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The Great Anthropause


In this issue of Delayed Gratification we look back on a quarter which saw half the world’s population plunged into lockdown. The effects of such an unprecedented shuttering of human society have ranged from the seismic to the mundane, but few people have been left untouched by the experience.

To help make sense of the Great Anthropause we’ve created our most ambitious infographic collection yet (p024), gathering together government decrees, stock market reports and Google data, not to mention Belarusian football gambling figures, sweatpant sales trends and Netflix viewing habits.

Those whose overriding memories of the period are of binge watching and boredom are the lucky ones. For others, like the estimated 30 million migrant workers in India forced to walk hundreds of miles to avoid starvation, it was a truly bleak and disorientating period – see p094 for our report on the exodus.

But while lockdown dominated the quarter, it wasn’t the only story deserving of our Slow Journalism treatment. In April, criminal networks across Europe were exposed in an audacious technological coup (p014) and ufologists were thrilled by the official release of videos showing unidentified flying objects (p038). Then in May the death of George Floyd unleashed an outpouring of grief and rage, first in his hometown of Minneapolis and then around the world. Turn to p076 for first-person testimony from the early days of a global uprising.

While putting together this edition we were sad to learn of the death of Time Out founder Tony Elliott. Tony was a good friend, a truly inspirational publisher and a great lover of magazines. His advice and encouragement helped make Delayed Gratification possible.

We’d like to dedicate the issue to him, we hope you enjoy it.

Rob and Marcus, editors

A slower, more reflective type of journalism”
Creative Review

Jam-packed with information... a counterpoint to the speedy news feeds we've grown accustomed to”
Creative Review

A leisurely (and contrary) look backwards over the previous three months”
The Telegraph

Quality, intelligence and inspiration: the trilogy that drives the makers of Delayed Gratification”
El Mundo

Refreshing... parries the rush of 24-hour news with 'slow journalism'”
The Telegraph

A very cool magazine... It's like if Greenland Sharks made a newspaper”
Qi podcast

The UK's second-best magazine” Ian Hislop
Editor, Private Eye
Private Eye Magazine

Perhaps we could all get used to this Delayed idea...”
BBC Radio 4 - Today Programme