In the course of one week, the coronavirus has already remade New York, and it’s only the beginning. As New York editor-in-chief David Haskell teased in his recent appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources podcast, the escalation of COVID-19 and the avalanche of closures and cancellations that has followed made it impossible for the magazine’s cover story to be about anything other than the outbreak. For the March 16–29, 2020, issue cover story, Molly Fischer writes about how the coronavirus has slowly saturated daily life in New York City; Josh Barro about why it’s likely to get worse, and what the coming weeks could look like; David Freedlander about Andrew Cuomo, and how the bully governor is meeting his moment; and more.
“Every day of March has felt like an eternity, the news moving faster than anyone even thought possible. In New York City, the psychological temperature has swung wildly, and the low-key eeriness that dominated the beginning of the month now feels like an ancient mood,” says Haskell on what it’s been like covering the outbreak thus far. Though New York’s digital publications have covered the coronavirus from the beginning — documenting how it has played out on a national scale by eroding civic authority, putting 2020 presidential campaigns in limbo, and more — for the magazine’s cover, editors decided to focus on the virus’s impact on its namesake city. “We tried with this cover to document that shift — the way, over the course of a handful of days, the city’s nerves became completely shot, as we all woke up to a nightmare,” says Haskell.
The cover story, along with the rest of New York’s coverage of the virus, will not be behind the site’s paywall and will be free for all readers.
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