Will coronavirus erase the stigma of sick days?

In the world’s richest nation, it is both a tragedy and a symbol of a morally bereft system that hundreds of millions of workers don’t have paid sick leave.

Latest Ideas headlines


In bad times (like the coronavirus pandemic), every dog is a ‘very good dog’

As dogs help us weather the emotions of a global pandemic crisis, we should reconsider what we owe them

How to take a great hike when you can’t stray far

Urban rambles are restorative if you embrace the exotic and find creative ways to challenge yourself.


Revisiting an old treatment for infectious disease: Fresh air

A century ago, a surprising remedy for the Spanish Flu emerged from a series of tents on Corey Hill just off Washington Square in Brookline.

50 Words

Social Studies

Big Number

Postcard from China: Life goes back to normal(ish)

My city is bustling again, though it’s easy to spot things that have changed because of COVID-19.


A quarter million Americans could die from the coronavirus. Maybe more. How do we absorb that much death?

The United States is about to endure a collective trauma unlike anything in recent memory.


Dear Bernie Sanders: Enough already

Sanders appears to be holding out hope that if for some reason Biden falters or falls ill the party will turn to him. Don’t count on it.


Iran is reeling from the coronavirus. How has the US responded? With sanctions.

The “maximum pressure” campaign is cruel and self-defeating


Coronavirus should make us rethink our food supply, changing our focus to locally-sourced

A positive side effect of the pandemic: Demand for local food is through the roof.


The lesson of the coronavirus pandemic? Competence matters

We were told Trump would hire “the best people.”

The crucial next frontier in coronavirus testing

Big Number: 117,962

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‘The strong get stronger’: The coronavirus pandemic will exacerbate some of the most worrisome trends in American life — unless we take action

Crises don't wipe the slate clean. They elevate existing tendencies.


Protect health care workers from the coronavirus so they can protect the world

Dr. Adaora Okoli survived a battle with Ebola six years ago. Now she worries about health care workers exposed to COVID-19.


The November election is in jeopardy — save it with mail-in voting

Congress needs to fund a rapid overhaul


Coronavirus deaths in Italy: US should find ways to better honor the dead

The absence of ritual burial breaks something that is deeply ingrained in the human spirit.


What we might lose

One of the most difficult things I've had to do to help “flatten the curve” is explain to my 6-year-old that she had to stop giving out hugs.


The coronavirus epidemic, like those before it, will alter the course of history in ways we can’t imagine

As an archaeologist, I know that events we can’t control shape the future in ways we can’t imagine, for better and for worse,

Understanding what works: How some countries are beating back the coronavirus

WITH EUROPE AND the United States locked in deadly battle with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, a number of countries that were hit early by the virus are doing a far better job of beating it back.

Social Studies

50 Words



What's the difference between "quarantine" and "isolation?"

A doctor’s coronavirus challenge: reimagine the ventilator

Hacking together cheaper, simpler breathing machines could save the day in hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19.


Take away Trump’s microphone

Cable news networks should stop airing Trump's coronavirus press conferences live, as long as he continues to lie and spread misinformation.


Why will a coronavirus vaccine take so long?

Even though experiments on COVID-19 vaccines have already begun, it could be dangerous to rush the steps that remain.

Test your knowledge of non-virus news

What else is going on?


Bring back the NBA: The case for sports amid the coronavirus epidemic

In this time of isolation, sports could help create a sense of togetherness.


The coronavirus pandemic is a failure of imagination

It’s not just policy failures that got us to this point. It’s an inability to conceive of planetary threats.


America’s botched response to the coronavirus is a problem bigger than Donald Trump

This is an American failure.


There’s plenty of toilet paper — so why are people trying to hoard it?

The economics of panic buying.


An intimate portrait of the coronavirus

A biologist turns painter.


Lexicon: ‘Pandemic’

The weightiest word in the world


50 Words

A true story about Boston in 50 words.


A coronavirus cautionary tale from Italy: Don’t do what we did

Many of us were too selfish too follow suggestions to change our behavior. Now we’re in lockdown and people are needlessly dying.


To survive the coronavirus, the United States must tighten up

It's not just about medicine. It's about culture.


Maybe more of us should live in public housing

Housing complexes that are beautiful, economically diverse, and owned by all of us could be the answer to a crisis in Boston and other cities.


Another president, another mishandled pandemic

In the 1980s, President Reagan reacted to the AIDS pandemic with indifference. President Trump has reacted to the coronavirus pandemic with incompetence.

50 words

A simple way to keep workers — and the economy — from getting sick

Social Studies

This week's round-up of interesting studies.

Big Number: 19 percent


Donald Trump’s coronavirus advice just might kill us

COVID-19 is a threat not just to our health, but to our democracy.

Immigration policies will make the pandemic worse

A Boston primer from ideas

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/09/03/BostonGlobe.com/Special/Images/Boghosian_Future%20Boston2_IDEAS-217--90x90.jpg Welcome back!

For those new to the city and those returning after a summer break, here’s a tour of the geography, history, culture, and language of Boston through recent stories from the Ideas section.


The cover for the April 5 2020 issue

The cover for the March 29 2020 issue

The cover for the March 22 2020 issue

The cover for the March 15 2020 issue