Photo perspective | U.S. coronavirus deaths pass 100,000 mark in under four months, leading the world

The funeral of Charles Jackson Jr., who died of COVID-19, is seen through a window.
The funeral of Charles Jackson Jr. on April 15 is seen through a window at the Angelus Funeral Home in Los Angeles. Jackson attended the Black Summit of the National Brotherhood of Skiers in late February and early March. He fell ill after returning home and died of COVID-19 complications.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

They were musicians, engineers and teachers. And cancer survivors, firefighters, lawyers and doctors. Others were grandfathers, mothers and retirees. And some were just beginning their careers.

More than 100,000 Americans across the nation have died just four months after officials announced the nation’s first known coronavirus case, with COVID-19 killing both the old and young in cities large and small.

It’s a distressing milestone in the pandemic that the United States reached this week.

President Trump, acknowledging for the first time Thursday that the number of deaths climbed past five figures after facing criticism for failing to do so, finally offered his condolences:


“We have just reached a very sad milestone with the coronavirus pandemic deaths reaching 100,000. To all of the families & friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent. God be with you!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The virus has not only changed the way people live but also how they mourn. The sick overwhelmingly have died alone, and loved ones have had to say their goodbyes over the phone or on video chat.

And despite the United State’s wealth of information, power and leadership on the world stage, the death toll from the virus is more than double the number of reported deaths of any other nation.

But what that number doesn’t reflect are the memories that those people leave behind and the impact on the lives of friends, families, co-workers and communities.

According to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos, 14% of Americans know someone who has died of COVID-19.

As the nation reopens and COVID-19 continues to spread, with these images we look at how some lives have been affected.

A nurse places a blanket over an ER patient.
A nurse places a blanket over a patient in the emergency room at San Jose’s Regional Medical Center on May 21, 2020. Santa Clara County, where this hospital is located, had the earliest known COVID-19-related deaths in the United States.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
Bodies in boxes in the chapel of a funeral home.
A funeral home overwhelmed by the coronavirus crisis in New York City’s Elmhurst neighborhood stores bodies in its chapel on May 11, 2020, before sending them to crematoriums and cemeteries.
(Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis)

Four mourners stand next to a U.S.-flag-draped casket of a military veteran in a cemetery
Mourners attend the funeral of veteran Mary Foley on April 8, 2020, in Malden, Mass. Foley, who died at 93, served in the Air Force during World War II. Because of the coronavirus crisis, she cannot be given a formal military funeral.
(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)
Activists carry body bags symbolizing COVID-19 victims.
Activists from Indivisible Brooklyn and Rise and Resist carry body bags symbolizing COVID-19 victims as they head to Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York on May 24.
(Gabriele Holtermann / Pacific Press/LightRocket)
Omar Martinez holds a cellphone showing a photo of his parents' wedding.
In West Liberty, Iowa, on April 25, 2020, Omar Martinez holds a cellphone showing a photo of his parents’ wedding. Martinez’s family had been living the American dream after immigrating from Mexico in the 1990s and settling in this small town in eastern Iowa, but their lives fell apart after coronavirus infections spread from his mother to his sister and his father. Now, he is planning his father’s funeral while hoping his sister recovers in an intensive care unit. He is grateful his mother is better and appreciates the community’s support.
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Four people in masks and gloves roll a casket at a cemetery.
Funeral director Sarah Smith, right, and other workers at Jay Chapel Funeral Home bring the body of Wanda DeSelle, 76, to a gravesite on April 8, 2020. Wanda DeSelle, a medical office worker in Madera, Calif., died of COVID-19. Immediate family had to remain in their cars as DeSelle was buried.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)