Desperate Measures

On the great lengths we go to help others, and ourselves, when it's needed most.

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The King Who Ordered a Quarantine to Flatten the Curve 4,000 Years Ago

Little was known about the mystery disease that was ravaging the ancient kingdom of Mari. But King Zimri-Lim knew the key to stopping it was social distancing — and no small amount of patience.


Waging War On Rats in Sub-Antarctic South Georgia

Yeon Woo Asked His Best Friend to Kill Him. He Said Yes.

A Korean tourist is found dead near Disneyland, lying in a puddle of his own blood. The story only gets more twisted from here.

One Man’s Daring Escape from Mao’s Darkest Prison

In 1958, thousands of Chinese citizens were sent to brutal labor camps where escape was impossible—but that didn't stop one man from trying. Now, his story is finally told.

She Killed Her Abuser Before He Could Kill Her—Then Served 17 Years. Now She’s Taking on the System.

A proposed New York State law could offer justice to women who fight back against abusive partners. Kim Dadou is doing everything she can to make it a reality.

Could I Ever Abandon My Disabled Son?

A newspaper article about a woman who left her quadriplegic son in the woods horrified me…and also had me wondering where my own limits lie.


Inside the Mind of a Die-Hard Prepper

Hazmat suits? Check. Emergency food rations and 30,000 seeds for planting? Check. Meet a New Yorker who has spent $25,000 ensuring the survival of his young family.


Where Were You, When Men Were Men?

The 911 Operator Who Needed Her Own Lifeline

Years of fielding constant calls from strangers in harrowing situations left one first responder stricken with PTSD, attempting suicide and wondering why there’s no safety net for the people who talk others back from the edge.