A pandemic was declared one year ago today. Here’s what this week last year felt like…


This week’s news coverage of the coronavirus toggled between retrospectives about the one-year anniversary of the pandemic and forward-looking reports about vaccines and variants.

Here is a flashback to 12 months ago:

March 9, 2020 was a Monday, the start of a new workweek. It was the day when CNN began to use the term pandemic to describe the outbreak. Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained that day that the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hadn’t taken the step yet, but it was necessary. “Now is the time to prepare for what may be ahead,” he said, previewing closed schools and canceled events.

That same day, Fox’s Sean Hannity accused the media of “scaring the living hell out of people” and said “I see it, again, as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.”

On March 10 the cancellations accelerated. Conferences and concerts were postponed. The US was in the midst of what one reporter called a “low-key slowdown.” The New York Times’ banner headline said “MARKETS SPIRAL AS GLOBE SHUDDERS OVER VIRUS.”

On March 11 WHO began to call it a pandemic. The US slowdown turned into a full-blown shutdown. Bloomberg Businessweek published a prescient cover calling 2020 “the lost year” due to coronavirus. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive for the virus. The NBA suspended its season. President Trump gave a primetime speech and made things worse.

On March 12 the New York Post’s front page said the world had “TURNED UPSIDE DOWN.” New York Times editor Dean Baquet told his newsroom that this was the biggest story since 9/11. News outlets shifted into public service mode. The AP said that people around the world “became increasingly closed off from one another.” Almost every media company postponed almost everything.

On March 13 — appropriately, Friday the 13th — more companies implemented work from home plans. Even more events were put on hold. Stocks continued to plummet. The crisis overwhelmed the news nervous system. New York felt different. We were all in this together. Trump said “I don’t take responsibility at all.” A New York magazine headline warned: “This will get worse.”

cnn.it 2021-03-11 10:17:41


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