Two Years Of Health Emergency: From ‘In This Together’ To Covid Culture War
As the pandemic calendar flips into its third year of disrupted life — and the U.S. approaches a ghastly milestone of 1 million deaths — news outlets look back on the early days of the crisis and ahead to how covid will next impact the nation.
Pandemic At Two Years: Covid News No Longer Dominates Front Pages
Remember "we are all in this together?" That's what we were saying to each other two years ago this week. Media outlets were shifting into public service mode as the Covid-19 pandemic upended life in the United States. Broadcasters and health reporters were educating the country about terms like "social distancing" and "flatten the curve." No one imagined that some pandemic-era interventions would still be in place two years later — no one, that is, except the public health experts who tried to warn us at the outset. The "togetherness" sentiment lasted about a minute. Arguably it was never true at all. The pandemic exacerbated partisan divides. It accelerated all sorts of things. It changed everyone. Have you thought deeply about how it changed you? (Stelter, 3/11)
In America, A Few Days In March 2020 Echo Two Years Later
The conversations went like this: It will be just a few days. It can be kept at bay. There will be some inconvenience, sure, but the world will merely be paused — just a short break, out of an abundance of caution, and certainly not any kind of major grinding to a halt. Certainly not for two years. Certainly not for hundreds of thousands of Americans who were among us at that moment in mid-March 2020 — who lived through the beginning, watched it, worried about it (or didn’t), and who, plain and simple, aren’t here anymore. (Anthony, 3/13)
After Two Years Of Pandemic Life, A Sense Of Optimism, And Caution
It began, for most Americans, as reports of a “mysterious, pneumonialike illness” in China, buried deep in the news, under Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial and the Democratic primary campaign trail. The reality of the situation would set in suddenly and seismically, on one day — March 11, 2020 — when, in rapid succession, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic; Trump announced a 30-day travel restriction from Europe in a primetime address; the NBA abruptly suspended its season; and Tom Hanks announced he and Rita Wilson had tested positive for the virus. Gradually, and then all at once, life changed: “It’s going to get worse,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told a House committee that day, exactly two years ago today. (Lutz, 3/11)
Listen: What We’ve Learned After Two Years Of The Pandemic
CNN’s Brian Stelter marks the two-year anniversary of the pandemic on his “Reliable Sources” podcast in conversation with KHN Editor-in-Chief Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal and James Hamblin, a former staff writer at The Atlantic. The journalists discuss how society grappled with the trauma of the covid-19 pandemic and the governmental missteps that compounded that trauma. “Everyone has experienced the suffering of the pandemic in his or her or their own way,” said Rosenthal, “and so much of it feels unnecessary had we had a strong national response.” In particular, Rosenthal cited the failure to track health care workers lost on the front line and toxic politics that undermined public health agencies throughout the country. (3/11)
Here's What Could Lie Ahead For The Third Year Of The Pandemic
Things seem to be looking up as the US crosses into year three of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vaccines still do a good job of keeping people alive and out of the hospital. There's increasing access to tests and treatments. The numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are heading in the right direction. If living in a Covid world has taught us anything, however, it's that the coronavirus can surprise even the smartest public health experts, and the world certainly isn't out of the woods yet. A new variant could easily develop and slip past the protection of current treatments and vaccines, setting us back to what life was like in 2020. That makes it hard to predict what happens next week, let alone in a few months. However, based on what they're seeing now, here's what the experts think could happen in the next year of the pandemic. (Christensen, 3/13)
In more news about returning to 'normal' —
Covid Almost Killed Her. As Others’ Lives Return To Normal, She Wonders: Will Hers?
Tionna Hairston was on her third attempt to twist a cap off a bottle of water. It was a Friday morning in late February and the 26-year-old, still in her nightgown, needed to take her medication. The pills have become a part of her daily life since she had a heart attack and multiple strokes — complications of Covid-19. Hairston’s strokes ravaged her fine motor skills, making anything that demands a tight grip a source of frustration. (Chuck, 3/13)
For Kids With COVID-19, Everyday Life Can Be A Struggle
Eight-year-old Brooklynn Chiles fidgets on the hospital bed as she waits for the nurse at Children’s National Hospital. The white paper beneath her crinkles as she shifts to look at the medical objects in the room. She’s had coronavirus three times, and no one can figure out why. Brooklynn’s lucky, sort of. Each time she has tested positive, she has suffered no obvious symptoms. But her dad, Rodney, caught the virus — possibly from her — when she was positive back in September, and he died from it. (Long and Kaster, 3/14)
Pandemic Isolation Left Young Children Behind On Social Skills. How One Cincinnati Provider Is Catching Them Up
The woman fell into tears as she told a children's behavioral health expert that her 4-year-old son was no longer permitted to attend a preschool because he did not behave well. How could she keep working and care for her child? "We have families who literally have had to quit their job," said April Kandil, director of campus-based programs at Best Point Education and Behavioral Health. "They're told, 'Your child can't be in school right now because of their behaviors.'" (DeMio, 3/13)
Anchorage Daily News:
Two Years After COVID-19 Reached Alaska, Many Are Ready To Move On. But The Pandemic Persists.
Two years ago, Alaska identified its first COVID-19 case. Now, as the pandemic enters its third year, many Alaskans are eager to shake off the long pall of anxiety, illness and shutdowns and get back to whatever passes for normal. Most government mandates are gone. Vaccines are widely available for those who want them. Case counts and COVID-linked hospitalizations are down. (Berman and Hollander, 3/13)