Graphic via Denzel Boyd
Graphic via Denzel Boyd

On Tuesday, tens of millions of Americans will head to the ballot box, where they will join the more than 96 million voters who have already cast their ballots in an election where the coronavirus, and President Donald Trump’s response to it, have become the issue.  

Over the past eight months, life in the United States has been turned upside down. The coronavirus pandemic had devastated the nation, infecting more than 9 million Americans and killing an estimated 231,000 as of Monday morning. More than 60 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits during the pandemic, millions more have been plunged into hunger and poverty, and as many as 40 million people could be evicted in the coming months.

On Tuesday, tens of millions of Americans will head to the ballot box, where they will join the more than 96 million voters who have already cast their ballots in an election where the coronavirus, and President Donald Trump’s response to it, have become the issue.  

Trump has faced intense scrutiny over his failure to spearhead a coordinated national response. Rather than marshaling the resources the federal government has to offer, his administration has repeatedly downplayed the virus—even though it’s since been revealed that he understood its severity as early as February. He has also compared it to the flu, questioned the effectiveness of masks and social distancing, spread misinformation, sidelined scientists, and failed to provide adequate testing and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Ahead of Election Day, COURIER spoke to five Americans who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another. We asked them to talk about what they’ve gone through this year and tell us how they felt about the American government’s response to the pandemic.

A New York City Nurse Lost Both Parents to COVID—and She’s Still Experiencing Symptoms Herself

Cathrine Solomon is a 34-year-old nurse in New York City who lost both of her parents to COVID-19. She also contracted COVID-19 and is now a “long-hauler,” having experienced symptoms for more than seven months.

Read her story here.

COVID-19 Shut Down This Man’s Business and Forced His Wife into Retirement

The pandemic forced William Whitmire to shut down his microbusiness in Arizona just when it was on the verge of taking off.

Read his story here.

This Kansas City Mom Is Bouncing Between Short-Term Rentals During the Pandemic. She’s Not Alone.

Ashley Johnson is a 36-year-old mother of three living in Kansas City, Missouri. She has personally faced housing insecurity during the pandemic and also works as an organizer with the Kansas City Tenants Union to help protect and organize residents at risk of eviction.

Read her story here.

‘It Was Exceptionally Scary’: One Florida Doctor’s Story of Treating and Then Contracting COVID

Dr. Adrian Burrowes is a 46-year-old family physician in Casselberry, Florida, just outside Orlando. He has treated patients with COVID-19 and also contracted the coronavirus himself.

Read his story here.

The Philadelphia Nurse That Keeps Fighting for His Patients—Even After the Government Moved On

Tarik Khan is a 42-year-old nurse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has worked with COVID-19 patients and volunteered at testing sites and worked to help educate Pennsylvanians about the dangers of the virus.

Read his story here.