A year of COVID-19: Looking back on the day the world changed

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It was one year ago today that the world seemed to unravel in real time. The creeping horror of the coronavirus crisis had landed at our doorsteps. Of course, the full impact of the pandemic wouldn’t be known at the time, but it was the day we all knew we were about to face a monumental challenge.

The next morning would we our last so-called “normal” morning for a long time. It was the last time we’d see our morning news anchors sitting this close to each other.

It was really the last “normal” morning we had before the pandemic lockdowns, school closures, and daily death counts – it was also the day the day the music died.

The ‘Cerny Brothers band’ was last live musical act to play in WGN’S famed “studio 1” where Ray Rayner, Garfield Goose, and Bozo entertained generations.

Lasalle Street – the symbolic center of Chicago’s economy – was empty that morning, and the stock market was tumbling.

The NBA had announced that the season would be postponed.

Doctors were bracing for an overload of cases and a shortage of both beds and protective equipment.

The president closed air travel to and from Europe, and at O’Hare International Airport that morning, the final few flights arrived.

“It’s been a year, a full year we’re in it, and if you’ve been paying attention to this at all, our lives have changed,” said Al Gini, an emeritus professor of Business Ethics and Leadership at Loyola University. He remembers it as the day we realized we weren’t in control. “Control always seems simple when nothing goes wrong. I hope we’ve learned one thing: that we are vulnerable,” he said.

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