As all 50 states relax coronavirus restrictions, American death toll nears 100,000.

WATCH: The impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable in our society

Americans sunbathed on beaches, fished from boats and strolled on boardwalks this holiday weekend, but the occasional person wearing a mask was a constant reminder that the world is still battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The Memorial Day weekend that signals the start of the U.S. summer is normally a time when cemeteries across the nation fill with American flags and ceremonies to remember those who died in U.S. wars. This year the holiday week is when the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 is expected to exceed 100,000.

The New York Times filled its entire front page with the names and selected details of 1,000 victims on Sunday to try to capture the humanity of the lives lost.

“We were trying to capture that personal toll,” Marc Lacey, the newspaper’s national editor, told Reuters.

“We were trying to humanize these numbers which keep growing and have reached such unfathomable heights that they’re really hard to grasp any more. …This is about everyday people. It’s about a death toll, reaching a number that’s really just jaw-dropping.”

Among the names, drawn 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, budding therapist with a gift for empathy.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

All 50 states have relaxed coronavirus restrictions to some degree. In some states, like Illinois and New York, restaurants are still closed to in-person dining and hair salons remain shuttered. In many southern states, most businesses are open, with restrictions on capacity.

Trending Stories

  • Religious leaders ‘outraged’ over Trump photo op at D.C. church amid George Floyd protests

  • George Floyd: What we know about the arrest, video and investigation

Last week, 11 states reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases, including Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Nevada, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to a Reuters tally. It is not clear if the cases are rising from more testing or a second wave of infections. Total U.S. cases are over 1.6 million, the highest in the world.

A plea by health officials and many state governors to wear masks in stores and in public is being met with protest and resistance from some Americans. Social media is filled with videos of businesses turning away a few angry customers who refuse to cover their mouths and noses.

“We need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance. It’s really critically important we have the scientific evidence of how important mask-wearing is to prevent those droplets from reaching others,” Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Some beaches were crowded during the weekend, especially in the Southern gulf states, and videos posted on social media showed parties with people packed elbow-to-elbow.

But it appeared that Americans were largely adhering to health experts’ warnings on maintaining social distancing.

Thomas Gill, a spokesman for the United States Lifesaving Association for beach lifeguards, said on Sunday that his home sands of Virginia Beach were not crowded.

“Relative to past Memorial Day years, it was average, not highly crowded,” he said. “We are lucky in that we have a very wide beach. The groups were all nicely separated.”

View link »

© 2020 Reuters

Related news

Mueller defends Russia probe, says Roger Stone ‘remains a convicted felon, and rightly so’.

The op-ed in The Washington Post marked Mueller's first public statement on his investigation since his congressional appearance last July.

Coronavirus: Trump wears face mask for first time during a public appearance.

As he left the White House, he told reporters: "When you're in a hospital, especially ... I think it's expected to wear a mask."

Donald Trump Wears Face Mask In Public For First Time.

US President Donald Trump wore a face mask in public for the first time Saturday, finally yielding to intense pressure to set a public health example as the coronavirus rampages across America.

Historic 249-year-old California church devastated by fire.

Fire alarms at the San Gabriel Mission rang around 4 a.m., and when firefighters responded to the historic structure they saw smoke rising from the wooden rooftop.

1 223

Thousands of Israelis protest Netanyahu’s handling of coronavirus pandemic.

With economic stress deepening in recent weeks, many Israelis think the government has not done enough to compensate hundreds of thousands of workers who lost their jobs as a result of restrictions and shutdowns.

1 9

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies