Alabamians resilient on 1-year anniversary of pandemic

By PAUL DEMARCO / Guest Columnist

It has now been a year since March 13, 2020, when the first reported case of the coronavirus was made public in Alabama.

Following that announcement, in the ensuing weeks came the shuttering of school doors, the closing of businesses and the lockdown. As the number of those that became ill with the new virus, health care providers across the state worked tirelessly to treat those hospitalized. Local churches and charitable organizations across the state also stepped up to support those that lost their jobs and needed financial assistance.

This past year has seen some 50,000 cases of individuals with COVID-19 and over 10,000 who have died in Alabama. In addition to the personal tragedies of those that were sick and passed away, the pandemic has had a generational impact on the state. School children have been affected by loss of classroom days and some  businesses have not been able to recover from every aspect of the virus.

Yet, a year later there is optimism that we are closer to herd immunity, which will lead us back to a normal life. Alabama has had its share of dire events in the state history, from natural disasters to manmade catastrophes. We are tough people who take care of each other, this past year through the most difficult days of the pandemic that was shown. State citizens are slowly making efforts to resume their post pandemic life while helping those that have been hurt the most by the virus.

When history looks back at this dark period in our state, neighbors taking care of each other should be part of what is truly remembered.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.