Thursday, December 17, 2020

A pandemic atlas: How COVID-19 took over the world in 2020

 

The Associated Press

Almost no place has been spared — and no one.

The virus that first emerged a year ago in Wuhan, China, swept across the world in 2020, leaving havoc in its wake. More than any event in memory, the pandemic has been a global event. On every continent, households have felt its devastation — joblessness and lockdowns, infirmity and death. And an abiding, relentless fear.

But each nation has its own story of how it coped. How China used its authoritarian muscle to stamp out the coronavirus. How Brazil struggled with the pandemic even as its president scoffed at it. How Israel’s ultra-Orthodox flouted measures to stem the spread of the disease, intensifying the rift between them and their more-secular neighbors.

Spain witnessed the deaths of thousands of elders. Kenyans watched as schools closed and children went to work, some as prostitutes. India’s draconian lockdown brought the rate of infection down — but only temporarily, and at a horrific cost.

At year’s end, promising vaccines offered a glimmer of hope amid a cresting second wave of contagion.

“The winter will be difficult, four long difficult months,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel, as she announced new restrictions on life in Germany. “But it will end.”

Journalists from The Associated Press around the world assessed how the countries where they are posted have weathered the pandemic — and where those countries stand on the cusp of year two of the contagion.  Read more >>