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An opioid epidemic. High smoking rates. Health care provider shortages. Indiana faces serious public health challenges. Side Effects Public Media provides in-depth coverage of these issues and more.

Reflections: How A Year Of COVID-19 Affected America

It's been a year since the COVID crisis started to dominate our lives. To mark that milestone, our journalists revisited their reporting and collected some significant moments. 

The past 12 months are unlike any other in memory. Everyone in the U.S. has been impacted by this pandemic — in big ways or small ones. We’ve all adjusted in ways that are difficult,  and even the most minor day-to-day sacrifices can become exhausting.

This pandemic has left millions of Americans mourning their loved ones. In February, we crossed the half-a-million deaths mark, meaning that more Americans have died from COVID-19 than in battle in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined.

The Biden administration says there will be a COVID-19 vaccine for every U.S. adult by the end of May — a timeline that has accelerated in recent months. 

Looking forward, it's unclear how a society will return to "normal" following this unprecedented year. 

Will skyrocketing anxiety and depression rates suddenly fall? Will returning to concert halls and movie theaters feel natural? Will we pretend this past year never happened or will it follow us for decades to come?

Reflections is an initiative by WFYI, Side Effects and Indiana Public Broadcasting to remember the events of the last year. In this first installment, we revisit the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic through the mass vaccination effort. 

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.

Carter is a reporter for Side Effects Public Media and WFYI in Indianapolis. She can be reached at