Essential Reads

Stay informed with this curated guide to the global outbreak. For official U.S. guidelines and health updates, visit

9 diseases that keep epidemiologists up at night

NPR · 7 min

Just three years ago, on Jan. 30, 2020, the head of the World Health Organization made a landmark declaration: A "novel coronavirus" that had first been identified in China had spread to a degree where it was now a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)."

Immunity debt: does it really exist?

The Guardian · 8 min

The deaths of at least 74 people, including 19 children, from the invasive bacterial infection group A streptococcus, or strep A, are the most extreme consequences of a wave of winter infections that have seemingly left most of the country coughing and sneezing.

Partying Feels Different Now

The Atlantic · 8 min

Parties have always been about hope. After forgoing them for so long during the pandemic, that’s clearer than ever. Parties were never on my mind more than when I wasn’t attending any. I avoided them for a couple of years, and my interest sharpened as a result.

People Are Fed Up With Rapid Tests

The Atlantic · 4 min

At-home swabbing still works just fine, but we can’t seem to escape false negatives. What gives? Max Hamilton found out that his roommate had been exposed to the coronavirus shortly after Thanksgiving. The dread set in, and then, so did her symptoms.

Have I dodged Covid and what does it mean?

BBC · 7 min

It seems remarkable that anyone could. The virus has swept the world since it emerged in China nearly three years ago. Fresh variants have become better and better at infecting us. Even vaccines make Covid milder rather than being an impenetrable shield.