Wednesday, March 10, 2021

One year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the first reported cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. To see the numbers, watch MLive's Data Timeline: One Year of COVID-19 in Michigan, which reviews the progress of the pandemic in the state during the past 365 days.

Michigan recorded its first two cases of coronavirus on March 10, 2020. This timeline shows how the pandemic played out over the last year in Michigan, along with measures taken by the state government and Governor Gretchen Whitmer to slow the spread of the virus.
The numbers lined up next to the government actions tell quite a story, one of restrictions being imposed and coronavirus infections falling and then being relaxed and the disease returning. I hope people in the state learn from that.

WXYZ's recap A look back at COVID-19's impact on the service industry in metro Detroit had a narrower focus.

Wednesday marks one year since Michigan's first reported COVID-19 cases, and a year ago, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency, which was followed by a slew of executive orders aimed at stopping the spread.
I'll return over the jump with WXYZ's look at the future of the pandemic in Michigan. That's after WDIV/Click on Detroit's retrospective, which examines what Americans in general and Michiganders in particular have already learned about the pandemic and our response in Coronavirus pandemic 1 year later: What we wish we'd known.

Dr. Frank McGeorge discusses the past year of the coronavirus pandemic.
I agree with Dr. McGeorge about the significance of asymptomatic people being infectious and masks preventing spread of the disease. If mask wearing had been recommended earlier and mask production had been ramped up sooner to match the need, millions fewer would likely have avoided infection and many thousands would still be alive.

Follow over the jump for what the present and future might hold in store, even though Dr. Arnold Monto of the University of Michigan reminded WDIV's viewers that the past year was worse than predicted, which means that my readers should take the prognostications with a grain of salt.

WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids uploaded two clips about the one-year anniversary of the pandemic officially arriving in Michigan, beginning with Local doctor: Following safety protocols now will end pandemic sooner.

On the one hand, WOOD-TV and WXYZ are staying true to form, with WOOD-TV doing better in-studio analysis while WXYZ conducting better interviews of the community. On the other, WOOD-TV usually has the better video descriptions with WXYZ often just repeating the subject line as their description. That's not the case so far, with the first WXYZ video I embedded having a fairly complete description while WOOD-TV forgot to include one. That's also true of the next video, 1 year later: Vaccine distribution among communities of color.

This video emphasizes the point I made last month in life expectancy fell 1 year for all Americans, 3 years for African-Americans, during 2020 because of the pandemic; people of color, both African-Americans and Hispanics, lost more years of life from the disease than whites, which should make them a priority for vaccination along with other vulnerable populations, like the elderly and diabetics. As a diabetic myself, that makes the disease personal for me.

WXYZ continued with both the informative descriptions and lively community interviews in What the next 3-6 months in Michigan could look like in the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we mark the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 in Michigan, many are wondering what the next 3-6 months might look like, and some of the state's top health experts are giving their thoughts.
That's a very optimistic forecast, right up there with Disneyland and other California theme parks reopening in April. That written, I think it could happen as long as the residents of this state follow the guidelines and get vaccinated.

I conclude today's observance with a somber announcement from CBS Detroit, Whitmer: Please Turn On Lights To Remember Pandemic Victims.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist are marking the one-year anniversary of the first cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed in Michigan by asking all Michiganders to turn on the lights outside of their homes on Wednesday, March 10, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., in remembrance of the Michiganders lost to the coronavirus.

“We’ve had a difficult year and lost so many fellow Michiganders, “said Whitmer. “On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and I urge everyone to turn on their porch lights for an hour, so that we can remember those we’ve lost and remind ourselves that even in times of darkness, we’re in this together. As we mark this occasion, we also look towards the light at the end of the tunnel. We have three safe, effective vaccines, all miracles of science, that will help protect you, your family, and others from COVID and help us get our country and the economy back to normal.”
I told my wife about this and she responded "we can do that." We will and I hope my Michigan readers do, too.*

Stay tuned for another anniversary of tragedy tomorrow, the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima triple disaster, earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown.

*We can make up for the extra hour of turning on our porch lights by turning our lights off for Earth Hour on the 27th.

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