The bad response and politics quickly led the COVID-19 to spiral out of control in the United States and today, the deadly respiratory disease has been linked with the death of more than 600,000 people in the country.
The good news remains that the country continues to push to being fully re-opened as more than 310 million people have been vaccinated against the deadly virus.
The pandemic which prompted a swift action by government authorities to enforce lock down and social distancing throughout the country has changed the way people work and the general way of life in the country.
Many businesses are now being conducted online while religious activities and even wedding ceremonies were being conducted online.
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As the country is preparing to return back to full normalcy, many continue to grieve those they lost to the pandemic. A good example would be an artist who planned to create a collage of images of those that lost their precious lives in her community as a result of the pandemic.
“There will be no tears – not even happy tears,” said Ali Whitman, who will celebrate her first wedding anniversary in August by donning her gown and partying with 240 vaccinated friends and family members in New Hampshire.
According to her, she nearly lost her mom to the disease. She spent her wedding day last year with 13 people in person while an aunt conducted the ceremony via Zoom.
“I would be remiss not to address how awful and how terrible the past year has been, but also the gratitude that I can be in a singular place with all the people in my life who mean so much to me,” said Whitman, 30.
As of Monday, the US CDC announced the country has passed 600,000 COVID-19 deaths with the number accounting for a 15% world’s total coronavirus fatal cases which is about 4 million according to a Reuters tally.
With more people in the US getting vaccinated either fully or partially (one dose), fatalities has dropped drastically which is a good news especially considering how horrible the disease devastated the entire country.
“We’ve all lived through this awful time, and all of us have been affected one way or another,” said Erika Stein, who has suffered from migraines, fatigue and cognitive issues since contracting COVID-19 last fall. “My world flipped upside down in the last year and a half – and that’s been hard.”
Stein, 34, was active and fit, working as a marketing executive and fitness instructor in Virginia outside Washington, D.C., before the initial illness and related syndrome known as long-COVID ravaged her life.
Like many, she has mixed feelings about how quickly cities and states have moved to lift pandemic restrictions and re-open.
The pandemic also led to a serious hyperinflation in the country as there are less production while the country continues to bail its citizens out during the lockdown with stimulus checks.
‘FOR MY FAMILY, THERE IS NO NORMAL’
Many people lost those dear to them to the coronavirus which has caused a lot of anger and resentment at the system which caused the disease to spiral so much.
“New York City is going back to quote-unquote ‘normal’ and opening up, but I can assure you that for my family there is no normal,” said Noboa, who lives in Queens, an early epicenter of the U.S. outbreak. She is vaccinated but still wears a mask when she is out, and plans to continue doing so in the near future.
She lost her grandparent to the disease and about 14 of her 17 family members were infected by the coronavirus and up till now, the effects still devastates her emotions.
Aviles, 23, lost two close friends to the virus, and her father nearly died. And yet, here she was, greeting family she had not been able to see for 15 months as the pandemic raged.
“I’m grateful, but it’s a lot,” she said. “It’s a strange feeling to be normal again.”
More people are still grateful for still being alive despite the horrible effects of the pandemic which had sent the entire world online.