%20F.B.I.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3E%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdaily-comment%2Fthe-mob-is-gone-but-the-crisis-of-the-republican-party-has-only-begun%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3EThe%20crisis%20of%20the%20Republican%20Party%3C%2Fa%3E%20has%20only%20begun.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3ESign%20up%20for%20our%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnewsletter%2Fdaily%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Edaily%20newsletter%3C%2Fa%3E%20for%20insight%20and%20analysis%20from%20our%20reporters%20and%20columnists%2C%20and%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fsubscribe.condenastdigital.com%2Fsubscribe%2Fsplits%2Fnewyorker%2FNYR_Generic%3Fsource%3DHCL_NYR_TEXTLINK_0_ReadMore_ZZ%5C%22%3Esubscribe%20to%20the%20magazine%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“hr”],[“h2″,”Read More About the Attack on the Capitol”],[“ul”,[“li”,”The risks of the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-risks-of-trumps-impeachment-trial?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”second Trump impeachment trial”],”.”],[“li”,”A reporter captures “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/video-dept/a-reporters-footage-from-inside-the-capitol-siege?itm_content=footer-recirc”},” the siege on video”],”.”],[“li”,”John Sullivan claims that he attended the insurrection as a journalist. Others believe he “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/us-journal/when-reporting-becomes-a-defense-for-rioting?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”urged the mob on”],”.”],[“li”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-pennsylvania-mothers-path-to-insurrection-capitol-riot?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”Identifying the Bullhorn Lady”],”, a Pennsylvania mother of eight who became a fugitive from the F.B.I.”],[“li”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-mob-is-gone-but-the-crisis-of-the-republican-party-has-only-begun?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”The crisis of the Republican Party”],” has only begun.”],[“li”,”Sign up for our “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/newsletter/daily?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”daily newsletter”],” for insight and analysis from our reporters and columnists, and “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://subscribe.condenastdigital.com/subscribe/splits/newyorker/NYR_Generic?source=HCL_NYR_TEXTLINK_0_ReadMore_ZZ”},”subscribe to the magazine”],”.”]]]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5c2e1e0d2710c62d108155da”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Evangelical Christians”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”evangelical-christians”},{“id”:”5c2e1d50b75f002c8941e54e”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”White Supremacy”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”white-supremacy”},{“id”:”5c2e1ccdb75f002c8941e4e9″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”White Nationalism”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”white-nationalism”},{“id”:”5c2e1c7e22d4972cd5b8329b”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”2020 Election”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”2020-election”},{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”},{“id”:”5c2e1c762bfcc72cd92d051d”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Donald Trump”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”donald-trump”},{“id”:”5c2e1cc52bc86f2c9a244a10″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Conspiracy Theories”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”conspiracy-theories”},{“id”:”5c2e1da24a08312cd3aa6d52″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”QAnon”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”qanon”}],”sections”:[{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”,”children”:[{“id”:”5ae1c640b4e23f01a4a1192c”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[{“id”:”5ae1c640b4e23f01a4a1192c”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”On Religion”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”on-religion”},{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”},{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”}],”name”:”On Religion”,”parent”:[{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”}],”photos”:{},”root”:{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”},”slug”:”on-religion”}]}]},”channel”:”News”,”contentSource”:”web”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Eliza Griswold”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Eliza Griswold, a contributing writer covering religion, politics, and the environment, has been writing for The New Yorker since 2003. She won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for “u003ca href=”https://www.amazon.com/Amity-Prosperity-Family-Fracturing-America/dp/0374103119″>Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of Americau003c/a>,” in 2019.”,”email”:””,”bio”:[“div”,[“p”,”Eliza Griswold, a contributing writer covering religion, politics, and the environment, has been writing for “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],” since 2003. She has written and translated four books of nonfiction and poetry. She is the author, most recently, of “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.amazon.com/Amity-Prosperity-Family-Fracturing-America/dp/0374103119″},”Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America”],”,” a 2018 “,[“em”,”Times”],” Notable Book and a “,[“em”,”Times”],” Critics’ Pick, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, in 2019. Griswold has held fellowships at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the New America Foundation, among others, and has been awarded various prizes, including the J. Anthony Lukas Prize, a “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”PEN”],” Translation Prize, and the Rome Prize for her poetry. Her second book of poems, “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.amazon.com/If-Men-Then-Eliza-Griswold/dp/0374280770″},”If Men, Then”],”,” will be published in 2020. She is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.”]],”social”:[],”url”:”/contributors/eliza-griswold”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”How Doug Mastriano’s rise embodies the spread of a movement centered on the belief that God intended America to be a Christian nation.”,”hed”:”A Pennsylvania Lawmaker and the Resurgence of Christian Nationalism”,”inlineEmbeds”:{},”issueDate”:””,”ledeCaption”:””,”modifiedAt”:”2021-05-10T19:38:10.738Z”,”photos”:{“tout”:[{“id”:”6083448a0f5383fb25b70c84″,”modelName”:”photo”,”collection”:”photos”,”aspectRatios”:{“2:1”:{“width”:2559,”height”:1279,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:0,”y”:0,”height”:1279,”width”:2559}},”duration”:null},”2:2″:{“width”:778,”height”:778,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:812,”y”:183,”height”:778,”width”:778}},”duration”:null},”16:9″:{“width”:2406,”height”:1353,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:0,”y”:135,”height”:1353,”width”:2406}},”duration”:null},”4:3″:{“width”:2185,”height”:1639,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:0,”y”:0,”height”:1639,”width”:2185}},”duration”:null},”1:1″:{“width”:1707,”height”:1707,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:199,”y”:0,”height”:1707,”width”:1707}},”duration”:null},”master”:{“format”:”JPEG”,”url”:”https://cn-copilot-media.s3.amazonaws.com/public/tny-services/production/2021/04/23/6083448a0f5383fb25b70c83_Griswold-ChristianNationalism.jpg”,”width”:2560,”height”:1707,”duration”:null}},”caption”:[“div”,[“p”,”The Pennsylvania state senator Doug Mastriano has supported legislation to mandate teaching the Bible in public schools and allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples, among other things.”]],”altText”:”Doug Mastriano gestures as he speaks into a microphone and a woman films him speaking.”,”credit”:”Photograph by Julio Cortez / AP / Shutterstock”,”filename”:”Griswold-ChristianNationalism.jpg”,”revision”:10,”tags”:[],”title”:””,”variants”:{}}]},”promoDek”:”How Doug Mastriano’s rise embodies the spread of a movement centered on the belief that God intended America to be a Christian nation.”,”promoHed”:”A Pennsylvania Lawmaker and the Resurgence of Christian Nationalism”,”pubDate”:”May 9, 2021″,”related”:[],”rubric”:{“name”:”On Religion”,”url”:”/news/on-religion”},”seoDescription”:”Eliza Griswold writes about Doug Mastriano, the Republican Pennsylvania state senator, who has opposed coronavirus-related lockdowns, promoted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, 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20days%E2%80%94but%20others%20suggest%20that%20it%E2%80%99s%20no%20better%20than%20a%20placebo.%20(It%E2%80%99s%20routinely%20given%20in%20the%20U.S.%2C%20but%20the%20W.H.O.%20recommends%20against%20it.)%20Nonetheless%2C%20%E2%80%9Ceveryone%20is%20desperate%20for%20it%2C%E2%80%9D%20Arora%20said.%20%E2%80%9CWe%20don%E2%80%99t%20have%20much%20else%20in%20our%20armamentarium.%E2%80%9D%20He%20estimates%20that%20his%20hospital%20has%20enough%20remdesivir%20for%20about%20a%20fourth%20of%20eligible%20patients.%20At%20some%20Indian%20hospitals%2C%20patients%20are%20able%E2%80%94even%20encouraged%E2%80%94to%20bring%20in%20scarce%20medications%20and%20supplies%2C%20if%20they%20can%20procure%20them.%20Some%20of%20Arora%E2%80%99s%20patients%20have%20turned%20to%20the%20black%20market%2C%20paying%20thousands%20of%20dollars%20for%20a%20vial%20of%20remdesivir%2C%20only%20to%20learn%20that%20it%E2%80%99s%20counterfeit.%20%E2%80%9CFamilies%20buy%20these%20vials%2C%20desperate%20to%20save%20their%20loved%20ones%2C%E2%80%9D%20Arora%20said.%20%E2%80%9CThen%20we%20find%20out%20they%E2%80%99re%20filled%20with%20coconut%20water%20and%20milk.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”Rajat Arora, an interventional cardiologist, is the managing director of the Yashoda Hospital and Research Centre, a medical system that operates several hospitals in and around New Delhi. For the past year, Arora and his team have designated two specific hospitals for their system’s “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/coronavirus”},[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19″],” patients. Situated in the city of Ghaziabad, just east of Delhi, the hospital that Arora looks after is large and modern, with a full range of subspecialties; it has two hundred and forty “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” beds, including sixty-five in the adult I.C.U. and fifteen in a pediatric I.C.U.”],[“p”,”India, like “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/five-countries-five-experiences-of-the-pandemic”},”the rest of the world”],”, has struggled with the coronavirus. The number of patients at the “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” hospital reached a hundred and thirty in the fall. Still, by December of 2020, life in Delhi had almost returned to normal. Temples had been opened for worship, political rallies had resumed, and India’s famously large wedding celebrations were back on. Arora’s “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” hospital was never stretched beyond capacity and was always flush with supplies and medications; in February, it was caring for fewer than ten coronavirus patients at a time, and many had symptoms of long “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”, not acute infection. The rest of the hospital provided cardiac care, elective surgeries, and labor and delivery services. It came as a surprise to Arora, therefore, when he contracted the virus, in late January. “Everyone said, ‘”,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” is gone—where the hell did you get “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”? This is such a random time to get “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”,’ ” he told me. All around him, he recalled, a sense of triumph had settled in: people asked, “Are we immune to this disease?” and “Did we win the war?””],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-right%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22externallink%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522externallink%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fexternallinks%252F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%225e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”externallink”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22externallink%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fexternallinks%2F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd”}]],[“p”,”For Arora, as for many Indians, the apocalyptic “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 surge the country now faces was unexpected. In March, cases started to rise in the western state of Maharashtra, home to Mumbai. “We thought it would be like the first wave,” Arora said. “We thought things would pick up but pretty much be manageable. You always reason from your past experience.” Today, India is home to the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world—a medical and humanitarian crisis on a scale not yet seen during the pandemic. Though the reported case numbers are in the hundreds of thousands, some experts estimate that millions of Indians are infected each day; thousands are dying, with more deaths going uncounted or unreported. More than one in every five coronavirus tests returns positive—a marker of insufficient testing and rampant viral spread. Hospitals are running out of oxygen, staff, and beds; makeshift funeral pyres burn through the night as crematoriums are flooded with dead bodies.”],[“p”,”Arora, like leaders at other Indian hospitals, now regularly hears that critical supplies and medications could run out at his hospital in days or hours, if they haven’t already. He is constantly working the phones to procure what’s needed for basic “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/the-state-of-the-fight-against-covid-19″},[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 care”],”: oxygen, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/18/the-engineers-taking-on-the-ventilator-shortage”},”ventilators”],”, immunosuppressive medications, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/04/13/the-quest-for-a-pandemic-pill”},”antiviral drugs”],”, and the like. Day and night, these calls are interspersed with pleas from increasingly desperate patients or their families, who ask and sometimes beg for admission. Almost always, Arora has to refuse. His hospital can admit around thirty patients per day, based on the number of discharges and deaths; he estimates that he and other hospital administrators receive upward of a thousand requests daily. Arora’s cousin, a woman in her thirties, is currently admitted. After arriving, she required escalating doses of oxygen and needed I.C.U.-level care, but Arora was unable to get a bed for her until nearly half a day had gone by. “There’s nothing we can do until someone gets better or someone dies,” he said. “If I put up a thousand-bed hospital today, it would be full in an hour.””],[“p”,”Not infrequently, Arora receives messages from families of patients to whom he refused admission and who later died. The other day, a loved one of a previously healthy, thirty-nine-year-old man texted Arora that if he had given her just two minutes of his time the man would have survived. Not long afterward, Arora received a message from another man’s son: “My father left us,” he wrote. “I begged you Doctor.” Last week, a young girl called him in the middle of the night on behalf of her father, whose breathing was rapidly deteriorating. The I.C.U. was filled past capacity, and Arora couldn’t admit him. The next day, the girl told Arora that her father had died and that now her mother was struggling to breathe. Arora treated the mother in the emergency room, and she survived.”],[“p”,”In addition to a shortage of beds, Arora’s hospital doesn’t have enough medications. Supplies of the immunomodulator drug tocilizumab, which is given to patients to treat the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/09/how-the-coronavirus-hacks-the-immune-system”},”immune-system storm”],” that can devastate the lungs and other organs, are in short supply. The scarcity of the antiviral drug remdesivir has given it an almost mythic status. Some studies have found that the medication confers a modest benefit—shortening the duration of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 symptoms by a few days—but others suggest that it’s no better than a placebo. (It’s routinely given in the U.S., but the W.H.O. recommends against it.) Nonetheless, “everyone is desperate for it,” Arora said. “We don’t have much else in our armamentarium.” He estimates that his hospital has enough remdesivir for about a fourth of eligible patients. At some Indian hospitals, patients are able—even encouraged—to bring in scarce medications and supplies, if they can procure them. Some of Arora’s patients have turned to the black market, paying thousands of dollars for a vial of remdesivir, only to learn that it’s counterfeit. “Families buy these vials, desperate to save their loved ones,” Arora said. “Then we find out they’re filled with coconut water and milk.””]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EThe%20tale%20of%20the%20Indian%20pandemic%20is%20both%20mysterious%20and%20familiar.%20For%20much%20of%20the%20past%20year%2C%20the%20world%E2%80%99s%20largest%20democracy%E2%80%94with%20a%20population%20of%20some%201.4%20billion%20living%20on%20a%20landmass%20a%20third%20the%20size%20of%20the%20U.S.%E2%80%94escaped%20the%20worst.%20Researchers%20have%20advanced%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F03%2F01%2Fwhy-does-the-pandemic-seem-to-be-hitting-some-countries-harder-than-others%5C%22%3Eall%20sorts%20of%20theories%3C%2Fa%3E%20to%20explain%20this%20outcome.%20They%20point%20out%20that%20India%20is%20a%20young%20country%2C%20with%20a%20median%20age%20of%20twenty-eight%3B%20that%20it%20instituted%20an%20early%20and%20strict%20lockdown%3B%20that%20it%20has%20undercounted%20cases%20and%20deaths%3B%20and%20that%20Indians%20may%20have%20had%20some%20level%20of%20pre%C3%ABxisting%20immunity%20to%20the%20novel%20coronavirus%2C%20owing%20to%20exposure%20to%20similar%20viruses%20in%20the%20past.%20Studies%20have%20indicated%2C%20perplexingly%2C%20that%20more%20than%20half%20of%20the%20residents%20in%20some%20dense%20urban%20centers%20had%20previously%20been%20infected%2C%20even%20though%20their%20hospitals%20hadn’t%20filled%20up.%20None%20of%20these%20explanations%20have%20been%20fully%20proved%2C%20and%2C%20separately%20or%20in%20combination%2C%20they%20may%20not%20account%20for%20why%20India%20was%20spared%20last%20year.%20That%20debate%20will%20likely%20continue%20for%20a%20long%20time%20to%20come.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EThe%20reasons%20for%20the%20country%E2%80%99s%20current%20surge%2C%20on%20the%20other%20hand%2C%20appear%20straightforward.%20Since%20the%20New%20Year%2C%20there%E2%80%99s%20been%20a%20substantial%20relaxing%20of%20public-health%20precautions.%20Mask-wearing%20declined%3B%20sporting%20events%2C%20political%20rallies%2C%20and%20religious%20festivals%20brought%20large%20numbers%20of%20people%20close%20together.%20Lacking%20a%20sense%20of%20urgency%2C%20the%20country%E2%80%99s%20vaccination%20campaign%20proceeded%20slowly%3A%20India%20is%20the%20world%E2%80%99s%20leading%20manufacturer%20of%20vaccines%20for%20a%20wide%20range%20of%20diseases%2C%20but%20has%20fully%20immunized%20roughly%20two%20per%20cent%20of%20its%20population%20against%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EMany%20assume%20that%20the%20rise%20of%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fwhat-the-coronavirus-variants-mean-for-the-end-of-the-pandemic%5C%22%3Emore%20contagious%20variants%3C%2Fa%3E%20is%20accelerating%20the%20damage.%20Almost%20certainly%2C%20B.1.1.7%E2%80%94originally%20identified%20in%20the%20U.K.%20and%20now%20dominant%20in%20many%20countries%2C%20including%20the%20U.S.%E2%80%94is%20contributing%20to%20India%E2%80%99s%20viral%20spread.%20But%20a%20new%20variant%2C%20known%20as%20B.1.617%2C%20has%20also%20captured%20headlines%20and%20the%20attention%20of%20scientists%20and%20the%20general%20public.%20The%20predominant%20form%20of%20the%20variant%2C%20misleadingly%20referred%20to%20as%20the%20%E2%80%9Cdouble-mutant%E2%80%9D%E2%80%94it%20has%20at%20least%20thirteen%20mutations%E2%80%94was%20first%20detected%20in%20December.%20B.1.617%20has%20several%20mutations%20on%20its%20spike%20protein%2C%20including%20E484Q%20and%20L452R%2C%20which%20seem%20to%20increase%20the%20virus%E2%80%99s%20ability%20to%20bind%20to%20and%20enter%20human%20cells%2C%20and%20which%20may%20improve%20its%20capacity%20for%20evading%20the%20immune%20system.%20Some%20scientists%20have%20hypothesized%20that%20another%20mutation%2C%20P681R%2C%20could%20improve%20the%20variant%E2%80%99s%20ability%20to%20infect%20cells.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EStill%2C%20the%20role%20played%20by%20B.1.617%20in%20India%E2%80%99s%20crisis%20is%20uncertain.%20India%20has%20sequenced%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2021%2F04%2F09%2Fworld%2Fasia%2Findia-covid-vaccine-variant.html%5C%22%3Eonly%20about%20one%20per%20cent%3C%2Fa%3E%20of%20positive%20coronavirus%20tests%2C%20rendering%20claims%20about%20the%20relative%20contribution%20of%20variants%20hard%20to%20disentangle%20from%20other%20factors%2C%20such%20as%20a%20rise%20in%20unrestricted%20gatherings%20in%20a%20densely%20populated%20country%20with%20limited%20health-system%20capacity.%20In%20any%20case%2C%20Covaxin%E2%80%94India%E2%80%99s%20domestically%20developed%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20vaccine%E2%80%94appears%20to%20work%20against%20both%20B.1.1.7%20and%20B.1.617.%20Arora%20told%20me%20that%2C%20although%20several%20fully%20vaccinated%20clinicians%20at%20his%20hospital%20have%20recently%20contracted%20the%20virus%2C%20none%20went%20on%20to%20develop%20severe%20disease%E2%80%94exactly%20the%20kind%20of%20protection%20the%20vaccines%20are%20designed%20to%20deliver.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3ELast%20week%2C%20the%20Biden%20Administration%20announced%20that%20the%20U.S.%20would%20send%20a%20hundred-million-dollar%20aid%20package%20to%20India%2C%20including%20testing%20kits%2C%20ventilators%2C%20oxygen%20cylinders%2C%20and%20P.P.E.%20The%20U.S.%20has%20also%20removed%20restrictions%20on%20exporting%20raw%20materials%20for%20vaccines%20so%20that%20India%20can%20increase%20its%20production.%20Last%20weekend%2C%20syringes%2C%20oxygen%20generators%2C%20and%20ventilators%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.axios.com%2Findia-covid-19-coronavirus-aid-7ffeecea-855d-462f-8375-e60614aa8b3d.html%5C%22%3Epoured%20in%3C%2Fa%3E%20from%20across%20Europe%2C%20and%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehindu.com%2Fnews%2Fnational%2Findia-gets-first-consignment-of-sputnik-v-vaccine-from-russia%2Farticle34458233.ece%5C%22%3Ehundred%20and%20fifty%20thousand%20doses%3C%2Fa%3E%20of%20Sputnik%20V%2C%20Russia%E2%80%99s%20vaccine%2C%20landed%20in%20Hyderabad.%20The%20Indian%20diaspora%20has%20committed%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fbusiness-56940717%5C%22%3Etens%20of%20millions%20of%20dollars%3C%2Fa%3E%20in%20aid.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”The tale of the Indian pandemic is both mysterious and familiar. For much of the past year, the world’s largest democracy—with a population of some 1.4 billion living on a landmass a third the size of the U.S.—escaped the worst. Researchers have advanced “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/01/why-does-the-pandemic-seem-to-be-hitting-some-countries-harder-than-others”},”all sorts of theories”],” to explain this outcome. They point out that India is a young country, with a median age of twenty-eight; that it instituted an early and strict lockdown; that it has undercounted cases and deaths; and that Indians may have had some level of preëxisting immunity to the novel coronavirus, owing to exposure to similar viruses in the past. Studies have indicated, perplexingly, that more than half of the residents in some dense urban centers had previously been infected, even though their hospitals hadn’t filled up. None of these explanations have been fully proved, and, separately or in combination, they may not account for why India was spared last year. That debate will likely continue for a long time to come.”],[“p”,”The reasons for the country’s current surge, on the other hand, appear straightforward. Since the New Year, there’s been a substantial relaxing of public-health precautions. Mask-wearing declined; sporting events, political rallies, and religious festivals brought large numbers of people close together. Lacking a sense of urgency, the country’s vaccination campaign proceeded slowly: India is the world’s leading manufacturer of vaccines for a wide range of diseases, but has fully immunized roughly two per cent of its population against “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19.”],[“p”,”Many assume that the rise of “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/what-the-coronavirus-variants-mean-for-the-end-of-the-pandemic”},”more contagious variants”],” is accelerating the damage. Almost certainly, B.1.1.7—originally identified in the U.K. and now dominant in many countries, including the U.S.—is contributing to India’s viral spread. But a new variant, known as B.1.617, has also captured headlines and the attention of scientists and the general public. The predominant form of the variant, misleadingly referred to as the “double-mutant”—it has at least thirteen mutations—was first detected in December. B.1.617 has several mutations on its spike protein, including E484Q and L452R, which seem to increase the virus’s ability to bind to and enter human cells, and which may improve its capacity for evading the immune system. Some scientists have hypothesized that another mutation, P681R, could improve the variant’s ability to infect cells.”],[“p”,”Still, the role played by B.1.617 in India’s crisis is uncertain. India has sequenced “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/world/asia/india-covid-vaccine-variant.html”},”only about one per cent”],” of positive coronavirus tests, rendering claims about the relative contribution of variants hard to disentangle from other factors, such as a rise in unrestricted gatherings in a densely populated country with limited health-system capacity. In any case, Covaxin—India’s domestically developed “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 vaccine—appears to work against both B.1.1.7 and B.1.617. Arora told me that, although several fully vaccinated clinicians at his hospital have recently contracted the virus, none went on to develop severe disease—exactly the kind of protection the vaccines are designed to deliver.”],[“p”,”Last week, the Biden Administration announced that the U.S. would send a hundred-million-dollar aid package to India, including testing kits, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, and P.P.E. The U.S. has also removed restrictions on exporting raw materials for vaccines so that India can increase its production. Last weekend, syringes, oxygen generators, and ventilators “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.axios.com/india-covid-19-coronavirus-aid-7ffeecea-855d-462f-8375-e60614aa8b3d.html”},”poured in”],” from across Europe, and a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-gets-first-consignment-of-sputnik-v-vaccine-from-russia/article34458233.ece”},”hundred and fifty thousand doses”],” of Sputnik V, Russia’s vaccine, landed in Hyderabad. The Indian diaspora has committed “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56940717″},”tens of millions of dollars”],” in aid.”]],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”section”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22section%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cp%3EWhether%20these%20interventions%20will%20be%20enough%20remains%20to%20be%20seen.%20In%20a%20country%20as%20large%2C%20diverse%2C%20and%20bureaucratically%20complex%20as%20India%2C%20the%20logistical%20challenges%20of%20converting%20aid%20into%20impact%20cannot%20be%20overestimated.%20Meanwhile%2C%20the%20Indian%20experience%20holds%20a%20deeper%20lesson%20for%20the%20world%E2%80%94especially%20for%20wealthy%20countries%20that%20have%20hoarded%20vaccines%20and%20supplies.%20The%20constellation%20of%20forces%20that%20led%20to%20India%E2%80%99s%20crisis%E2%80%94pandemic%20fatigue%2C%20the%20premature%20relaxation%20of%20precautions%2C%20more%20transmissible%20variants%2C%20limited%20vaccine%20supplies%2C%20weak%20health-care%20infrastructure%E2%80%94is%20not%20unique%3B%20it%E2%80%99s%20the%20default%20in%20most%20of%20the%20world.%20Absent%20a%20paradigm%20shift%20in%20our%20approach%2C%20there%E2%80%99s%20no%20reason%20to%20believe%20that%20what%E2%80%99s%20happening%20in%20India%20today%20won%E2%80%99t%20happen%20somewhere%20else%20tomorrow.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EWhen%20we%20spoke%2C%20Arora%20told%20me%20that%20most%20patients%20arrive%20at%20his%20hospital%20in%20taxis%20or%20in%20vehicles%20driven%20by%20their%20families.%20Few%20can%20afford%20the%20luxury%20of%20an%20ambulance%2C%20either%20because%20none%20are%20available%20or%20because%20private%20companies%20have%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Ftimesofindia.indiatimes.com%2Fcity%2Fdelhi%2Fambulances-break-hearts-with-extortionist-rates-delhiites-demand-cap%2Farticleshow%2F82317941.cms%5C%22%3Eraised%20prices%3C%2Fa%3E%20amid%20endless%20demand.%20When%20they%20arrive%2C%20many%20patients%20linger%20in%20emergency%20rooms%2C%20where%20they%20can%20receive%20some%20oxygen%E2%80%94and%20a%20modicum%20of%20relief%E2%80%94even%20if%20they%20are%20ultimately%20refused%20admission%20to%20the%20hospital.%20At%20other%20hospitals%2C%20people%20have%20died%20in%20the%20parking%20lot.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3EAs%20hospitals%2C%20emergency%20rooms%2C%20and%20the%20streets%20fill%20with%20younger%20and%20younger%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20patients%2C%20Arora%20said%2C%20an%20all-consuming%2C%20unrelenting%20despair%20has%20taken%20hold%20among%20health-care%20workers.%20At%20Arora%E2%80%99s%20hospital%2C%20even%20the%20pediatric%20I.C.U.%20is%20now%20full%2C%20with%20children%20as%20young%20as%20six%20struggling%20to%20breathe.%20(In%20India%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hindustantimes.com%2Findia-news%2Fin-second-wave-kids-more-symptomatic-101617821189124.html%5C%22%3Emore%20children%3C%2Fa%3E%20than%20in%20the%20first%20wave%20now%20seem%20to%20be%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Ftimesofindia.indiatimes.com%2Findia%2Fcovid-19-affecting-children-more-than-in-first-wave-says-pediatrician%2Farticleshow%2F81910800.cms%5C%22%3Efalling%20ill%3C%2Fa%3E%3B%20data%20is%20limited%2C%20and%20it%E2%80%99s%20not%20clear%20whether%20there%20is%20a%20higher%20proportion%20of%20children%20getting%20sick%20or%20just%20a%20higher%20over-all%20number.)%20Many%20of%20the%20deceased%20are%20people%20middle-aged%20or%20younger.%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cp%3E%E2%80%9COur%20staff%20is%20struggling%2C%E2%80%9D%20Arora%20said.%20%E2%80%9CMany%20are%20on%20the%20brink%20of%20a%20complete%20breakdown.%20Every%20day%2C%20they%20come%20to%20work%20and%20see%20nothing%20but%20death.%20They%20go%20home%2C%20and%20their%20own%20family%20has%20gotten%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E%20and%20can%E2%80%99t%20breathe%20or%20have%20died.%20This%20is%20the%20situation.%20There%E2%80%99s%20no%20end%20in%20sight.%E2%80%9D%3C%2Fp%3E%5Cn%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22callout%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522callout%2522%252C%2522name%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522body%2522%253A%2522%253Chr%253E%255Cn%253Ch2%253EMore%2520on%2520the%2520Coronavirus%253C%252Fh2%253E%255Cn%253Cul%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253EWhat%2520will%2520it%2520take%2520to%2520%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fscience%252Fannals-of-medicine%252Fwhat-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america%253Fitm_content%253Dfooter-recirc%255C%2522%253Epandemic-proof%2520the%2520United%2520States%253C%252Fa%253E%253F%253C%252Fli%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253EThe%2520last%2520time%2520a%2520vaccine%2520%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fscience%252Fannals-of-medicine%252Fthe-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america%253Fitm_content%253Dfooter-recirc%255C%2522%253Esaved%2520America%253C%252Fa%253E.%253C%252Fli%253E%255Cn%253Cli%253EWhen%2520the%2520virus%2520arrived%252C%2520%253Ca%2520href%253D%255C%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.newyorker.com%252Fnews%252Fdispatch%252Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%253Fitm_content%253Dfooter-recirc%255C%2522%253ESweden%2520embarked%2520on%2520a%2520risky%2520experiment%253C%252Fa%253E.%253C%252Fli%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these interventions will be enough remains to be seen. In a country as large, diverse, and bureaucratically complex as India, the logistical challenges of converting aid into impact cannot be overestimated. Meanwhile, the Indian experience holds a deeper lesson for the world—especially for wealthy countries that have hoarded vaccines and supplies. The constellation of forces that led to India’s crisis—pandemic fatigue, the premature relaxation of precautions, more transmissible variants, limited vaccine supplies, weak health-care infrastructure—is not unique; it’s the default in most of the world. Absent a paradigm shift in our approach, there’s no reason to believe that what’s happening in India today won’t happen somewhere else tomorrow.”],[“p”,”When we spoke, Arora told me that most patients arrive at his hospital in taxis or in vehicles driven by their families. Few can afford the luxury of an ambulance, either because none are available or because private companies have “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/ambulances-break-hearts-with-extortionist-rates-delhiites-demand-cap/articleshow/82317941.cms”},”raised prices”],” amid endless demand. When they arrive, many patients linger in emergency rooms, where they can receive some oxygen—and a modicum of relief—even if they are ultimately refused admission to the hospital. At other hospitals, people have died in the parking lot.”],[“p”,”As hospitals, emergency rooms, and the streets fill with younger and younger “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 patients, Arora said, an all-consuming, unrelenting despair has taken hold among health-care workers. At Arora’s hospital, even the pediatric I.C.U. is now full, with children as young as six struggling to breathe. (In India, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/in-second-wave-kids-more-symptomatic-101617821189124.html”},”more children”],” than in the first wave now seem to be “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/covid-19-affecting-children-more-than-in-first-wave-says-pediatrician/articleshow/81910800.cms”},”falling ill”],”; data is limited, and it’s not clear whether there is a higher proportion of children getting sick or just a higher over-all number.) Many of the deceased are people middle-aged or younger.”],[“p”,”“Our staff is struggling,” Arora said. “Many are on the brink of a complete breakdown. Every day, they come to work and see nothing but death. They go home, and their own family has gotten “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” and can’t breathe or have died. This is the situation. There’s no end in sight.””],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Chr%3E%5Cn%3Ch2%3EMore%20on%20the%20Coronavirus%3C%2Fh2%3E%5Cn%3Cul%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhat%20will%20it%20take%20to%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fwhat-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Epandemic-proof%20the%20United%20States%3C%2Fa%3E%3F%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20last%20time%20a%20vaccine%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fthe-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esaved%20America%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhen%20the%20virus%20arrived%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdispatch%2Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3ESweden%20embarked%20on%20a%20risky%20experiment%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EIn%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20outbreak%2C%20a%20trauma%20surgeon%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fa-doctors-dark-year%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Etravelled%20to%20the%20edge%20and%20back%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20head%20of%20the%20American%20Federation%20of%20Teachers%20on%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fq-and-a%2Frandi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Ehow%20to%20reopen%20schools%20safely%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EEven%20before%20the%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20crisis%2C%20global%20instability%20had%20caused%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fthe-politics-of-stopping-pandemics%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eworrying%20rise%20in%20epidemics%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“hr”],[“h2″,”More on the Coronavirus”],[“ul”,[“li”,”What will it take to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/what-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”pandemic-proof the United States”],”?”],[“li”,”The last time a vaccine “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/the-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”saved America”],”.”],[“li”,”When the virus arrived, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/swedens-pandemic-experiment?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”Sweden embarked on a risky experiment”],”.”],[“li”,”In the heart of the outbreak, a trauma surgeon “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/a-doctors-dark-year?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”travelled to the edge and back”],”.”],[“li”,”The head of the American Federation of Teachers on “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/randi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”how to reopen schools safely”],”.”],[“li”,”Even before the “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 crisis, global instability had caused a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-politics-of-stopping-pandemics?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”worrying rise in epidemics”],”.”]]]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”},{“id”:”5c2e1c8681ab3335f580f17f”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”India”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”india”},{“id”:”5c2e1f1501de442c9e3e6052″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”New Delhi”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”new-delhi”},{“id”:”5c2e1c957e716b454591adce”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Public Health”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”public-health”},{“id”:”5c2e1c8cb75f002c8941e490″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Hospitals”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”hospitals”}],”sections”:[{“id”:”5904126272dadf5d0a508802″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Science”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”science”,”children”:[{“id”:”5e7bb775b1814300082a922c”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[{“id”:”5e7bb775b1814300082a922c”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Medical Dispatch”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”medical-dispatch”},{“id”:”5904126272dadf5d0a508802″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Science”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”science”},{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”}],”name”:”Medical Dispatch”,”parent”:[{“id”:”5904126272dadf5d0a508802″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Science”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”science”}],”photos”:{},”root”:{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”},”slug”:”medical-dispatch”}]}]},”channel”:”Science”,”contentSource”:”web”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Dhruv Khullar”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Dhruv Khullar, a contributing writer at The New Yorker, is a practicing physician and an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.”,”email”:””,”bio”:[“div”,[“p”,”Dhruv Khullar is a contributing writer at “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],”, where he writes primarily about medicine, health care, and politics. He is also a practicing physician and an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College. His research focusses on value-based care, health disparities, and medical innovation, and has been published in “,[“em”,”JAMA”],” and “,[“em”,”The New England Journal of Medicine”],”. He serves as the director of policy dissemination at the Physicians Foundation Center for the Study of Physician Practice and Leadership, and was recently a senior research fellow at NYC Health + Hospitals. His writing has previously appeared in the New York “,[“em”,”Times”],”, the Washington “,[“em”,”Post”],”, “,[“em”,”The Atlantic”],”, and other publications. Khullar earned his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine and completed his medical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He also received a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a fellow at the Center for Public Leadership.”]],”social”:[],”url”:”/contributors/dhruv-khullar”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”At a hospital in New Delhi, supplies and space are running out, but the patients keep coming.”,”hed”:”Inside India’s COVID-19 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that “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/boris-johnson”},”Boris Johnson”],” says is surprising anymore. Last week, the British Prime Minister was the only world leader who thought it necessary to inform President Joe Biden’s virtual climate-change summit that this was “not all about some expensive, politically correct green act of bunny hugging.” But Johnson retains the capacity to shock. On April 25th, the “,[“em”,”Daily Mail”],”, a generally pro-Johnson tabloid, reported that, in October, the Prime Minister had said, “No more fucking lockdowns—let the bodies pile high in their thousands.””],[“p”,”The newspaper’s reporting, which was corroborated by the BBC, ITV News, and other British media, claimed that Johnson had made the remark after a meeting in Downing Street, when he was resisting a national lockdown to quell a second wave of “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/coronavirus”},”coronavirus”],” infections. According to ITV, Johnson was shouting, with his office door open, allowing a number of staffers to hear. The Prime Minister has denied using the words. The day after the story broke, his government’s chief trouble-fixer, Michael Gove, backed him up in the House of Commons: “I was in that room—I never heard language of that kind.””],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-right%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22externallink%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522externallink%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fexternallinks%252F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%225e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”externallink”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22externallink%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fexternallinks%2F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd”}]],[“p”,”The anecdote has emerged during a period of furious gossip and infighting among senior officials in Johnson’s government, much of which has centered on how the Prime Minister paid to refurbish his living quarters in Downing Street, a scandal that is becoming known as “cash for cushions.” It’s like a national case study in psychological displacement. People probably talked about home decorating during the Black Death as well. Whatever language Johnson used or did not use last fall, he delayed a second lockdown for several weeks, while it was obvious that the virus was spreading again. He was also slow to order a third, which began on January 6th. Of the hundred and fifty thousand people believed to have died of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 in the U.K., about sixty per cent died during the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk/how-the-second-wave-of-the-pandemic-has-challenged-boris-johnsons-leadership”},”second wave of the pandemic”],”, which accelerated out of control last December. The bodies piled high in their thousands.”],[“p”,”Opposite the Palace of Westminster, across the brown swirl of the Thames, there is a makeshift memorial to those who have died. In late March, a group of bereaved families began drawing red hearts, in marker, on a Portland-stone wall that lines the Albert Embankment, on the south side of the river. When you cross Westminster Bridge, as I did one morning earlier this week, the hearts appear on the opposite bank as a dirty, bloody smudge on the gray, a narrow stain, improbably long, that someone has tried and failed to remove. Up close, many of the hearts are filled with names and dates of birth and messages of farewell, written by loved ones who have come to the wall: “Mum miss u loads”; “Auntie Christine”; “Sempre presente Papá.” Near one end of the wall, I met with Lobby Akinnola, whose father, Olufemi, died of the coronavirus almost exactly a year ago. There was a hum from a generator on the other side of the wall, powering a temporary vaccination center, on the grounds of St. Thomas’ Hospital. “It’s long, isn’t it?” Akinnola said, when we had walked a hundred yards or so and the hearts still stretched in front of us. “There’s that physical exertion that ties into the experience, almost. You’ve been walking for five minutes and you’re, like, I’m still not at the end.””],[“p”,”Akinnola’s father, who was known as Femi, died at home, in Leamington Spa, in Warwickshire, after being advised by National Health Service call-center workers to rest and take paracetamol. He was sixty years old. During the first wave of the pandemic, Femi had gone to work, as a caregiver for people with learning disabilities, wearing a scarf and gloves as P.P.E. His wife, Atinuke, who is a pharmacist, also contracted the virus. The couple had become bedridden and were resting in separate rooms. “My dad was never a person to avoid getting to hospital,” Akinnola said. “He was, like, Let’s go. Better safe than sorry. They reassured him, ‘Stay at home.’ And we were reassured, because he was reassured.””],[“p”,”After Femi died, Akinnola joined a Facebook group, Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, for emotional support. Since last June, the group, which has thirty-six hundred members, has been campaigning for a public inquiry into the British government’s handling of the pandemic—a request that Johnson has so far denied. Akinnola, who is thirty, has a Ph.D. in bioengineering. “I am a bit of a logical person—I think, I hope,” he said. He told me that he failed to see the logic in refusing to examine what had gone wrong in the U.K., which has suffered one of the world’s highest mortality rates. “I don’t think anyone’s looking at this pandemic and being, like, No one should have died. It’s a pandemic—that’s gonna happen,” Akinnola said. “Our questions are, Why have so many people died? And, for me, that’s the concern: Why are you so reticent for us to find out?””],[“p”,”I asked Akinnola how he had reacted when he heard about Johnson’s supposed remark. “It’s weird,” he said. “It’s a mosaic of emotions, because part of me is, like, Yeah, of course he did. Boris Johnson says crazy things. He does. That’s who he is. So if he said it, like, O.K., yeah, fine. . . . But part of me is—it’s almost a thing of, like, What is wrong with you?” The National Covid Memorial Wall, which the campaigners expect to clean away at some stage, is an attempt both to remember the dead and to upbraid the living. From where we stood, the Palace of Westminster, partly wrapped in scaffolding, loomed along the opposite bank. The wall of hearts was noticeably longer. Akkinola said that there was a third feeling, mixed with his anger and indifference, in reaction to Johnson’s supposed callousness. “The other emotion that comes is concern,” he said. “This kind of idea of, Has this mentality been what’s been ruling your decision-making? Like, lockdown isn’t easy. It’s not. But I can guarantee you it’s easier than losing someone you love. As someone who has had to do both,” Akinnola said, “it’s easier than losing someone you love.””],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Chr%3E%5Cn%3Ch2%3EMore%20on%20the%20Coronavirus%3C%2Fh2%3E%5Cn%3Cul%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhat%20will%20it%20take%20to%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fwhat-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Epandemic-proof%20the%20United%20States%3C%2Fa%3E%3F%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20last%20time%20a%20vaccine%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fthe-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esaved%20America%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhen%20the%20virus%20arrived%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdispatch%2Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3ESweden%20embarked%20on%20a%20risky%20experiment%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EIn%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20outbreak%2C%20a%20trauma%20surgeon%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fa-doctors-dark-year%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Etravelled%20to%20the%20edge%20and%20back%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20head%20of%20the%20American%20Federation%20of%20Teachers%20on%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fq-and-a%2Frandi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Ehow%20to%20reopen%20schools%20safely%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EEven%20before%20the%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20crisis%2C%20global%20instability%20had%20caused%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fthe-politics-of-stopping-pandemics%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eworrying%20rise%20in%20epidemics%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“hr”],[“h2″,”More on the Coronavirus”],[“ul”,[“li”,”What will it take to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/what-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”pandemic-proof the United States”],”?”],[“li”,”The last time a vaccine “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/the-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”saved America”],”.”],[“li”,”When the virus arrived, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/swedens-pandemic-experiment?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”Sweden embarked on a risky experiment”],”.”],[“li”,”In the heart of the outbreak, a trauma surgeon “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/a-doctors-dark-year?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”travelled to the edge and back”],”.”],[“li”,”The head of the American Federation of Teachers on “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/randi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”how to reopen schools safely”],”.”],[“li”,”Even before the “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 crisis, global instability had caused a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-politics-of-stopping-pandemics?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”worrying rise in epidemics”],”.”]]]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”},{“id”:”5c2e1e1c41e4c73c088d7940″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Pandemics”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”pandemics”},{“id”:”5c2e1c7b22d4972cd5b83294″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Britain”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”britain”},{“id”:”5c2e1cb92bfcc72cd92d0585″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Boris Johnson”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”boris-johnson”}],”sections”:[{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”,”children”:[{“id”:”5a85c96108ed787fc1cfd378″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[{“id”:”5a85c96108ed787fc1cfd378″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Letter from the U.K.”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”letter-from-the-uk”},{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”},{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”}],”name”:”Letter from the U.K.”,”parent”:[{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”}],”photos”:{},”root”:{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”},”slug”:”letter-from-the-uk”}]}]},”channel”:”News”,”contentSource”:”web”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Sam Knight”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Sam Knight is a staff writer at The New Yorker, based in London.”,”email”:””,”bio”:[“div”,[“p”,”Sam Knight is a staff writer at “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],”, based in London. He has profiled the British politicians “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/07/30/theresa-mays-impossible-choice”},”Theresa May”],”, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/23/the-astonishing-rise-of-jeremy-corbyn”},”Jeremy Corbyn”],”, and “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/31/sadiq-khan-takes-on-brexit-and-terror”},”Sadiq Khan”],” for the magazine, and has written about “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/11/04/how-brexit-will-end”},”Brexit”],”, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/02/08/the-bouvier-affair”},”art fraud”],”, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/06/03/how-football-leaks-is-exposing-corruption-in-european-soccer”},”soccer corruption”],”, and the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/04/the-psychiatrist-who-believed-people-could-tell-the-future”},”power of premonitions”],”. His story “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/30/follow-the-white-ball”},”Follow the White Ball”],”,” a profile of the snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan, was anthologized in the 2016 edition of “The Best American Sports Writing.” He writes a column for “,[“a”,{“href”:”http://newyorker.com/”},”newyorker.com”],”, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk”},”Letter from the U.K.”],” Previously, Knight was a contributing writer for the “,[“em”,”Guardian’s”],” The Long Read, and his work has appeared in the “,[“em”,”Financial Times”],”, Grantland, and “,[“em”,”Harper’s”],”.”]],”social”:[{“network”:”Twitter”,”handle”:”samknightwrites”}],”url”:”/contributors/sam-knight”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”The Prime Minister is known for his gaffes, but it’s hard to minimize the grief of the family members of those lost to COVID-19.”,”hed”:”The Bodies Piled High, Whatever Boris Johnson 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late March, a group of families mourning the loss of their loved ones to the coronavirus began creating a makeshift memorial on a bank of the Thames.”]],”altText”:”Two people standing in front of the COVID memorial wall in London”,”credit”:”Photograph by Hasan Esen / Anadolu Agency / Getty”,”filename”:”Knight-CovidMemorialWall.jpg”,”revision”:5,”tags”:[],”title”:””,”variants”:{}}]},”promoDek”:”The Prime Minister is known for his gaffes, but it’s hard to minimize the grief of the family members of those lost to COVID-19.”,”promoHed”:”The Bodies Piled High, Whatever Boris Johnson Said”,”pubDate”:”April 30, 2021″,”related”:[],”rubric”:{“name”:”Letter from the U.K.”,”url”:”/news/letter-from-the-uk”},”seoDescription”:”Sam Knight writes about reports that Boris Johnson said, of coronavirus measures, “No more fucking lockdowns—let the bodies pile high in their thousands.” Knight visits the National Covid Memorial Wall, in London, and speaks with Lobby Akinnola, part of a group that is 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m_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Epandemic-proof%20the%20United%20States%3C%2Fa%3E%3F%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20last%20time%20a%20vaccine%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fthe-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esaved%20America%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhen%20the%20virus%20arrived%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdispatch%2Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3ESweden%20embarked%20on%20a%20risky%20experiment%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EIn%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20outbreak%2C%20a%20trauma%20surgeon%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fa-doctors-dark-year%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Etravelled%20to%20the%20edge%20and%20back%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20head%20of%20the%20American%20Federation%20of%20Teachers%20on%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fq-and-a%2Frandi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Ehow%20to%20reopen%20schools%20safely%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EEven%20before%20the%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20crisis%2C%20global%20instability%20had%20caused%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fthe-politics-of-stopping-pandemics%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eworrying%20rise%20in%20epidemics%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%7D”,”ref”:””},[“p”,”More than a year after the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/coronavirus”},”coronavirus”],” began circulating around the world, India is facing a devastating second wave of infections and deaths. Hospitals in cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai are filled to capacity and facing oxygen shortages, with crowds of sick people forming lines outside. According to official statistics, the country currently has more than three hundred and fifty thousand cases and twenty-eight hundred deaths per day, with numbers continuing to rise. But unofficial statistics collected by journalists suggest that the true numbers are likely far greater, with one “,[“em”,”Financial Times”],” “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.ft.com/content/683914a3-134f-40b6-989b-21e0ba1dc403″},”analysis”],” showing a death toll more than eight times the official count. The country’s Hindu-nationalist Prime Minister, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/09/blood-and-soil-in-narendra-modis-india”},”Narendra Modi”],”, has downplayed the scale of the crisis, holding large election rallies, and failing to deter people from attending a religious festival that attracts millions of people. (This past weekend, after a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/25/business/india-covid19-twitter-facebook.html”},”demand”],” from the Indian government, Twitter blocked access to tweets critical of the Administration’s response.)”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-right%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22externallink%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522externallink%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fexternallinks%252F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%225e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”externallink”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22externallink%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fexternallinks%2F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd”}]],[“p”,”On Sunday, I spoke by phone with Rukmini S, a data journalist in Chennai who has been “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/21/indias-government-abandoned-citizens-deadly-second-covid-wave”},”covering the pandemic”],” for the “,[“em”,”Guardian”],” and other publications. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed what crematorium data can tell us about the scale of the problem, the government’s mistakes in the past month, and why Modi remains popular amid the worsening crisis.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”How have you and other people in your field been able to get a sense of the scale of the problem in India right now, given that we know official statistics are dramatically understating what is going on?”]],[“p”,”The most useful thing was being able to come into the pandemic with some prior understanding of how statistics function in India, and to know what the existing issues were. So, for example, we came in knowing that official statistics massively underreport all infectious diseases, such as malaria, and we got used to turning to other data sets that give us a better sense of underreporting. For infectious diseases, we know official statistics only capture reported data from public health facilities, which means that the whole world of private health [facility] data is left out. We have gotten used to turning to other sources that come up with estimates, such as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (I.H.M.E.).”],[“p”,”And we had some sense of how deaths are reported in India. The lack of state capacity means that a lot of things the state wants to deliver cannot be delivered, so we know both births and deaths are underregistered in India. We have a sense of how much trouble there is to correctly assess the cause of death. And we know that this is a bigger problem for marginalized groups and women, who are more likely to be underrepresented in death statistics. So we came in knowing that even in the best of times, the statistical architecture, and the administrative architecture, struggles to register everyone properly. But I think that has helped us direct and focus our energies on models and estimates. And it has helped us focus on groups that might struggle more than others to have their deaths reported, and has caused us to come in with a strong and skeptical outlook, which means we know we might need other, outside sources, like newspapers or crematoria data. And we know data here has a long lag, so expecting immediate data is a problem.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”We have official statistics about cases and deaths, and then other reports with unofficial estimates. What are you actually able to say about what we know?”]],[“p”,”Although there are official guidelines about what should be counted as a “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 death, we know on record from officials in multiple states that those guidelines are not being followed. A very stringent definition of what is a “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 death—a person testing positive prior to death—is being used, which leaves out the world of people who couldn’t get a test in time, or couldn’t make it to the hospital. So we know this is happening, but estimating the extent of that would be very useful. I have tried to make requests to state audit committees to ask about how many death certificates came to them, and how many were “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 deaths. But that is not known and it’s a big problem, and there should be public pressure for it.”],[“p”,”So I personally have come to the point where what I am concerned about is all-cause mortality. I don’t think that we are in a good position to understand “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” mortality, and I don’t think we will for a while. But what we see is a lot of people are dying, whether from “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” or not, and there are ambulances lined up, and they are dying out of lack of access to an I.C.U. bed or oxygen shortages or are simply unable to manage their chronic conditions because of a huge shortage of regular medical services in the past year. So I do think we have a huge rise in all-cause mortality, but I am tired of trying to figure out if they are “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” deaths or not. It’s just a partisan exercise right now.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”So just to be clear: there is an enormous uptick in deaths at crematoria, but we don’t know to what degree those are directly caused by “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”, and to what degree they are caused by things such as oxygen shortages and other health crises caused by the chaos of the past year?”]],[“p”,”Yes. Again, it does appear there is a mass increase in deaths, but the administrative sectors are so tied up that I wouldn’t even be confident, in a country of this size, in claiming that we know what we are seeing. But it would make complete sense given the collapse of regular health care right now.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”So when you see analysis, like the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.ft.com/content/683914a3-134f-40b6-989b-21e0ba1dc403″},”one”],” in the “,[“em”,”Financial Times”],” looking at crematoria data, it seems fair to say that “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” is causing a vast surge in deaths in India, but we don’t know exactly how many of them were caused by the coronavirus infecting the person, correct?”]],[“p”,”Yes. And, again, it is likely that “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” infections are causing a massive uptick in death. I think the one indicator that says a lot is hospitalizations. The fact that those are up across every big city and in every part of the country where we have information indicates that, even if you are not able to quantify the extent of underreporting, health systems are overwhelmed. All of the small factors that, added up, tell us about underreporting are clear. For example, in Delhi, there are five-day delays to even get a test. There is a thirty-three-per-cent positivity rate estimated in Delhi, but a huge number of people can’t get a test. We know from surveys in Bombay, for example, that people from non-slum areas are four to six times more likely to get a test. So that gives you a clue about the possible extent of underreporting in slum areas. We know historically that women and marginalized groups fall sick more, because they have less access to health care. So all this gives you some indication of what we are missing. The scale is undeniable.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”What should the government be doing now that it is not currently doing?”]],[“p”,”It should not be minimizing the scale of what is happening. It did that for most of this year, right up until now. In his address to the nation a couple of days ago, Modi did say that the second wave hit like a storm. But we have also seen a lot of simultaneous attempts to clamp down on people who are talking about deaths on social media, and people having a bit of a go at journalists, saying they are spreading fear and panic. So that is something that needs to stop immediately.”],[“p”,”The government also needs to get moving really fast on oxygen. A lot of the big public-health scale-up measures that the government is doing are not going to help now. They should have been done in January, and some of them will only help five years from now. So, for example, if we allow colleges to educate more doctors, they will open in a year, and then five years from now we will have more doctors. With oxygen, the government announced it was going to set up these oxygen plants, and a whole lot of money poured into “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”PM CARES”],”, the fund Modi created for charitable donations. He set up this fund, which is not transparent, and we cannot get information on it under the law. And we know that for eight months no bids [for oxygen plants] were even invited. Thirty-three [plants] are “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://qz.com/india/1998357/modis-inaction-over-oxygen-shortage-hurt-indias-covid-19-battle/”},”functioning now”],” out of a hundred and sixty that were sanctioned.”],[“p”,”The government also needs to be making it easier to get information. Indian Twitter looks like one big help line right now. This points to the fact that the mechanisms around things like where to get home oxygen don’t exist in the country. And, lastly, what you would hope for is a culture of more transparency. I don’t know if there is any hope for that. Even around things like the vaccines, the country has two being deployed, and one has published efficacy data and one hasn’t. India has done a very poor job of tracking post-vaccination infections, but it does seem to be artificially inflating this data to try to drive up vaccine acceptance. The idea of basing strategies on faulty data is something they have done in the past that they should be trying to step away from right now. The reason these things are inexplicable is not because we haven’t tried to ask, but because we get very few answers.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”What does India need to do to start vaccinating more people quickly?”]],[“p”,”The way India’s vaccination strategy worked was to start with health-care workers, and the expectation at the time was that there would be high uptake among health-care workers, because it was most important to vaccinate them, but also because it would lead to high confidence in vaccine uptake among the rest of the population. One vaccine, Covaxin, had a major issue. This is a vaccine on which the Indian government is one of the partners, and you could argue there was a conflict of interest there. That vaccine was rolled out before efficacy data was available, which is unusual. Even now, we don’t have published efficacy data for that one. Because health-care workers tend to be a relatively better informed group, I suspect that there was greater vaccine hesitancy in that group because of these issues around it, and I don’t know if it permeated to the groups that came after that.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”How is the government doing in terms of administration of the vaccine?”]],[“p”,”India does have a lot of experience in mass-vaccination programs, so we do have the architecture for it. The first round of doses for people over forty-five ran out, and the communication was, again, extremely opaque. We had the Health Minister repeatedly say that there was not a shortage when we had the people on the ground reporting that there were no doses available. And what will happen on May 1st is that a vaccination program of the central government will now be opened up to state governments and private hospitals as well. There was an announcement that they were also free to strike their own deals with vaccine manufacturers, which raises its own questions about pricing and availability. The two vaccines that are currently available have already declared their open-market prices, which are quite high in India. Across the world and across India, public-health experts have said the way to do this is to make it free for everyone. So it is a bit shocking that the central government is passing on this price-and-procurement burden to states.”],[“p”,”So, yes, there were some shortages and some hesitancy and some lack of tracking after vaccination. But I am a bit more worried about what is going to happen starting May 1st in terms of prices and how state governments are going to be able to strike these deals on their own, and the fact that the vast majority of the most vulnerable have not been covered yet. Someone like me who is under forty-five and well off can jump to the front of the queue while someone older won’t be able to. That is very worrying.”],[“p”,[“strong”,”Modi is often grouped together with Trump and Erdogan and other right-wing populists who have risen to power in the past decade, but he is much more popular than Trump or Erdogan. [Morning Consult’s “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://morningconsult.com/form/global-leader-approval/”},”approval tracker”],” currently has him at seventy percent approval.] Do you sense that is changing?”]],[“p”,”No. There is an immediate analogy that comes to me, which is the demonetization of high-value bank notes in 2016. It is, of course, not at the same scale at all, but it caused huge distress to working-class people, and the immediate response was to say this affected people’s lives and livelihoods and was going to affect him in the elections. To some extent that happened again after the lockdowns in 2020, when there was horrendous distress afflicted on migrants across the country. The assessment was again that people would go home and turn on Modi.”],[“p”,”My theory about Indian politics has been that people vote on ideas, and not about the material things people assume they vote on—not on broad economic growth, or someone building a road. So, if there is a particular government in a particular state that manages to make this a clash of ideas, and manages to show that a good welfare state would have prevented this kind of distress, and [Modi’s party] isn’t able to deliver on one, that might affect Modi in that state. But, as a broad national story, I don’t think that is how elections are fought and won in India, and so I don’t see this as a referendum on his popularity.”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Chr%3E%5Cn%3Ch2%3EMore%20on%20the%20Coronavirus%3C%2Fh2%3E%5Cn%3Cul%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhat%20will%20it%20take%20to%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fwhat-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Epandemic-proof%20the%20United%20States%3C%2Fa%3E%3F%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20last%20time%20a%20vaccine%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fthe-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esaved%20America%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhen%20the%20virus%20arrived%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdispatch%2Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3ESweden%20embarked%20on%20a%20risky%20experiment%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EIn%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20outbreak%2C%20a%20trauma%20surgeon%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fa-doctors-dark-year%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Etravelled%20to%20the%20edge%20and%20back%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20head%20of%20the%20American%20Federation%20of%20Teachers%20on%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fq-and-a%2Frandi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Ehow%20to%20reopen%20schools%20safely%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EEven%20before%20the%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20crisis%2C%20global%20instability%20had%20caused%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fthe-politics-of-stopping-pandemics%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eworrying%20rise%20in%20epidemics%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“hr”],[“h2″,”More on the Coronavirus”],[“ul”,[“li”,”What will it take to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/what-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”pandemic-proof the United States”],”?”],[“li”,”The last time a vaccine “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/the-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”saved America”],”.”],[“li”,”When the virus arrived, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/swedens-pandemic-experiment?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”Sweden embarked on a risky experiment”],”.”],[“li”,”In the heart of the outbreak, a trauma surgeon “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/a-doctors-dark-year?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”travelled to the edge and back”],”.”],[“li”,”The head of the American Federation of Teachers on “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/randi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”how to reopen schools safely”],”.”],[“li”,”Even before the “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 crisis, global instability had caused a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-politics-of-stopping-pandemics?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”worrying rise in epidemics”],”.”]]]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5c2e1c8681ab3335f580f17f”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”India”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”india”},{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”},{“id”:”5c2e1eab36cecf40192143dd”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Deaths”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”deaths”},{“id”:”5c2e1d482710c62d1081550d”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Statistics”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”statistics”},{“id”:”5c2e1c957e716b454591adce”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Public Health”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”public-health”}],”sections”:[{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”,”children”:[{“id”:”5c66cf8d715e6a5a5a904371″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[{“id”:”5c66cf8d715e6a5a5a904371″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Q. & A.”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”q-and-a”},{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”},{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”}],”name”:”Q. & A.”,”parent”:[{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”}],”photos”:{},”root”:{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”},”slug”:”q-and-a”}]}]},”channel”:”News”,”contentSource”:”web”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Isaac Chotiner”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Isaac Chotiner is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he is the principal contributor to Q. & A., a series of interviews with major public figures in politics, media, books, business, technology, and more.”,”email”:””,”bio”:[“div”,[“p”,”Isaac Chotiner is a staff writer at “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],”, where he is the principal contributor to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a”},”Q. & A.”],”, a series of interviews with major public figures in politics, media, books, business, technology, and more. Before joining “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],”, Chotiner was a staff writer at Slate and the host of the podcast “I Have to Ask.” He has written for “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],”, the “,[“em”,”Times”],”, “,[“em”,”The Atlantic”],”, the “,[“em”,”Times Literary Supplement”],”, the Washington “,[“em”,”Post”],”, and the “,[“em”,”Wall Street Journal”],”. After graduating from the University of California, Davis, Chotiner worked at “,[“em”,”The Washington Monthly”],” before joining “,[“em”,”The New Republic”],”, in 2006, as a reporter-researcher. He went on to run the magazine’s online books section and later became a senior editor.”]],”social”:[],”url”:”/contributors/isaac-chotiner”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”Rukmini S, a data journalist in Chennai, speaks about the coronavirus cases and death toll in India, and why unofficial statistics suggest that the true numbers are likely far greater than reported.”,”hed”:”India’s Uncounted COVID-19 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man wearing personal protective equipment stands next to funeral pyres of those who died from the coronavirus, at a crematorium in New Delhi.”]],”altText”:”A man wearing PPE stands among funeral pyres in New Delhi, India.”,”credit”:”Photograph by Adnan Abidi / Reuters”,”filename”:”Chotiner-RukminiShrinivasan.jpg”,”revision”:3,”tags”:[],”title”:””,”variants”:{}}]},”promoDek”:”Rukmini S, a data journalist in Chennai, speaks about the coronavirus cases and death toll in India, and why unofficial statistics suggest that the true numbers are likely far greater than reported.”,”promoHed”:”India’s Uncounted COVID-19 Deaths”,”pubDate”:”April 27, 2021″,”related”:[],”rubric”:{“name”:”Q. & A.”,”url”:”/news/q-and-a”},”seoDescription”:”Isaac Chotiner interviews Rukmini S, a data journalist in Chennai, India, about coronavirus cases and COVID-19 deaths in the country, and unofficial statistics suggesting that the true numbers are likely far greater than reported.”,”seoTitle”:”India’s Uncounted 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Meyerowitz, a geriatrician in private practice who serves as the medical director of two New Jersey nursing homes, thought he was done getting phone calls about “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/coronavirus”},”coronavirus”],” infections in the facilities. The early months of the pandemic had been brutal. Many of the nursing-home residents had died of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19; Meyerowitz, his partner, his daughter, and his medical-practice partner and best friend were sick with the disease last spring. But, in the past six months, Meyerowitz had seen no cases in either of the two facilities he oversees. Under the state’s reopening plan, the homes were in Phase 3: they had restored visitation, communal dining, and group activities. In January, when the vaccine became available to long-term-care facilities, every one of the residents and a majority of the staff in the two homes opted to be vaccinated. Then, on April 12th, Meyerowitz learned that a nursing assistant had tested positive.”],[“p”,”The result came from a routine test conducted the previous Friday. Now the facility retested everyone. On April 13th, the results came back: three residents, all of them elderly men, were positive, although all were asymptomatic. On the 14th, a nurse developed mild symptoms and tested positive. Two days later, another resident tested positive. Two days after that, another nurse—the partner of the first person to test positive—developed symptoms, also mild, and tested positive. All of the positive results came from a single unit of the nursing home. The first and last person to test positive—the couple—had not been vaccinated. But the others had been.”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22inset-right%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Cinline-embed%20type%3D%5C%22externallink%5C%22%20meta%3D%5C%22%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522externallink%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522%252Fexternallinks%252F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522height%2522%253A%2522%2522%252C%2522caption%2522%253A%2522%2522%257D%5C%22%20ref%3D%5C%225e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%5C%22%3E%3C%2Finline-embed%3E%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”externallink”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22externallink%22%2C%22url%22%3A%22%2Fexternallinks%2F5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd%22%2C%22width%22%3A%22%22%2C%22height%22%3A%22%22%2C%22caption%22%3A%22%22%7D”,”ref”:”5e6a8d2525cee1000833d9fd”}]],[“p”,”Meyerowitz was shocked. “I should have known” that infections after vaccination were possible, he told me when I visited him at his house in Fort Lee. “But I just didn’t imagine it. I was lulled into a false sense of security.” His regular infectious-diseases consultant, Benjamin De La Rosa, told Meyerowitz that the breakthrough infections shouldn’t surprise him. “It’s a perfect setup for this to happen,” De La Rosa told me on the phone. “You have vulnerable residents, older, often recovering from a hospitalization, living in congregate settings, many of them in semi-private rooms. Many of the buildings are older, with poor ventilation.” In other words, all the conditions that made long-term-care facilities particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus a year ago are still in place.”],[“p”,”The difference is the vaccine: at many assisted-living facilities in the state, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://nj.gov/health/healthfacilities/documents/LTC_VaccinationReport.pdf”},”all or almost all”],” residents have been vaccinated. Numbers at shorter-term facilities, such as rehabilitation centers, are lower, ranging from zero to about seventy per cent of residents. But the most striking gap is between rates of vaccination among staff and those among residents. At many facilities where every single resident has received the vaccine, fewer than half of the staff have. “One of the obstacles to herd immunity is hesitancy on behalf of the staff,” De La Rosa said. As long as the virus is circulating in the community, an unvaccinated staff member can pick it up and bring it to the nursing home, where conditions may make the otherwise rare breakthrough infections more likely.”],[“p”,”The Centers for Disease Control has been tracking “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-departments/breakthrough-cases.html”},”reported”],” “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-mystery-of-breakthrough-covid-19-infections”},”breakthrough infections”],” in the United States. As of April 20th, fewer than seventy-two hundred had occurred among the more than eighty-seven million people who were considered fully vaccinated. Most of these infections had been asymptomatic, but eighty-eight people had died. These numbers indicate that breakthrough infections are extremely rare, but De La Rosa suggested that they may be a low estimate. Asymptomatic vaccinated people are unlikely to find out that they are infected unless they live or work in a place, like a long-term-care facility, where such tests are performed routinely.”],[“p”,”On Wednesday, the C.D.C. published a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7017e2.htm?s_cid=mm7017e2_w”},”report”],” of an outbreak of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 at a nursing home in Kentucky, where more than ninety per cent of the residents but just under fifty-three per cent of the staff had been fully vaccinated. Just as in New Jersey, the outbreak began with an unvaccinated staff member. In the Kentucky home, forty-six people—twenty-two of them fully vaccinated—ended up becoming infected, and three residents died, including one vaccinated person. Still, in the final analysis, the vaccine appeared to be more than eighty-five-per-cent effective against symptomatic disease and more than ninety-four-per-cent effective against hospitalization.”],[“p”,”“Jay seemed mortified when he called me,” De La Rosa said, of the New Jersey outbreak. “But I reassured him. The vaccine is working. If they are not severe, or are asymptomatic, I don’t know that it’s so bad.””],[“p”,”An outbreak at a long-term-care facility, however small, triggers a set of quarantine measures. In New Jersey, visitation is suspended, as are all community activities. Residents have to eat in their rooms, using paper plates and disposable utensils. Bingo, music, discussions of current affairs, and other socializing in the common room and on the grounds cease. Residents who have tested positive are confined to their rooms for two weeks. Every new positive test result starts the clock anew. Isolation, in turn, leads to depression and heightened levels of anxiety. Residents who suffer from mild dementia, Meyerowitz said, had a particularly difficult time coping with the restrictions. All of these measures are particularly painful more than a year into a pandemic that has “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2021/03/nursing-home-deaths-devastated-nj-see-which-parts-of-the-state-were-hit-the-hardest.html”},”killed nearly eight thousand”],” residents and staff of long-term-care facilities in New Jersey, accounting for more than a third of the state’s “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://covid19.nj.gov/”},”total “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 deaths”],”.”],[“p”,”“I’m traumatized,” Meyerowitz told me. He and his family members had mild cases of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” last spring, but his medical partner, Joseph Rizzo, who is fifty-nine and has diabetes, became very ill. “He was admitted to the hospital, the one we work at, with double pneumonia,” Meyerowitz said. “They told me he’d be intubated.” It fell to Meyerowitz, who could physically be in the room with Rizzo, to help his friend FaceTime his loved ones before the planned intubation. “I held the phone and he said goodbye,” Meyerowitz said. “And then he starts crying, and then I start crying, and we had to do it five times”—with Rizzo’s wife, his two children, and his two brothers. “He was in full cytokine storm,” Meyerowitz said, referring to the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/09/how-the-coronavirus-hacks-the-immune-system”},”state of immune-system overdrive”],” that can make “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 deadly.”],[“p”,”Then, however, the hospital obtained “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/the-state-of-the-fight-against-covid-19″},”tocilizumab”],”, a rare and expensive drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and Rizzo made what looked like a miraculous recovery. He didn’t end up needing intubation and was discharged from the hospital three days later. Rizzo told me on the phone, however, that he was bedridden for a month after being discharged, and continues to suffer from “brain fog” and short-term-memory loss; he assumes that these are the aftereffects of low oxygen supply to the brain. He has stopped practicing medicine.”],[“p”,”Meyerowitz, who is sixty-two and has been practicing medicine for half of his life, gets excited when he talks about what he calls the “great state of medical technology”—the drug that saved Rizzo’s life and the technology behind the mRNA vaccines. When residents and staff of long-term-care facilities became eligible for the vaccine, in January, Meyerowitz urged everyone to take it. All the residents did, but a third of the staff “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/why-are-so-many-health-care-workers-resisting-the-covid-vaccine”},”refused”],”. “There was not one religious concern that I heard,” Meyerowitz told me. “All of it was based on believing disinformation about vaccines: ‘I haven’t been sick yet so I won’t get sick’; ‘I have O-positive blood’; ‘It’s too new.’ And these are people with bachelor of science, or bachelor of science in nursing, degrees!””],[“p”,”Two hundred and thirty-three long-term-care facilities in New Jersey currently have active outbreaks of “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”. A spokesperson for the state department of health pointed out in an e-mail to me that a year ago the state had more than twice as many active outbreaks, and many more deaths. Still, months after every resident and staff member at a long-term-care facility had the opportunity to receive the vaccine, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.state.nj.us/health/healthfacilities/documents/LTC_Facilities_Outbreaks_List.pdf”},”hundreds of people”],” are sick and several people a day continue to die from “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” at such facilities in the state. Thousands of people are experiencing isolation because their “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://data.nj.gov/Health/Long-Term-Care-Facilities-Phased-Map-/m8yi-gris”},”facilities”],” have imposed restrictions on visitation and social activities. (New Jersey makes these figures readily available—most of the information is on Web sites accessible to the public, and I obtained details by contacting the department of health. My requests for similar breakdowns for long-term-care facilities in New York went unanswered, but “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/federal-long-term-care-facility-program”},”available vaccination data”],” tell a similar story: while vaccination rates for residents of long-term-care facilities in New York are well above eighty per cent, rates among staff hover below seventy.)”],[“p”,”Meyerowitz has renewed his campaign to persuade staff members to take the vaccine. “The important message for me is to ask everyone to be considerate of the whole world,” he said. He has asked the homes to require vaccination for staff, but the requirement cannot be added to existing labor contracts, only to new ones. This issue is common. Saad B. Omer, an epidemiologist who heads the Yale Institute for Global Health, told me earlier this month that his team had identified labor contracts as one of the single biggest potential obstacles to instituting vaccine mandates. In response to my query, the New Jersey Department of Health spokesperson wrote that it was up to employers to decide whether they would require staff to be vaccinated. Meanwhile, the vaccination rate nationwide has been “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccination-trends”},”dropping”],” for two weeks. Twenty-one per cent of Americans “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/documents/monmouthpoll_us_041421.pdf/”},”continue to say that”],”, absent a requirement, they will refuse vaccination.”],[“p”,”The outbreak at Meyerowitz’s facility is still contained to one unit, but two more people—a resident and a nurse—tested positive on April 21st. “Fortunately, no one is “,[“em”,”sick”],”-sick,” he texted me the next day. “All are either asymptomatic or have mild upper respiratory symptoms.” But visitation and social activities are suspended, for at least another two weeks.”],[“inline-embed”,{“type”:”callout”,”meta”:”%7B%22type%22%3A%22callout%22%2C%22name%22%3A%22%22%2C%22body%22%3A%22%3Chr%3E%5Cn%3Ch2%3EMore%20on%20the%20Coronavirus%3C%2Fh2%3E%5Cn%3Cul%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhat%20will%20it%20take%20to%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fwhat-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Epandemic-proof%20the%20United%20States%3C%2Fa%3E%3F%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20last%20time%20a%20vaccine%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fannals-of-medicine%2Fthe-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Esaved%20America%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EWhen%20the%20virus%20arrived%2C%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fdispatch%2Fswedens-pandemic-experiment%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3ESweden%20embarked%20on%20a%20risky%20experiment%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EIn%20the%20heart%20of%20the%20outbreak%2C%20a%20trauma%20surgeon%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fscience%2Fmedical-dispatch%2Fa-doctors-dark-year%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Etravelled%20to%20the%20edge%20and%20back%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EThe%20head%20of%20the%20American%20Federation%20of%20Teachers%20on%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fnews%2Fq-and-a%2Frandi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Ehow%20to%20reopen%20schools%20safely%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3Cli%3EEven%20before%20the%20%3Cem%20class%3D%5C%22small%5C%22%3ECOVID%3C%2Fem%3E-19%20crisis%2C%20global%20instability%20had%20caused%20a%20%3Ca%20href%3D%5C%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fthe-politics-of-stopping-pandemics%3Fitm_content%3Dfooter-recirc%5C%22%3Eworrying%20rise%20in%20epidemics%3C%2Fa%3E.%3C%2Fli%3E%5Cn%3C%2Ful%3E%5Cn%22%2C%22attrs%22%3A%7B%7D%7D”,”ref”:””},[“hr”],[“h2″,”More on the Coronavirus”],[“ul”,[“li”,”What will it take to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/what-will-it-take-to-pandemic-proof-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”pandemic-proof the United States”],”?”],[“li”,”The last time a vaccine “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/the-last-time-a-vaccine-saved-america?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”saved America”],”.”],[“li”,”When the virus arrived, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/swedens-pandemic-experiment?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”Sweden embarked on a risky experiment”],”.”],[“li”,”In the heart of the outbreak, a trauma surgeon “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/a-doctors-dark-year?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”travelled to the edge and back”],”.”],[“li”,”The head of the American Federation of Teachers on “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/randi-weingarten-on-opening-schools-safely?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”how to reopen schools safely”],”.”],[“li”,”Even before the “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],”-19 crisis, global instability had caused a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-politics-of-stopping-pandemics?itm_content=footer-recirc”},”worrying rise in epidemics”],”.”]]]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”},{“id”:”5c2e1ca741c92e2c9b85da64″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Vaccines”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”vaccines”},{“id”:”5c2e1d3a2710c62d108154f3″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Nursing Homes”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”nursing-homes”},{“id”:”5c2e1da036cecf401921431b”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Misinformation”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”misinformation”},{“id”:”5c2e1c957e716b454591adce”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Public 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Columnists”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”our-columnists”},{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”},{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”}],”name”:”Our Columnists”,”parent”:[{“id”:”5904126172dadf5d0a508800″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”News”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”news”}],”photos”:{},”root”:{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”},”slug”:”our-columnists”}]}]},”channel”:”News”,”contentSource”:”web”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Masha Gessen”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Masha Gessen, a staff writer at The New Yorker, is the author of eleven books, including “u003ca href=”https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Autocracy-Masha-Gessen/dp/0593188934″>Surviving Autocracyu003c/a>” and “u003ca href=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/159463453X/?tag=thneyo0f-20″>The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russiau003c/a>,” which won the National Book Award in 2017.”,”email”:””,”bio”:[“div”,[“p”,”Masha Gessen began contributing to “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],” in 2014 and became a staff writer in 2017. Gessen is the author of eleven books, including “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Autocracy-Masha-Gessen/dp/0593188934″},”Surviving Autocracy”],”” and “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.amazon.com/dp/159463453X/?tag=thneyo0f-20″},”The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia”],”,” which won the National Book Award in 2017. Gessen has written about Russia, autocracy, L.G.B.T. rights, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, among others, for “,[“em”,”The New York Review of Books”],” and the New York “,[“em”,”Times”],”. On a parallel track, Gessen has been a science journalist, writing about “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”AIDS”],”, medical genetics, and mathematics; famously, Gessen was dismissed as editor of the Russian popular-science magazine “,[“em”,”Vokrug Sveta”],” for refusing to send a reporter to observe Putin hang-gliding with the Siberian cranes. Gessen is a distinguished writer in residence at Bard College and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, a Nieman Fellowship, the Hitchens Prize, and the Overseas Press Club Award for Best Commentary. After more than twenty years as a journalist and editor in Moscow, Gessen has been living in New York since 2013.”]],”social”:[],”url”:”/contributors/masha-gessen”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”A gap in vaccination rates between residents and staff means that long-term-care facilities remain particularly vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks.”,”hed”:”How Vaccine Hesitancy Is Driving Breakthrough Infections in Nursing Homes”,”inlineEmbeds”:{},”issueDate”:””,”ledeCaption”:””,”modifiedAt”:”2021-04-27T12:46:21.983Z”,”photos”:{“tout”:[{“id”:”6087129773066d90cf7eebd1″,”modelName”:”photo”,”collection”:”photos”,”aspectRatios”:{“2:1”:{“width”:2559,”height”:1279,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:0,”y”:177,”height”:1279,”width”:2559}},”duration”:null},”2:2″:{“width”:1688,”height”:1688,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:723,”y”:0,”height”:1688,”width”:1688}},”duration”:null},”16:9″:{“width”:2560,”height”:1440,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“height”:1440,”width”:2560,”x”:0,”y”:0}},”duration”:null},”4:3″:{“width”:2248,”height”:1686,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“height”:1686,”width”:2248,”x”:156,”y”:0}},”duration”:null},”1:1″:{“width”:1688,”height”:1688,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:646,”y”:0,”height”:1688,”width”:1688}},”duration”:null},”master”:{“format”:”JPEG”,”url”:”https://cn-copilot-media.s3.amazonaws.com/public/tny-services/production/2021/04/26/6087129773066d90cf7eebd0_Gessen-NursingHomes.jpg”,”width”:2560,”height”:1688,”duration”:null}},”caption”:[“div”,[“p”,”At many facilities where every resident has received the vaccine, fewer than half of the staff have.”]],”altText”:”Silhouette of a person receiving a COVID vaccine “,”credit”:”Photograph by Jon Nazca / Reuters”,”filename”:”Gessen-NursingHomes.jpg”,”revision”:5,”tags”:[],”title”:””,”variants”:{}}]},”promoDek”:”A gap in vaccination rates between residents and staff means that long-term-care facilities remain particularly vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks.”,”promoHed”:”How Vaccine Hesitancy Is Driving Breakthrough Infections in Nursing Homes”,”pubDate”:”April 27, 2021″,”related”:[],”rubric”:{“name”:”Our Columnists”,”url”:”/news/our-columnists”},”seoDescription”:”Masha Gessen on how vaccination rates for staff at long-term-care facilities are lagging behind those of residents, leading to new coronavirus outbreaks and the reintroduction of quarantine measures that can increase isolation, depression, and anxiety.”,”seoTitle”:”How Vaccine Hesitancy Is Driving Breakthrough Infections in Nursing 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choice! Which of the following took place at the ninety-third Academy Awards?”],[“blockquote”,[“p”,[“strong”,”a)”],” Zack Morris, the main character from “Saved by the Bell,” was thanked in an acceptance speech for the first time in Oscar history.”,[“br”],[“strong”,”b)”],” “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/political-scene/daniel-kaluuya-plays-the-black-messiah”},”Daniel Kaluuya”],”, accepting the Best Supporting Actor award, said, “My mom, my dad, they had sex. It’s amazing! Do you know what I’m saying? I’m “,[“em”,”here!”],”” as the camera pointed to his bewildered mother.”,[“br”],[“strong”,”c)”],” “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/glenn-close”},”Glenn Close”],”, after becoming the most nominated living actress not to win an Academy Award, shook her booty to “Da Butt.””,[“br”],[“strong”,”d)”],” “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/frances-mcdormand”},”Frances McDormand”],” howled like a wolf.”]],[“p”,”The answer, of course, is all of the above. And none of those moments was the one I’d award Most Surreal. That came during the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLQUf5qJios”},”acceptance speech”],” for Best Documentary Feature, when one of the directors of “My Octopus Teacher” mused, in all earnestness, “If a man can kind of form a friendship with an octopus, it does sort of make you wonder what else is possible.” Sadly, the octopus was not in attendance, having (spoiler alert!) died a natural death off the coast of South Africa. But a sense of boundless possibility seemed to have governed the entire ceremony, with results that were alternately fun, boring, moving, tacky, rushed, sluggish, stylish, and chaotic.”],[“p”,”We were warned. “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/steven-soderbergh”},”Steven Soderbergh”],”, who produced the telecast, along with Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/04/04/oscars-2021-producers-interview-steven-soderbergh-stacey-sher-jesse-collins”},”previewed”],” the ceremony for “,[“em”,”Vanity Fair”],” by explaining, “Everybody will be a character: Every nominee, every person that gives an award, will feel like characters in a film. And in the end, you’ll know who everybody was and what they wanted.” It sounded like a murder-mystery theme party, or like the afterlife. But why not? Awards shows during the pandemic have been “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-2021-golden-globes-lost-in-the-zoomscape”},”awkward, hybrid affairs”],”, with comedians lobbing jokes into a silent ether and nominees Zoom-boxed together from their living rooms. Whatever slim playbook existed, Soderbergh vowed to trash it. These are, after all, the Oscars, and they have to stand out from the pack.”],[“p”,”But I don’t think anyone was prepared for how radically these Oscars departed from protocol. For decades, viewers have complained about the pomp and ritual of the telecasts, which often seem yoked to the format of a nineteen-seventies variety show. Soderbergh & Company discarded it all. No auditorium. No zinger-filled opening monologue or musical number. No orchestra playing people off. No Best Original Song performances, which were dispensed with during the pre-show. No ending with Best Picture (more on that grievous misfire in a bit). Not all of these changes, you’ll notice, stemmed from “,[“em”,{“class”:”small”},”COVID”],” restrictions, but the pandemic seemed to provide an excuse to liberate the Oscars from nine decades of trappings and to try something new.”],[“p”,”And so we opened on Regina King, in a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/on-and-off-the-avenue/fashion-was-back-at-the-2021-oscars”},”blue Louis Vuitton gown”],” with winged shoulders, strutting into Los Angeles’s Union Station, as funky music played and opening credits flashed in Fiestaware colors. Filmed in a tracking shot that brought to mind the scene of Pam Grier “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivKGY-zAa1g”},”gliding through an airport”],” at the beginning of “Jackie Brown,” King emerged into a makeshift theatre that looked like an Art Deco speakeasy, with nominees and their guests on tufted banquettes—a throwback to the days when the Oscars were given out at the Cocoanut Grove. It was all so effortlessly cool, until King got onstage, immediately stumbled, and said, “Live TV! Here we go!” This happens to be exactly how I imagine entering my first post-pandemic party, suave and confident for about two seconds. And that’s how the entire evening felt, starting with the cocktail-party pre-show: like a tentative first attempt at socializing after months of lockdown.”],[“p”,”The next sign that we were in spring, 2021, and absolutely no other moment in time came when King, after a brief welcome, confided, “I have to be honest, if things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis, I might have traded in my heels for marching boots.” The upheavals of recent times felt close to the surface, with speeches that addressed “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-return-of-mass-shootings”},”gun violence”],”, “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/tag/police-brutality”},”police killings”],”, and racial equity. Five years ago, the Academy was “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/shakeup-at-the-oscars”},”scrambling to respond”],” to the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, and it has since made far-reaching efforts to diversify its membership. Not only was this year’s ceremony full of firsts, including the first woman of color to win Best Director, the first acting winner from Korea, and the first Black winners of Best Makeup and Hairstyling; the cutaways to international participants in Paris, Berlin, Kilkenny, and Seoul made the Academy feel more global than usual, much like the virtual roll call at the Democratic National Convention displayed the breadth of the country.”],[“p”,”There were aesthetic decisions, too, that seemed designed to kick your grandpa’s Academy to the curb. Instead of sweeping orchestral music, we had “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/11/12/the-rhythm-in-everything”},”Questlove”],” in a d.j. booth, setting the whole thing to a funky, laid-back beat. (His choices could be pleasingly nonsensical, like playing Brad Pitt on to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.”) The point was to loosen things up, but the night-club atmosphere just as often seemed airless and cramped, as audience members craned their necks to see presenters positioned in odd corners. If you’ve ever been to a Hollywood set, you know how flimsy the “movie magic” is, and the Oscars, minus their scope and grandeur, felt at times like an open mike at a weird new night spot that’s open only during the day. (Elton John, hosting his annual viewing party remotely, complained that the venue looked like a Starbucks.) It took a while to acclimate to the speed and scale of the whole thing. When Emerald Fennell won the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxS4-EVhN2E”},”first award”],”, for her screenplay for “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/how-promising-young-woman-refigures-the-rape-revenge-movie”},”Promising Young Woman”],”,” her breathless excitement—a totally normal response to winning an Oscar—felt out of proportion with the casual vibe. (She was also the one who name-checked Zack Morris.) Winning an Academy Award is only as big and meaningful as what we invest in it, and that, too, seemed up for grabs.”],[“p”,”For all its invention, the telecast was often unbearably dull. This isn’t a new thing for the Oscars, but you found yourself missing certain long-despised elements. As it turns out, play-off music isn’t the worst thing in the world, and it might have spared Daniel Kaluuya’s mother from having her reproductive powers aired for public consumption. Instead of clips of the represented films, many of the categories substituted tidbits about the nominees’ first jobs or earliest film memories, part of Soderbergh’s promise to make everyone a “character.” There were some fun, oddball ones (“,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/03/25/guys-guy”},”Derek Cianfrance”],” once took pictures of dogs to put on coffee mugs!), but the films themselves got a little lost. And the absence of goofy medleys or talk-show-style comedy bits left the show starved for humor—until, at twenty minutes to eleven, we were plunged into an Oscars-trivia game hosted by Lil Rel Howery. Chaos! At least it gave us the Glenn Close “Da Butt” moment, which, delightful as it was, seemed contrived to create a meme.”],[“p”,”It was a good rebound for Close. She had lost the Best Supporting Actress award to Yuh-jung Youn, who plays the grandmother in “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/minari-reviewed-a-strangely-impersonal-tale-of-a-korean-american-boy-in-arkansas”},”Minari”],”.” Youn has been a nice, prickly presence during awards season, and she gave “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syrGt0fpffY”},”the best speech of the night”],”, full of backhanded compliments, expertly deployed. “Mr. Brad Pitt, “,[“em”,”finally”],”,” she said to her presenter (and an executive producer of “Minari”). “Where were you while we were filming in Tulsa?” Then she assured her fellow-nominees, “I have just a little bit luck, I think, maybe. I’m luckier than you.” Youn, a veteran Korean actress, seemed pleased to be honored by the Western film world, but also as if she might forget her Oscar statuette on the plane ride home. Her speech was just what the evening needed: mischief.”],[“p”,”Three hours in, as we were just getting the hang of the mellow pop-up Oscars, things went haywire. The “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/oscars-spotlight-the-2021-nominees-for-best-picture”},”Best Picture”],” award was presented third to last, a tear in the Academy space-time continuum. The win by “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/12/07/economic-ruthlessness-on-the-open-road-in-nomadland”},”Nomadland”],”” wasn’t a surprise, though it did introduce into the proceedings the character of Frances McDormand, who always likes to “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/frances-mcdormand-makes-the-oscars-weird-again”},”throw a wrench”],” into the Oscars. Right after Best Picture, McDormand won “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/oscars-spotlight-the-unusually-wide-open-actress-races”},”Best Actress”],”, and used her “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8Pyu00FAd8″},”short speech”],” to suggest an Academy karaoke night. By then, it was clear why the producers had reordered the final awards: to end on the late “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/the-lived-in-grace-of-chadwick-boseman”},”Chadwick Boseman”],”, who had already closed out the In Memoriam montage and was widely expected to win “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/oscars-spotlight-the-2021-nominees-for-best-actor”},”Best Actor”],”, for “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/12/21/reimagining-august-wilsons-ma-raineys-black-bottom-on-the-small-screen”},”Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”],”.” But the attempt to gin up an emotional Hollywood ending backfired. “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/anthony-hopkins-remembers-it-all”},”Anthony Hopkins”],” won in an upset, for his (wonderful) performance in “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/08/anthony-hopkins-rules-the-screen-in-the-father”},”The Father”],”.” He might have softened the shock with a gracious acceptance speech, like the “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftUGtsdSXeU”},”one”],” he gave in 1992, for “The Silence of the Lambs”—but he wasn’t there, so the ceremony was left with a “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDQbZf962Fk”},”truncated ending”],” more in line with the finale of “The Sopranos.””],[“p”,”Next year, presumably, we’ll be back to the auditorium, back to the live orchestra, back to the gloss and the glamour. Or maybe the Oscars will never be quite the same. But we’ll likely remember the pandemic Oscars much like the pandemic itself: as a surreal aberration that was disjointed and long, mothered invention, messed with our sense of time, and made us long for certain customs while also revealing how disposable they were in the first place. The Oscars, like the world, are headed somewhere, but the destination is unclear. No wonder they took place in a train station.”]]],”canonicalUrl”:””,”categories”:{“tags”:[{“id”:”5c2e1c9641e4c73c088d7796″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Academy Awards”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”academy-awards”},{“id”:”5c2e1c962bc86f2c9a2449d2″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Oscars”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”oscars”},{“id”:”5c2e1d8ee56e652c902747b7″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Steven Soderbergh”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”steven-soderbergh”},{“id”:”5e306853a5be110008e2ea00″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Coronavirus”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”coronavirus”},{“id”:”5c2e1c772bfcc72cd92d051f”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Movies”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”movies”},{“id”:”5c2e1e882bfcc72cd92d070e”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Frances McDormand”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”frances-mcdormand”},{“id”:”5c2e20c9c1c40c2ca0b54cbc”,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Anthony Hopkins”,”parent”:[null],”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”anthony-hopkins”}],”sections”:[{“id”:”590411aa6870945b4d262380″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Culture”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”culture”,”children”:[{“id”:”5907ef01ebe912338a371720″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[{“id”:”5907ef01ebe912338a371720″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Culture Desk”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”culture-desk”},{“id”:”590411aa6870945b4d262380″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Culture”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”culture”},{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”}],”name”:”Culture Desk”,”parent”:[{“id”:”590411aa6870945b4d262380″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Culture”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”culture”}],”photos”:{},”root”:{“id”:”5afc81ab371770228fe7e770″,”modelName”:”category”,”collection”:”categories”,”contributors”:{},”hierarchy”:[],”name”:”Channels”,”parent”:null,”photos”:{},”root”:[],”slug”:”channels”},”slug”:”culture-desk”}]}]},”channel”:”Culture”,”contentSource”:”web”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Michael Schulman”,”type”:”author”,”title”:”Michael Schulman, a staff writer, has contributed to The New Yorker since 2006. He is the author of “u003ca href=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062342843″>Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streepu003c/a>.””,”email”:””,”bio”:[“div”,[“p”,”Michael Schulman, a staff writer, has contributed to “,[“em”,”The New Yorker”],” since 2006. His Profile subjects have included the actor “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/10/28/adam-driver-the-original-man”},”Adam Driver”],”, the playwright “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-first-theatrical-landmark-of-the-trump-era”},”Lynn Nottage”],”, and the comedian “,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/02/03/james-cordens-do-over”},”James Corden”],”, and he has written more than a hundred Talk of the Town pieces, on subjects including Pee-wee Herman, Carrie Fisher, Pedro Almodóvar, Emma Thompson, and the inventor of the everything bagel. He is the author of “”,[“a”,{“href”:”https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062342843/?ots=1&slotNum=0&imprToken=98b99315-c184-80cf-5b7&tag=thneyo0f-20″},”Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep”],”,” a “,[“em”,”Times”],” best-seller.”]],”social”:[{“network”:”Twitter”,”handle”:”MJSchulman”}],”url”:”/contributors/michael-schulman”,”image”:null}],”dek”:”Daniel Kaluuya bewilders his mother, Frances McDormand howls like a wolf, and Yuh-jung Youn finally meets Brad Pitt.”,”hed”:”The Most Surreal Moments of the Pandemic Oscars”,”inlineEmbeds”:{},”issueDate”:””,”ledeCaption”:””,”modifiedAt”:”2021-04-26T13:46:38.478Z”,”photos”:{“tout”:[{“id”:”6086c022b54efcbdbecddd18″,”modelName”:”photo”,”collection”:”photos”,”aspectRatios”:{“2:1”:{“width”:2560,”height”:1280,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“height”:1280,”width”:2560,”x”:0,”y”:0}},”duration”:null},”2:2″:{“width”:581,”height”:581,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:1125,”y”:89,”height”:581,”width”:581}},”duration”:null},”16:9″:{“width”:2560,”height”:1440,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“height”:1440,”width”:2560,”x”:0,”y”:0}},”duration”:null},”4:3″:{“width”:2276,”height”:1707,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“height”:1707,”width”:2276,”x”:142,”y”:0}},”duration”:null},”1:1″:{“width”:1242,”height”:1242,”override”:false,”modifications”:{“crop”:{“x”:839,”y”:18,”height”:1242,”width”:1242}},”duration”:null},”master”:{“format”:”JPEG”,”url”:”https://cn-copilot-media.s3.amazonaws.com/public/tny-services/production/2021/04/26/6086c022b54efcbdbecddd17_Schulman-Oscars.jpg”,”width”:2560,”height”:1707,”duration”:null}},”caption”:[“div”,[“p”,”Daniel Kaluuya’s acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar was, like the rest of the 2021 awards ceremony, a departure from protocol.”]],”altText”:”Daniel Kaluuya accepting his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor”,”credit”:”Photograph courtesy AMPAS / ABC”,”filename”:”Schulman-Oscars.jpg”,”revision”:5,”tags”:[],”title”:””,”variants”:{}}]},”promoDek”:”Daniel Kaluuya bewilders his mother, Frances McDormand howls like a wolf, and Yuh-jung Youn finally meets Brad Pitt.”,”promoHed”:”The Most Surreal Moments of the Pandemic Oscars”,”pubDate”:”April 26, 2021″,”related”:[],”rubric”:{“name”:”Culture Desk”,”url”:”/culture/culture-desk”},”seoDescription”:”Michael Schulman writes about the 2021 Academy Awards ceremony, or the “pandemic Oscars,” which was co-produced by Steven Soderbergh, and at which Frances McDormand, “Nomadland,” Yuh-jung Youn, Daniel Kaluuya, and Anthony Hopkins all took home prizes.”,”seoTitle”:”The Most Surreal Moments of the Pandemic 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