COVID-19: One year later

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 11:57 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been one year since we reported about the first case of COVID-19 found in the United States on January 21, 2020.

In that one year, we’ve seen the new virus become a worldwide pandemic, killing more than 406,000 Americans and more than 2.6 million people worldwide.

The CDC’s official name for the virus is the 2019 novel coronavirus. The virus was first found in the city of Wuhan in China and has now developed into an outbreak and has made its way to the states.

“A year ago myself and many included didn’t think we were going to see anything to this size or this magnitude of a pandemic,” said Lexington physician Dr. Ryan Stanton.

Dr. Ryan Stanton says the country was caught off guard when the outbreak started.

“We had heard about Zike and Chikungunya and the Ebola virus and you know we were warned and concerned, and nothing really happened,” Dr. Stanton said. “I think it’s like a lot of people in coastal states where you’re warned about a hurricane coming and it doesn’t hit and then eventually you just kind of say well this one probably isn’t going to be a huge deal either then you get that category 5 that hits ya.”

In this year, we’ve seen a lot of progress and a lot of loss.

“I remember when we were talking about 800-1200 Kentuckians lost to the virus would be just a huge number, but now we’re well past that pushing that 4,000 mark,” Dr. Stanton said. “It’s humbled a lot of us because we’ve been wrong on so much stuff regarding this virus and this pandemic. You know as much as we didn’t know what to expect one year ago, at least we can look at it with a little bit of hope because we’ve got the vaccines starting to roll out more widespread.”

Dr. Stanton says as we head towards what many hope is the end of this pandemic, we need to take stock of the lessons we’ve learned in a year unlike any other.

“The key now for us is to be prepared because the only way to benefit from the challenges we’ve had is to learn as we move forward,” said Dr. Stanton.

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