After eight long months, many of us read the gloomy coronavirus headlines these days through a certain numbness. For better or worse, we seem to be getting used to the dramatic death tolls, the suffocating restrictions, the mounting job losses and the ugly politics.
But how about when the pandemic first broke out in the U.S.? Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when it all hit the fan?
For me, it was trying to track down my teenage daughter on that mid-March night as parents around town flocked to Facebook
NextDoor and even the streets in a panicked plea to break up all the high-school parties. I remember someone shouting “Get your f—ing kids home!” from the alley. It felt like the beginning of a Stephen King movie.
So, when was your moment? Nappyboi419 asked on Reddit, “When did the full weight of the gravity of this pandemic set in for you?” And his post went viral overnight.
Here’s just a sampling of the responses:
The first images from abroad
“The elderly homes that were abandoned and the army going in to collect all the dead bodies. I still get flashes all the time. It’s so horrifying. The photos of those doctors with bruises around their faces and the pain in their eyes.”
The Wuhan lockdown
“If the Chinese Government … thought locking up 5 million people was the better option, then covid was going to be bad.”
From the MarketWatch archives (February 2020): Diary of a quarantined American in coronavirus-era China
When the Olympics were postponed
“Yeah, that was something. Just thinking about all that wasted money, all those athletes at their peak in 2020. Necessary, but shocking all the same.”
The Big Apple, empty
“When I got off the train in Penn Station and it was a ghost town. It was absolutely terrifying considering Penn Station is meant to be a central location for people. I’d never been to Penn Station — at all hours of the day and night — and there wasn’t a bunch of people running for trains, eating, shopping, etc.”
An eerily silenced Chicago
“I saw videos of Chicago during lockdown that were so incredibly eerie in their silence and lack of motion. It was almost like ‘I Am Legend’ (without nature taking over).”
Dispatches from a Pandemic (June 2020): ‘We basically had less than 24 hours to mobilize.’ This Chicago neighborhood is battling coronavirus — then the demolition happened
Also (March 2020): Taking the pandemic day-by-day in historic Chicago suburb Oak Park
The heartbreaking separation
“The first time I had to use an ‘unapproved’ app on my phone so a family could say goodbye to my patient. It was emotional and more distant than it should have been.”
The run on toilet paper
“For me it’s when the whole thing kicked off. Went to food 4 less and almost everything was gone. This was at the start of the water/toilet paper craze. I’ll never forget this random old guy next to me say ‘we will get passed this and everything will go back to normal.’ Probably one of the most real moments in my life.”
NBA throws in the towel
“When a bunch of billionaires decided to willingly suspend the NBA season. People that process that much money don’t just decide to halt ticket sales for their cashcow sports franchises without a damn good reason.”
No more Disney
has the political clout to evade governmental shut down orders. California Gov. Gavin Newsom made a special exemption for them in his lockdown order, and yet the board of directors decided to shut down the park anyway.”
The whole thread, which careens from hope to despair, is worth a read as it continues to blow up, with almost 11,000 comments in less than a day.
Share your own “Oh, sh—!” moment in the comments.