Sure, many words can, have and will be used to describe the COVID-19 pandemic, such as awful, terrible, horrible, deadly, etc., but in terms of its impact on society, change may be the one word that sums it up best.
In-person meetings changed to Zoom meetings, and many will probably stay that way. In-person classes at school turned into Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) or remote learning. Snow days are probably something that will be gone forever for students.
With restaurant closures for in-person dining over the last year, the term “carry out” took on a whole new dimension.
Waiting rooms and nine-month old magazines were a thing of the past if you went to see the doctor, dentist or barber. Of course, this was if you could even to get into one of these businesses, which wasn’t so easy this past spring with state-mandated closures of many businesses.
April 6 marks the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case being reported in Whitley County.
For many people, COVID-19 has made this past 12 months one of the worst of their lives, particularly from a professional standpoint.
COVID-19 caused many businesses to be split up into one of three categories. Some were just outright forced to close and lock their doors forever, such as at least half a dozen newspapers in Kentucky alone. Others struggled to stay open in some capacity and just stay afloat, such as nearly every restaurant that didn’t close outright. The exception being drive-in restaurants, such as The Rootbeer Stand and Sonic, which largely thrived during the whole indoor dining shutdown thing. I know last April they got a lot of my business.
Then you had a few businesses, such as grocery stores, discount stores, etc., which had so much business that they were struggling and exhausted just trying to keep the shelves stocked.
From a professional standpoint, the last 12 months have probably been the most stressful of my life. The pandemic struck about four weeks after I took over as managing editor.
In addition to numerous COVID-19 stories and daily updates on our website for much of the last 12 months, one of the biggest consistent challenges for our staff has been finding photos for the newspaper, which last spring was quite difficult since most things were closed and nearly all events were cancelled.
It’s been an interesting 12 months for all of us to say the least.
News Journal reporter Jennifer K. Perkins wrote a story in this past week’s edition looking back on how life has changed in several areas over the last 12 months due to COVID-19.
It is a good read.
Fortunately, life is starting to get back to normal or perhaps the new normal would be a better way of putting it.
One thing that is necessary for a more normal life is getting more people vaccinated against COVID-19.
Late Thursday afternoon, I got my second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Can’t say I was looking forward to it in many regards. Moderna is well-known for making many people pretty ill for a day or two after they receive the second dose of the vaccine.
Given that I am 50 with some pre-existing health conditions, I decided to get the first dose of the vaccine about four weeks ago despite a few reservations that I have over the fast vaccine development and lack of knowledge we have about possible long-term side effects.
Another reason that I decided to get the vaccine is similar to why I choose to wear a face mask, and that is because I want to reduce the chance that I can get this virus and give it to others. I hate the thought of accidentally making someone else sick.
Getting the majority of people vaccinated is important so that life can get back to normal for all of us, and I would encourage others to do their part by getting vaccinated even if you aren’t completely sold on the vaccine.