A Look Back at Covid-19 in 2020


Image/Graphics by Photo credits: James Gathany

Scientists are still testing and producing vaccines for COVID-19.

Although we are transitioning to a new year, we should first reflect on last year to see what we’ve accomplished along the way.

The first US coronavirus case was called on January 21st. Although it was a new disease, many people played it off like it was nothing. This was a significant problem. On February 3rd, the US declared the coronavirus a public health emergency. This meant that people were supposed to be extra careful around others who could potentially have this disease. Many were scared because of this new sickness.

Along with the mass panic, came the rules of social distancing and mask-wearing. People encouraged others to wear masks, wash their hands frequently, and stay at least six feet apart from others. On February 25th, the CDC said that COVID-19 is heading to what seems like a pandemic state.

In the following two and three weeks, on March 11th, the WHO (World Health Organization) declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. Two days later, Trump stated that COVID-19 was to be treated and known as a national emergency. That same day, he put into effect the first travel ban on non-United States citizens that were coming from Europe.

California became the first state to issue a statewide shutdown, which happened on March 19th. Once this happened, scientists, the CDC, and the WHO started to realize that shutting down local and non-necessary businesses would help stop the spread of this newfound disease. The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act provided two trillion dollars in aid for hospitals, local businesses, and state/government facilities. This act was passed by the Senate on March 26th, and on the following day, Trump signed it into law in order to help financially during the pandemic beginnings. 

On May 12th, Anthony Fauci stated that the COVID-19 deaths reported were a lower number than the number of deaths he believe had happened so far. In the following week, the US covid death toll rose to over 100,000. In the next month, the COVID cases rose to over 2 million. Fast-forward to July 2nd, the States planned to postpone or reverse their reopening plans. As all of this was happening, the coronavirus cases in the US surpassed 3 million. On July 16th, the US had reported that their new record of daily cases was 75,600.

On August 17th, COVID-19 was said to be the 3rd most leading cause of death in the US. Even though this was stated, the US withdrew from the WHO’s global vaccine effort. As cases continued to rise, a newer and more contagious strain of COVID-19 was discovered.  On September 28th, the global COVID-19 death toll rose to over 1 million. On October 19th, COVID cases worldwide surpassed 40 million. Not only that, but the total number of daily cases rose to 100,000.

As we near the end of the year, COVID vaccinations and research have come a long way from where they’ve started. Pfizer and Moderna, (the two biggest vaccine manufacturers at the moment), have both been tested and approved as COVID vaccines. Even though we have been testing vaccines, the US still fell short of its 20 million vaccination goal. Although all of this happened, keeping a positive mind and believing that 2021 will be a better year for us all, encourages happier people and better mental health.