2020 has given us plenty of bad news to lament, from job losses to losses of life.
10 pivotal figures have pushed for positive change during this profound crisis. These people represent the best of us and remind us humanity can carry on even when it feels impossible.
In March, as Covid-19 ripped through communities, health care workers told Inverse they felt "hung out to dry." This feeling has echoed throughout the pandemic as health care workers deal with PPE shortages, overwhelmed intensive care units, and long hours. They've carried their communities.
As of November, half a million Americans have signed up to participate in Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials, not knowing whether they would get vaccinated or receive a placebo shot. These individuals enabled companies like Pfizer and Moderna to develop effective vaccines in under a year, breaking the previous fastest vaccine development: four years.
Reddit's R/CORONAVIRUS, one of the world's most popular online forums on the topic, began as a "dorky pet project" in December. It's since morphed into a hub of science-backed information with 2.3 million members and counting. It's moderators — students, virologists, nurses, and scientists— filter out misinformation with the goal of helping people stay safe and informed.
Today, masks are common. But months ago, as controversy over masks' effectiveness boiled, pro-mask advocates around the world created social media campaigns encouraging people to mask up. With these grassroots and social media tactics, regular people shifted policy and helped curb the spread of Covid-19.
The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer organization launched from The Atlantic, works to collect and publish data to help people better understand the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States. The group has partnered with the Center for Antiracist Research to also collect, publish, and analyze racial pandemic data.