AP PHOTOS: A look at virus's impact as deaths near 1 million
As it marched from East to West this year, the coronavirus pandemic sank economies and transformed social interactions. It shut schools and businesses, stopped the sports and entertainment industries dead in their tracks, and even brought low the Olympic Games.
And it killed. Nearly 1 million deaths have been recorded worldwide to date, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University.
The effects were global — but also personal. The virus changed how people socialized and shopped, worked and dressed. It changed how they cared for their loved ones and how they mourned them.
Cleric women wearing protective clothing and "chador," a head-to-toe garment, arrive a cemetery to prepare the body of a victim who died from the new coronavirus for a funeral, in the city of Ghaemshahr, in north of Iran, Thursday, April 30, 2020. (AP PhotoEbrahim Noroozi)
It even changed the language they used. The word “hero” was employed with more frequency — and the definition expanded to include delivery and sanitation workers, cleaners and waiters. And, of course, health care workers, who in China and Italy, Iran and South Africa, the United States and Brazil toiled in hazmat suits for hours on end to treat the sick.
The virus changed how people interacted and how they thought about interaction. People isolated to stay healthy — and then worried about what isolation was doing to their health.
In Spain, one of the hardest-hit countries, nursing home residents were shut off from the outside world for months in an effort to protect them. When visitors were allowed again, husbands and wives pressed lips to plastic sheeting for several minutes; mothers and daughters clutched each other through the film.
Sabatino Di Girolamo, center, mayor of Roseto degli Abruzzi, with his son Francesco, right, and his sister Marisa Di Felice, mourns his mother Annunziata, laid in state in the morgue of the Giuseppe Mazzini Hospital in Teramo, central Italy, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (AP PhotoDomenico Stinellis)
Many people were unable to say goodbye to their loved ones because of restrictions at hospitals; others held them in their final moments, draped head-to-toe in protective gear. Funerals were also sterile affairs, if they happened at all.
And still the pandemic is far from over. The toll is climbing. By around 5,000 a day, a death every 17 seconds somewhere in the world.
Josefa Ribas, 86, who is bedridden and suffers from dementia, is attended to by nurse Laura Valdes during a home care visit in Barcelona, Spain, April 7, 2020. Ribas' husband, Jose Marcos, fears what will happen if the virus enters their home and infects them. "I survived the post-war period (of mass hunger). I hope I survive this pandemic," he said. (AP PhotoEmilio Morenatti)
SOS Funeral workers transport by boat the coffin containing the body of a suspected COVID-19 victim that died in a river-side community near Manaus, Brazil on May 14, 2020. The victim, an 86-year-old woman, lived by the Negro river, the largest tributary to the Amazon river. (AP PhotoFelipe Dana)
Musician Arif Mirbaghi plays double bass at the yard of his house during mandatory self-isolation due to the coronavirus outbreak in Tehran, Iran on April 5, 2020. With performance halls closed and many people staying in their homes, Iranian musicians now find performance spaces where they can. (AP PhotoEbrahim Noroozi)
Tri Novia Septiani cries during an online memorial service marking the 40th day since the death of her fiance Dr. Michael Robert Marampe who died of COVID-19, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on June 5, 2020. Marampe knew what he wanted to be since he was a kid: a doctor and a pianist. He became both, and his passion for music even led him to Septiani - a woman he never got to marry because he got the coronavirus. (AP PhotoTatan Syuflana)
Funeral home workers in protective suits carry the coffin of a woman who died from COVID-19 into a hearse in Katlehong, near Johannesburg, South Africa, July 21 2020. (AP PhotoThemba Hadebe)
A primary school student reacts sending kisses and a hug from a distance to her teacher, as she collects her personal belongings, during the closing of the school year in a school in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (AP PhotoEmilio Morenatti)
Mortician Cordarial O. Holloway, foreground left, funeral director Robert L. Albritten, foreground right, and funeral attendants Eddie Keith, background left, and Ronald Costello place a casket into a hearse on April 18, 2020, in Dawson, Ga. (AP PhotoBrynn Anderson)
Agustina Cañamero, 81, and Pascual Pérez, 84, hug and kiss through a plastic film screen to avoid contracting the coronavirus at a nursing home in Barcelona, Spain, June 22, 2020. (AP PhotoEmilio Morenatti)
Members of the Shiite Imam Ali brigades militia take a break during funerals of coronavirus victims at Wadi al-Salam cemetery near Najaf, Iraq, Sunday, July 19, 2020. A special burial ground near the Wadi al-Salam cemetery has been created specifically for COVID-19 victims since rejections of such burials have continued in Baghdad cemeteries and elsewhere in Iraq. (AP PhotoAnmar Khalil)
Pathologists in protective suits transport the body of a person who died of the coronavirus at a hospital's morgue in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Wednesday, July 22, 2020. (AP PhotoVladimir Voronin)
People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus gather in a nightclub in Madrid, Spain, early Saturday, July 25, 2020. (AP PhotoManu Fernandez)
Martina Papponetti, 25, a nurse at the Humanitas Gavazzeni Hospital in Bergamo, Italy poses for a portrait at the end of her shift Friday, March 27, 2020. Their eyes are tired. Their cheekbones rubbed raw from protective masks. They don't smile. The doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy are almost unrecognizable behind their masks, scrubs, gloves and hairnets - the flimsy battle armor donned at the start of each shift as the only barrier to contagion. (AP PhotoAntonio Calanni)
Romelia Navarro, 64, weeps while hugging her husband, Antonio, in his final moments in a COVID-19 unit at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, Calif., Friday, July 31, 2020. Antonio was nurse Michel Younkin's first COVID-19 patient to pass on her watch. (AP PhotoJae C. Hong)
Health workers wearing personal protective equipment carry the body of a COVID-19 victim for cremation in Gauhati, India, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. (AP PhotoAnupam Nath)
Fernanda Mariotti cradles a picture of her mother Martha Pedrotti, who passed away a victim of COVID-19, at her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. Mariotti believes that her mother eventually died in part from a heart condition and also from the sorrow and fear of being separated from her family, isolated in the COVID unit. (AP PhotoNatacha Pisarenko)
Family members look in the coffin that contains the remains of Manuela Chavez who died from symptoms related to the coronavirus at the age of 88, during a burial service in the Shipibo Indigenous community of Pucallpa, in Peru's Ucayali region, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. The Shipibo have tried to prevent COVID-19's entrance by blocking off roads and isolating themselves. (AP PhotoRodrigo Abd)
A patient affected with COVID-19 lies on a bed in a Marseille hospital, southern France, Thursday, Sept.10, 2020. As the Marseille region has become France's latest virus hotspot, hospitals are re-activating emergency measures in place when the pandemic first hit to ensure they're able to handle growing new cases. (AP PhotoDaniel Cole)
A worker from "Hevra Kadisha," Israel's official Jewish burial society, prepares a body before a funeral procession at a special morgue for COVID-19 victims in the central Israeli city of Holon, near Tel Aviv, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (AP PhotoOded Balilty)
Graves are decorated with crosses and grass in a section of the Valle de Chalco Municipal Cemetery which opened early in the coronavirus pandemic to accommodate the surge in deaths, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)
Workers remove a stretcher as others prepare to cremate the body of a COVID-19 victim in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (AP PhotoManish Swarup)
Francisco Espana, 60, looks at the Mediterranean sea from a promenade next to the "Hospital del Mar" in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. Francisco spent 52 days in the Intensive Care unit at the hospital due to coronavirus, but today he was allowed by his doctors to spend almost ten minutes at the seaside as part of his recovery therapy. (AP PhotoEmilio Morenatti)
Workers lower a coffin containing the body of a suspected COVID-19 victim into a grave during a burial at the special section of Pondok Ranggon cemetery which was opened to accommodate the surge in deaths during coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. (AP PhotoDita Alangkara)