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 Wednesday, 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 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, Opinion is gathering stories about the weeks when everything changed for Americans.
Tell us your story of March 2020 using the form below: When did you realize 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.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: [email protected].
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.