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Thanksgiving and the Pandemic (1918 edition)

It’s been a tough 2020 on every level, but crisis is often very useful for clarifying what’s important in life.

This year, I’m particularly thankful for a free press and evidence-based thinking — bedrocks of democracy and a progressive society.

No, these things did not help prevent the pandemic or stop it from getting worse, but without them there would be no hope at all.

As this USA Today story nicely illustrates, the 2020 pandemic is very much like the 1918 pandemic in so many ways.

Then, as now, Americans were divided on how to fight the virus for a variety of reasons (many of them bad). Then, as now, the virus proved indifferent to our opinions.

The right to express opinions without fear is essential to democracy. But so is following the science.

The free press is at its best when amplifying what the evidence tells us, especially when the conclusions are unpopular or even dangerous to those who lead us there.

Thank you to the many journalists out there who have been working so hard this year to track the pandemic and educate the public.