I’m looking, with a kind of wonder, at two figures. They stand beside each other but at a distance marked by taped ‘X’s on a supermarket floor. One wears the crumpled loose pants and top of a hospital employee. She could be a nurse, a specialist or a cleaner, but right now she is a shopper – a plastic grocery basket on her arm. The other, also with a full basket, bares a strong resemblence to the politician who saw the bird virus as only an inconvenience until it was too late. Both figures are turned towards me. The distancing separates them. Separates them except for their wings, exuberantly coloured, which cross, appearing to touch, in the space between them. Frozen in that moment, they adorn the latest edition. The New Yorker’s cover artist has nailed it again.

– RH

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