Opinion: We're about a year into the pandemic. Tell us your thoughts and memories

Paul Thornton
·2 min read
LOS ANGELES CA MARCH8, 2020 -- A handful of runners chose to wear protective mask wile participation in the 35th annual L.A. Marathon at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, March 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Patrick T. Fallon/ For The Los Angeles Times)
A masked runner is among the thousands beginning the Los Angeles Marathon on March 8, 2020, days before COVID-19 would begin dramatically altering life in California. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Nearly one year ago, the life-altering nature of the pandemic hit me — not in a second but over a period of about six days. I’m sharing my experience here because we at the Los Angeles Times Opinion team want you to share yours.

On Sunday, March 8, 2020, thousands of runners took part in the Los Angeles Marathon, an event I had run four times before but was sitting out in 2020 because I had signed up to participate in a 30-mile trail race in Griffith Park the following Saturday. Instead of running, my wife and I went to an indoor baby-shower brunch in Hollywood.

On Monday, March 9, I and other Times staffers were told we should work from home until further notice.

On Wednesday, March 11, my wife and I decided to start keeping our two second-grade kids home from school. President Trump announced the suspension of flights from Europe; my planned summer trip to Norway to visit elderly relatives was suddenly in doubt.

On Friday, March 13, my kids’ school district, Alhambra Unified, announced all campuses would be closed the following week. The Griffith Park trail race director sent a last-minute email to runners canceling the event. Gatherings of all kinds in Los Angeles were over.

In the coming weeks, the Times Opinion section will be publishing reflections on the anniversary of the start of the COVID-19 cycle of lockdowns and reopenings, surges and declines, despair and hope.

Share your memories: When did it hit you that life would change? How did your life change? Have you lost relatives or friends to the pandemic? How have you made sense of the pandemic and other events that made 2020 such a year of upheaval?

Email your submission to letters@latimes.com, or access the online form for letters to the editor at latimes.com/letters.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.