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Coronavirus

The Hard Part About Restarting A Social Life After COVID

Friends, colleagues, countrymen: After many long months of distancing, masks, quarantine, curfews and telecommuting, it's time to get back together. Yet re-socializing isn't as simple as it seems.

People sitting on outside terraces in Paris as restaurants and cafés reopen, May 19, 2021.
People sitting on outside terraces in Paris as restaurants and cafés reopen, May 19, 2021.
Jean-Michel de Alberti

Finally, we can clink glasses again! On April 23, Andrew Pero, who works for an English tour operator, met his colleagues at a pub in London's Mayfair district. Once a mundane activity, gathering together around a pint was a grand occasion for these citizens of a country famous for its drinking establishments. "One year without any contact with them other than via a computer... Of course, it's not as spontaneous as before because you have to reserve a table but seeing each other was essential, especially for those who live alone, which is common in a city like London," said Pero. "We work like a big family and we really missed this very British tradition of going to the pub together."

Elsewhere in Mayfair, multi-starred French chef Hélène Darroze met her London teams for the first time in months. "We were not able to celebrate our third Michelin star with the employees of my restaurant in London. Team bonds are so important to our business! We reopened on May 18 at "Connaught" and we are already fully booked for the next few weeks. It's very encouraging for the restaurant business; We all need to get together around the table," says Darroze.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade: Will It Spark Anti-Abortion Momentum Around The World?

Pro-life activists celebrated the end of the U.S. right to abortion, hoping it will trigger a new debate on a topic that in some places had largely been settled: in favor a woman’s right to choose. But it could also boomerang.

Thousands of people demonstrate against abortion in Madrid

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Shaun Lavelle

The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a constitutional right to abortion put the United States at the forefront of abortion rights in the world.

Other countries would follow suit in the succeeding years, with France legalizing abortion in 1975, Italy in 1978, and Ireland finally joining most of the rest of Europe with a landslide 2018 referendum victory for women’s right to choose. Elsewhere, parts of Asia and Africa have made incremental steps toward legalizing abortion, while a growing number of Latin American countries have joined what has now been a decades-long worldwide shift toward more access to abortion rights.

But now, 49 years later, with last Friday’s landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade, will the U.S. once again prove to be ahead of the curve? Will American cultural and political influence carry across borders on the abortion issue, reversing the momentum of recent years?

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