After pandemic year, Walker County looks back -- and forward

Joseph Brown, The Huntsville Item, Texas
·2 min read

Mar. 21—No one has been untouched.

Not the hundreds of local families who lost loved ones. Not the business owners that have lost millions in potential revenue. Not the healthcare and education workers who have feared their health and well being every day they go to work.

It all started in Walker County a year ago on Monday.

On March 22, 2020, over a week after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, few could foresee the long road ahead or the many ways in which Walker County citizens would suffer.

A year later, some are dreaming of a return to normal, thanks to vaccines that seemed to materialize as if by magic. Others live in places where the magic seems to be reserved for wealthier worlds.

At the same time, people are looking back at where they were when they first understood how drastically life would change.

On March 22, 200, Walker county confirmed its first case of COVID-19 from a male in his early 20s. At that time, 12 Texans had already died from complications due to the virus. Today, 2.35 million Texans are confirmed to have been infected, and according to DSHS, more than 45,000 Texans have died.

On that day, Walker County declared a public health emergency and established a midnight curfew. The county would later issue a stay-home order, which kept residents locked in their homes for weeks.

And that, for much of Texas and the United States, was just the beginning.

However, thanks to a massive vaccine rollout, Walker County residents are slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel one year later.

A joint partnership between the Walker County Office of Emergency Management, Huntsville Memorial Hospital and Huntsville Family Clinic. The coordinate effort has helped administer over 5,000 vaccines so far in the month of March. As of Friday, over 4,000 Walker County residents are fully vaccinated and over 9,200 have received at least the first dose.

More vaccinations are expected to be delivered next week. To register for your vaccine, visit walkercountyvaccinate.com.