20 LIVES, 20 PERSPECTIVES WHAT WE’RE F R O M LEARNING T HE VIRUS T H A T C H A N G E D EVERYTHING NUMBERS REVEAL ESSENTIAL truths, but they don’t provide much comfort. With 3.9 million confirmed cases and 270,000 deaths* in 187 countries on every continent but Antarctica, the coronavirus pandemic has already altered daily life beyond recognition. It will shape our lives for years to come, mostly in ways that are impossible to predict, let alone understand. ¶ Yet faced with the biggest public-health crisis of the cen- A fluorescent photomicrograph of a monkey cell infected with a candidate vaccine for COVID-19. Red staining shows the cell’s structural scaffolding, blue marks its DNA, and green reveals the “spike” protein it produces when infected with SARSCoV-2, as the novel coronavirus is known. We asked participants to submit photographs of the world right now through their eyes—plus a selfie. Background: Foreground: tury, we need all the comfort and understanding we can get. So Esquire turned to the best source we know of: the stories of others. We asked twenty people—from an eight-year-old in Indiana to the governor of Washington—to share their experiences in the first few months of the outbreak. Each of their stories is a reassurance that none of us are facing this alone. Here are their first-person accounts of humanity’s stand against the virus. *STATISTICS, HERE AND THROUGHOUT, ARE AS OF PRESS TIME.