Social Distancing Is Not Going Away

Jack Kurtz/ZUMA

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Just a reminder in case you haven’t absorbed enough bad news over the past few weeks: epidemiologists expect COVID-19 to return in the fall even if we successfully stamp out the current outbreak by the end of spring. This means that after a few months of respite, we will be adopting social distancing measures again later this year. There’s no telling when, but I’ll bet it will be at the first hint of a new outbreak.

Among other things, this means we need to be prepared with another huge rescue package. This time, since we know it’s coming, hopefully we’ll be ready. There are plenty of kinks in the package we passed last week, which is understandable for a first try passed in record time. By fall, however, the states should have their unemployment insurance systems running more smoothly; the small business loan package can be tweaked to avoid delays and bank problems; and medical supplies will have been fully stockpiled. We’ll be old hands at this, but only if we spend the summer planning for it.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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