The 2019 outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The disease is a virus that attacks first the respiratory system but then affects other organs of the body. China had initially claimed that the disease could not be spread person to person, but that turned out not to be true. China took extreme measures to stop the disease with a lockdown of almost 50 million people for months at a time. Meanwhile, by the end of January, the disease was spreading around the world. The first country to hit hardest was Italy, whose health system was soon overwhelmed. That spread to other countries in Europe as well as the Middle East. Each government reacted somewhat differently, but almost all soon put much of their countries in lockdowns. At first, the British refused to do so, but when the death toll rose, they too issued stay at home orders. The only country in Europe not to have a stay at home order was Sweden, where the death toll soared.
In the United States, the first case of Covid-19 arrived in January in Washington State. New York State, however, soon became the epicenter of the disease. The first severe outbreak of the disease occurred in New Rochelle, New York (home of historycentral). There were over 100 people diagnosed, and the National Guard was called up to quarantine the disease. Schools were all closed, but it was too late. The disease spread rapidly throughout the New York Metro Area. For a period, over 1,000 people a day were dying. In New York alone had over 471,000 cases and over 33,000 deaths. The Northeast was able to bring the disease under control by closing all but essential services. By the end of June, the number of new New York cases dropped to 500-600 a day. At the same time, the disease began to spread to the Southeast and Southwest with Florida, Texas, and California most effected. None of them had the death rates experienced in New York as better treatment plans had been developed.
The disease and subsequent shutdowns have caused the most significant business halt in modern history, with whole economy sectors such as travel and airlines coming to a complete halt. Unemployment soared throughout the world, reaching over 20% briefly in the United States. By the end of the summer of 2020, the disease's spread seemed to be slowing; however, wherever restriction were loosened, the infection rate went up.
As of September 5th, 2020, there had been 26,959,771 cases reported worldwide, with 881,529 deaths. In the United States, there had been 6,413,086 cases, with 192,458 deaths. By mid October that number had reached 40,000,000 cases in the world with 1,126,000 deaths and in the United States that number reached 8,275,000 cases with over 221,000 deaths.
While the numbers had decreased towards the end of the summer, by October most of the United States as well as Europe was suffering an additional wave that seems the strongest yet. That wave continued to grow and by the beginning of December the United States was experiencing over 200,000 new cases a day with the daily death toll reaching above 1,800 a day. On the positive sign by Mid November two of the companies developing vaccines resulted very positive results from their phase 3 trials.
The third wave continued to spread in the United States as December began, with death tolls averaging 2,500 a day. December 14th will go down as a milestone day both posiive and negative. On the positive side the vaccine developed by Pfizer reached the first hospitals in the US after being approved by the FDA on Friday night the 11th. On the other hand the US reached the milestone of 300,000 dead.
By January 8th the US had surpassed 365,000 deaths with aveage daily deaths reaching over 3,000. Viccination had begun but was proceeding much slower than hoped with as of January 8th on 4.5 million people receiving the first dose.
By mid February cases in the US and around the world began to fall. With cases, hospitalizations and deaths dropping to 50% of their January peaks, while vaccinations were being given throughout the US. The vaccines turned out to be extremely effective. However, on February 23, 2021 the United States passed a grim milestone 500,000 deaths.
The successful distribution of vaccines was able to drastically bring down the death toll. By mid June a number of states had vaccinated 70% of their population, and states like New York and Californial removed most restrications. The death tolll however reached 600,000 by mid June 2021. World-wide the number of deaths reached 3.85 million by that time.
Just when it was looking like Covid-19 was on the wane, a new powerful Delta variant became the dominant variant in much of the world including the US. In areas of the country with lower vaccine rates hospitals again filled with patients and deaths once again rose. Even among those vaccinated there were breakthrough cases of individuals becoming infected.
By August the death rate had once again risen to 1,000 a day and the hospitals partiuculary in the South reached capacity.
On August 23, the FDA gave full approval ( until then it had only been emergency approval) for the Pfizer vaccine. This allowed the US military and other public bodies including the New York School System to demand all of their employees be vaccinated.
The wave in the South pased and started moving North to the Midwest in the Fall of 2021. Then in November 2021 a new variant was discovered in South Africa it was named the Omicron variant. The new variant is much more infectious than the previous Delta variant. It went on to infect many more American in the winter of 2021/22 however the number of deaths did not increase as rapidly. In May 2022 the US passed the 1,000,000 mark in the number of deaths due to Covid-19.
The summer of 2022 passed with Americans attempting a full return to normality, but Covid had not gone away. A new subvariant Ba.5 became the dominant variant in the US and the world. On averge 400 people a day continued to die in the US from Covid.
On September 1 a new booster vaccines from both Pfizer and Morderna were approved. They were modified to target the Omicron variants.
December 31, 2019, China reports many cases of pneumonia from an unknown source.
January 7, 2020 Outbreak defined as a new coronavirus- Designated COVID-19
January 11, 2020, China reports first death
January 20, 2020, WHO reports first cases outside of China in Thailand, Japan, and South Korea
January 21-2020 US announces its first confirmed case a 30-year-old from Washington State
January 23, 2020, China puts Wuhan with its 11 million people under quarantine
January 30, 2020, WHO declares a global health emergency
January 31, 2020, US bans entry to foreign national who traveled to China
February 2, 2020, First death outside China
February 4, 2020, Diamond Princess cruise ship is quarantined in Yokohoma- 3,700 people on board
February 9, 2020 Death Toll exceeds SARS outbreak when it reaches 811 in China
February 14,2020First case in Egypt and the first death in France
February 19, 2020, Iran Reports two cases and two deaths
February 20, 2020, South Korea reports 104 cases and the first death
February 24, 2020 Cases Begin to Spike in Italy with six deaths- Stocks begin one of many drops
Febriuary 25, 2020 "community spread" and "significant disruption" coming soon.
February 26, 2020, California reports its first case with no known source. President Trump: "When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done."
February 29, 2020, the US stops people coming from Iran recommends not traveling to Italy and; South Korea. First US death in Washington state
March 6, 2020, Trump signs $8.3Billion stimulus as major conference including SXSW are canceled
March 8, 2020, Italy locks down the Lombardy region housing 16 million people, and US cases top 500
March 10, 2020, Italy Expands the lockdown to include the whole country, while Iran numbers spike to over 8,000
March 11, 2020 Outbreak defined as a pandemic, NBA cancel season Tom Hanks announces that he and his wife COVID 19- President Trump bans travel from Europe
March 12, 2020, NHL announces pause in season Italian death toll passes 1,000
March 13, 2020, President Trump declares and national state of emergency
March 14, 2020, Spain cases spike to, 3,800 and the country enters a lockdown
March 15, 2020, Italian death toll passes 1,800 US cases pass 3,000. Widespread US school closings
March 16, 2020, Canada closes its borders, Italian cases rise to 28,000 while the death toll rises to 2,158. San Francisco tells everyone to stay home. France restricts movement while President Trump announces CDC guidelines.
March 18, 2020, Canada and US close border, Belgium announces a lockdown. President Trump signs coronavirus aid bill to provide free testing and paid leave
March 19, Canada Reports no new cases from domestic sources. Australia and New Zealand close their borders. Italy passes China with the most deaths. US State Department issues a do not travel warning to all American citizens. California issues a stay at home order
March 20, 2020 death toll in Spain cases 1,000 as the US Mexican border is closed. NYC becomes the epicenter of crisis as cases exceed 5000, and deaths March 29 21 Jordan order a nationwide curfew. New York State numbers pass 10,000. New Jersey issues a state at home order
March 22, 2020 Global cases pass 3000,000 with 13,000 deaths. Senator Rand Paul tests positive. Ohio and Louisiana governors issue stay at home orders
March 24- Tokyo Olympic delayed by one year. President Trump states the US will go back to work by Easter.
March 29 2020 President Trump announces that return to work will not start until end of April, expect 200,000 deaths
April 2, Cases pass 1 million in the world
April 3, Economic impact of virus is estimated at between 2- 4 Trillioin dollars
April 6 Estimates that 90% of children throughout the world are effected by school closings. Prime Minister of Great Britain is admitted to Intensive care
April 24- Georgia reopens all of its retail sector
April 28 US cases surpass 1 Million
May 8, 2020 US Unemployment rate reached 14.7% the hightest number since the Great Depression. The US lost 20.5 million jobs in April.
May 11, 2020- Deaths in the US pass 80,000
May 27, 2020 Deaths in the US pass 100,000. All states have started opening to some extent or another; Disney World announced that it would open in mid-July
June 20- A pattern developed in the US were the early states have seen a stready decrease in cases while the states in the South and the West which open up fully are seeing rapid increase in the number of cases. Meanwhile in the world the numbers continue rise with 8,705,724 total cases as of 6/20 with 461,037 deaths. Brazil and Russia have been leading the world in cases.
July 23 Cases of Covid-19 have been rising rapidly in all of the Southeast and Southwest as well as California. The number of cases in the US passes 4 million and the daily death toll passes 1,000 the first time since the first wave hit New York in April. President Trump announces that he is canceling the Republican Convention in Jacksonville Florida.
October 1, President Trump Announces that he has tested positive for Covid-19 the next day he flew by helicopter to Walter Reed Medical Center
October 3, Trump left the hospital and within a week seemed to have recovered. He began having large rallies for his reelction.
November 1, The US experienced a third wave with rapidly increasing cases. Europe experienced a large outbreak as well.
November 20 Pfizer requests emergeny approval for its Covid-19 vaccine from the FDA.
December 11, FDA grants Pfizer emegency authorization to distribute its vaccine
December 14, The US passes 300,000 dead
February 22 the US passes 500,000 dead
June 15 the US passes 600,000 dead
August 1, 2021 the Delta Variant became the dominant variant in the US and cases and hospitalizations rose substantially.
August 23, 2021: The US Food and Drug Adminstration gave full approval (instead of Emergency Approval) to the Pfizer Covid 19 vaccine. The US military madates the all servicemen and women become vaccinated
November 2021 Omicron variant discovered in South Africa.
January 2022: Supreme Court rules that vaccines mandates for large corporations was an overstep but approved the mandate for health workers.
May 2022: Total deaths in the US passed 1 million. Worldwide Covid 19 is believed to have killed over 6 million people.
September 2022- New vaccines from both Pfizer and Morderna were approved. They were modified to target the Omicron variants.
Cases in the US
Deaths in the US