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Reflections: How A Year Of COVID-19 Affected America

Betsy Jochum, a former star in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, watches as people wish her well on her 100th birthday.

It’s been a year since the COVID crisis started to dominate our lives. To mark that milestone, our journalists revisited their reporting and collected some significant moments. 

Listen to this story here.

The past 12 months are unlike any other in memory. Everyone in the U.S. has been impacted by this pandemic — in big ways or small ones. We’ve all adjusted in ways that are difficult,  and even the most minor day-to-day sacrifices can become exhausting.

This pandemic has left millions of Americans mourning their loved ones. In February, we crossed the half-a-million deaths mark, meaning that more Americans have died from COVID-19 than in battle in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined.

The Biden administration says there will be a COVID-19 vaccine for every U.S. adult by the end of May — a timeline that has accelerated in recent months. 

Looking forward, it’s unclear how a society will return to “normal” following this unprecedented year. 

Will skyrocketing anxiety and depression rates suddenly fall? Will returning to concert halls and movie theaters feel natural? Will we pretend this past year never happened or will it follow us for decades to come?

Reflections is an initiative by WFYI, Side Effects and Indiana Public Broadcasting to remember the events of the last year. In this first installment, we revisit the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic through the mass vaccination effort. 

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.

Side Effects Public Media

Side Effects Public Media

Side Effects is a health news service exploring the impacts of place, policy and economics on Americans' health.

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