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Dispatches Quotables


“My granddaughter turned 1 yesterday in California. … This is my birthday present to her. I’ve never been able to see her.”

Cape Coral, Fla., resident MARY RAVIS, 69, who waited with her husband for hours in a line in Lee County in late December to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. “I really need this vaccine,” she told the Fort Myers News-Press, explaining she and her husband had underlying health conditions. “Our lives have been on hold for the past 10 months.” 

“Where you’re not rich enough but you’re not poor enough, you’re stuck.”

SALIM ABDOOL KARIM, an epidemiologist in South Africa, where most residents are not expected to receive COVID-19 vaccines until mid-2021. A South African factory is expected to produce millions of vaccine doses in coming months, but according to The New York Times, they are slated for use in Western nations due to global vaccine deals. 

“I did something I never imagined I would ever do.”

An unidentified woman, describing in a U.K. survey her decision to have an abortion because of financial pressures during the pandemic. Abortion provider British Pregnancy Advisory Service found the U.K. government’s two-child cap for social security benefits influenced many women’s abortion decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Some are taking advantage that everyone is wearing masks to commit crimes.”

FERNANDO MATEO, co-founder of the United Bodegas of America, on the 222 percent increase in burglaries and 63 percent increase in shootings in front of New York City bodegas and corner stores during the pandemic. 

“I told her I can’t, I am too young and I don’t want to. He is old. … She slapped me and locked me up in a room.”

NEHA, a Christian Pakistani girl, who says she was 14 when an aunt forced her to marry a 45-year-old Muslim man. Neha fled one week after the wedding. Nearly 1,000 girls are forcibly converted to Islam each year in Pakistan, often to facilitate underage marriages.