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One year, 400,000 deaths from coronavirus: how the United States guaranteed its own failure

New president Joseph R. Biden Jr. has said he will reaffirm a federal strategy to bring the virus under control, including a call for everyone to wear masks over the next 100 days and a coordinated plan to expand delivery of vaccines. “We are going to handle the hell of this operation,” Biden said Friday. “Our administration will lead with science and scientists.”

The strategy signals a change from last year, in which the Trump administration largely delegated responsibility for controlling the virus and reopening the economy to 50 governors, fracturing the nation’s response. Interviews with more than 100 health officials, political and community leaders across the country, and a review of state government emails and other records provide a more complete picture of all that went wrong:

  • The severity of the current outbreak can be attributed to the rush to reopen last spring. Many governors acted quickly, sometimes acting over the objections of their advisers. Nationwide reopenings have resulted in a surge in new infections that have grown over time: never again would the country’s average fall below 20,000 new cases per day.

  • Science has been sidelined at all levels of government. More than 100 state and local health officials have been fired or resigned since the start of the pandemic. Leading scientists in Florida offered their expertise to the governor’s office but were marginalized, while Gov. Ron DeSantis turned to Dr. Scott W. Atlas, an adviser to Trump, and others whose views have been adopted in conservative circles but rejected by many scientists.

  • While the president publicly downplayed the need for masks, White House officials privately recommended that some states with worsening epidemics require a face mask in public spaces. But records show at least 26 states ignored White House recommendations on masks and other health concerns. In South Dakota, housekeeper Kristi Noem bragged to her political allies that she didn’t need masks even as her state was in the midst of an epidemic that has become one of the worst in the country.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said states have faced tough choices in balancing the virus – often hearing competing voices on how best to do it – and said Mr Trump left them without political support which they needed as they urged the public to accept the masks. and social distancing. “The most important thing that would have made a difference was the clarity of the message from the person at the top,” Polis said in an interview.

The pandemic has indeed been accompanied by significant challenges, including record unemployment and a dynamic disease that continues to circle the globe. Without a national White House strategy, it is unlikely that any state could have completely stopped the spread of the pandemic.

But the majority of deaths in the United States have since come as the strategies needed to contain it were clear to state leaders, who had an array of options, from ordering masks to targeted closures and increased testing. Disparities emerged between states that took restrictions seriously and those that did not.

America now represents 4% of the world’s population, but accounts for about 20% of deaths worldwide. While Australia, Japan and South Korea have shown that it is possible to reduce the number of deaths, the United States – armed with wealth, scientific prowess and global power – has emerged as the world leader: they now have one of the highest concentrations of deaths, with nearly many deaths being reported as in any other country.

Spring

The country once had the chance to embark on the path to defeat the virus.

There had been many missteps in the beginning. The United States failed to create a large testing and contact tracing network in January and February, which could have identified the first cases and possibly curb the crisis. Then cases exploded silently in New York City, as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio waited crucial days to shut down schools and businesses.

Thousands of lives could have been saved in the New York metropolitan area alone if measures had been in place even a week earlier, the researchers said. Driven by the spring rush, New York and New Jersey have the nation’s worst death rates to date.

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A world tour of a record year

2020 was effectively tied with 2016 for the warmest year on record, with global warming linked to greenhouse gas emissions showing no signs of slowing down.

Siberia and the Arctic were among the warmest regions. The heat fueled forest fires that pumped more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Temperatures in the Siberian city of Verkhoyansk reached a record high of 100 degrees Fahrenheit in June, more than 30 degrees above average.

The heat was also felt in Europe, which experienced the hottest year in its history and experienced searing heatwaves until September.

The surface cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean, which began in the second half of the year, has hardly offset the heat elsewhere.

In central South America, warming and drought triggered forest fires that burned a quarter of the vast Pantanal wetland.

In the United States, the warming has been greatest in the northeast and southwest. The drought has spread to half of the country.


This analysis of global temperatures, carried out by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA and released on Thursday, found that 2020 was slightly warmer than 2016. But the difference was insignificant, said institute director Gavin Schmidt, in an interview.

“In fact, it’s a statistical equality,” he says.

Other analyzes released Thursday, one by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and another by Berkeley Earth, an independent research group in California, found that 2020 was slightly colder than 2016, just like the one released last week by the Copernicus Climate Change Service in Europe. But the difference was small enough that it was not statistically significant.

With the 2020 results, the past seven years have been the warmest since modern archiving began almost a century and a half ago, Dr Schmidt said.

“We’re now very, very clear on the underlying long-term trends,” he said. “We understand where they come from. This is because of the greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere.

The planet has warmed by more than 1 degree Celsius (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1800s, when the spread of industrialization resulted in increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. greenhouse, and the pace has accelerated in recent decades. Since 1980, warming has averaged about 0.18 degrees Celsius (about 0.32 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade.

But the numbers are only a small part of the story. As climatologists predicted, the world is seeing an increase in heat waves, storms and other extreme weather conditions as the planet warms, and disasters such as droughts, floods and wildfires. that result. The past year has offered no respite, with record fires in Australia and California, and severe drought in central South America and the American Southwest.

Some climatologists had thought that the arrival of cooler sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean – part of the recurring global climate phenomenon called La Niña – would squeeze temperatures this year. It is difficult to quantify the influence of La Niña, but it is clear that any effect has been overshadowed by the rise in temperature linked to emissions.

La Niña only appeared in September and grew stronger a few months later. La Niña’s climate impact tends to peak several months after the waters of the Pacific have reached their coldest point, so it may have more cooling effect in 2021.

When La Niña is factored in, “you don’t expect a banner year” in 2021, Dr Schmidt said. “But another year in the top five, and one that is clearly part of a series of very hot years that we have had,” he added.

Dr Schmidt said his team and others have studied the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on temperatures in 2020. Lockdown orders and the economic downturn have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 10% in the United States only, according to a recent report.

Such a reduction does not have an immediate effect on temperatures, Dr Schmidt said, and emissions will likely rise again as the pandemic subsides and the global economy returns to normal.

The biggest short-term effect, he said, could be the reduction of some transport-related pollution, including exhaust emissions of nitrogen oxides, as driving has declined during the pandemic.

Nitrogen oxides form aerosols in the atmosphere that reflect some of the sun’s rays, which would otherwise strike the surface and be re-emitted as heat. Even a slight reduction in these aerosols would allow more sunlight to reach the surface, generating more heat that would be trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases.

Dr Schmidt said efforts were underway to quantify the effect over the past year. “The numbers aren’t important,” he said, but they may have played a role in making 2020 a banner year.

“The warming associated with aerosol reduction can be history,” he said.

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New year, new drama in New York schools

Will New York City keep schools open for young children and people with the most complex disabilities, even as the number of viruses increases? The answer remains uncertain as the political battle lines have been redrawn this week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that the state would drop its plan to close schools if the positivity rate reached 9% under state parameters, leaving the decision to local leaders. And Mayor Bill de Blasio said the 190,000 or so children who attend school in person should have the option of staying there: “The safest place in New York, of course, is our public schools.”

But the city’s teachers’ union, which previously partnered with the mayor to support opening classrooms, said schools should close if virus rates continue to rise.

“I get frustrated when they keep changing these policies,” said Michael Mulgrew, union president of the United Teachers’ Federation, in a TV interview. “All it does is cause more fear and anxiety, and it’s going to lead to a fight.

The change means New York City could be in a disruptive showdown between the union and city hall, like in Chicago, where hundreds of teachers challenged a city order to show up at school buildings this week.

A quick word on the numbers: New York and New York State calculate the test positivity rate in different ways. According to the city, its positivity rate is already over 9%; depending on the state, it is just over 6%. The union wants to close schools if the city reaches the 9% mark calculated by the state. (Yes, it’s unnecessarily complicated.)

The test positivity rate at the city’s school is low, but it is increasing: in December, 0.67% of tests were positive, up from 0.28% until the end of November.

And as our colleagues Eliza Shapiro and J. David Goodman report, around 700,000 students in the city have already chosen to learn from home full time, so the latest political battle may be largely unrelated to their own. families. Many children who attend school switch to hybrid mode or face sudden quarantines that force them to resume distance learning for days or weeks.

This means that distance learning is extremely important, even if parents and teachers complain that it was dealt with after the fact. Thousands of children still do not have reliable devices or Internet access. And time is running out to save the most brutal and frustrating school year in recent memory.


Once upon a time, before the internet came into our pockets, there was public educational television. Now, in the pandemic, teachers are back on television, trying to engage children stuck in the doldrums of distance learning.

For some families, the programs complement the online courses. For others, they play a more critical role: reaching students who, without reliable Internet access or laptops at home, have been left behind. (Not everyone has a computer, but 96% of Americans have a working TV, according to Nielsen.)

Educators also say the programs have helped children form deep connections with the teachers they see on screen. This type of relationship, so common in classrooms, can be difficult to replicate through distance learning.

“Students can focus on the lesson, on a bigger screen and with a comfortable stand,” said Melinda Spaulding Chevalier, a former TV news anchor who introduced the concept to her local Fox channel in March.

The programs have popped up across the country. A little air on weekends or after school. Elsewhere, districts have set aside time to watch it during the school day.

“They’ve got Dora and ‘Blues Clues’ and all that, but they’re people,” said Latoya Pitcher, whose 4-year-old son Levi is a devoted fan. “That’s what they lost with the shelter there: seeing people every day.”


  • Colleges across the country have delayed their spring schedules at the last minute or have chosen to start the spring semester with full distance education.

  • the University of California San Diego installed 11 free self-test kit vending machines on campus.

  • Greg Gard, the men’s basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin, postponed the game scheduled for Sunday against Penn State University. “I couldn’t honestly look at my parents and their players and say, ‘I’m confident in the environment we’re going into,'” Gard told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • A good read: Thanks to strict regulations, Dartmouth College kept infection rates low. But, Emily Lu reported for The Dartmouth, the student newspaper, “Some students and parents worried that regulation came at a cost to mental health, because collecting rules meant that many students had overcome the pandemic by largely alone.

  • Governor Kate Brown of Oregon is pushing for a return to classrooms by February 15, before many teachers and other key staff received the vaccines.

  • A director in Kentucky got a commercial driver’s license so she could drive students to school after the school’s only bus drivers contracted the coronavirus.

  • In memory: Jamie Seitz, elementary school physical education teacher and high school coach North Carolina, died of coronavirus. He was 51 years old. “He made the worst athlete and the best athlete in a class feel equally special,” wrote his friend Scott Fowler, sports columnist for The Charlotte Observer, in a moving tribute.

  • A good read: Last month, Slate plunged deep into tensions in Brookline, Mass. Over the reopening debate. It’s a long article, but perhaps the best we’ve read on the “Nice White Parents” dynamic during the pandemic.


Tiya Birru, a high school student, wrote a brutal article in YR Media about life in distance learning.

“Even though I’ve been in distance learning for months, studying online isn’t easier,” Birru wrote. “In fact, it’s getting even more difficult for me.”

Birru interviewed two peers about their experiences.

“I feel like I’m letting everything go until the deadline to finish it,” said Leroy Yau, a senior in Oakland, Calif. “I’m just not really motivated by seeing other people’s screens.”

“I’m completely exhausted,” said Ilana Drake, a senior in New York City. “And I know there is seniority. But I think the exhaustion is from being on Zoom all day.

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A new year, less dramatic?

On politics A new year, less dramatic? Not a chance! At least not yet. This is your morning advice sheet.By Giovanni Russonello

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‘Year of the revelation’: runoff follows pandemic, protests and testing of Atlanta promise

Whenever someone tries to hit Nikema Williams for not being from the city, she responds that her story is inherently Atlantean. Ms Williams, who was elected in November to the former seat of Representative John Lewis in Congress after his death last year, grew up in Smiths Station, just above the Chattahoochee River in Alabama, raised in a house without interior plumbing.

As a student at Talladega College, a historically black small school in Alabama, she and her friends traveled to Atlanta to shop and party. Ms Williams, a Democrat who recently served in the state Senate, saw black elected officials, business leaders, artists and civil rights activists. “You have seen black people fully live out the promises of this country,” she said.

“I moved here without knowing a soul,” Ms. Williams said, “but I was able to get involved, get engaged and find my way.” But, she added, “we still have a long way to go.”

A gap has always existed between the aspirations of the “Atlanta Way” and the lived reality of many residents.

“Atlanta is unique and in this special way,” Ms. Lee said. “And yet, let’s be clear when we think about what that means: we have this reality, and some sort of hype and PR campaign – and they’re separate things.”

A series of events this year shed new light on the divide.

One evening in May, after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police custody sparked protests across the country, crowds in Atlanta smashed windows in downtown businesses, vandalized the CNN Center and set a police car on fire. “What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told a press conference, which was repeatedly broadcast on local television and radio stations.

The protests took on new strength after Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, was shot and killed by Atlanta police. Officers had been called to a Wendy’s parking lot where, according to authorities, Mr. Brooks fell asleep in his car in the driveway. The town’s police chief, Erika Shields, has resigned and the officer who shot Mr Brooks has been fired and charged with murder.

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Happy New Year

Would you like to receive The Morning by email? Here is the inscription.

Last night, mostly in muted celebrations, people around the world said goodbye to a tough year and rang 2021. We hope your evening has been meaningful and enjoyable in its own way.

We are reducing it a bit today. Below, of course, you’ll have the latest news, and some reading that can brighten up your day. (There’s some llama news!) We also have some tips on how to keep your resolutions for 2021 if you have them. One thing to remember: don’t be too hard on yourself.

A morning reading: Search groups, infrared drones and sniffer dogs deployed to Westchester County, New York, this week. They were looking for Gizmo, a missing llama.

Modern love: A novelist sets out on a five-week first date – on a ship bound for Antarctica.

Lives lived: Born in London and raised on Long Island, Daniel Dumile – the masked rapper better known as MF Doom – has died at 49. Growing up imbued with early hip-hop influences, he built a lasting underground fan base with his offbeat pun and comic-book persona.

The ones we lost: From the pandemic to the protests for racial justice to the Supreme Court, the news of 2020 seemed to be shaped by death. Articles by William McDonald, Times obituary editor, and Daniel J. Wakin, who edits The Times obituary project, Those We Lost, review the year.

New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to keep. Most people give up theirs in February, studies show. So here are some tips if you’re determined to set – and achieve – a goal in 2021.

Make it precise and realistic. “Resolutions tend to be too big without considering whether they are practical or even possible,” says colleague Tara Parker-Pope. The resolution to “exercise more” is vague, but the resolution to add five or 10 minutes to each workout is measurable.

If you find yourself recycling a goal from years past, ask yourself why it wasn’t met. “The ‘I’m going to lose weight’ resolution doesn’t solve the underlying problem of why your diet isn’t as healthy as you want it to be,” says Tara. “Maybe the resolution should be, ‘I’m going to stop buying packaged snacks and fruit and veg snacks instead.’”

Take it easy on yourself. If the thought of setting lofty resolutions seems overwhelming, break them down into smaller but still satisfying goals. “It’s always important to celebrate that you are working to make positive change,” writes the Times’ Christina Caron.

Consider turning a positive change from 2020 into a longer-term habit. The pandemic will still shape much of 2021. But even after it’s over, you might want to take inspiration from the new habits you’ve developed, whether it’s cooking healthier meals or spending more time on kids. personal care. “These things were all in the foreground during the pandemic,” Tara says. “We have to keep them in post-pandemic life.”

Today, issue a seven-day challenge from Tara and her colleagues in the Well office to help develop positive habits in 2021 and beyond. Today’s challenge is to make gestures of gratitude – like giving bigger tips to delivery people or messages of appreciation to friends – a regular part of your day. Sign up for the Well newsletter to receive the next challenge in your inbox.

The Spelling Bee pangrams of yesterday were hotline and neolith. Today’s puzzle is above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.

Here are today’s mini crosswords, and a hint: Julie Andrews’ role in “The Sound of Music” (five letters).


Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. David Leonhardt is back on Monday. – The morning team

PS A new year fact, courtesy of @NYTArchives: The New York Times invented the Times Square Ball Drop in 1907.

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This year the midnight drag queen arrives at 9 p.m.

Joe Schroeder, owner of a bar in Key West, Florida, was faced with a dilemma.

For 23 years, its New Years Eve tradition in the southernmost city in the continental United States has drawn thousands of people from around the world who flock to see this tourist city’s version of the ball drop in New York City: a drag queen named Sushi, who descends from an eight foot red stiletto at the stroke of midnight. But people were dying all over the world, and to help end the scourge locally, the city known for its alcohol-infused nightlife has imposed a dreaded 10 p.m. curfew.

Hotel bookings across the city have fallen by at least 10%. The party seemed doomed.

Watching comedian Red Skelton for wisdom, Mr. Schroeder moved the midnight celebration to three o’clock.

“Just like it’s 5pm somewhere, we say, ‘It’s midnight somewhere,’” Mr. Schroeder said. “It’s New Year’s Eve somewhere in the world at 9pm, I’m thinking of the Canary Islands.”

In fact, it is South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands, a British territory in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Much to the dismay of many would-be revelers, the shoe and its dazzled occupant have been moved to the back of the Bourbon Street Pub, and the 9pm shoe show will take place in front of a private audience paying for tickets of around 200 people.

Mr. Schroeder stressed that the people count will allow a great social distance, as the outdoor site can accommodate more than 1,000 people.

“Some people hate the idea, and some people like the idea,” said Gary Marion, 53, the female impersonator who makes the front page of the show every year. “I guess no matter what, there will be people in town. There will be alcohol, whether it is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. or 2 a.m. ”

Mr. Marion started working at the pub as a janitor in the 1990s. His job description grew to include curtain sewing and drag performance. The first New Years Eve event featuring him as a Sushi took place in 1997 and included hostile visits by police and a robed town commissioner, who was dragged out of bed to determine to what it was.

Mr. Marion now runs a drag queen cabaret every night across the street. He passed the pandemic tailoring masks to help support the drag queens during the lockdown, when the bar was closed. It closed again for two weeks last month, when at least five of the 14 drag queens contracted the coronavirus, he said.

For the New Year, Sushi will wear a hand-embroidered 1920s Chinese ceremonial dress, which Mr. Marion has cut and reused.

“The shoe has to continue,” Mr. Schroeder said.

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How we got through and what we missed most: lessons from a pandemic year



Here are, and below, some of the Times readers’ submissions of images that most touched on the pandemic to them. The photos above are of Carol, Antonella DeCicci, Reshma Thomas, Susan Smith, Kathy Rebhan and Florence Silberman.

It has been a time of isolation and illness, of new habits and new lessons, of heartbreak and hope. As this pandemic year draws to a close, we asked people to describe, in their own words, what they had learned, how they had grown up, and what they regretted about the last year.

Below are some responses to a survey of 500 adults from across the country, conducted for The New York Times by Dynata, a data and survey company.

It will be years before we know how much this experience has transformed us. But the answers give an idea. People were reminded of the importance of the great things in life, such as family and faith, but also of the small pleasures, such as music, bird watching and dark chocolate. In their suffering, they searched within for strength, finding it in deep breathing and creativity. They felt sorrow, cynicism and fear. Yet, they were sustained by the power of friendships and impressed by how quickly scientists developed vaccines.

Many people have gone through the year eating or drinking too much – potato chips, homemade sourdough bread, and bourbon – or getting lost in screens. Others raised chickens, took to running and overpowered, or failed, Zoom. Some have worked in healthcare, retail, and schools, amid masks, face shields and plexiglass dividers.



What vice did you turn to to get through the days of the pandemic?

TIC Tac

Bourbon

My Juul

Twitter

Religion

My shrink

Almond Roca

Sleeping tablets

Dark chocolate

Biting my nails

Hershey’s kisses

Too much to count

Terrible Netflix Shows

Blue corn tortilla chips




What new skill have you acquired this year?

To face

Italian

Juggling

Raven pose

Self-epilation

The ukulele

Change diapers

Chicken farming

How to stay sober

Python programming

Vegetable gardening

Making scrunchies by hand

Caring for Covid patients

Make necklaces from old buttons




What’s the best buy you made during the pandemic?

Roomba

Disney +

Platoon

MAGA hat

A violin

Lip gloss

Tesla share

Waffle iron

Firearms and ammunition

Outdoor fireplace

Resistance bands

Trans Pride Socks

A weighted blanket

Food disinfectant spray

A trampoline for my children

Classic stamps from the 20s to 30s


Some people have spent the year at home, much of it alone. When asked what advice they would have given each other last March to get through the year, several said they wished they had found a way to be physically closer to family or friends for the duration.

Many people cried, remembering lives lost without kissing or gathering with family members – saying goodbye as they were walked away in garages or cemeteries or via video.

When asked what they didn’t want to forget about the year, one person replied, “Things don’t matter; people do.”


Photos by Audra Jones, Vivian Wolkoff, Connor, Nicole McAfee, Michelle Russell and Elizabeth Rosen

The pandemic has permanently changed many people, disrupting lives with the legacy of disease, loss of loved ones and economic disaster. On a smaller scale, he changed old habits and changed outlook. This precipitated breakups and marriage proposals. It caused people to re-evaluate their priorities – returning to religion or reconnecting with family – and swearing to give up what they were doing, whether it was going out dancing, drinking soda or arguing with them. their spouse.

Responding to a question about what they were doing but not doing it again, one person said, “Take people for granted” and another said, “Don’t love myself”. Others hope to return to their old ways as soon as possible.



If you could come back last March, what tip would you say to yourself to survive the rest of the year?

Buy Bitcoin

It is aerial

Plant a garden

Get a therapist

Pray more often

Find a job and quickly

Leave my girlfriend

The vaccine is coming

Talk more with grandparents

Be patient. God is in charge.

Invest heavily in the stock market

Move to Alaska and stay close to your family

No one will help you. You are alone.

Write to your friends. You need them and they need you.

Do everything you can to take shelter with someone else

Get a full refund for canceled trips instead of a 125% credit




Is there something in your life that you did before the pandemic but won’t do in the future?

Overwork

Drink soda

Dancing in clubs

Work for someone

Trust the politicians

Run in the morning

Don’t do my homework

Stay in bad relationships

Complain so much about work

Being with my significant other

Losing my temper with my husband

Fight a lot with family members




What’s one thing you don’t want to forget about this year?

Exotic joe

The kindness of strangers

How many people are stupid

I want to forget everything

How much i love my girlfriend

How vulnerable our democracy is

Surviving Covid Hospitalization

The people I knew are dead

I am more resilient than I thought

Being with my boyfriend while it lasted

How easy it was to get lazy and gain weight

Gratitude for having only had a mild case of Covid


Overall, people have shown signs of extreme stress. About 40% said their mental health was worse now than before the pandemic – more than the 12% who said it was better (the rest said it was about the same). Four in ten respondents also said they felt more vulnerable to difficulties, and the same proportion said they felt more distant from their friends.

Several firearms have been named their most valuable pandemic purchase. Others said that they had lost confidence in certain friends or politicians, or that they wanted to forget everything about the year.

But many were also surprised by their own adaptability and strength. Some cited a renewed faith in religion, increased attention to nearby natural and architectural beauty, and the joy of close family relationships and personal milestones.

“I am more resilient than I thought,” wrote one respondent. “There is always light at the end.”

We asked The Times readers: What photo on your filmstrip most evokes or captures what pandemic life looks like to you?

In hundreds of photographs submitted by readers of The Times, people have captured great moments like weddings and births, as well as more mundane moments like crowded home offices and greetings through windows. They filmed moments of contemplation and mourning, strangely empty monuments and beaches, and triumphs of craftsmanship and cuisine. They documented transformed childhoods.




Fifth Avenue during rush hour William Isler, New York



Dating, six feet away Isa Mazzei, Denver



Weekly sisters’ evening Anne Winthrop, Cranford, NJ



Driving test Annie McGhee, Seattle



Do more puzzles Diane Korach, Brooklyn, New York



A pandemic pedicure Ina Hansson, Portland, Ore.



A good analogy Brooke Sadler, St. Louis



Eat solo Judy O’Kelley, Chicago



A mainly canine social circle Elena Meredith, Austin, Texas



A typical school Sze Sze Yockey, Coralville, Iowa



A haircut in the garden Grace Dessert, San Diego



My form of meditation Sherry Steiner, Housatonic, Mass.



Visit through the window Sarah Obed, Fairbanks, Alaska



My son at the NICU Sadie Kenny, San Jose, California.



School zoom Irina Kalika, San Francisco



Pumpkin picking Jordan Kohl, Salt Lake City



Be crafty Ulrike Pasternak, Nevada



Roll on Suzanne Hemphill, Sacramento



Our wedding day Morgan Bae, Beverly, Mass.



New indoor leisure Damon Motz-Storey, Portland, Oregon.



Protest Crystal Gerise Herndon, Lincoln, Nab.



A winter walk Liz Manlin, Philadelphia



First day of school Rebecca Saltzman, Brooklyn, New York



Day before diagnosis Loan Nguyen Pryor, Los Angeles



See “Tompa and Yaya” Taeko Frost, Sacramento



Work shoes Amanda Glickman, Queens, NY



Cousins ​​visit Carissa Holloway, Muncie, Ind.



Virtual classroom Jessica Pelfrey Vincent, Dry Ridge, Ky.



Visit of the grandchildren Patricia Jablonski, High Springs, Florida



We miss them too Nonnie Wilson, Portland, Ore.



Halloween party Jamie Seiberlich, Mundelein, Ill.



Zoom failure Michael Bostick, Los Angeles



Grandfather’s funeral Laura McLaughlin, Columbus, Ohio



Be 93 years old on FaceTime Jennifer Li, Brooklyn, New York



Dressing for the doctor Erin Taylor, Nashville



Together Sara van Os, New York



Entrance house Misty Lee Heggeness, Damascus, Md.



Trunk picnic Cheryl McBay, Boulder, Colorado.



I really smile Kay Davis, Louisiana



Make breakfast less boring Danielle Tanner, Rustburg, Virginia.



Thanksgiving for two Tirtza and Benji Strauss, New York City



Alone, but in peace Jacqueline Koch, Adrian, Mich.



Family life Donna Rasin-Waters, New Paltz, New York State



Sing prayers Tiffany Hlaing, New York



Grandparents visit Ashley Showell, Los Angeles



Waiting for the train 1 Hana Slevin, New York



Kindergarten Maribel M. Mohr, Boonton Township, NJ



Sunset wave Simon Tolman, Minneapolis



Cat birthday party Victoria Barranco, Brooklyn, New York



Knife and fork Jeremy Porto, Alexandria, Virginia



Practice wearing a mask Claudia Lutz, Illinois



Read detective novels aloud Alan Paschell, Calais, Vt.



Row in front of Trader Joe’s Jack Lannamann, Durham, NH



Garbage Can Fire Lights Cris Waller, Portland, Oregon.


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2020: the year of visual stories and graphics

In a year with so many world-shaking moments, our strongest visual stories have covered Accused, epidemic, caucus, primary, donations, delegates, to close, works, death, cough, hospitals, test, George Floyd, protests, tear gas, dreams, nursing homes, police, the election, stimulus, symptoms, Beirut, Power, The Supreme Court, ballots, Forest fires, Trump’s taxes, prove, swing states, masks, results, IA, changes of voters, USI, pollution and vaccines. 2020: the year of visual stories and graphics.

By the New York Times December 30, 2020

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Death turned in a year and what lies ahead

But he was first and foremost a sports figure, and dying so early in 2020, he became the first in a parade of sports idols who have risen from the scene this year. Within six weeks, Major League Baseball lost what appeared to be an entire wing of its Hall of Fame: Tom Seaver (another Covid victim), Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford and Joe Morgan. The Green Bay Packers have lost four mainstays of the team’s glory years under coach Vince Lombardi: Willie Davis, Willie Wood, Herb Adderley and Paul Hornung, all of the Hall of Famers. Gale Sayers, one of the NFL’s greatest running backs, left Chicago lifeless. And Mickey Wright, who some called the greatest female golf player of all time, has passed away at 85.

A fellow coach who rivaled and perhaps surpassed Lombardi for his greatness, Don Shula, died in May still holding the NFL record for total wins, 347. And earlier this month, the medalist Olympian ‘gold and goodwill ambassador Rafer Johnson was gone, his death coming a few weeks after that of the dazzling but troubled Diego Maradona, in all respects one of the two greatest players in football history, the other being his friend Pelé from Brazil.

The competitive sport of politics suffered the loss of John Lewis, who, bloodied but unyielding on a bridge in Selma in 1965, carried the civil rights fight to Congress and never gave up.

Mr. Lewis liked to talk about “making good trouble” the way he did – mixing it with powers that are in the name of a just cause. He was not alone in this. He was accompanied in death this year by two of his brothers in arms – arms crossed shoulder to shoulder – in the struggle for civil rights. In the case of Reverend CT Vivian, the death occurred on the same day he arrived for Mr Lewis on July 17. The Reverend Joseph E. Lowery preceded them in March.

Across the ocean was Betty Williams, who had taken to the streets and corridors of power to stop the violence in Northern Ireland (unrest no one would call good), winning a share of the Nobel Prize Peace. Thich Quang Do, the patriarch of a banned Buddhist church in Vietnam, has been jailed, under house arrest and exiled for decades rather than submit to Communist authorities.

In the United States, the Rt. Reverend Barbara C. Harris, the first woman to be ordained a bishop in the Episcopal Church in the United States, sought to push the doors of the even larger Church hierarchy, to let in more women as well as blacks (like her) and homosexuals. Debra White Plume has spent her life fighting against power – be it government, business or the police – pushing for Native American rights. And activist, journalist and podcaster Monica Roberts told the stories of transgender people one time, 14 years ago, when hardly anyone in mainstream society wanted to hear them.