It’s been over a year since the first case of Covid-19 was discovered in China. But it wasn’t until months later that the United States instituted statewide stay-at-home orders. On March 11, as the United States reported 245 new Covid-19 cases, the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic.
In the following days, the pandemic snapped into focus for Americans. In the absence of government mandates, many workplaces sent employees home. Schools around the country closed. Public health officials urged the public to socially distance. Everyday items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer were suddenly in high demand. Within a month, the national unemployment rate had jumped to 14.7 percent from 4.4 percent.
At the time, no one knew exactly how the pandemic would alter the world. Now, with almost a year’s worth of perspective, The New York Times’s Opinion section is gathering stories about the weeks when everything changed for Americans.
Tell us your story of March 2020 here: When did you realize that the pandemic was going to change your life?
We’ll select a few accounts to share in an article leading up to the anniversary of the U.S. shutdowns.
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