There are a lot of ways to date the beginning of a pandemic. On January 9, 2020 the World Health Organization announced the emergence of a mysterious Coronavirus-Related Pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Twelve days later, the Center for Disease Control confirmed the first United States case of COVID-19. On January 31, the World Health Organization issued a Global Heath Crisis. After that, things started to happen quickly. Despite travel restrictions, COVID spread across the globe. It was found in nursing home and on cruise ships. Then, on March 5th, the first official case was confirmed in Colorado. We started hearing the phrases "stay at home", "social distancing" and "flatten the curve." Still, it didn't seem real, at least not in a way that affected us personally. March 10 was James' eighteenth birthday, and we marked the occasion the way we always did, with a family dinner at a restaurant. I think about that meal a lot. It was the last gasp of the Before Times.
Saturday, March 13, 2021
It's been a year
Two days later, Seth's company closed the office, Ryan's college shifted to online learning and James' high school announced that Spring Break was starting one day early and would be extended by (at least) one week.
March 13 - one year ago today - was the first day the entire Buxton family stayed home due to the pandemic. For me, that was when it really began.
It's been a long, hard, weird year in which both nothing and everything has happened.Seth, Ryan and I are still here, working and learning from home. James graduated from high school without a graduation ceremony and is now attending classes - mostly online - at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Seth and I drove up there on Wednesday to buy him a birthday lunch. It was cold, but we ate outside. It's just what we do now.
It sometimes feels like the pandemic will never end, but I am cautiously optimistic. Colorado is doing a good job on vaccine distribution, and Seth and I hope to receive our first doses within the month. That won't fix everything, of course, but maybe by March 13, 2022, we will be enjoying a new post-pandemic normal.