COVID-19 has spread quickly around the world, causing more than 2 million deaths and infecting more than 97 million people as of Jan. 21, 2021, according to Johns Hopkins' Coronavirus Resource Center. It’s already hard to remember life before COVID-19—but it was less than a year ago when a doctor in China sounded the alarm about a new respiratory virus. Since then, cases have been confirmed in nearly every country and on every continent except Antarctica. The United States today has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, and cases are rising quickly as people defied CDC recommendations to gather for fall and winter holidays.
The story of how COVID-19 spread so far and so fast is a story of government secrecy, delayed action, polarizing politics, and a highly contagious virus. To better understand what has happened and what might follow, Stacker constructed a timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic from its first mention by Dr. Li Wenliang in Wuhan, China. Our timeline includes information from a range of sources including news outlets such as the New York Times and CNN, Johns Hopkins' Coronavirus Resource Center, the COVID Tracking Project, science articles, and releases from the World Health Organization (WHO). Keep reading for more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and a better understanding of how a highly contagious virus became a global health crisis.
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