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27 January 2021

Notes on a crisis

As the UK passes 100,000 recorded Covid-19 deaths, we reflect on a moment of national mourning.

By New Statesman

Phil Whitaker on why we must not allow death on this scale to be neutralised or normalised

As the death toll from the pandemic has risen inexorably over the past year, I have become increasingly disturbed by the caveats – age, and the presence of “underlying health conditions” – that are routinely applied. 

Elif Shafak on the growing risk of numbness and apathy

Paradoxically, amid so much suffering and hurt, grief has become less visible than ever.

David Hare on how lockdown feels less like an interruption, and more like a transformation

I hate to think what it’s like to be young, to have a talent and a purpose, and not to be able to put them to use. We mourn friends, but we should also mourn waste.

Sophie McBain on why we have not yet found a way to mourn loss on this scale

Perhaps the only thing worse than submerging yourself too deeply in other people’s sorrow is to not feel it at all, to seal yourself off.

Rowan Williams on how we are failing the next generation

We are backing away from the scale of change that we face, and from the job of resourcing young people to respond with intelligence, imagination and honesty.

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This article appears in the 27 Jan 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The Lost