And so we’ve finally arrived: the first of three presidential debates in what feels like—if in fact it isn’t—the longest election cycle in American history. It’s been at least eleventy-thousand years. (Fact check: true and, at the same time, false.) For the first time, former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will be on stage together. And the anticipation is killing us. No, really, the official US death toll from Covid-19 topped 200,000 last week, and the West Coast is on fire. Will Chris Wallace ask about Trump’s taxes? Did he add climate to his list of debate topics after an online uproar? Will Wallace ignore demands that Trump’s people reportedly made not to mention the Covid death toll? Time and patience, dear readers. To ease the anxiety and maybe the sense of isolation, our correspondents will be live-tweeting the debate; scroll down to see their commentary. And, if you’re up for it, you can watch the debate here too.

Post-debate update: Follow our debate night crew on Twitter. And come back next week, Wednesday, Oct. 7, for the first and only vice presidential debate.

— Anna Hiatt