The Hannaford Supermarket in midtown Kingston on Saturday, March 21. Photo: Phillip Pantuso
Dear Reader,

Managing editor Phillip Pantuso here. As you may have seen if you have subscribed to this newsletter, The River is collaborating with other local journalists and news outlets to provide reporting and analysis of the COVID-19 outbreak as it happens. The pace of the news has been breathtaking, and we're doing our best to bring you up-to-date, accurate information every day.

But there is a wealth of reading material on this pandemic that isn't pegged to the daily news: service journalism on what you can do to help; deep dives into what we can learn from places like Italy and China; analytical pieces on the outbreak's ancillary effects. This journalism looks at how COVID-19 is affecting life in myriad ways beyond closures, cancellations, and sobering statistics.

Here is our second weekly roundup of some of the best longform reporting, analysis, and feature writing on the coronavirus pandemic.

You can subscribe to The River's COVID-19 newsletter to get all our updates on how the pandemic is affecting the Hudson Valley and Catskills. And if you find the work we're doing valuable, please consider making a donation of any amount today. Every little bit helps us bring you trustworthy journalism.

Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand

By the Imperial College London's COVID-19 Response Team
March 16 | 22-min read | 4,762 words

This startling report compared the COVID-19 pandemic to the 1918 influenza epidemic, and modeled different suppression and mitigation strategies. It warned that an uncontrolled spread of the virus could cause as many as 2.2 million deaths in the US and 510,000 deaths in Britain.

Read more:

What Went Wrong with Coronavirus Testing in the US

By Robert P. Baird The New Yorker
March 16 | 19-min read | 2,280 words

Mistakes in our COVID-19 preparations suggest a much larger problem with the way the United States has structured its pandemic response. That problem was exacerbated by a President who has simultaneously underplayed the severity of the outbreak and overpromised the means available to fight it.

Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful

By Ed Yong for The Atlantic
March 20 | 8-min read | 1,792 words

We've known about SARS-CoV-2 for only three months, but scientists can make some educated guesses about where it came from and why it’s behaving in such an extreme way.

Life in Italian Lockdown After a Tragic Coronavirus Denial

By Vernon Silver for Bloomberg Businessweek
March 18 | 14-min read | 3,021 words

It wasn’t until death rates began to soar that society began to take the outbreak seriously enough.

Italy, Pandemic's New Epicenter, Has Lessons for the World

By Jason Horowitz, Emma Bubola, and Elisabetta Povoledo for The New York Times
March 21 | 13-min read | 2,834 words

The country's experience shows that steps to isolate the coronavirus and limit people's movement need to be put in place early, with absolute clarity, then strictly enforced.

Read more from the Times:

Mass testing, school closings, lockdowns: Countries pick tactics in 'war' against coronavirus

By Jon Cohen and Kai Kupferschmidt for Science
March 18 | 7-min read | 1,640 words

The United States and Europe have stopped hitting the snooze button. After two months of mostly waiting and seeing while the COVID-19 alarm sounded ever more loudly, many countries have suddenly implemented strict measures to slow the spread of the disease.

Ethicists agree on who gets treated first when hospitals are overwhelmed by coronavirus

By Olivia Goldhill for Quartz
March 19 | 5-min read | 1,133 words

Pandemics bring ethical dilemmas into sharp, terrible focus. As healthcare systems are overwhelmed with more patients than they can feasibly treat, medical personnel are forced to decide who should get the available ventilators and ICU beds.

'It's too many.' For the homeless, coronavirus is a new menace in a perilous life

By Hannah Dreier for The Washington Post
March 21 | 13-min read | 2,863 words

In San Antonio and across the country, officials try to contain the spread of COVID-19 into one of the most vulnerable populations.

Inside the National Quarantine Center, There Is No Fear of Coronavirus. There Is Only Urgency.

By Tom Chiarella for Esquire
March 15 | 15-min read | 3,302 words

A reporter was granted exclusive access to the nation’s only federal quarantine and biocontainment center in Nebraska. The people who work there are as extraordinary—and as courageous—as you think they are.

The Race to Finish a Poughkeepsie Hospital

By Ken Stier for The River
March 21 | 7-min read | 1,435 words

The Vassar Brothers Medical Center extension is expected to treat COVID-19 patients as soon as it's ready. But workers say the site is not safe.

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