Contents Issue 288 June 2020

Up front 1 Editorial 6 Contributors 8 Letters plus ’ cartoon strip

Opinions 10 Westminster’s virtual insanity 11 Human suffering, political payoff 12 Shakespeare and the plague

AT LAW 13 Criminalising the everyday

VIEW FROM SWEDEN 14 The boring coronavirus radicals

SPEED DATA 15 Lopsided lockdown

THE DUEL 16 Is it more important to save younger lives?

Cover story

The dawn after the darkest hour 18 From the Black Death to coronavirus, by way of the trenches What 700 years of catastrophes tell us about navigating this crisis— and emerging stronger plus

26 A patchwork planet The way we’ve stitched globalisation together is all wrong. Covid-19 is a moment to remake it

32 Who is the WHO? The world’s health body is under attack by leaders who would have done better to heed its advice


36 Passing the test How Germany fought back against Covid-19 while the UK floundered

42 The new ministry of food Why did the government hand over food security to the supermarkets?


PROSPECT PORTRAIT Infinite possibility Bernardine Evaristo’s long journey to Booker glory

54 In search of sleep Why we crave it—and how it’s sold to us