New York Letter

A Failure of Nerve

This is supposed to be a New York letter, but since New York is closed for business, I am “sheltering in place” in a semi-secure undisclosed location wondering how long this nationwide wave of hysteria will last. As I write, Australia has but sixty-one deaths attributed to the new coronavirus that China bequeathed to the world, courtesy of a biological research laboratory in Wuhan. The United States has had about 20,000, nearly half in and around New York City. That may seem like a lot, but let’s put that number in perspective. In the first place, the annual fatality rate…

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