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Coronavirus

What The Animal Kingdom Teaches Us About Social Distancing

Monkeys, lobsters and even guppies ... They all have an innate understanding that there's only one truly effective way to contain an epidemic.

Mandrills staying at a safe distance
Mandrills staying at a safe distance
Jean-Marc Vittori

PARIS — The pandemic is deep into its second wave. Like a nightmare déjà vu from last spring, hospitals are in danger of overflowing, the health situation forces the politicians to act and the economy risks imploding. Humans of course have experienced this all before over the centuries. But it also looks a lot like what has been conditioning the animal realm forever. Let's look back in time, and elsewhere in nature, to see where we are going.

Like in March, in France as elsewhere, exceptional measures have been put in place that hinder our freedom. The spring lockdown was followed by an autumn curfew and then, starting Oct. 30, another, albeit somewhat lighter, lockdown. The moves have sparked criticisms from their first victims: restaurant owners, gym owners, the entertainment and nightlife world. But inaction was not an option. The government would have faced even more backlash had it done nothing.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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