Welcome to our newsletter highlighting The Economist’s best coverage of the pandemic and its effects. On Monday we published the first edition of “The Jab”, a weekly podcast covering the race to vaccinate the world against covid-19. In the opening programme, we ask how well the vaccines will work, whether enough will be made and how many people will take them.
On February 14th the British government met its target to vaccinate 15m people by the middle of the month. The campaign has started to show results, in reducing cases, deaths and hospitalisations, but ministers remain cautious about lifting lockdown.
In China, by contrast, the roll-out of covid-19 vaccines has been slower than planned, owing to production bottlenecks and a perceived lack of urgency. China is second only to America in terms of the absolute number of shots it has administered but just 3% of people in China have received a jab, compared with 17% of Americans.
Children in the Philippines have not left their homes in almost a year, even as quarantine restrictions have been loosened for working-age adults. The authorities fear they will give their grandparents covid-19.
To stop the spread of covid-19 people all over the world have forsaken the handshakes, pats, squeezes and strokes that warm daily interactions. Forsaking the sense of touch in this way has made the world realise the importance of human contact.
Our Bartleby columnist considers when people might return to the office. Surveyed employees think they are likely to repopulate their desks in June but that may be optimistic.
In our sister magazine, 1843, you will find a guide to the emerging new lexicon to describe the world’s increasingly on-screen lives. As the virus re-shapes our lives, make sure you know the right words to use.