Two years into the COVID pandemic, the U.S. is grieving a once unthinkable death toll
A million lives lost
March 11, 2020
The World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a global pandemic. In the U.S., weeks after health officials detect the first cases, 36 people have died from COVID-19.
April 2, 2020
One month after the first cases are detected, the virus spreads quickly. Most U.S. states now report widespread transmission and many have ordered residents to stay home.
April 26, 2020
Two months after the first cases are detected, over 50,000 people have died and new cases are rising nationally. Some states like Georgia reopen businesses that have been closed for a month as unemployment rises to levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
May 16, 2020
Three months after the first cases are detected, the country is facing a second wave. Up to one person a minute is dying of COVID as infections peak in the summer. The hardest hit areas in Texas and Arizona are running out of places to store bodies.
September 1, 2020
Six months into the pandemic, the country is still plagued by long lines for testing and a rise in cases adds to uncertainty ahead of an election to pick the next president.
November 16, 2020
Almost a year into the pandemic and a once unimaginable death toll has come to pass. The country is gripped by its third and deadliest COVID surge as the Delta variant sickens millions. The first vaccines are authorized, providing hope to a weary nation.
January 26, 2021
Over a year since the first cases, the elderly and essential workers lined up at mass vaccination sites as many maskless yearend gatherings pushed the death toll higher. At one point in January, more people died from COVID-19 every day on average than were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
March 13, 2021
Thanks to vaccines, new cases fall throughout the spring and summer allowing many families and friends to reunite for the first time in 18 months. Broadway shows return to live performances and workers start coming back to offices.
October 5, 2021
While millions eagerly rolled up their sleeves for vaccines, some workers protested government or employer mandates to get vaccinated.
November 3, 2021
Nearly two years since the first cases, parents are overjoyed to hear that their children ages 5-11 can get vaccinated.
December 20, 2021
The new and more contagious Omicron variant taxes the nation's hospitals and healthcare workers as mostly unvaccinated Americans fall ill and die.
May 11, 2022
The U.S. surpasses 1 million COVID-19 deaths. COVID has become an entrenched part of daily life but all states and most businesses have lifted mask mandates. Many families still struggle with the grief and loss caused by the virus. Over 200,000 children have lost at least one parent to the virus.
Picturing the Pandemic
By Corinne Perkins
Photo editing: Corinne Perkins
Design: John Emerson
Data: Reuters COVID-19 Tracker
Edited by Lisa Shumaker