Before the plague.

[Saptarishi Bandopadhyay] Saturday/Sunday, April 25th-26th, 2020


Virtually no one is happy about the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Many are calling for and convening formal investigations. This is a wise and necessary venture. But exactly what is it to be investigated remains an open question. A public inquiry that limits itself to this government’s visible, in-the-moment, failures—why did the White House task force only discuss testing for a few minutes after each meeting—will shortchange the long term public interest.

Continue reading “Before the plague.”

Litigating Crisis.

[Phillip Paiement] April, 23, 2020

In the first entry to this CoronaJournal, Peer Zumbansen made note of the remarks made by a group of law students during a late-March online lecture. One of their reactions to covid-19, in the context of their legal education, included the consideration of ways to ‘sue China.’ When I read the entry in early April, I felt that the students’ remarks reflected uninformed and reactionary political commentary featured in cable news talkshows, yet I also thought they were very similar to how many students at my law school would respond as well.

Continue reading “Litigating Crisis.”

Compassion fatigue and distancing

[Vanisha Sukdeo] Wednesday, April 22, 2020

As Peer and Priya’s blog allows for us to reflect on the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on our daily lives, I return to a topic I wrote about in my first book published in 2018. I wrote about compassion fatigue which is the notion explored by David Cameron that there is a finite amount of compassion and we can run out of it once that limit is reached. How does this relate to covid-19? Did we care enough when those infected and dying by the virus lived on another continent? Did we only care when the virus crossed the border into our own country?

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Notes on Race during COVID-19

[Priya Gupta] Monday, April 20, 2020

Manifest Disparities told through Figures; or, death by the numbers.

In Louisiana, the state with the fourth highest number of COVID-19 cases (nearly 25,000 confirmed cases as of April 20, 2020), 70% of the deaths are African Americans. African Americans are 33% of Louisiana’s population. The Morial Convention Center in New Orleans has been turned into a treatment center for patients with mild symptoms. You might remember that the Convention center was where people were sent after Superdome was hellishly overcrowded during Hurricane Katrina.

In Chicago, nearly 70% of the deaths have been African Americans. African Americans account for 30% of Chicago’s population.

Continue reading “Notes on Race during COVID-19”

Letter from Delhi

[Utkarsh Agarwal] Sunday, April 19, 2020

I hope that the spread of Corona virus comes under control in the U.S. soon. In India, it is being controlled very well, and strict orders are being implemented every day for social distancing. No movement out of the home is permitted unless absolutely necessary and that only excludes going nearby to buy groceries, medicines and other essentials.

At present, around 16 thousand people are infected in India with the coronavirus, and they are being kept in strict isolation, and unfortunately about 550 people have died.

Continue reading “Letter from Delhi”

Open letter from U.S. legal academics to DHS on the release of immigrant detainees

[Priya Gupta] Wednesday, April 15, 2020

This is an unprecedented time in our nation’s history, filled with uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. But in the time of a crisis, our response to those at particularly high risk must be with compassion and not apathy. The Government cannot act with a callous disregard for the safety of our fellow human beings.

– Judge Hatter, District Court Judge in California

Continue reading “Open letter from U.S. legal academics to DHS on the release of immigrant detainees”

Necessity; Or: The Tyranny of Goals

[Alexander Somek] Tuesday, April 14, 2020


Two days ago, I watched a documentary on how China and South Korea have dealt quite effectively with the Corona Crisis. Seeing what has happened in these societies, one realizes that the imaginary of dystopian films no longer remains fictional. The whereabouts of people suspected to be carriers of the virus is monitored via their smartphones. The police immediately rush out to check private residences if the surveillance system indicates that a telephone might be used outside. Disinfection in special cabins is mandatory before entering buildings. Upon entering, sensors are checking the body temperature. If the temperature is raised, people are taken away for testing. The few people who are permitted to move around encounter medical personnel in protective gear that take every earthly appearance from their wearers. They look like astronauts or aliens.

Continue reading “Necessity; Or: The Tyranny of Goals”


[Simon Archer] Monday, 13 April 2020


It is Easter Sunday in Toronto; in our COVID timeline, we’re about four weeks into the “lockdown”. The last time I posted was April 1, about two weeks ago. The experience of time has slowed down considerably as the lockdown conditions continue, now into week five.

Continue reading “Agency”

Corona’s Distinctions – Numbers, Echo Chambers and Geographies

[Peer Zumbansen] Saturday/Sunday 11-12 April 2020


Maybe it begins with numbers. But, which? Which are relevant, important, more so than others? And what is one to do with them? Numbers don’t lie.

Not an hour, not a minute passes without more unsettling news, each time again from yet another corner of the world. Each time more eye opening and more devastating. The numbers are striking as they continue to ceaselessly and frantically add on and atop previous numbers before being chased away by yet newer, more recent numbers, all together moving as to a metronome on hyper drive. The numbers are overwhelming and unbearable. But, because we see them as signifiers, as indicators, as pointers, as truths, we try to slow them down, process them, unpack them. As we hear and read the numbers, we hope to be able to hold on to them in an effort to make sense of them and of what they stand for. But, how shall we retain them in an effective, let alone doable way in these accelerated, all-and-everything derailing moments of exploding information?

Continue reading “Corona’s Distinctions – Numbers, Echo Chambers and Geographies”