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A glimpse of AP’s pandemic journalism

Hugging a loved one. Handshake. Go to school. Have dinner at the restaurant. Visit an elderly family.

Most Americans didn’t know that this week last year was their last chance of being in good health. And while people have learned to adapt, the coronavirus pandemic has killed and claimed millions of lives around the world. In addition to the historic presidential election, the racist and unjustified country turmoil makes the pandemic year more than a virus. It is also a year of racial, socio-economic and healthcare issues.

The Associated Press was there — for all of it. From the day the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus pandemic, it recorded the path to the first clinical trials of the vaccine and the path to a new normal. The new year has come.

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Economy

Millions of people, from India to Argentina, who were already struggling to overcome their economic margins, were hit by a pandemic blockade, a furlough, and a loss of opportunity to earn from a difficult day’s work. It made life even more difficult. Uncertainty became the order of the day.

The hardest hit in the United States was the frontline workers who packed and delivered supplies, cared for the sick and the elderly, and kept streets and buildings clean. They are primarily female, of color, and are likely to be immigrants. Mothers, in particular, are disproportionately expelled from the workforce in the United States as pandemics reduce their parents’ childcare options and increase the burden of navigating distance learning.

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Meanwhile, in the recession caused by the pandemic, SMEs around the world have fought for survival. AP journalists talked about these struggling businesses that help define and maintain neighborhoods. Their survival risk is high: The United Nations estimates that companies with less than 250 workers account for two-thirds of the world’s employment.

In the United States, millions of people have fallen into poverty and faced a holiday season with little money to buy gifts, cook large festive meals, and pay all bills. The struggle between low-income workers and the unemployed contributed to the weak holiday shopping season that dragged the overall economy. By the end of last year, the economy had lost a shocking 22 million jobs after the pandemic.

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Pandemics also test entrepreneurship, whether they do more business remotely, seize the opportunity to create new products, or sacrifice some business to reduce costs. He taught us valuable lessons about survival and innovation.

Meanwhile, New York City’s creative, one of the first virus hotspots in the United States, was at risk of losing a restaurant job. This was a fallback given the vibrant pre-pandemic restaurant scene. When the city managed to reopen, AP talked about people awake to navigate a strange new normal.

AP also investigated the cruel paradox behind containment of the outbreak. Quarantine, travel restrictions, and business closures have disrupted day-to-day operations, putting the US economy in recession for the first time since 2009.

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Inequality and unfairness

As the coronavirus strengthened its grip throughout the country, it cut a particularly devastating band through the already vulnerable population of black Americans.

Just a few weeks after the pandemic hit the United States, it became clear that blacks were at the mercy of the virus in terms of health and economy. A history of systematic racism and injustice in access to medical and financial opportunities has made many African Americans much more vulnerable to viruses.

The killing of a black man, George Floyd, who fell into the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020, sparked protests against racial injustice. The national anxiety caused by Floyd’s killing highlighted the apparent injustices blacks experience in the United States: viruses and police were killing them at disproportionate rates.

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Racial inequality underlies anger and despair. Especially because anxiety coincides with economic and health disasters. Black Americans are much more likely to die of COVID-19 than whites. They work disproportionately with low-wage service jobs that are reduced when customers leave hotels and airports as restaurants and cinemas are closed as a health precaution.

While headcount reductions from the pandemic recession have plunged into low-income workers across the service sector, employees in the high-wage industry have been earning jobs and income since early last year.

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Meanwhile, the prejudice against Asian Americans in the United States was fueled by the news that COVID-19 first appeared in China. It spurred a racist meme on social media that portrayed Chinese as bat eaters responsible for spreading the virus and reviving the 100-year-old wording that Asian food was dirty. .. And it didn’t help that former President Donald Trump repeatedly called COVID-19 a “Chinese virus.”

Health and science

Faced with the first coronavirus onslaught in the early pandemic turmoil, doctors crossed the ocean and language barriers with unprecedented efforts to advise colleagues trying to save lives in the dark. It has arrived. A YouTube video explaining autopsy findings and x-rays exchanged on Twitter and WhatsApp spontaneously filled the gap and recorded the dictated history of the outbreak in Italy.

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As the virus continues to spread around the world, researchers have exposed the terrifying potential for the silent spread of the virus by asymptomatic and presymptomatic carriers. The coronavirus is invisible to the naked eye, but seems to be ubiquitous.

During that time, the death toll from the coronavirus has continually increased to hundreds of thousands, and tens of thousands of doctors and patients have rushed to use the drug before it proved safe or effective. It wasn’t until mid-June (almost six months later) that the first evidence that the drug could improve survival came.

Few places in the Bronx, New York, have been hit as hard as Co-op City, the largest single-family home development in the United States. It houses one of the largest elderly communities in the United States, with more than 92% of the population not white. ..

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Around the world, a team of researchers competed to study places and species where the next pandemic could occur. Companies are also testing drugs that mimic the way the body fights COVID-19, and hope that they can fill an important gap as vaccines are resting for months for most people.

The US mental health system was no exception, as many healthcare providers struggled to continue treating their patients within the limits enforced to control the spread of the coronavirus. Residents of an isolated hotel in New York were exhausted from loneliness, and one guest recovered from COVID-19, describing loneliness as “inconvenient.”

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In March 2020, AP monopoly showed that US researchers in Seattle would give the first shot in the first test of the experimental coronavirus vaccine, worldwide for protection, even when the pandemic surged. Guided hunting. The milestone was just the beginning of a series of studies of people needed to prove that shots were safe and functional.

Today, more than 65 million people in the United States have been vaccinated at least once, and nearly 35 million have been vaccinated, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Government response

Early questions were raised about the country’s ability to properly test the virus and track the contact of people infected with the virus. APs indicate that most states do not meet the minimum levels of coronavirus testing proposed by the U.S. government, that the time required to obtain test results exceeds federal guidelines, and that they are appropriate for the community health sector. We have discovered that we do not have enough staff to do contact tracing. ..

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At least two-thirds of the states share the address of a person who tested positive for the coronavirus with police and other first responders, according to a report from the AP Capitol, and some states. Was sharing a name. It has created a potential chilling effect on people who want to take the test.

When billions of federal funds flowed into the states, APs were some of the least populated states with relatively few cases of coronavirus, even if the funds were designed to address virus-related costs. Discovered that they are receiving an oversized share. In a federal loan program aimed at helping small businesses survive, APs previewed what really happened to large chains and franchises as soon as the program started, and many I found that I was ready to get the money.

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A state legislature reporter also revealed that many of the governors’ own businesses are among the beneficiaries of the loan program. Meanwhile, AP reports that hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers who were unemployed during the pandemic broke through the gap in the government’s unemployment assistance system and were excluded from significant unemployment benefits.

The pandemic also influenced the way people vote during the presidential election. The Associated Press shows that the process is being skeptical by black voters due to historic disfranchisement and distrust of government agencies, even as more states adopt mail voting. I did.

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Pandemic-related unemployment and the rapidly spreading virus have also undermined the voter registration efforts for Latin Americans. Fear of the virus raised concerns that local polling stations might not have enough polling stations on election day. Amid concerns about the delivery of mailed ballot postal services, APs have obtained agency data showing that some major presidential battlefield areas have some of the slowest postal deliveries in the country. did.

Life, but changed

The pandemic wiped out many human daily lives, changing everything from the way Muslims marked Ramadan to the way people left behind by the death of COVID-19 deal with grief in the United States and around the world. .. With the concept of goodbye and death.

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One of the hardest hits of all was New York City, where AP journalists recorded a 24-hour period of the worst moments in a big city in every corner of the city.

When the protective mask went up, his face disappeared and it soon became a divisive political issue. From the venerable United States Postal Service to how Halloween was perceived and the easy way people connect, almost every corner of life has taken on a new, more frustrating sensation. Even cash has become suspicious. Before everyone knew it, the fast-paced pandemic spring had an volatile year, and the pandemic winter was imminent — and it would still last for more than a week.

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In a world where things are less suddenly happening in public, AP visual journalists have captured images of pandemics — dark, miserable, and sometimes completely empty.

— The outbreak began in Wuhan, China, which resumed after authorities blocked the city for 76 days to stop the spread.

—AP photojournalist has captured a large number of victims of the coronavirus in Manaus, one of Brazil’s most devastated cities.

— The passage of time has hit doctors and nurses who have been at the forefront of the Italian coronavirus battle since its inception.

—AP visited the home of a family of 12 veterans struggling to honor their spouse, parents, and siblings during the blockade, which has ignored many funeral traditions.

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— An unforgettable image of an almost completely empty street in New York City was taken from behind the motorcycle.

— The pandemic has increased the vulnerability of the PobleSec district of Barcelona’s senior working class.

— Peru has experienced that authorities have said it has been the most devastating blow to the country since 1492, when Europeans brought illnesses such as smallpox and measles to the Americas.

—AP spent several days at the Coronavirus Unit at St. Juze Medical Center in California, tracking four nurses and their families after the shift.

And finally: Global Pandemic Journal

From Saudi Arabia to New York, London, Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, AP staff reported from around the world how the pandemic affected them in AP’s year-long virus diary series.

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And around the world, the press continues as the second year of the pandemic unfolds with anxiety and a little more hope.

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Follow AP Communications journalist Aya Elamroussi on Twitter at http://twitter.com/aya_elamroussi.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.



A glimpse of AP’s pandemic journalism

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