The longest week

Within one week, we’ve had Halloween, 100,000-plus covid-19 cases per day and a presidential election. The week started sunny and hopeful but turned tense by Tuesday night. Voters were ready for results but Friday morning, we still didn’t have much of a winner.

OCT. 31: Hard to believe Halloween was just a week ago. While few across the country go trick-or-treating, President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden continue on the campaign trail. Each focuses on states that Trump won narrowly four years ago, with Biden concentrating on Michigan and Trump in Pennsylvania. Early voting continues to set records, with at least 90 million Americans already having cast ballots.

NOV. 1: Competition remains fierce in two of the most important battleground states, with Biden holding a slight lead over Trump in Pennsylvania and the two candidates in a virtual dead heat in Florida. Across the United States, political signs have been set ablaze, cars have been vandalized, and neighborhood scuffles and shouting matches have proliferated in the waning days of the most toxic election season in more than half a century.

NOV. 2: Americans wake up Monday to mild November weather across the country. Polls show Biden leading Trump by 10 percentage points nationally, 52 percent to 42 percent. States begin readying the National Guard for more potential election unrest. At a Trump campaign rally in South Florida the crowd chant: “Fire Fauci! Fire Fauci!” prompting a striking response from the president that suggested he might just do that.

NOV. 3: At least 99 million people have voted already as more Americans head to the polls, making 2020 the highest voter turnout in more than a century. The coronavirus is preventing election watch parties, so more people stock up on food and drinks to view the results at home. Trump signals that Election Day could be followed by a stretch of uncertainty and chaos.

NOV. 4: The election map is filling in but results come in slowly with millions of votes yet to be counted. Trump claims that he won several states that are still counting ballots, including Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Biden wins Wisconsin and Michigan, two states that voted Republican in 2016.

NOV. 5: Americans are up at all hours checking presidential results with Biden 17 electoral votes away from a victory. People are finding alternatives to the anxiety of following the election in real time by turning to meditation and medication. Alaska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada remain uncalled. Trump repeats baseless claims of fraud in a televised address to the nation.

NOV. 6: By Friday morning, we still don’t have a winner. Biden’s team waits, expressing confidence, for networks to call the race, but officials say that a recount is expected in Pennsylvania and Georgia. The country waits....

NOV. 7: Biden is elected the nation’s 46th president Saturday. The victory comes after a hotly contested election that took four days for a winner to be declared before winning the state where he was born, Pennsylvania. Voters also made history in electing as vice president Kamala Harris, a senator from California and daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants who will become the country’s first woman, first Black person and first Asian American to hold the No. 2 job.