May 24 (Reuters) – Americans sunbathe on the beach, fish from boats and take a walk on the holiday pavement this weekend, but people who occasionally wear masks are a reminder that the world is still struggling with the corona virus pandemic.
Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the U.S. summer usually the time when graves throughout the country are filled with American flags and ceremonies to remember those who died in the U.S. war. This year the holiday week is when the U.S.C death of COVID-19 is estimated to exceed 100,000.
The New York Times filled the entire front page with the names and details of selected 1,000 victims on Sunday to try to capture humanity from lost lives.
“We are trying to capture the personal victim,” Marc Lacey, the newspaper’s national editor, told Reuters. “We are trying to humanize these numbers that have continued to grow and have reached unexpected heights so that they are really hard to understand anymore. … It’s about ordinary people. It’s about fatalities, reaching numbers that are really just jaws – fallout. “
Among the names, were taken from obituaries and death notices in hundreds of U.S. newspapers: Lila Fenwick, 87, the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Law; Romi Cohn, 91, saved 56 Jewish families from the Gestapo; Hailey Herrera, 25, novice therapist with the gift of empathy.
The 50 states have limited coronavirus restrictions to some extent. In some states, such as Illinois and New York, restaurants are still closed for self-dining and hair salons remain closed. In many southern states, most businesses are open, with capacity restrictions.
Last week, 11 countries reported a record number of COVID-19 new cases, including Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Nevada, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to Reuters calculations. It is not clear whether cases are escalating from further tests or a second wave of infections. U.S. total cases more than 1.6 million, the highest in the world.
Requests by health officials and many state governors to wear masks in stores and in public were met with protests and resistance from some Americans. Social media is filled with business videos that turn some angry customers who refuse to close their mouths and noses.
“We have to wear masks in public when we can’t keep our distance. It’s very important for us to have scientific evidence of how important it is to wear masks to prevent droplets from reaching others,” Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White Coronavirus House Task Force, told “Fox News Sunday.”
Only a few people wear masks on Saturdays while walking on a busy street in Ocean City, Maryland. Masks are also a rare sight on other beaches, but people mainly keep their distance in small groups and avoid playing games like Frisbee and volleyball.
“Personally, I’m not sure I’m worried about that, but for those who are worried … I suggest they stay at home. I like going out,” said Bruce Clark at Daytona Beach in Florida.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington and Sinead Carew in New York; Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
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