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Anibal Gomez. Courtesy of Cristina Gomez
Courtesy of Cristina Gomez
More than 500,000 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit this country and the world just over a year ago. NPR is remembering some of those who lost their lives by listening to the music they loved and hearing their stories. We’re calling our tribute Songs Of Remembrance.
“[Non,] je ne regrette rien” by Edith Piaf was one of Anibal’s favorite songs. It represented his philosophy on life: never regretting any of the choices that he made, even if those choices led to the end of his 30-year marriage and turbulence in his professional life. He lived the way he wanted to and that gives us great peace of mind.
The song reminds us of a philosophy on life that is different from ours, but still deserves to be honored. —Cristina Gomez, daughter
Tracking The Coronavirus
This page is updated regularly.
The U.S. is working to vaccinate a high percentage of its population against COVID-19 as soon as possible to stop the spread of the disease and end the outbreak in the country.
The mission becomes even more urgent as coronavirus variants emerge around the world, raising concerns that the virus could evade our efforts to control it, if the spread is not curbed quickly.
Since vaccine distribution began in the U.S. on Dec. 14, more than 87 million doses have been administered, reaching 17.3% of the total U.S. population, according to federal data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. is currently administering over 2.1 million shots a day.
In addition to the states, the federal government distributes vaccines to four federal agencies, five U.S. territories and three freely associated states.
Currently, two of the three COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use require a two-shot regimen spaced out by three or four weeks. A third vaccine that requires just one shot was authorized on February 27.
Strategies for distribution — along with the efficiency and equity of the process — vary from state to state.
Getting millions of people vaccinated, in order of priority, is a big logistical challenge for states. As a result, there’s often a delay between when states receive their federal shipments of vaccines and when they get all the shots into people’s arms.
The speed of vaccination has improved since December, but there are still millions more doses distributed to states than have been administered to people.
States receive weekly vaccine allocations from the federal government based on their total adult populations. Each state has its own plan for how to get those vaccines out to its residents — through county health offices, hospital systems, pharmacies, mass vaccination sites and mobile clinics — and some states are making more efficient use of their supplies than others.
The federal government also sends vaccine allotments directly to some large retail pharmacies and community health centers.
Some state officials have argued that the CDC figures don’t accurately represent how efficiently they are administering the vaccine doses they receive. The CDC says its data may reflect a reporting lag of up to five days.
President Biden has declared a goal of getting 100 million shots into arms in the first 100 days of his administration — an effort that stretches from late January through April.
To speed up the effort to get the U.S. population vaccinated, Biden says the country needs more vaccine supply from manufacturers and more efficiency from states.
On February 11, President Biden announced the federal government has inked deals to purchase 600 million vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna, to be delivered by the summer. The federal government also announced that it is using the Defense Production Act to help smooth other bottlenecks, such as limited supplies of syringes or protective gear.
In late January, the Biden administration promised to provide states with more reliable projections of the vaccine supply at least three weeks ahead of time, to increase the number of vaccinators and to blanket the nation with thousands of new government-supported sites where people can go to get vaccines.
Zach Levitt, Selena Simmons-Duffin, Ruth Talbot, Thomas Wilburn and Carmel Wroth contributed to this report.
Well hello! I’m so glad you’re here. If you’re having trouble viewing this in email, see the TIME.com version here. How stir crazy am I after many weeks alone with the dog and my thoughts? Just ask my dentist. And everyone who works in her office. I assaulted those good people with many, many words today. It was so exciting to talk with other humans in person and to do this ordinary thing that I used to dread. And there was much to discuss! For instance, they’ve redone the office while I was home accumulating plaque for 18 months. There’s a whole Zen wall of real moss that looks like an aerial view of New Zealand. And get this, the moss is low maintenance, i.e., it’s dead but preserved, so it looks alive, not so different from my many root-canaled molars.
Like much of the country, I have not been kind to my teeth over this year of shutdowns. I think many of us are waking up to what one might call our almost post-pandemic reckoning in which we are collectively (and scarily) unmaintained from tooth to tail. The hygienist told me that things have really picked up in the last few weeks after months of slowness. She’s been working six days a week at three different practices. It will not shock you to learn that not only did sales of sweet snacks boom last year, but half of all Americans put off dental check-ups due to the pandemic. And get this: 21% of us aren’t even brushing our teeth in the mornings at all. Seriously, this news is straight from the American Association of Endodontists, which also reports (in the same disappointed tone that my dentist used with me today) that there’s been a “major drop off in flossing.” Yes, these are important health issues. But I think what’s actually happening is a realization that we’ll soon be live and in-person with people who haven’t seen us for a year–in daylight, maskless, and possibly sleeveless at a wedding, or a party, or an office. There will be no hiding behind zoom filters. Without any objective gauge of your corporeal disrepair, it’s easy to deceive oneself. Particularly since many of us have spent quite a lot of time obsessing about physical maintenance and house care and organization and all that. But it turns out that watching other people do those things on Instagram is not the same as doing them yourself. I’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours looking at famous women close to my age as they reverently tend to their skin and bodies on social media. It’s like we’re besties. They are in their real bathrooms looking right at me without make-up, as they discuss just how to dab various luminous potions on your face. But if you are like me, your life is not actually changed by watching them from your sofa while wearing your day-to-night-to-day yoga pants, unflossed, unbrushed.
It’s just so satisfying to enjoy their satisfaction. Briefly anyway. At some point, everyone ends up in the dental hygienist’s chair with their X-rays up on the screen. A catalog of sins. And perhaps an archaeological record of one helluva year. And if you are not young, you realize a few things looking at those images: 1.) The expression “long in the tooth” is not metaphorical. 2.) Pandemic or no pandemic, you can no longer blame the state of your teeth on your genes or the fact that your parents fed you King Vitaman sugar bomb cereal every morning for 10 years. My hygienist just got the COVID-19 vaccine this morning. This is kind of staggering, considering there may be no job that involves more saliva-interaction than hers. She almost gave up, but after refreshing the vaccine site for the billionth time, an appointment opened up at 4 am at New York’s massive Javits convention center which is open around the clock. So she hopped in her car from Brooklyn and found a pandemic miracle when she got to the Javits Center: you could park in any of the no parking any time ever spots. We’ll all take this year with us, in some form or another. And soon, the COVID gods willing, we’ll all be back out in the messy world of humans with all of our raggedy, flawed, and distinctly un-luminous bits on display. It’ll be marvelous. If you’re new to It’s Not Just You, SUBSCRIBE HERE to get a weekly dose delivered to your inbox every Sunday for free. And write to me any time: Susanna@time.com. COPING KIT ⛱ How to help kids regain their footing after a year of stress and disruption: Tips from the Washington Post. I Avoided Facing My Mental Illness for Decades. The Pandemic Changed That. By Jaquira Díaz in this week’s TIME. “I’m a short afternoon walk and you’re putting way too much pressure on me.” Late-stage pandemic levity from McSweeney’s. 🌟 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 🌟 Register here for TIME’s “Voices of the Future” Women’s Summit on Monday, March 8th, 1 p.m. EST, featuring Jane Goodall, Alicia Keys, Amanda Gorman, and Cate Blanchett.
COVID-19 has made it impossible to deny the ways broken systems hurt women. Meet some of the women who are working toward a better future in this week’s special report from TIME.
Many of the mothers TIME spoke to described how wrong it felt to be forced to choose between caring for their children in the midst of a public-health crisis and earning income to support them.
Ciiru Waweru, CEO of FunKidz
Photograph courtesy of The Female Quotient
They say, when the music changes, so does the dance. This is a new dance, ladies. Be the drumbeat. Be the pulse. Be the song. Be the dance. Let’s hold hands. Let’s do this.
— Ciiru Waweru, the CEO of FunKidz, an innovative children’s design brand, speaking at The Female Quotient’s Equality Lounge @WEF #DavosAgenda, 2021. (Watch the full discussion here.) EVIDENCE OF HUMAN KINDNESS ❤️ Here’s your weekly reminder that creating a community of generosity elevates us all.
Every weekend, Pandemic of Love runs a “Diaper Drive” on Instagram. Followers are encouraged to DM (Direct Message) the words “I wanna mama!” if they can afford to ship one month’s supply of diapers, wipes (and sometimes formula) to a new mom in need. After they send the message, they immediately get a response with the name, shipping address and specific needs of each mom. Moms are put on the list after they are vetted through Pandemic of Love chapters all across the United States. On any given weekend, an average of 300 requests are fulfilled. Last week, Melissa, a donor from Tampa, Florida went above and beyond for a mom in Hollywood, California named Vivian. Vivian was down to her last ten diapers and had no funds to purchase additional supplies until April 1st when her government assistance funds would replenish. Vivian has been getting help since she lost her job due to the pandemic back in May and has now been unable to return to work because she has no child care options due to closures and is a single mother. Melissa decided to reach out to Vivian to see what else she needed this month. “I made the assumption that since she can’t afford diapers, she probably can’t afford other essentials either.” She was right. Vivian divulged that she needed everything from basic hygiene items to cleaning supplies, as well as assistance with groceries. “I was already placing an order for her online and so it was simple to add additional things to the shopping cart and have them sent to her,” said Melissa. “From the comfort of my own living room, I was able to change this woman’s life and make it better for her.”
Vivian was so touched, she wrote to Pandemic of Love:
It’s hard asking for help but things get hard and I have no choice. I appreciate this so much and when things get better for me one day, I hope I can help someone, too.
This story is courtesy of Shelly Tygielski, founder of Pandemic of Love, a grassroots organization that matches those who want to become donors or volunteers directly with those who’ve asked for help with essential needs. And you can learn more about mutual aid in this new interview with Shelly Tygielski on Unscripted with Shelly Zalis, CEO of the Female Quotient. Send comments and suggestions to me at: Susanna@time.com.Did someone forward you this newsletter? SUBSCRIBE to It’s Not Just You here.
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TIME Ideas hosts the world’s leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.
More and more countries are getting shipments of vaccines and starting to inoculate their populations. But it’s an unequal picture across the globe.