Your Most Vexing New Coronavirus Questions, Answered

But to build them now going forward, it does seem like you'd have to find a way to be in person with a person, at least for a while. I think that this is one of those things where, we can identify what riskier levels of risk and behaviors are, and you can decide which ones that you're going to assume in a given situation. One of the ways that when public health folks try to understand why Japan seems to have dealt with the pandemic better than other places. One of the ideas here is that they communicated the risk very differently. They didn't do what like the United States did and say, "OK, always masks, wash your hands, be six feet apart. Don't be in crowds ever. Close all those schools. No mass gathering events."

What instead they did is they kept doing most of that stuff, but they said, "Here's what the risks are. So try not to do these things, especially together. Try not to talk to somebody really close up for a long time. Try not to be in a crowded room with a lot of people for a long time." All the stuff that we understand are risky, acknowledging that like they all kind of cross over with each other. I would say here's my guess. It's a guess and I'm not going to be expert in this.

But the risk of being alone to the point where it hurts a lot for people is probably that risk is greater than a risk of like, "OK, you went outside and sat with somebody at the other end of a picnic table for awhile and tried to get to know them." That has its own kind of risks as well, but maybe sometimes those are worth it too.

LG: Well, thank you to both of you for answering so thoughtfully. It seems as though my initial assessment was correct and that I am never going to date again. No, I'm obviously kidding, but it does seem as though we're entering a completely new era of social interaction and I'll keep you updated as I navigate it. We're going to take a quick break when we come back, we'll do very quick recommendations.


LG: All right. Time for recommendations. Megan, would you like to go first?MM: Sure. So this one's a little bit weird. It's actually an audio book. I don't listen to these very often, but kind of relevant to our conversation. I recently had to travel to Atlanta to take care of a ailing family member and they're an immuno-compromised person. So in an effort to minimize risk, my partner and I did the whole 17 hour drive in one shot. With only stops at like parks for outdoor eating.But we listened to this book called Little Eyes, which is by the Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin who is this just amazing kind of surrealistic style of writing. I had read her 2017 debut novella, which is called Fever Dream, which was just wild and kind of messed me up for a while. But her new book is actually this kind of thought experiment on what would happen if an individual could be virtually inserted into the life of a random stranger anywhere in the world?
Kind of the vehicle for this is these little creatures that you feel like if they were real, we would be covering the heck out of them at WIRED, they're called Kentukis. Imagine like a cross between a teddy bear and a cell phone with legs that has a connection to one other person in the world inside of it. You don't know who they are and you don't know anything about them and you have to keep the Kentuki charged. If you don't, the connection is cut and you lose track of each other forever.