What happens when a pandemic meets a heat wave

CityLab Daily

Crises converge: A familiar danger is complicating pandemic-fighting efforts in U.S. cities: the heat. The grocery stores and cooling centers where people have gone to cool down in summers past are suddenly hazards, outdoor testing centers have become unbearable for staff, and household energy bills are spiking as Americans stay home and run their AC. Meanwhile, some of the hottest cities are also the ones where the outbreak is at its worst, contradicting the belief espoused by President Donald Trump and others that the virus would simply "go away" in the summer heat.

In many ways, the heat lays bare the unequal toll of the virus, Linda Poon writes. The groups disproportionately affected by Covid-19 — the elderly, households in low-income areas, the homeless — are also those most vulnerable to heat waves, which kill more Americans than any other type of extreme weather. Extreme heat also has the potential to make Covid-19 symptoms worse and put further strain on hospitals dealing with surging cases and low capacity. Today on CityLab: How Extreme Heat Makes Covid-19 More Deadly

-Alex Wittenberg

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What we're reading

  • We're publishing thousands of police discipline records that New York kept secret for decades (ProPublica)
  • Cities in bind as turmoil spreads far beyond Portland (New York Times)
  • A brief history of dangerous others (New York Review of Books)
  • California's air pollution cops are eyeing Uber and Lyft (Wired)
  • America's looming primary-care crisis (The New Yorker)
  • How trees can help us fight a pandemic (Mother Jones)


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