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How the pandemic will end

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The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.

Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, nearly deserted during a sunny lunch hour on March 18 amid the coronavirus outbreak. /Beth Nakamura/StaffBeth Nakamura/The Oregonian

By Ed Yong | The Atlantic

A global pandemic of this scale was inevitable. In recent years, hundreds of health experts have written books, white papers, and op-eds warning of the possibility. Bill Gates has been telling anyone who would listen, including the 18 million viewers of his TED Talk. In 2018, I wrote a story for The Atlantic arguing that America was not ready for the pandemic that would eventually come. In October, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security war-gamed what might happen if a new coronavirus swept the globe. And then one did. Hypotheticals became reality. “What if?” became “Now what?”

So, now what? In the late hours of last Wednesday, which now feels like the distant past, I was talking about the pandemic with a pregnant friend who was days away from her due date. We realized that her child might be one of the first of a new cohort who are born into a society profoundly altered by COVID-19. We decided to call them Generation C.


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  • Published: 2 months ago on March 28, 2020
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  • Last Modified: March 28, 2020 @ 12:44 pm
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