Residents reflect on one year anniversary of pandemic

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Our lives would come to a halt on March 11, 2020 when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. 

A virus originating in Wuhan, China eventually makes its way to America. Small businesses, especially restaurants, have seen a multitude of problems. Less people eating out and travel restrictions saw the industry suffer.

One business owner, Michelle Harmon, said her ice cream shop struggled for months.

“For my business, I wasn’t able to open most of the year,” Harmon said. “My business did fairly well, not as good as it could have.”

And others weren’t affected nearly as much, but still saw significant change in their way of life. 

“In ways it did and in ways it didn’t,” said West Virginia resident Charlie Rowan. “It changed the way I worked, in that I don’t travel for work. Which is not a bad impact.”

Others, like South Carolina resident Pepper Seymore, have been cautious since day one, and insist other people do the same until significant progress has been made on the vaccine effort.

“A lot of places people are paying attention and it’s getting better,” Seymore said. “And everyone needs to get vaccinated. COVID is out there and COVID is real.”

The unluckiest caught the virus themselves. Some people managed it without issue and hundreds of thousands were sent to the hospital.

“We’ve both had coronavirus. We had some pretty bad symptoms but nothing like some of our friends.”

In the future, most people are just hoping things improve. As cases continue to lower, restrictions are expected to ease up and normalcy slowly return.

“For us to be able to open up, enjoy life again and get back to some of the things we used to enjoy.”

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