Our picks of the best of the internet; now coming to you from Lockdown Lite.
What might the new New Zealand look like, post-Covid? This thoughtful feature from New Zealand Geographic’s Rebekah White with photographs by Brett Phibbs paints an intimate picture of the experience New Zealanders have shared on lockdown, and outlines three possible futures we could face in coming months. Will the virus breaks loose again and wreak havoc in a deprived community? Will we endure months of an uneasy truce with cases kept at a minimal ebb? Or could we return to a kind of normality with complete eradication – albeit a battle-scarred kind of normal?
Six weeks ago Zoe Ahwa Walker was the editor of Fashion Quarterly, to which she’d been bringing an upbeat freshness and focus on sustainability during her 17-month tenure. Now, as one of the many journalists laid off after the closure of Bauer Media, she knows first-hand how the virus has brutally laid bare long-standing issues in the fashion industry and those scaffolded around it. In this piece for The Spinoff, she explores how a new state of sustainability might necessarily arise in the wake of the pandemic.
Chef Gabrielle Hamilton has run the legendary Prune restaurant in Manhattan for 20 years. In this moving, beautifully written hour-by-hour account of the final days before and after making the decision to close the restaurant and lay off her staff, she details the heartbreaking to-do list of cutting off business relationships of two decade’s standing, battling bureaucracy, dealing with the minutiae of shutdown and finally, sitting in an empty space wondering if in the post-Covid New York food scene there will still be a place for her restaurant.
As noted by writer Jia Tolentino in this piece for The New Yorker, there’s a strip club scene in the 2019 J-Lo film Hustlers that perfectly captures the last, hedonistic moments before the 2008 stock exchange crash. In this extended think piece, the fashion industry’s favourite trendspotting agency Nemesis (aka Emily Segal and Martti Kalliala) captures the 2019 version of that scene, this time set in a restaurant. In it, they outline the ‘experience economy’ that’s come to a sudden, crashing halt, and suggests some hard questions that brands will need to ask themselves as they’re getting up from the floor.
David Quammen is a science writer who’s written many books centred around the often disastrous intersections between human societies and wild nature, including 2012’s Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Pandemic. Here, he discusses the increasing incidences of zoonotic (passing from animals to humans) viruses over the last century, and looks at the big picture of how humanity needs to re-evaluate its multifaceted and complex relationships with natural ecosystems in order to avoid the pandemic experience being repeated.