This week, officials in embattled New York City announced, somewhat startlingly, that they would begin construction on a 350-bed temporary hospital inside the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center—the sprawling site of the annual U.S. Open.

It was one of those announcements that could stop you in your tracks. There are a lot of announcements like that these days. It demonstrates how rapidly the pandemic situation in this city is evolving, that a beloved sports campus—a place where Roger and Serena, Novak and Naomi have triumphed,…

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