U.S. media reflect on what the 1 million new crown deaths have left the United States

  For more than two years, Americans have endured a pandemic that disrupted plans, brought chaos and desperation, and sickened tens of millions of people.

But there is one group that has been forced to take a different path: the relatives of the 1 million people who have now died from Covid-19 in the United States.

These people have been in isolation, grief and anger.

In dozens of interviews, they recounted how they had navigated the outbreak, from the fear of the unknown in the first few weeks, to the now reopening of the country despite the death of more than 300 people a day.

They all share a depressing feeling that their loved ones have been neglected in a country desperate to make the pandemic a thing of the past.

video call last look

  On confusing days in April 2020, mother-of-3 Laura canceled a 50th birthday party for husband Charlie in Miami.

Charlie, a military veteran, went to the nearest VA hospital after contracting Covid-19.

"There was so much fear, confusion and doubt," Laura said, and her death from her husband lingered in her mind.

  The afternoon Laura took her husband to the hospital, she parked in the parking lot and failed to make it to the emergency room.

A nurse walked to the car and handed her husband's mobile phone, wallet, watch and other personal belongings.

"I can't leave," Laura said.

When night fell, her phone rang and the nurses showed her to look in the direction of the ward, and they turned the lights in Charlie's room on and off to let Laura know which room it was.

Three weeks later, Charlie died.

Laura was asked to enter the ward wearing full protective gear.

"They won't let me touch him. I don't know the temperature of his body." She stood by her husband's body and made a video call to the children to give them a look before their father's body was transported away.

Almost got vaccinated

  In Kerrville, Texas, the Maindales knew a Covid-19 vaccine was on the horizon as the holiday season neared the end of 2020.

There is reason for optimism, suggesting that a country fed up with death and chaos will soon begin to emerge from the pandemic.

  But the virus didn't stop spreading.

When Physician's Anand Mayndale started feeling ill over the Thanksgiving weekend, he contracted Covid-19.

"I remember Dad telling us, 'I'm so excited that a vaccine is coming, we're all going to be vaccinated and we can meet like before,'" said Rachel, also a doctor's daughter. However, the day before Rachel got her first shot, Father died.

She was devastated and did not want to get vaccinated, but her mother insisted it should come as planned.

After the vaccination, Rachel cried.

"I remember thinking: 'Dad was almost [to get a vaccine].'"

Threats come and go

  Until now, Nicole Whatridge is still struggling with the unbearable reality conflict she faces in the summer of 2021.

She lives in Pilsen, one of Chicago's liveliest neighborhoods.

That June, when her 23-year-old sister Emily died of Covid-19, the buzz around her suddenly made her feel cruel.

"People were partying outside my house without masks. I'm still trying to deal with the discord."

  For many Americans, last summer began with a burst of joy, and the leveling off of the outbreak suggests it is finally waning.

But then, the delta variant ravaged the South, killing more than 2,000 people a day.

  Sharon Nolan, a nurse in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, still feels the pain of the transition.

At the time, her 85-year-old mother, Stockard, was convinced the threat had passed and insisted on not getting vaccinated.

But Stockard eventually contracted the virus and died last August.

Months later, Nolan said, she's still having trouble getting out.

Across the American South, communities were shocked when the delta variant hit.

Obviously, the epidemic is far from over.

"Did she have another disease before?"

  Dying from Covid-19 is also treated differently.

Sam Beeson's wife Jennifer died of the disease.

He said: "If someone says my husband died of cancer or my son died in a car accident, it's direct sympathy. But if someone says my wife died of Covid-19, the first thing people say The words were: 'Did she have other illnesses before?'"

  Now, Beeson is still tormented by those around him who either downplay the threat of the coronavirus, say it's not real, or share false information on Facebook.

Even people who knew Jennifer would share memes mocking the vaccine, he said.

  Rachel Pitaniak, whose grandfather Andrew died of Covid-19, is appalled by the lack of attention to the associated risks.

At one of the colleges where she teaches, she sometimes gets boycotts or stares when she asks students to wear masks.

Rachel said the casual comments she encountered repeatedly, both in person and on social media, showed that lives like her grandfather's were ignored.

(author Julie Boseman, biographical translation)

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