Six months ago is when it really hit that Covid was going to upset everything.
Here's what we wrote back in March:
If you thought coronavirus was no big deal or if you thought it was going to go away, wake up.
Your life is about to change.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, issued a disturbing warning during a White House briefing Tuesday: Americans everywhere need to change the way they live their lives. Right now.
"We would like the country to realize that as a nation, we can't be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago. It doesn't matter if you're in a state that has no cases or one case," Fauci said.
We really had no idea -- and no way to imagine -- how much things would change. Back then, China was copping to very few deaths. There were just a few hundred known cases in the US. Stay-at-home orders hadn't yet started; restaurants were still open everywhere, people were going to school and to work every day.
The halt to normal life was sudden, and it was unprecedented. Remember when we thought it would be for a couple of weeks?
In another six months, we'll have lived through an election and an inauguration. We don't yet know whether things will be back to anything like normal for most Americans by then.
Nightmares become normal
Not in nightmares would we have thought six months ago that nearly 1 million people would have died from Covid worldwide or that nearly 200,000 of them would be Americans.
And another 200,000 Americans could be dead by the end of the year.
Nor did we imagine that the US economy would be teetering, even after a bipartisan agreement to spend trillions on relief. Or that 30 million people would be out of work.
This is not normal. But it's evolved into a sort of Covid normal, which we're dealing with, badly.
On Friday, Fauci told NBC's Andrea Mitchell we're not done. Not by a long shot. He said we will continue to claw our way past the virus, but we won't be back to normal for more than a year
"I believe that we will have a vaccine that will be available by the end of this year, the beginning of next year," he said.
But he added that getting the vaccine produced and the population inoculated will take time.
"If you're talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to Covid, it's going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021."
Not good news. The story that made my stomach churn most this week was the one about the drug company AstraZeneca pausing its vaccine trials.
The other one was this story about at least three teachers dying from Covid after returning to the classroom.
And this: Adults getting Covid are about twice as likely to say they've dined at a restaurant.
What we've learned about ourselves
The horrible trade we're making every day. Inching back toward normalcy will kill people. Maybe not someone you know. But we must all realize that American lives will end because kids are at school.
The sick bargain Covid has exposed about all of us. There's a certain amount of death we're willing to accept.
College kids are cavorting on campus because that's what college kids do, and even shutting campuses won't stop them. The vast majority of them won't die. But their actions will spread the virus. And that will kill people.
People insisting that it is their personal right to not wear a mask who go into public enclosed places are likely killing people.
CNN's Jim Acosta asked people at a Trump rally why they refused to wear masks. The resulting video is worth watching.
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