put off plans that had been years in the making, like travel and volunteer work. Inside nursing homes, Covid-19 outbreaks became all too regular, with more than 163,000 residents and workers dying of the virus.

Delivery drivers dealt with health risks, theft and assault. Airline workers who weren’t furloughed had to confront passengers who refused to wear masks.

Perhaps no group of workers felt as isolated as those in medical care. In the spring, hospital staff around the country dealt with the gut-wrenching horrors of a steep surge in cases. But the stress didn’t relent when the case numbers did, and it grew again as infections rose in the fall. Doctors and nurses agonized over putting their families at risk, and dealt with intense burnout and pay cuts. Some said that being characterized as heroes by the public left them little room to express vulnerability.

more than 500,000 Americans had died from Covid-19, a toll higher than in any other country. The world’s struggle to contain the coronavirus was often compared to a war; in this case, the enemy claimed more Americans than World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined. All told, by March, one in three Americans had lost someone to the virus.

Grief and loss defined the last year. Around the world, the virus has taken millions of lives and left the mourning deprived of the usual rites. Funerals and final goodbyes took place over video calls, if at all. Widows and widowers joined online bereavement groups to process the pain of loss in isolation.

promised that there will be enough vaccine doses for every American adult by May, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that vaccinated people can begin gathering indoors again — a sign that people will soon be finding their way back to each other.

Let us know.

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Meghan Highlights Depression in Pregnancy, an Overlooked Danger

Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry has clearly become a spark for international discussions about racism and the state of Britain’s royal family. And it has brought new attention to another issue as well.

Meghan’s revelation of her mental anguish during and after her first pregnancy, including thoughts of suicide so significant that she feared being left alone — and that the palace had been a barrier to the help she needed — sounded painfully familiar for many.

The experience of life-threatening pregnancy complications, mental as well as physical, is strikingly common. If it has not happened to you, it has almost certainly happened to someone you care about, though you may not know it.

Twitter was soon filled with people sharing their own stories of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts during and after pregnancy.

2017 survey of 1,000 British women, nearly 50 percent of respondents reported experiencing a mental or emotional problem, but half of these had not had this problem identified by a health professional.

Meghan did not say whether she had been diagnosed with peripartum depression or any other condition. But experts increasingly advocate extending specialist care to women who experience serious distress during or after pregnancy, whether or not they fit a specific diagnosis.

“Some researchers have suggested that we should, rather than looking at particular diagnostic categories, refer instead to ‘perinatal distress’ to encompass the complexity of the difficulties experienced at this time,” Dr. Svanberg said.

The stakes, after all, are extremely high. Pregnant people risk stroke, hemorrhage, infection and other complications that can be deadly for parent and baby. But mental distress is one of the most serious risks of all. In developed countries, suicide “is a leading cause of death in the perinatal period (The leading cause of death in 2003),” Dr. Svanberg wrote.

Discussions of pregnancy and mental health often focus on pregnancy hormones’ effect on mood. But while that is a factor, there is substantial evidence that other stressors play a role as well — so much so that approximately 10 percent of fathers also experience postpartum depression.

four times higher than for white women, and studies have shown that medical workers tend to underestimate Black women’s pain during birth, which can deprive them of the medication and care they need.

The popular image of pregnancy as something happy and straightforward, troubled only by cute problems like wanting to put pickles on ice cream, or brief ones like a painful natural delivery, can mean that those who have more difficult pregnancies can face stigma and dismissal if they ask for help.

“At the root of barriers to maternal mental health care are gender stereotypes that promote the idea that women should be ‘self-sacrificing mothers,’ who ought to prioritize the purported needs of their families and children even over their own survival and well-being,” said Ms. Shah, who has worked on reproductive and maternity rights issues around the globe. “These stereotypes lead to stigmatization of health care for pregnant women or mothers who experience depression or anxiety, rather than only joy or contentment.”

“There is also an assignation of blame, that there must be something wrong in what we are doing if we are not feeling 100 percent,” Dr. Agarwal said. “Women are also made to feel guilty about being frail, overemotional and nervy.”

Although some in the British news media have criticized Meghan for claiming victimhood despite her wealth and privilege, many of those with more firsthand experience saw her story as a sign that these problems could happen to anyone, no matter the circumstances.

Ms. Molyneux said that she was moved to hear Meghan speak so frankly during the interview. “I felt a big wave of relief wash over me to see this incredibly accomplished person admit she’d had mental health struggles,” she said.

“For people who are less privileged than me, women in jobs where it’s less safe to admit you are struggling, they can point to this person who has wealth and privilege — a literal duchess — and say, ‘This isn’t my fault, it can happen to anyone, and I need help.’”

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Meghan’s Oprah Interview Rekindles Princess Diana Memories

Anyone who remembers the funeral of Diana, the Princess of Wales, in 1997 can’t help being haunted by the wrenching sight of her two young sons, Princes William and Harry, walking slowly behind her coffin as it made its way to Westminster Abbey. Their hands were clasped in front; their heads were bowed. Harry looked so small in his suit.

That image has reverberated down the years, a ghostly reminder of the princes’ traumatic childhood, and it hovered again in the background as Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, spoke to Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night.

While the British tabloids like to cast Meghan in the villainous role of the Duchess of Windsor — the American divorcée who lured away their king in 1936 and lived with him in bitter exile, causing an irreparable family rift — Harry and Meghan seem determined to position her instead as a latter-day Diana, a woman mistreated by her in-laws, more sinned against than sinning.

died in a car wreck in a Parisian underpass, the paparazzi in hot pursuit. He raised the subject again on Sunday, drawing parallels between the experiences of his mother and his wife and saying, of Diana, that he has “felt her presence through this whole process.”

she and Charles married; Meghan was 36 and worldly, having made her own living for years, when she married Harry. She was also divorced, with a high-profile job as an actress.

And Meghan is American, with an American sensibility.

Diana came from a culture of reticence in which tradition is venerated; Meghan comes from one where it is normal to ask for help, to discuss your feelings and to suggest that there might be better, newer ways of doing things.

now be found on the finger of Prince William’s wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.)

Diana’s 1995 interview with the BBC. That was the one in which, in somber tones, she revealed that her marriage had always been doomed because there were “three of us” in it: her, Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles, his longtime lover and later his wife.

But it was Harry who most pointedly invoked his mother on Sunday. He said he believed Diana would have been angry and sad at the couple’s treatment. And he said she would have supported their decision to leave Britain and seek a new life away from the constraints of the royal family.

Given her experience, he said, his own plight had an air of inevitability to it.

“Touching back on what you asked me — what my mum would think of this — I think she saw it coming,” he told Oprah. “But ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy.”

For Harry, there is the added element of knowing that his father caused his mother pain, and that Charles knew how unhappy she was as a royal wife. Now, he told Oprah, he and Charles have had a falling-out over Meghan, with his father at one point refusing to take his calls.

“There’s a lot to work through here,” Harry said. “I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. At the same time, of course, I will always love him. But there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.”

Toward the end of the interview, Harry spoke of his son, Archie, and his new life in California. He sounded both loving — and wistful. For a moment, he seemed to be recalling how it felt to be without a mother at the age of 12.

“The highlight for me is sticking him on the back of his bicycle in his little baby seat and taking him on these bike rides,” he said. “Which is something I was never able to do when I was young.”

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Meghan Markle’s Interview Rekindles Princess Diana Memories

Anyone who remembers the funeral of Diana, the Princess of Wales, in 1997 can’t help being haunted by the wrenching sight of her two young sons, Princes William and Harry, walking slowly behind her coffin as it made its way to Westminster Abbey. Their hands were clasped in front; their heads were bowed. Harry looked so small in his suit.

That image has reverberated down the years, a ghostly reminder of the princes’ traumatic childhood, and it hovered again in the background as Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, spoke to Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night.

While the British tabloids like to cast Meghan in the villainous role of the Duchess of Windsor — the American divorcée who lured away their king in 1936 and lived with him in bitter exile, causing an irreparable family rift — Harry and Meghan seem determined to position her instead as a latter-day Diana, a woman mistreated by her in-laws, more sinned against than sinning.

died in a car wreck in a Parisian underpass, the paparazzi in hot pursuit. He raised the subject again on Sunday, drawing parallels between the experiences of his mother and his wife and saying, of Diana, that he has “felt her presence through this whole process.”

she and Charles married; Meghan was 36 and worldly, having made her own living for years, when she married Harry. She was also divorced, with a high-profile job as an actress.

And Meghan is American, with an American sensibility.

Diana came from a culture of reticence in which tradition is venerated; Meghan comes from one where it is normal to ask for help, to discuss your feelings and to suggest that there might be better, newer ways of doing things.

now be found on the finger of Prince William’s wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.)

Diana’s 1995 interview with the BBC. That was the one in which, in somber tones, she revealed that her marriage had always been doomed because there were “three of us” in it: her, Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles, his longtime lover and later his wife.

But it was Harry who most pointedly invoked his mother on Sunday. He said he believed Diana would have been angry and sad at the couple’s treatment. And he said she would have supported their decision to leave Britain and seek a new life away from the constraints of the royal family.

Given her experience, he said, his own plight had an air of inevitability to it.

“Touching back on what you asked me — what my mum would think of this — I think she saw it coming,” he told Oprah. “But ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy.”

For Harry, there is the added element of knowing that his father caused his mother pain, and that Charles knew how unhappy she was as a royal wife. Now, he told Oprah, he and Charles have had a falling-out over Meghan, with his father at one point refusing to take his calls.

“There’s a lot to work through here,” Harry said. “I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. At the same time, of course, I will always love him. But there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.”

Toward the end of the interview, Harry spoke of his son, Archie, and his new life in California. He sounded both loving — and wistful. For a moment, he seemed to be recalling how it felt to be without a mother at the age of 12.

“The highlight for me is sticking him on the back of his bicycle in his little baby seat and taking him on these bike rides,” he said. “Which is something I was never able to do when I was young.”

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