Photo by Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl / Arina (left) and Angelina Hakobyan are waking up. It was November 23, and the family had just returned from Armenia, where they fled for safety from Nagorno-Karabakh.
The war in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia lasted for six weeks and ended on November 10, with a Russian-mediated peace deal that left Azerbaijan retaining territory gained during that war and regaining control of districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh that Armenia had captured in the 1990s.
This was the first conflict to start during the pandemic, and the overlap of the two crises was deadly. Rates of COVID-19 infection, which had been low, spiraled out of control when the fighting began. I worked together with writer Kristen Chick, and our reporting was published in @natgeo. This project was supported by the National Geographic Society's Emergency Fund for Journalists. @insidenatgeo #nagornokarabakh
Photos by Michael Yamashita @yamashitaphoto / Living in the Wall. Four thousand years ago in far northwestern China, people first began building and living in cave homes called yaodong. These yaodong, or "house caves," are a distinctive form of earthen dwelling especially common in the Loess Plateau, the area of northern China known for the loose, shifting, sandy silt that is deposited and built up by dry winds blowing across the Gobi desert. The caves are carved out of a hillside or excavated vertically to form a central sunken courtyard with rooms dug out horizontally around it. The earthen walls of the cave are effective insulators that keep the inside of the structure warm in winter and cool in the summer heat. Though the history of yaodongs goes back centuries, they continue to be used as homes, many with running water and electricity. An estimated 40 million people in northern China live in yaodongs. The Great Wall, with its thick, tamped earth walls, has proven to be an ideal foundation for this kind of cave living. Here are a few yaodongs carved out of the Great Wall in Shanxi Province. #cavehouse #caveliving #shanxi #laoying #greatwallofchina
Photo by @lynseyaddario / Joe Biden is sworn in as president of the United States as COVID-19 patient Cornel Iordache, 36, is prepared to move to another bed in the critical care unit of Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England, on January 20, 2021. Iordache, a weightlifter, had a breathing tube removed earlier that morning and was making extraordinary progress. Medical staff at Royal Papworth are tending to COVID-19 patients in four areas which have been reallocated to deal with a surge in COVID patients: two critical-care provision areas and two noncritical-care areas. RP is the specialist heart and lung hospital for the east of England and parts of north and east London, and it is one of five hospitals in England with ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) service for patients in acute severe respiratory failure. The ECMO machine pumps and oxygenates a patient's blood outside the body, which essentially does the job of the lungs externally in order to give the body a chance to rest and recover.
Photos by Ivan Kashinsky @ivankphoto / “I wish I had the opportunity to go back to Mexico and see my grandparents before they pass away. I hope it doesn’t get to that point, when they are that old and they are in their last moments, because I would have to make the decision of seeing them for the last time or being here. And now it is more difficult because I have a son.” —Jonathan Suarez
Jonathan Suarez, 33, came to the United States from a small town in Puebla, Mexico, when he was four years old. Johnny is a DACA* recipient and an essential worker. He owns and operates his own cell phone repair business. Johnny employs five people. He has always been a fixer. Johnny attempted to fix his first phone by watching a YouTube video but ended up breaking it. For 10 years now, he has run his own successful business, with loyal customers. Johnny takes three days off a week, which he dedicates to spending time with his son, Jeremiah.
*Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) protects some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. President Trump’s attempt to end DACA was blocked by the Supreme Court last year. President Biden signed an executive order to preserve the program. This project was created by @kchete77 and @ivankphoto with the support of the @insidenatgeo COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists.
(1) Johnny, age 5 (courtesy of Jonathan Suarez). (2, 3) Johnny (middle) works at his cell phone repair shop in Inglewood, California. (4, 5) Johnny spends time with his son, Jeremiah, on his patio in Inglewood. (6, 7) Johnny eats menudo, a traditional Mexican soup, at a restaurant in Los Angeles. (8, 9) Johnny repairs a cell phone.
Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @jaredsoares / Earlice Switzer-Rupp and Norma Switzer during the 138th Nicodemus Homecoming in 2016. Nicodemus, a small town in western Kansas, was settled by formerly enslaved African Americans at the end of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era. Each summer during the last week of July, the town of fewer than 15 full-time residents hosts a weekend-long “family reunion” for descendants, whose ties to the community remain strong even if they live one or many states away, such as in Colorado, Texas, and California. Please follow me @jaredsoares for more stories centered around community in the United States.