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Fatalism and Vertigo During the Pandemic

Dan Drezner publishes his July 2020 pandemic diary entry, via his Washington Post column.

As July comes to a close, it is time to update the pandemic diary and add some grist to the mill of future social historians. March’s entry was all about fear and anger. April’s entry was fueled by anger and loathing. May consisted mostly of frustration and caprice. June was a reminder of sheer exhaustion. This month is about the vertigo that comes with experiencing a whiff of normality and knowing that it will not last.

Summer in New England has been hot and disorienting. On the one hand, the pandemic has been raging everywhere except here. All of the coronavirus heat maps of the infection rate broken down by state depict the entire country as a sea of red except for New England, New York and New Jersey. In Massachusetts, the large number of health-care workers combined with a citizenry that trusts government health edicts has probably helped. After a very difficult spring, this part of the country has been able to enjoy the fruits of mask-wearing and social distancing.

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