U.S. COVID death tolls pass 500,000

With COVID-19 taking the world by storm in 2020, the war against the virus continues on. With a large spike of cases in the past few months as winter and the holiday season went on, the death tolls rose to over 500,000 American lives lost in just about a year since the first. 

With the news of half a million lives lost breaking on Feb. 22, 2020, President Biden went on national TV with a response calling for unity as political tension has never been higher between the two parties. 

¨It’s not Democrats and Republicans who are dying from the virus,” Biden said. “It’s our fellow Americans.”

Flags were ordered to be flown at half-staff on federal property as well in remembrance of the lives lost for the next five days: one day dedicated to every 100,000 people who lost their fight to COVID-19. Staying together is seemingly a priority of the Biden administration. 

“We have to fight this together as one people, as the United States of America,” Biden said. 

Biden made clear that all people who are not here due to COVID-19 will not be forgotten and become just another number. The lives lost do not stop a nation from having hope, though.

“As a nation, we can’t accept such a cruel fate,” Biden said. “While we’ve been fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to sorrow.”

With vaccines being given in a global effort to eradicate the pandemic, hope for days with less worries of coronavirus is here. About 12.6 percent of Missourians have at least one dose of the vaccine, as the shipments continue to rush to those up next to get vaccinated. With many frontline healthcare workers having been vaccinated, the wide distribution will begin once the demand is met. Health authorities estimate anyone wanting to get vaccinated to be able to by April. 

Over the past year, from here in Missouri to across the world, COVID-19 has had an overwhelming effect on the way we function as humans. From wearing masks everywhere to school being different while socially distant, everyone has had their life changed. Many families lost a family member or even multiple. With that in mind, COVID-19 has also showed the world that if we band together, we can get through the toughest of times. America has been hit hard, but confidence in the nation will bring it back to full strength.