March 10, 2021
Joseph P. Williams
U.S. News and World Report
When the coronavirus pandemic raced across the U.S. in March 2020, life as we knew it changed almost completely, seemingly in an instant.
Schools and offices shut down to stop the virus from spreading. Hospital intensive care units filled to overflowing with the sick and refrigerated trailers became makeshift morgues. States fought over protective equipment and high-tech ventilators. Grocery store workers became as important – and as stressed out – as emergency room doctors, nurses and paramedics. And a once-in-a-century public-health emergency set one grim milestone after another, passing 500,000 deaths in the U.S., and counting, the highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the world.