The COVID-19 Diaries (March 2020)

Dear Reader,

It has been about a year since COVID-19 became a formidable threat in the U.S., and, boy, has this past year been exhausting. In this post, I would like to revisit winter/ spring 2020 to see just how quickly everything unfolded a year ago. Luckily, because I was a daily blogger back then, I have much material to draw on for this post.

Events happening in blog posts do not necessarily correspond exactly with the dates the posts were published. Delays of a few days are common.

February 13, 2020

The world and I were so very unconcerned with COVID-19. So unconcerned, in fact, that on this day, I published a blog post beginning with the words “Physical closeness is a surefire way to bring people together.” Well, we’re not doing very much of that anymore!

February 21, 2020

Talk of the coronavirus became more urgent in late February, but rather than keeping people apart, reminders to wash hands and clean surfaces were the policies of choice.

Post excerpt:

Even if you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of the coronavirus. This insidious disease seemingly appeared with the new year and has grown in relevance with every passing day. As of today (2/21/2020), the death toll stands at about 2,150. When an unknown danger erupts and nobody feels safe, the disease mutates into more than just a biological hazard….”

March 5, 2020

Remember when China was totally on lockdown? At this point, the panic was in the air. N-95 masks were flying off the shelves and people desperately began to send aid to family members in high-risk areas

Post excerpt:

A few days ago, I went to FedEx to deliver a package and overheard another customer explaining the contents of his box to China. The guy, who looked like a student, was desperately trying to send 300 face masks and hundreds of sanitizing wipes to his family in China as soon as possible. He opted for the fastest delivery available and paid $241 for the shipping expense alone….”

March 15, 2020

Around mid-March the panic buying was in full swing. Toilet paper prices were at an all-time high and people were legit scared of what was to come.

Post excerpt:

When I cautiously entered Trader Joe’s, I was immediately confronted with an empty banana stand. Beyond the bananas, potatoes, spinach, nuts, frozen meals, and bread were either gone or in very, very short supply. I found it odd that bananas were fresh out….”

March 19, 2020

At the end of March, non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors.

Post excerpt:

All dine-in service has been banned in the state of Massachusetts to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. While I naively thought that the governor’s proclamation only applied to bars and restaurants, in actuality the shutdown extends to all eateries–cafes included.…”

March 21, 2020

Then, the stress baking began, but the groceries stores were out of yeast. Things were getting desperate.

Post excerpt: “Now that eating out is no longer an option in Massachusetts, I am finding my self-quarantine as an excellent time to experiment in the kitchen….”

March 31, 2020

The end of March was also when hopes were highest for the potential of “flattening the curve.” We took advantage of Zoom and outdoor spaces as if both were invented specifically for social-distancing purposes.

Post excerpt:

New York City recently shutdown Central Park after pictures were leaked showing crowds of people walking, mingling, and resting on benches. It’s a shame that such a beautiful and open place has been closed during a stressful time.”

As we know, March was only the beginning of the pandemic. It was before “6-feet apart” became a policy and before masks were mandated. Furthermore, it was when we still had hope that this whole thing would blow over in the summer. March 2020 was a downhill spiral, but April 2020, when hope was thin, was arguably worse.

We’ll take some time to revisit April 2020 next month with that anniversary of sorts — until then!



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