Remembrance Ceremony marks 500,000 COVID-19 deaths

By Sydnee Reddy
April 9, 2021

Almost a year into this pandemic, the United States passed the 500,000 death milestone. To remember the lives lost, Biden held a ceremony.

Feb. 22 was a grim day for the United States. It reached 500,000 COVID-19-related deaths at 5 p.m. To honor the lives lost from the pandemic and to comfort those who lost loved ones, a ceremony was held at the White House. Also, the National Cathedral began ringing its bells while flags were lowered to half-staff. President Joe Biden addressed the nation later. “Today, we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone: 500,071 dead. That’s more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined. That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth,” Biden said.

“Dr. Fauci has been saying six feet apart, wear a mask.If everybody would do that, we would have gotten this under control  11 months ago, we really would have had a chance to get this under control in the beginning,and we didn’t.”Professor Clementi, adjunct math professor,said.”550,000 people are now dead because we didn’t and that to me is the crime. It breaks my heart. I have students who have lost parents. I have students who have lost grandparents. If they will not get those people back.”

coronavirus-covid-19“coronavirus-covid-19” by Nursing Schools Near Me is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Later that evening President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentlemen, held a remembrance ceremony with lit candles on the balcony behind them. The military band played “Amazing Grace” and the couples went back inside.

“I think it’s really nice that they decided to hold a ceremony for the people who lost their lives to COVID-19. It is a grim thought to think that we lost that many Americans to it,” Johnsey Hackney, sophomore psychology major said.”I hope by them having that ceremony people who  thought the virus wasn’t  that bad, realizes that it is in fact that bad.”

 The U.S has the highest COVID-19-related deaths in the entire world according to CNN. COVID-19 became the leading cause of death in the United States, even surpassing cancer and heart disease, it has even lowered the life expectancy by one year for whites and almost three years for Blacks according to research done by the federal government.

Even with the United States reaching this grim milestone, there seems to be some hope. The recent weeks with hospitalizations and deaths have slowed down. “The current 7-day average is 66,348 cases, a 73.4% decline. The 13.5% decrease in the 7-day average number of daily cases reported compared with the prior week provides an encouraging sign of recent progress,” according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review. Since the vaccine has been released more than 78 million doses have been given out, which is 15 percent of the United States population and the U.S is currently giving out 1.9 million shots a day according to NPR.

“I think it’s crazy that we have been in this pandemic for almost a year and so many people have died. I remember watching on the news during the early days of this thinking it’ll be over in a month,” Troy Norman, sophomore graphic design major said.” but here we are almost a year later still dealing with this pandemic, with half a million Americans dead. It’s a weird feeling.” 

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Sydnee Reddy

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