The past year has touched every aspect of our community and the COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives in ways that will never be the same as they were before March 2020.

Tragically, for some of us that means no longer having the relatives or friends with us who succumbed to the disease. For many of us, it meant a loss of income, our livelihoods and for some, in ways that may never be recovered. For all of us, it means a change in the way we go about our everyday lives, the way we dress, the way we shop, the way we travel, the way we worship.

A year ago, most of us could never have imagined such traumatic changes — our government closing schools, businesses, churches and even funerals, prohibiting our ability to offer final condolences in person with those we loved. But it happened. We read about all of these things in these pages, many times on page 1.

A year later, the stories of COVID-19 are still on the front page, but now they begin to offer more hope than what we have seen before. Of course, there have been positive stories during the past year — the efforts of our essential workers, the courageous health care workers who formed a path through uncharted terrain, neighbors helping neighbors — but today we begin to glimpse more signs of hope in increased vaccination rates, our state opening in significant ways, disease trends and deaths trending downward.

But as we move forward it is yet important to note the duality of this anniversary. Many still suffer from the lingering effects of the virus, and many will continue to do so in the future. The pandemic is not behind us, but today, we can hope that the worst of it is.

Recommended for you

Tom Mayer is the executive editor of Mountain Times Publications, a group of five news newspapers, six websites and one monthly periodical in the High Country of North Carolina.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.