BY KAYLA GATES
Friday, March 13, 2020, began like any other day for the vast majority of the United States population. Students attended their schools and adults traveled to their places of work. However, it was still unclear if this would be the last time they would do so for the months to come.
While word of the coronavirus began to spread in early January to the United States from its origin in Wuhan, China, it appeared to be nothing other than another news story to the general population. Then, on January 21, the first case was confirmed in the United States.
As individuals continued to lack a sense of urgency regarding the virus, COVID-19 continued to spread throughout the country. It was on March 11 that the coronavirus finally reached the level of a pandemic and on March 13 when President Donald Trump declared it a national emergency.
“When the coronavirus first hit the U.S., I didn’t take it very seriously,” CCHS junior Malak Sadoumy said. “I never would have guessed that March 13 would be my last normal day.”
“I never would have guessed that March 13 would be my last normal day.”CCHS junior Malak Sadoumy
It was this declaration that set a chain of life-altering events into motion. One by one, businesses began to shut down. Individuals were restricted to live within the walls of their homes. Governments issued mandatory curfews and quarantines. Before long, the world appeared to take on a practically unrecognizable reality.
For the months to follow, the nation was forced to adapt to this new normal. Students completed the remainder of their school years virtually, while their parents worked from home. Households were forced to find new ways to function in a life with no outside world.
The situation reached a turning point when the United States’ February economic recession was drawn out by the events of the coronavirus pandemic. Establishments downsized or went out of business. Employees took pay cuts or lost their jobs.
As time went on, the severity of the situation appeared to lessen. Mandatory quarantines were lifted, allowing individuals to travel freely with the adornment of a facial covering. Schools started to reopen and employees returned to their places of work.
“It’s something I will never forget.”CCHS sophomore Francesca Jaques
It appears that there is still a long way to go when it comes to rebuilding our past reality, one that truly may never be reached. But as time progresses and developments persist, the world will continue to evolve with each and every change.
“This pandemic made me grateful for parts of my life I really took for granted,” CCHS sophomore Francesca Jaques said. “It’s something I will never forget.”
So, while the events of March 13 may not have evoked much thought or emotion, the change they would set off certainly did. While the realization may not have hit, each and every individual during that time was living through history.
Illustration by Kamdyn Roher