Months before the world was facing an even more imminent threat, while we were talking about climate change, one of my children asked, “If there’s one thing I could invent that would help, what would it be?” I mumbled something about batteries, but then went back to the office and started talking to my colleagues. We ended up creating WIRED’s Climate Issue, which just came out. It’s an optimistic look at what we can do, from redesigning cities to fixing rice paddies to building electric trucks to decarbonizing the shipping industry. And, because of the conversation with my kids, the house we’re living in as we social-distance is now entirely powered by solar.
Of course, in recent weeks, we’ve been working all-out at WIRED to put out the most lucid, digestible, and timely stories about coronavirus that we can. Last month, Steven Levy conducted a Q&A with Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, consulted on Contagion, and has been trying to get the rest of the world to take the threat of pandemics seriously for over a decade. It’s the clearest and most concise summary of where we are and why there is still a bit of reason to be optimistic. We’re providing free access to stories about public health and how to protect yourself during the pandemic. If you’re wondering where to get started, I’d suggest our giant, thorough guides to vaccines, testing, and cleaning yourself and your belongings. We’re also conducting an oral history that captures this terrible moment as it happens. Senior Correspondent Adam Rogers has also produced stellar work recently, deftly explaining all you need to know about chloroquine and why Singapore has done so much better than the US in thwarting the pandemic. I’ve been sharing a few of the best reads on coronavirus every day on Twitter and LinkedIn, and I did an hour-long conversation with Adam, answering questions from Wired newsletter subscribers, that you can see and read here. (Also, props to Larissa Grollemond, a curator at the Getty, who, on Twitter, identified the mysterious painting in my Zoom background.)
And there are some good stories too if you need a respite from obsessing about the apocalypse. This month’s piece in The Atavist, by Max Blau, is an incredible story about Joy Fishman, whose husband invented naloxone and whose son died of an overdose. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee recently published a captivating piece about India’s most-wanted terrorist and his role in the ongoing situation in Kashmir. In Outside, Kathryn Miles writes about an unsolved boat fire mystery.
Elsewhere, Alex French went long on the illustrious and ultimately tragic life of intelligence guru Gus Weiss. Rubert Kunzig and photographer Luca Locatelli imagine what it would take to convert to a circular economy and what the world would look like without trash. And Emily Nussbaum profiled the elusive Fiona Apple.
Lastly, I loved this interview with Mike Smith, the running coach now working with Olympic medalist Galen Rupp. His remarks, though technical in places, include kernels of advice valuable even to those who wouldn’t know which direction to loop around a running track. “Part of resilience training,” Smith says, “is your ability to navigate what you can control, what’s a distraction, thinking traps or places you could talk yourself out of, what you need to do.”
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