Our pandemic year, and the moment COVID became a big deal

Our pandemic year, and the moment COVID became a big deal

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

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The first article I wrote on COVID-19, published on March 5, 2020, came with a headline that surely jinxed us all: “‘It won’t be that long’ before we see coronavirus in Charlotte.”

  • A few days later, on March 11, Mecklenburg County confirmed its first case.
  • Now, the county has seen nearly 100,000 cases and 887 deaths.

Why it matters: The pandemic is a global event we’ve each experienced in deeply personal ways — each state has had a different experience, each city, each household.

We asked you, Axios Charlotte readers, what was the moment you thought coronavirus was a big, big deal. Here are some of your answers:

“When my daughter, who is a RN, said ‘Sorry mom, but you are on house arrest till this is over.'” — Jean Little, 93

“On March 14, 2020 — during a family ski trip to Colorado — they shut down the mountain indefinitely and our flight home got canceled. At 10:30pm Mountain Time in a last-minute escape effort, we rented a Suburban and embarked on the 25-hour journey back to Charlotte to make it home safely.” — Austin Alpern


“When they stopped letting my husband attend prenatal appointments with me, including ultrasounds. To this day, you can go to a bar with friends, but your partner isn’t allowed to come meet with the person who will be delivering their baby.” — Rachel Campbell

“When I spoke to my dad from his ICU bed and he said, ‘Suz, this is bad. This is real bad.’ He passed away (from complications with COVID-19) on April 16, 2020.” — Suz Gellerman

The moment I knew this was a big deal was when my boyfriend Steven’s college courses were moved online. We were dating long distance at the time, so he moved into my studio apartment in Charlotte and finished up his last year.

  • Between my Zoom calls and his online classes, we outgrew that studio before the end of March. By April, we bought our first home together.

In this pandemic year, there were times like that when life moved so fast. There were also days that dragged on — remember the Election Day that was actually a week? Or any day spent waiting for COVID-19 results.

Today, I think that year-old headline would take on a different, more hopeful form: “It won’t be that long until the pandemic is over.”

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