Our coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic examines the disease's effects on Houston and the surrounding region, both now and once the outbreak is over.

How Houston can become a 15-minute city

Preventive health care as a concept isn’t anything new or exciting, but there are parallels that can drawn from it to both the current pandemic and climate change crises. Early in the time of COVID-19, the U.S. was caught flat-footed in its response — unprepared to successfully track the spread of the disease and unable to adequately protect many frontline health care workers because of personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages. Who wants to spend money to manufacture and stock up on respirators and surgical masks that may never be used?

How will COVID-19 alter today’s house of tomorrow?

The prescient Peter Drucker foresaw privatization, the importance of customer service and the nonprofit sector, and the decentralization of companies (“Do what you do best and outsource the rest.”) The towering figure in the field of business management also coined the term “knowledge worker.” More than 30 years ago — at the age of 80 — Drucker said, “commuting to office work is obsolete.” Drucker died in 2005, so he never saw his work-from-home vision realized.

Hindsight in 2020: Some of the things that helped us cope

Around this time each year, we often look back and say “it was a year to remember.” But 2020 is a year a lot of folks would like to forget. While tempting, that’s really the worst thing we could do. The most we can hope for after this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year is that we won’t ever forget it, and instead, we’ll continue to learn from what has happened. (If you’re wondering how forgetting this year is even possible, just consider the COVID-19 figures in the United States for Dec. 18: 2,815 new deaths and 251,447 new cases reported.