“It’s like treading water from 100 feet below the surface,” said Scott Brickner, a nurse at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. “You’re already drowning but you just have to keep trying because that’s what you can do.”

COVID-19 is killing one person every ten minutes in Los Angeles County.

Nationally, 40% of new cases are in southern states. Texas hospitalization broke records for five days straight, a 36% increase in the last month.

Against the grim backdrop, defiant crowds danced in Philadelphia to protest the cancellation of the New Year’s Day Parade, and religious worshippers protested California’s limits on indoor gatherings.