The Day Everything Changed


2020 was so many things, but we can all agree it was… different. We asked a few of our contributors to share a the moment they knew everything wouldn’t be the same for awhile. What was yours?

Kid sitting on steps outside of school
I was team ‘we have the flu every year and people don’t get this freaked out’ for a little while. But then I saw what was happening in Italy. And started digging into the little we did know surrounding infection rates, how we thought it might work, limited help treatment options, etc. When they closed the daycares was the moment I really knew we were in it and got a little scared. The runs on the grocery stores didn’t help (not that we needed anything, just seeing humans being humans and panicking).
– Katie C
My son was picked up by the bus every day for preschool for his developmental delays. One Friday, I had this deep sense that I needed to do things before it was too late. I spent the entire morning doing a bunch of errands that I had been putting off. When my son got off the bus before lunch, the bus driver and I looked at each other- and we just knew. The district cancelled all classes that afternoon. When your son can’t get treatment for his special needs anymore, you know that life is about to look very, very different for a long time.
– Clarissa 
My husband had been following it for a while before it hit MSM and had been telling me about it since January, but I kept telling him he was overreacting. Even when it hit here and was in Washington I still wanted to believe it was going to be a quick thing. Then the NBA commissioner shut down the NBA and I was like okay here it comes for real and then shortly after I had to go to Beaverton to drop off something and the streets from Portland to Beaverton were deserted at 3pm … I started crying because it was so twilight zone to be the only one on 26 on a sunny day in the middle of the week.
– Katie L
I was somewhat obsessively following the news for awhile, so there was a gradual unfolding of the seriousness of it all. But, it all hit home while I was alone in the studio, listening to someone on OPB talk about the case numbers, and I had six cancellations land in my inbox all at once. It was like a wave. I sat down for awhile and just let it wash over me, then I got up and began preparing for a closure I knew was inevitable.
– Lee Ann

When did it all hit home for you?