US deaths at brink of 500K, confirming virus’s tragic reach

(AP) – For weeks after Cindy Pollock began planting tiny flags across her yard — one for each of the more than 1,800 Idahoans killed by COVID-19 — the toll was mostly a number. Until two women she had never met rang her doorbell in tears, seeking a place to mourn the husband and father they had just lost.

Then Pollock knew her tribute, however heartfelt, would never begin to convey the grief of a pandemic that has now claimed nearly 500,000 lives in the U.S. and counting.

“I just wanted to hug them,” she said. “Because that was all I could do.”

Cindy Pollock poses for a portrait. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)
After a year that has darkened doorways across the U.S., the pandemic is poised to surpass a milestone that once seemed unimaginable, a reminder of the virus’s reach into all corners of the country and communities


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