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11 March 2020updated 19 Sep 2023 5:16pm

Postcards from an infected world: Reports from the cities impacted by coronavirus

As public life is shut down, travel is curtailed and economies falter, writers from blighted cities report on the reality of living with the coronavirus epidemic.

By New Statesman

Grace under pressure: how coronavirus is testing the world’s self-image

Stoicism is a part of many nations’ identity, not just Britain’s: can the pandemic be faced with dispassionate resilience?

Life is returning to normal in China, but the costs are yet to be seen

After weeks of quarantine, Shanghai is slowly reopening. Many here say that China is the safest place now: no new cases have been reported in the city for four days.

In Italy, people are staying off the streets. Avoiding hand gestures is harder

Italians braced themselves for the worst, and they were right. Now that the lockdown has been extended to the entire country, people are despairing over the harsh measures.

When coronavirus erupted in China, many predicted Taiwan would be among the worst-hit nations. But thanks to the government’s fast reactions disaster seems to have been avoided – and public confidence restored.

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Can the EU operate with just a virtual capital?

 As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the EU institutions rises, there is speculation that the European Parliament will soon fully shut down.

Once Tokyo smelled of plum blossom, now it is only hand soap 

Coronavirus has hit Japanese exports, and is keeping consumers at home. Shops, bars and restaurants are quiet and Tokyo Disneyland is shut. Any hope that the faltering economy will recover this year is gone.

The virus highlights the deep flaws in the US healthcare system

Twenty-seven million Americans do not have health insurance and many more have insufficient insurance coverage; the US could be sleepwalking into a public health catastrophe.

Germany’s esoteric capital refuses to sign up to coronavirus panic

Berlin is behind the curve. At the time of writing, 48 people here have the virus and the city remains relaxed. I have seen no one wearing a face mask. There have been only limited signs of panic buying.

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This article appears in the 11 Mar 2020 issue of the New Statesman, How the world is closing down