What does “shelter in place” really mean? 

On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a “stay at home” order for the state’s almost 40 million residents, in effect until further notice. On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo followed suit, saying “we’re all under quarantine now.” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to ask residents to do the same starting on Saturday.

All are examples of dramatic action, often called “shelter in place,” in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s worth noting, though, that Cuomo specifically declined to use the words “shelter in place,” saying it caused more panic than was necessary. “Words matter,” he …

How to watch Emma, Onward, and other new movies you can suddenly view at home

The Covid-19 coronavirus threw Hollywood into a tailspin, leading to movie theaters and productions across the country to shut down. With them, movies that had recently opened in theaters (or were hoping to premiere in the coming weeks) were left with dismal box-office results and no road forward.

Hoping to recoup costs while entertaining Americans who find themselves stuck at home, several studios (beginning with NBC Universal) announced plans to rush their films to digital release ahead of schedule. In some cases, they’re releasing them digitally mere weeks after they came to theaters, instead of the customary …

Why lifesaving ventilators will be in short supply for the foreseeable future

In the last few days, you might have heard more about ventilators than you have in your entire life — specifically, a global shortage of them in the face of a pandemic that attacks the lungs. Because of this, some companies that make other products have stepped forward to possibly fill the shortage by using their factories to make ventilators. On the surface, this sounds like an easy, quick fix. It’s not.

Ventilators, simply put, are machines that help people breathe when they can’t breathe on their own. Air is delivered through a tube in the patient’s windpipe into the …