Looking Back on 2020: How Life has Changed

By Kyra Harrison

Declared on March 10th, 2020 by the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19, a state of emergency by North Carolina in an effort to coordinate a response and find a way to protect against the spread shook the lives of North Carolinians. 

March marked a year since the statewide ‘State at Home Order’ was first issued. This lasted until May 8th of 2020, this forced non-essential businesses to shut down and being out and about was completely frowned upon and even feared by some. 

Stacy Gura, a commercial Real Estate agent, that works along beside me at Zapolski Real Estate in Raleigh clearly remembers when all of this really began. 

“It feels like so long ago but like it just happened yesterday at the same time,” said Gura, “it was quite a mental toll on me personally to be stuck inside for that long with just me and my boyfriend. I was ready to be back outside in civilization and have conversations with other people.”

Madalynn Brown, a senior at Southwest High school in Jacksonville North Carolina, had a bit of a different feeling towards the quarantine. 

“The first few weeks of the quarantine were relaxing,” said Brown, “I was able to spend some quality time with my family and catch up on some housework that I’m not usually able to do because I’m running around all the time.” 

We are now over a year into COVID-19 and the day it first made an appearance in the United States; some things have changed but others have remained exactly the same. 

Most recently, states around the country have begun to open back up, lift curfew restrictions, and change the number of people allowed within a building. In addition, there are even some states that are beginning to lift their mask mandate and allow people the choice to wear or not to wear. 

There are currently 16 states that are either soon lifting their mask mandate or never even required one in the first place. States such as Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee, never had a mask requirement in the first place. 

Most recently, Texas, Mississippi, Iowa, Montana, and North Dakota have gotten rid of or are very close to discarding the mask mandate. However, North Carolina has been very silent on their thoughts about other states lifting the mask mandate and if there is going to be a dissolve of our own mask mandate in the near future. There are mixed emotions about this decision for both sides. 

Grace Mcallister, a sophomore at Central Carolina Community College, has some mixed emotions about whether or not North Carolina will actually decide to follow the example of these other states and whether or not it is a good idea. 

“From what I have seen from the news and what the media betrays it doesn’t look like our numbers are going down,” said Mcallister, “but I hope that we can eventually make our way back to normal and follow in suit of some of the other states.” 

While we may not know when North Carolina will make its way back to normal or even if normal is something that we will ever see again, the hope is there. People are continuing to take the proper safety precautions to help get the numbers down and keep everyone as healthy as possible.