One Year of COVID-19


Photo of the COVID-19 Coronavirus provided by the National Park Service.

March 16, 2020. The day our district told us we would not return to school after spring break. A disease called COVID-19 had entered Iowa a few days prior. School was canceled until it was dealt with. We didn’t know it at the time, but we would not return to school for the rest of the school year.

It’s been one year since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. We were hilariously naive, closing schools and declaring they would reopen in April, after the pandemic was brought under control.

We assumed COVID-19 would only last several weeks. Now, over a year later, COVID-19 continues to make its presence known. It has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths across the United States, yet it seems 50 new positive Iowan cases a day in March 2020 sparked more concern than 500 new ones in March 2021. The concern we had a year ago cannot disappear into the shadows.

This burden cannot fall on the general population alone. Here, one year later, governments are still refusing to take the necessary steps to stop the disease. Restrictions are being lifted. Schools are reopening. Shoppers are forgoing masks, even when stores say they require them. Although multiple vaccines have been created and distribution has begun, less than 5% of the world’s population is vaccinated as of now.

The rest of the story is already written. It’s been written countless times, by countless journalists, politicians, authors and opinion-havers across the world. Governments put COVID-19 precautions in place too late, with too few restrictions and lax enforcement policies. This virus continued to spread, multiply and kill, while some insisted it was a hoax, no more than a transparent attempt by our governments to strip us of our rights and enslave us beneath their mask-wearing empires.

We are tired. We are all so tired of limiting social interaction, of making sacrifices to ensure general health and safety, of wearing masks whenever we enter a building. As we pass a year with this virus within the United States, that exhaust takes a visible toll on us.

A year is a long time to keep our guard up, but we cannot give in to that irrational desire to take our masks off and live like COVID-19 is no longer an issue. We must remember the virus is just as dangerous now as it was in March 2020.