Museum of America in the Pandemic Year, 2020

Pick a SPECIFIC date to explore

-Apr 4: New York reports 10,841 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. More than 150 crew members of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier whose captain was relieved of command after raising concerns about the coronavirus tested positive. The CDC begins antibody testing.

-Apr 5: Deaths in New York top 4,000. During a taped interview with Bob Woodward that won’t be revealed for months, Trump says that the virus is “a horrible thing. It’s unbelievable.” Meanwhile, he tamps down the severity of the situation in public. The same day, the president defends his endorsement of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which has been shown to be ineffective and even dangerous when treating COVID, saying, “What do you have to lose?” He announces that the government is stockpiling the malaria drug. Ousted Navy captain, Brett Crozier, tests positive for coronavirus.*

Contributors' Voices

I haven’t left my apartment in four weeks. I was talking to a buddy yesterday and he told me I should go fishing or take a long hike. “If I walk outside this door, I will disappear,” I told him.

When I came back from my first tour, I was homeless for awhile, living under a bridge. But then I got a great job, this cush job at an instrumentation plant. I made lots of money. My wife was happy. But the job was killing me. I really hated it, so I packed my bags and signed on again. Back to Afghanistan. When I came home after the second tour, my wife left me. No one back home even remembered that this war was happening. American patriotism seems lackluster when you cannot so much as get a job at a grocer’s market or even worse, the only job you can get is a security position at a local rundown shopping mall. Or even worse still, when you have to validate your experience by getting a degree from University, just to show someone you can exist in two worlds at the same time. Faking it long enough to pretend you still don’t think about how trash on the side of the road is an indicator that it is tied to a saw blade PPIED yellow jug, forty-pound HME with a two by 9V battery inline-series capacitor stuff-packed into a coffee can.

Society thinks you are broken when you don’t go to sleep or even to the mailbox without a weapon. Your fellow countryman is quick to label you a threat to the safety of the community by slapping a PTSD sticker on your psych eval, medicating you while stripping away your last shred of dignity. Those same people then turn right around and thank you for your fucking service. They throw change at homeless veterans and then thank you for your fucking service. Wives cheat on their husbands or surprisingly ask for divorces for “irreconcilable difference,” then put on their best “I love Veteran’s day parade” dress as they thank you for your fucking service.

I often find myself blaming my own countrymen for not knowing better, but then I forgive them. They don’t have the insight that comes from seeing what I’ve seen, even if that insight comes at the cost of living for nearly a decade in a constant state of extreme depression that you never tell anyone about.

I promised myself that I would finish school. So here I am at this University, taking my required classes, trying to build something for myself that I can live with. I’m on GI funding and being in school is my job. And yet, every day that I am in this little apartment, waiting for classes to start, waiting for life to start, the pull of Afghanistan gets stronger. The hardest thing is the struggle not to go back, not to run back to Afghanistan and the war. I loved Afghanistan. I love the people and the Pashtunwali, and the food, and the hardship, and living out of a bag for years at a time, and sleeping on the ground, and checking my shoes before putting them on, and I love the mountains and I loved the war. I loved it so much that I went back again, and again, and again after that. It cost me everything I ever cared about and I’d go back to Afghanistan again just to be there to have someone worth killing, someone worth saving, and to remember what it is like to feel alive again.

–Letter from a current student who is a veteran of the Afghanistan war

Read more
Los Angeles Times. “What Do You Have to Lose?”: Trump Stockpiles 29-Million Pills of Hydroxychloroquine, 2020.
Audio “A New CDC Tool Aims To Close The COVID-19 Knowledge Gap,” April 5, 2020.

*If the pdf thumbnails are not appearing, please reload the page.

Huffstutter, P.J. “U.S. Dairy Farmers Dump Milk as Pandemic Upends Food Markets.” Reuters, April 4, 2020.
Li, Yan-Chao, Wan-Zhu Bai, and Tsutomu Hashikawa. “Response to Commentary on ‘The Neuroinvasive Potential of SARS-CoV-2 May Play a Role in the Respiratory Failure of COVID-19 Patients.’” Journal of Medical Virology n/a, no. n/a (April 4, 2020).
Cohen, Elizabeth, and John Bonifield. “New York Surgeon Writes Haunting Letter about Rationing Care for Patients Who Don’t Have the Coronavirus.” CNN, April 5, 2020.
Sullivan, Thomas. “COVID-19 HHS and FCC Telehealth Changes.” Policy & Medicine (blog), April 5, 2020.
Social Media
Additional Links

* Timeline summaries at the top of the page come from a variety of sources:, including The American Journal of Managed Care COVID-19 Timeline (, the Just Security Group at the NYU School of Law (, the “10 Things,” daily entries from The Week (, as well as a variety of newspapers and television programs.