Since February 2020, we've been covering the COVID-19 pandemic, and with it, the immense loss of life. The numbers are staggering. Here in the United States we've registered more than 575,000 deaths, some of the 3.2 million deaths worldwide.
But in the past few months, most attention has been paid to the rollout and distribution of the COVID vaccine. It's resulted in good news; U.S. case rates are at their lowest since last July.
But the pandemic is far from over, and some officials say the tragedy unfolding in India right now is the most dire situation we've seen over the course of this entire global pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared victory over the pandemic in January, but with an estimated and unofficial count of up to 5 million new cases a day, the health care system has all but collapsed. The staggering rate of infection, as well as the death toll now climbing above 200,000 is only more upsetting, because those figures are likely underreported.
As of Wednesday, only about 160 million vaccine doses had been administered--in a country whose population is nearly 1.4 billion people. The international community is providing aid--ventilators, oxygen, medicine--but is it too little, too late?
To begin the Sound of Ideas, we'll look at the unfolding crisis in India, and get some perspective from locals, looking to lend a hand in any way they can.
Later in the hour, we'll offer another installment of our collaborative reporting project Learning Curve.
Sudarshan Sahte, chairman, board of trustees, Federation of India: Community Associations
Atul Mehta, M.D.; pulmonologist, the Cleveland Clinic
Foluke Omuson, freelance reporter, WKSU
Sarah Pottle, co-founder, Drift Textile Co.
Celeste Malvar-Stewart, Columbus-based sustainable-fashion designer
Alexa Vicario, Northeast Ohio crafter