• How Pandemics Change the World
    How Pandemics Change the World

    The COVID-19 outbreak will not only have a direct impact on our lives and economies now – the consequences will continue to preoccupy us for several years, if not decades.

  • Working from Home with Kids
    Working from Home with Kids

    getAbstract parents share their experiences and tips – an introduction

  • getAbstract Gets Moving
    getAbstract Gets Moving

    The government shut down the gyms and told us to stay home – and now my neighborhood is full of joggers. Something funny seems to be happening here.

  • “Everything Will Be All Right” – Hopefully
    Gundula Stoll (left): “A woman in our village, who used to sew underwear on contract, has made 100 face masks for everyone […] People have been painting, crocheting and embroidering rainbows with the tagline #andratuttobene - #everythingwillbeallright”
    “Everything Will Be All Right” – Hopefully

    Almost three weeks into the total lockdown in Italy, there may be some hopeful signs hidden in the gloom. Yet when I last wrote about the potential impact of restrictions on people’s overall health, I…

  • Turn a Corner and There Is Hope
    Turn a Corner and There Is Hope

    For the first time in months, we are receiving good news from China: The number of domestic cases of COVID-19 reported there just dropped to zero. So, what is life like in Beijing? And what…

  • Locked Up and Going Loco?
    The same view of the Corso of Spoleto as last week, but in daylight. (Gundula Stoll)
    Locked Up and Going Loco?

    Today it’s day 10 of the total lockdown that has effectively turned all of Italy into a ghost country: Bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses must remain closed, and people are only allowed to leave their…

  • “Let’s Stop This Together”
    Picture from the abandoned small town of Spoleto yesterday evening 6.30 pm - actually peak time for the Passeggiata, when the Spoletini usually walk up and down the street, have an aperitivo, and above all want to see and be seen. (Gundula Stoll)
    “Let’s Stop This Together”

    Italy is the first European country affected by a large-scale coronavirus outbreak – being about eight to 10 days ahead of development in other major countries. What is the current situation on the ground? And…

  • FOCUS: The Decline of Democracy
    FOCUS: The Decline of Democracy

    The think tank Freedom House has published a “Freedom in the World” report every year since 1973. Last week, it released its latest edition – and it recorded the fourteenth straight year of deteriorating freedom.

  • FOCUS: 2019-20 Coronavirus Outbreak
    FOCUS: 2019-20 Coronavirus Outbreak

    Where does the virus come from? How dangerous is it? How can you prevent contracting it? And when will a vaccine be available? Here are the daily updates.

  • Is a Universal Basic Income a Feasible Approach to Forestall a Socioeconomic Crisis?
    Is a Universal Basic Income a Feasible Approach to Forestall a Socioeconomic Crisis?

    Rising inequality, decades of stagnant wages, job insecurity, the fickle gig economy and now automation: these are some of the reasons for the resurrection of an old idea.