The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how a disease can reveal an underlying sickness—and in America, that means our failure to provide universal health care, our marginalization of immigrants and others, and our devaluation of the caring work that makes lives possible. But it has also revealed another basic truth: Our economy is fundamentally built on social connection. Without the ability to gather in shared social spaces—restaurants, airports and hotels, sports arenas, offices—our economy has experienced truly astounding and unprecedented shocks, and the speed of the recovery will depend on how quickly we can safely congregate again.
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