Bookmarked Revenge of the Suburbs (The Atlantic)

There was always comfort to be found in a big house on a plot of land that’s your own. The relief is even more soothing with a pandemic bearing down on you. And as the novel coronavirus graduates from acute terror to long-term malaise, urbanites are trapped in small apartments with little or no outdoor space, reliant on mass transit that now seems less like a public service and more like a rolling petri dish. Meanwhile, suburbanites have protected their families amid the solace of sprawling homes on large, private plots, separated from the neighbors, and reachable only by the safety of private cars. Sheltered from the virus in their many bedrooms, they sleep soundly, dreaming the American dream with new confidence.

Ian Bogost explains how the supposed defects of the suburban sprawl and rejection of mixed-use planning has all of the sudden become a positive.

The existing suburban McMansion might find a new life in the aftermath of the pandemic too. Although critics have deemed these homes aesthetically ghastly, inefficient, and extravagant, many families want the additional space of a suburban monstrosity to accommodate extended family, such as parents or grandparents. Multigenerational living might become even more common as the coronavirus threat and its economic consequences wear on. Colleges are still sorting out whether and how students will return to campus in the fall, and beyond. And recent graduates unable to find jobs, or unwilling to move to them, might return home for indeterminate periods of time. The exurban castle offers lots of space at an affordable price, thanks to its distance from the city.

Bookmarked Now Is the Time to Overreact (The Atlantic)

Sometimes we do things even though they don’t make sense, or even because they don’t make sense, because our tiny minds have proven unable to grasp their consequences. In this case, Americans are not conducting this grand social experiment to make ourselves feel comfortable. We are doing it in the hope that later, and maybe even soon, we will look back and find it unreasonable. In the best-case scenario, as with Y2K, we might even look back and mock it for its excess. The point of overreacting, it turns out, is to overreact: to react excessively, but with reason. If you feel at least a little foolish right now, then you’re doing something right.

Ian Bogost reflects on the response by many Americans. Although encouraged to engage in social distancing, many are still congregating in close groups. He explains that although isolating ourselves might seem extreme, such measures can only be appreciated in the future and must be embraced in faith and hope. This is similar to the arguments of Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Replied to You Already Live in Quarantine (The Atlantic)

Never before in human history has it been so easy to do so much without going anywhere. Cinema box-office receipts fell sharply in 2019, as streaming entertainment became more plentiful and high quality. Apps and games and podcasts and digitally delivered matter of all kinds have followed suit. Now, absolutely drowning in it, the last thing anyone might worry about is getting bored at home.

Ian, this successfully captures why we should not necessarily fear cancelling everything.