Esquire (USA) : 2020-06-01

20 LIVES, 20 PERSPECTIV­ES : 54 : 54


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.