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Reflecting on what happened in Utah, one year since W.H.O. declares global pandemic

Posted at 6:27 PM, Mar 11, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — March 11th marks the one-year anniversary from when the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 was a global pandemic.

Remembering the high emotions from last year can bring tears, the feelings of anxiety and memories to mind, but it also can be a time to reflect on how far we’ve come since then.

Governor Spencer Cox said in his weekly press conference that looking back brings perspective.

Read: Cox demands Utahns not be 'jerks' with pandemic finish line in sight

The month of March in 2020 certainly saw a lot of that.

March 11, 2020:
- Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tests positive for COVID-19.
-NBA shuts down.
- WHO declares COVID-19 a global pandemic.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announces General Conference will be held virtually.

Read: One year since Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and NBA shut down

Around the same time, the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City suspended worship and other Holy Masses.

Protestant religions announced virtual meetings and Jewish congregations enforced social distancing.

“It’s across the board probably one of the most dramatic things that has happened in most, all, of our lifetimes,” said former Governor Gary Herbert.

March 13, 2020:

- Former Governor Gary Herbert announces all schools will go virtual for a two week “soft-closure.”
- Panic buying for toilet paper and cleaning supplies creates long lines and limited inventory at stores across the country.

“It was an all hands-on deck, 24-7, round the clock effort,” said Herbert.

Read: Gov. Herbert reflects on anniversary of COVID-19 in Utah

March 18, 2020:
- Wasatch front awakened by 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Magna.
- Unemployment claims surge to a record high.

“We went from 1,300 or 1,400 claims to 19,591,” said Kevin Burt the Unemployment Insurance Division Director fo the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “We’re still about three times higher than we were before the pandemic compared to 2019.”

March 22, 2020:
- Utah announces the first COVID19 death, a man over the age of 60 from Davis County.
- Thousands of Latter-day Saint missionaries arrive at the Salt Lake City International Airport, brought home from around the world.

March 25, 2020:
- Summit County issues stay-at-home order, the first in the State.
- All Latter-day Saint temples are closed.

“We didn’t know how COVID spread, and we didn’t know how to protect ourselves because it was a novel virus,” said Dr. Angela Dunn, the Utah State Epidemiologist. “The biggest thing that we discovered was the benefit of masks.”

March 27, 2020:

-CARES Act, first stimulus bill is signed into law by President Donald Trump.
-Utah announces the second COVID19 death
-Former Governor Herbert announces the Stay Safe, Stay Home Directive

“I do think it’s an important time to look back at where we are because it gives us perspective about where we’re going,” said Cox. “It gives us hope for what’s happening right now.”