The Plague-Ground — Summer cleaning

My laptop is groaning with articles, videos, and the wave of “stuph” that lands every day from friends who say: “Must see this!”

And I nearly always do. But like you, I’ve had to become a curator of their taste. I’ve learned to always trust Englebert’s judgements, sometimes trust Guylaine and not even open the e-mails from my dear and long-standing friend, Idris.

I’m not complaining. I push “Send” more than I do “Receive.”

So now’s the time to send you the best of what I’ve received. It’s too late for spring cleaning. The pandemic in March was just a tiny shadow of what it is today.

Here then are some people and ideas who caught my fancy and I hope will catch yours.

Enough with the viewing. Now here’s some reading:

Here’s Wade Davis’ opening of a piece to be published soon:

“Never in our lives have we experienced such a global phenomenon. For the first time in the history of the world, all of humanity, informed by the unprecedented reach of digital technology, has come together, focused on the same existential threat, consumed by the same fears and uncertainties, eagerly anticipating the same, as yet unrealized, promises of medical science.”

One of the most poetic and memorable views comes from the Indian novelist Arundhati Roy.

Writing last week in The Financial Times, she concluded:

“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”

Here’s the entire essay, very worth reading, weeping, smiling and… ready to fight for.

Originally published at



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