An unfathomable toll is nearing in the U.S. — the loss of half a million people to the coronavirus.

Each death has left untold numbers of mourners. And each death has left an empty space in communities across America.
The virus has reached every corner of America, devastating dense cities and rural counties alike.

In New York City, one in 295 people have died of the virus. In Lamb County, Texas, where 13,000 people live, one in 163 people has died of the virus.
Some families have moved away from the places that are so painfully entwined with memories.

Karlee Greer recently left the house where her father, Michael Horton, passed away.
Ignacio Silverio and his sister, Leticia Silverio, used to have a ritual of meeting and chatting over coffee in her restaurant in Redlands, California. She died from the coronavirus in August at age 40.
Death rates from Covid-19 in the U.S. are now slowing, but the pandemic has yet to be contained.

“This will be a sad day in our history,” Dr. Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington, said of the milestone of 500,000 deaths.

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More from @nytimes

22 Feb
A month ago, more than 750,000 coronavirus cases were tallied worldwide in a single day. But new cases have declined to half their peak, driven largely by steady improvements in some of the same places that weathered devastating outbreaks this winter.
The lull in places that had many of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks creates an opportunity to keep the virus in retreat as vaccinations begin to take effect. Image
Fewer patients are showing up at hospitals in many countries with the highest rates of infection, giving experts confidence that the decline is real.

More contagious variants — or lapses in control measures — could still bring new spikes in infections. Image
Read 5 tweets
21 Feb
After a year of racial reckonings, Carnival would have brought a much-needed release for revelers around the world. Instead, the pandemic canceled many of these celebrations. We asked would-be partyers about what they missed most.
Carnival’s history is long. In the late 1700s, French colonists in Trinidad began hosting masquerade balls that the enslaved population was banned from attending. Undeterred, the enslaved peoples hosted their own festivals.
Annual celebrations like J’Ouvert in Brooklyn, Caribana in Toronto and Notting Hill Carnival in London are outgrowths of the celebrations in Trinidad, Antigua, Barbados and the Dominican Republic.
Read 9 tweets
21 Feb
As federal prosecutors unveil charges in the assault on the Capitol, they've highlighted two militant groups — the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys — as having done the most premeditation.
The groups differ in their focus and tactics, but conspiracy charges indicate that members of both may have worked together. Of the 22 people charged with conspiracy crimes, 18 were known to have ties to one of those two groups.
More than a third of the militants were also known to have military experience, a far higher proportion than in the crowd as a whole. Of the 31 group members who have been charged so far, at least 11 had a military record. This may have been intentional.
Read 5 tweets
20 Feb
When could the U.S. see the end of the pandemic? A model shared with The New York Times by @PHICORteam sheds some light.

It takes into account:
— Current rate of vaccinations
— Estimates of total infections
— How quickly the virus spreads
These and other factors affect when the U.S. could reach herd immunity — when the virus no longer spreads rapidly through the population.

This chart shows when the U.S. could cross the herd immunity threshold, estimated to be from 60% to 90%.
The “total immunity” line in the chart is only an estimate because it is impossible to know how many people have been infected. What is more certain is the “fully vaccinated” line, which could put the U.S. in the herd immunity range several months later.
Read 6 tweets
19 Feb
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have fallen more than 40% over the last two weeks and more than 70% since the January peak.

Here's what to know about the pandemic in the U.S. this week:
The number of people dying of Covid-19 remains extraordinarily high and the U.S. is likely to reach 500,000 total deaths in the coming days. But reports of new deaths are starting to slow.
Dangerous weather in Texas and other states forced testing and vaccination sites to close. Still, about 12% of people in the country have received at least one vaccine dose, and about 5% are fully vaccinated.
Read 5 tweets
19 Feb
Some of California’s small business owners are pushing to recall Governor Gavin Newsom after their enterprises were ravaged by the state’s lockdowns.
California was one of the earliest states to go into lockdown last spring, and it is now emerging from a second lockdown. That stop-start-stop has created a groundswell of anger toward Newsom that is increasingly fueling a movement to recall him.
Nearly 40,000 small businesses closed in California by September — more than in any other state since the pandemic began, according to a report compiled by Yelp. Half had shut permanently, far more than the 6,400 that had closed permanently in New York.
Read 5 tweets

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