This time last year, Illinois residents were asked to stay home indefinitely as a novel virus took hold across the region. One year later, many still wonder when it will be safe to return to the routines they left behind.
It didn’t take long for the coronavirus outbreak to bring life as we knew it to a halt. As public health experts raced to fight an unknown enemy, local leaders made tough choices to save lives, and residents were left largely isolated in the face of patchy and sometimes contradictory directives. Since then, medical and technological breakthroughs have moved us toward something more closely resembling the world we once knew, but not without some major sacrifices made along the way.
Here’s a look back at those early days, what we’ve learned since, and what lies ahead on the road to recovery.
When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, even some of the most informed people knew little about coronaviruses — and far less about SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that was upending the world as we knew it. That was just the beginning. Since then, we’ve learned a great deal more. Many public health experts believe the light at the end of the tunnel is real, if the world remains vigilant about taking precautions, tracking cases and getting vaccines into arms. Read more here.
More than 20,000 have died so far in the state, but that number, horrifying as it is, doesn’t begin to capture the loss felt by those left behind. On a solemn anniversary, we spoke with Chicago-area families about facing life after COVID-19 claimed their loved ones. Read more here.
First came a tough spring surge, when COVID-19 killed thousands of Illinois residents. Then, an even more brutal one in the fall and winter. Through it all, Illinois managed to avoid the overwhelmed hospitals seen in other states. But a new Tribune analysis of pandemic deaths shows that the two waves took an extraordinarily high toll on the state’s population. Read more here.
At this time last year, it was still uncommon to see someone wearing a mask in public. Now, the CDC advises people to wear two in some cases. That’s just one of many new precautions we’ve grown accustomed to during the pandemic. We asked readers questions about how their lives differ now from the early days of the pandemic and how they view the future. Here’s what they shared.
As we mark the first anniversary of the pandemic, life before lockdown sometimes feels like a faint memory, as families do their best to find the mix of safety and mental health during what is rated the second deadliest event in Chicago history. Read more here.
On March 11, 2020, the coronavirus outbreak became a pandemic, turning a surreal crisis into a sudden reality for many Chicagoans. Here’s a look back at how the early days of the pandemic unfolded across our socially distanced public square — Twitter — and changed everything.
March is one of the busiest months on the sports calendar, and last year was no exception. Until it wasn’t. We were with Chicago sports teams here and around the country when COVID-19 changed everything. Here’s what transpired when the sports world ground to a halt — and what has happened since then. Read more.
Everyone has a story for when it hit them that the coronavirus pandemic was going to change everyday life. Maybe you were sitting at the office, riding the CTA or at the grocery store looking for toilet paper. So we asked you, our readers, to share where that moment was. Here’s what you told us.
The shutdown last spring led to packed stores and hospitals and a deserted city center. Here’s a look back at those early days.
When it comes to the world of arts and entertainment, a sector to which COVID-19 brought utter devastation, this is the moment to pause and reflect on a year of unspeakable losses. We asked a cross-section of Chicagoland arts professionals to recount what it was like one year ago this weekend, at the very moment when their professional worlds blew up. Read more here.