Happy First Birthday, COVID-19!


Amber Roldan

March 13th marks the one-year anniversary of when COVID-19 took over the world. Looking back, numerous changes occurred last year, but many aspects regarding the virus remain the same.

Amber Roldan, Features Editor

While birthdays and anniversaries usually mark joyous occasions and inspire celebrations, COVID-19’s first birthday has not fostered the same response. COVID-19 started dictating American lives a year ago in early March. The unprecedented, airborne virus sent America into a whirlwind creating mask mandates, social distancing regulations, and quarantine requirements. Nearly a year later, the country strives towards recovery as the virus continues to impact daily life. 

March 13, 2020, changed the lives of American teenagers across the nation. In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 while simultaneously prioritizing the health of American teachers and students, schools across the country announced that classes would indefinitely commence in a virtual setting. For NC students this announcement came after school on March 12, 2020. The CCSD announcement revealed that school would take place online for the following two weeks. The majority of the student body did not as much as raise an eyebrow at this announcement. Students viewed the upcoming weeks off as a “bonus spring break.” 

However, CCSD highschoolers did not walk back through the doors of their beloved schools until November 5th, 2020. Although some students chose to return to face-to-face learning, not all students made this choice. Many students still participate in virtual learning and log into class online from home via CTLS. 

“Initially when reports of the virus first started coming out, I didn’t think anything of it. Numbers were low, and it just sounded like a passing bug. My teachers weren’t making a big deal out of it and we were still in school, so life seemed normal. I thought it would only take a couple of months for things to clear up and assumed we would be back in school by April, maybe August at the most extreme case. Never in a million years would I have thought that we’d still be facing the consequence [of COVID-19] an entire year later,”  junior Angelina Sisoupon said.

On February 22, 2021, just a month before the paper anniversary of COVID-19, the US exceeded 500,000 COVID-related deaths. This astronomical number accumulated over the year full of darkness and despair. Vaccine distribution and rollout combats this number as COVID-19 cases start to decline.

A year ago, towards the beginning of the infamous virus, no one knew how to approach the uncharted territory of fighting a global pandemic. Fortunately, scientists, doctors, nurses, and researchers rose to the occasion. Thanks to the selfless, diligent work of these groups, numerous vaccines approved by the FDA have emerged and begun to fight COVID head-on. So far, professionals administered 77 million COVID-19 vaccines and 19.3 percent of Americans already received vaccinations.

Due to COVID-19 remaining prominent over the course of a year, controversy surrounding the subject did not dissipate. Asians and Asian Americans continue to receive blame for the introduction of COVID-19. A surge of Asian hate crimes emerged after placing the blame of COVID-19 on Asians around the world.

Although wearing a mask won’t put an end to violent crimes against Asians, wearing a mask proves to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Mask usage protects one from COVID-19 exposure while simultaneously protecting others. Social distancing also aids the battle against COVID-19. To avoid recognizing the second birthday of COVID-19, Americans can join the battle against COVID-19, by wearing a mask and following the CDC’s COVID-19 regulations.

“Last year early in March when I first started hearing about the COVID-19 virus I didn’t really think much of it, I just thought it was another flu because the government didn’t take it seriously. I would have never thought we would’ve gone into a year of quarantine. I never imagined that we would still be dealing with this in the year 2021,” NC junior Joniel Lewis.