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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but the impact on teenagers has been uniquely profound.

Why it matters: High schoolers spent much of the past year isolated and on the sidelines, and that lack of human connection combined with shortened or canceled sports seasons has taken a devastating toll.

  • A coordinated, national response would have allowed teens to at least take solace in being alone together. Instead, state-by-state protocols meant they all had different experiences.
  • Some kids played sports and attended in-person classes. Others learned virtually and saw sports seasons canceled, robbing them of lifelong memories and, in some cases, the chance to get recruited.

The tale of two towns...

Map data: ©2021 Google

Denver City, Texas, and Hobbs, New Mexico, are separated by just 35 miles, but their states responded to the coronavirus in drastically different ways. Texas was freewheeling; New Mexico was the opposite.

  • Denver City: After the initial lockdown, the town of 5,000 reopened its schools with baseline safety measures (masks, social distancing, contact tracing) and ran a cancellation-free football season.
  • Hobbs: The larger town (population 40,000) across the border continued with remote or hybrid learning throughout the year. Athletes could practice in small pods, but there were no actual games.

What they're saying: For some, like Hobbs junior football star Kooper Davis, the time away from the field and friends was unbearable, as depicted in a must-read story from ProPublica's Alec MacGillis.

"I play football and basketball and those sports make up a big part of my life, and when I'm not here every day doing something with those sports, honestly, I feel really lost in life."
Davis, during an October demonstration to reopen schools

In December, Davis took his own life; the third Hobbs teen to do so in the last three months of 2020 alone. "No doubt, if my son had been in school on Monday this wouldn't have happened," said his father, Justin Davis.

Read the full story.

Go deeper

More than a dozen injured in downtown Austin shooting

Police tape in Austin, Texas in 2018. Photo: y Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A shooting in a busy part of downtown Austin, Texas, early Saturday injured at least 13 people, including two who are in critical condition.

The state of play: Gunfire erupted around 1:30 a.m. along 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants. The suspected shooter remains at large, Austin police said. "It is unknown if there is one, or multiple suspects involved," they noted, adding the shooting appears to be an isolated incident.

Biden to urge G7 to take unified approach to countering China

Photo: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Saturday is expected to urge fellow G7 leaders to adopt a unified approach to countering China's rising global influence, AP reports.

Driving the news: The G7 leaders are set to unveil a multi-billion-dollar global infrastructure plan aimed at rivaling Beijing's efforts in the developing world.

Why America's post-vaccine summer is off to a slow start

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are itching to put pandemic life behind them, but many of the necessary ingredients for a summer of carefree fun — everything from neighborhood pools to car rentals — still aren't fully available.

The big picture: Labor shortages, scrambled supply chains and simple logistics are all making it harder for a whole range of businesses to meet post-pandemic demand, and that’s making “hot vax summer” a little harder to pull off.

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