On the night before his inauguration, President Biden held a candlelight ceremony to honor the 400,000 U.S. lives lost to COVID-19. He is set to lead the mourning of 500,000 deaths at some point this week once the threshold is crossed. At the ceremony in January, President Biden spoke at the Lincoln Memorial saying, “To heal, we must remember.” 400 lights surrounded the reflecting pool to signify the 400,000 lives lost. Former President Trump did not hold any kind of ceremony mourning U.S. lives lost to COVID-19. How refreshing it is to the American people to now have a president who recognizes the severity of the global pandemic and the importance of mourning those we’ve lost.
While the president prepares to mark a staggering 500,000 deaths, U.S. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the virus are decreasing overall. In states like Ohio, curfews have been lifted due to a significant decrease in hospitalizations. Bars in Ohio can now serve customers until 1 A.M. About 13% of the U.S. population has been vaccinated. Dr. Fauci has said that around May or June, “young healthy people” will be able to get the vaccine. Earlier this month, President Biden announced he would be increasing the vaccine supply by 22%.
Although all of this promising information is exciting for the American people, we can’t help but dream about how we could have been like Australia right now if we had closed down institutions properly and sooner this time last year. By March, 2020, Australia stopped entry into its country from Iran, South Korea, and Italy and by September, 2020, they started reporting lower than 20 new cases a day. The U.S. has been reporting upwards of 50,000 new cases a day this month.