On 21 March the Economist sent out its first newsletter about the process of designing its covers. It said: “This is an extraordinary week to be launching this newsletter because we once again put the pandemic on the cover, for the fourth issue in a row. We have not done that since 2008, when we gave our poor readers six consecutive covers on the financial crisis.”
Here are all the Economist’s covers on the pandemic. (I will update this list as more are added.)
I think these covers are all incredibly clever. I read an article once in which a professional cartoonist said that a good cartoon does more than just describe a situation; it gives some sort of commentary on it. (He was talking about the controversial cartoon about Serena Williams published by the Herald Sun. He said that quite apart from the issue of whether or not it was racist, it was a shoddy cartoon because what you saw was what you got; there was no second layer of meaning.) I think these covers all get that update-plus-commentary technique spot on.