Social Distancing: Signs Of Hope After One Year
Pandemic First Declared March 11th, 2020
If you had to point to a single day where everything changed, the most likely date is probably one year ago today.
March 11th, 2020 was the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
Here in the Metro we were still worried about making sandbags ahead of potential spring flooding.
Boy, that wasn’t the worst of our problems.
Things started to seem dire that night. The NBA postponed play after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive.
States quickly went into lockdown.
We didn’t know exactly how the virus spread. The uncertainty was frightening.
A year of horror and hardship followed.
The virus swept through assisted living centers, preying on our most vulnerable.
COVID restrictions came, went and came again at various levels.
Kids bounced in and out of class, learning to learn with their classmates over Zoom.
Masks became a part of life for most of us, with furious arguments raging over whether or not to mandate them.
We lost so much. Live sports. Music. Restaurants. Gyms. Safe gatherings with family and friends. Grandparents separated from grandkids.
Families unable to grieve at funerals.
All of this stress coupled with a summer of unrest over the treatment of black Americans, and a nasty presidential election.
In the end, the human cost has been great.
Nearly 29 million cases and more than 526,000 deaths in just the U.S.
More than 6,300 confirmed deaths in Minnesota and 1,400 in North Dakota, to say nothing of potential impacts COVID survivors may face in the years to come.
But there’s some hope after one year.
Vaccines came out faster than they ever have for the virus.
Our most vulnerable people are getting it, and vaccinations are spreading to more and more people.
I’m seeing a lot more people get vaccinated just this week and I’ve seen in the couple of months since they came out.
And that hope is leading to things like this.
A first time a granddaughter in Minnesota touching her grandmother after six months of porch visits.
Lanae Paaverud says she and her husband would visit with the family nearly every Sunday through the glass storm door on their entry’s porch.
Now she says, “When we finally got to see her on Sunday, in person, it was a beautiful moment. I had put my hands out to help her walk (she is just learning), and she instead started touching my hands…with her usual soft curiosity, checking out the hands she had only seen on the glass the last 6 months,”.
That. That’s what we’re enduring all this for. To be able to come together again and see the people and do the things we love.
Now it feels like we’re close than ever to that point.
When things first hit the fan last year, how long did you think the pandemic would last?
I know I only expected a few weeks. Oof.
Let me know on Facebook and Twitter.