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March 12, 2020

When did the Coronavirus get real for you? | Ross Douthat on his new book, The Decadent Society

For some Americans, the Coronavirus just got real yesterday. 

For some it happened when the World Health Organization officially started using the word pandemic. 

For some the moment came when American financial markets officially entered bear market territory. 

For others it was the cancellation of in-person classes at an ever growing number of colleges and universities across the country or the creation of the nation’s first containment zone, complete with a perimeter secured by the National Guard around the town of New Rochelle, New York. 

For others it was the announcement of the suspension of travel from many countries in Europe to the United States for all non US residents or the suspension of any number of concerts, conferences, parades, and festivals from Coachella to South by Southwest to Democratic campaign events. 

For you it may have been the public announcement on Twitter that Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have both been diagnosed with the coronavirus while filming in Australia or the expanded number of politicians and public health officials who are self quarantined because of known exposure to a person who has tested positive.

But for many it was the announcement by the NCAA that the college basketball championship process known as March Madness would happen without fans in the stands – and then the NBA suspended the season until further notice. 

This is real and it is serious. 

We are up to the challenge but it is time to come to terms with the reality that normal is about to change – dramatically – for an unknown period of time. 

Your church is likely going to suspend in-person services. 

Your schools are likely going to close. 

Your hospital is already implementing new visitor protocols. 

The way you work and the work you do may be affected. 

But we are resilient and creative and we will get through this – together. 


In this hour, Carmen talks with Peter Kapsner and then Ross Douthat about his new book, The Decadent Society.




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