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Reflections: How A Year Of COVID-19 Affected America

It's been a year since the COVID crisis started to dominate our lives. To mark that milestone, our journalists revisited their reporting and collected some significant moments. 

The past 12 months are unlike any other in memory. Everyone in the U.S. has been impacted by this pandemic — in big ways or small ones. We’ve all adjusted in ways that are difficult,  and even the most minor day-to-day sacrifices can become exhausting.

This pandemic has left millions of Americans mourning their loved ones. In February, we crossed the half-a-million deaths mark, meaning that more Americans have died from COVID-19 than in battle in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined.

The Biden administration says there will be a COVID-19 vaccine for every U.S. adult by the end of May — a timeline that has accelerated in recent months. 

Looking forward, it's unclear how a society will return to "normal" following this unprecedented year. 

Will skyrocketing anxiety and depression rates suddenly fall? Will returning to concert halls and movie theaters feel natural? Will we pretend this past year never happened or will it follow us for decades to come?

Reflections is an initiative by WFYI, Side Effects and Indiana Public Broadcasting to remember the events of the last year. In this first installment, we revisit the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic through the mass vaccination effort. 

This story was produced bySide Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.

Copyright 2021 Side Effects Public Media. To see more, visit Side Effects Public Media.

Photo by Lauren Chapman/Indiana Public Broadcasting /
Photo by Justin Hicks/Indiana Public Broadcasting /
Photo by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media /
Photo by Justin Hicks/Indiana Public Broadcasting /
Lauren Chapman/Indiana Public Broadcasting /
Justin Hicks/Indiana Public Broadcasting. /

Carter is a reporter based at WFYI in Indianapolis, Indiana. A long-time Hoosier, she is thrilled to stay in her hometown to cover public health. Previously, she covered education for WFYI News with a focus on school safety. Carter graduated with a journalism degree from Indiana University, and previously interned with stations in Bloomington, Indiana and Juneau, Alaska.