The week that was: Stories from the coronavirus saga

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©Copyright 2020 The Philadelphia Inquirer

This March 26, 2020 photo shows I-95 at the Aramingo interchange. with very little traffic due to concerns with the spread of coronavirus in Philadelphia. Gov. Tom Wolf is expanding his order for residents to stay at home in most circumstances to almost one-third of Pennsylvania's counties. The governor's office said Saturday that Wolf was expanding the order to Beaver, Centre and Washington Counties, making a total of 22 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties included. (Frank Wiese/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

The world changed remarkably this past week — yet again, just as it did the week before, as the coronavirus marched across the world. No corner of the planet was safe, it seemed: If the virus itself wasn't upending lives, it was the isolation that spread as the world locked down or the economic repercussions of the fight.

Associated Press journalists across the planet chronicled it. This guide to some of their words and images is a diary of a world at once on pause and in the middle of the biggest fight of its generation.

More than perhaps anyone, front-line medical professionals are seeing the virus' effects up close — and taking the biggest risks. This series of portraits from Italy, showing some of them up close, puts faces with the facts. And in Iran, another hard-hit area, belief in a false treatment that was poisonous killed hundreds.

New York City became a terrifying epicenter of the virus in the past week as a “cacophony of coughing” overran emergency rooms and health care workers worried they might be next. And as more was asked of Americans, an important question emerged: Are they ready for a once-in-a-generation kind of sacrifice?

In addition to covering breaking news, the AP is focusing on several overall areas in its coverage. Here's a look at some of the most significant work from those areas over the past week.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE: THE VIRUS, AND FIGHTING IT

Scientists are scrambling to find ways to protect people from the coronavirus including collecting the blood of recovered patients to harvest the antibodies they’ve already produced to fight the virus. The excitement about treating the new virus with a malaria drug now used against lupus and rheumatoid arthritis along with an antibiotic is raising hopes, but the evidence that it works is thin.

With capacity also stretched thin, U.S. hospitals are rushing to find beds for a coming flood of patients, opening older closed hospitals and repurposing other medical buildings. And in the world's most densely populated cities, how do you practice social distancing?