Throwing it back to March 2020, the month everything went to shit
( Zayna Sheikh / Rowdy Magazine Graphic Designer )
Ah March 2020, a time when terms like social distancing, quarantine, PPE, mask up, super-spreader, Zoombombing, and flatten the curve were foreign to our everyday vocabulary. Coronavirus memes and the prospect of heading home for an extended spring break were the biggest things on the minds of nearly every Gen Z’er. Us Americans felt untouchable. After all, countries hit hardest early-on by the virus (like Italy, China, and Australia) were separated from the United States by entire oceans. We had nothing to worry about! Right! Right??
Well, 12 months, several travel bans, stay-at-home orders, a Presidential election, and one pandemic later, here we are. Let’s take it all the way back to last March — the beginning of the end, when the dumpster fire that is the American response to the COVID-19 pandemic was first ignited.
Early March 2020
Sigh. The good ol’ pre-pandemic days of March 2020 seem like a lifetime ago.
Tornadoes ripped through Nashville. The small-but-deadly tornado attack claimed at least 24 lives — a fraction of the lives we’ve lost to COVID-19 to date.
Elon Musk called COVID panic “dumb.” Grimes’ baby daddy, Elon Musk, has tweeted some pretty questionable things over the years but only a few are quite as laughable as this one. Honestly though, I wouldn’t be surprised if he said something like that yesterday and not a year ago.
Somewhere in this mess, toilet paper shortages started happening nationwide; We all remember when the toilet paper shelves at our grocery stores were totally empty. Hoarding household goods seemed like the only natural thing to do at the time, of course 🙄.
This date felt like the turning point from bad to worse. Our nation’s chaotic descent into the pandemic was just beginning, and Sarah Palin’s bizarre and absurd performance of Baby Got Back on The Masked Singer surely didn’t help. Here’s what exactly went down:
COVID-19 was officially confirmed to be a pandemic by WHO.
Tom Hanks publicly announced his positive COVID diagnosis. He became one of the first celebrities to publicly announce their positive test
NBA canceled the rest of its season after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reportedly became the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19. Other leagues, like the NCAA, MLB, and NHL followed suit throughout the coming weeks and months.
Sarah Palin performed Baby Got Back on the Masked Singer. Enough said.
Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Given the chaos of this day, what would have typically been the biggest headline of the week was quickly outshined in the wake of the pandemic. Slimy, skeevy Weinstein got COVID later that March.
Ohio became the first state to issue a statewide closing on schools. Although some schools had independently shut down before March 12, this announcement was the catalyst that set off a chain-reaction of school districts shutting down across the country.
Trump issued a travel ban on 26 European countries due to their increasing number of cases. This comes weeks after banning travelers from China in an unsuccessful effort to halt the spread of the virus.
The CDC advised against gatherings of over 50 people for two months. One thing to keep in mind when looking at this recommendation is that it was suggested for events such as “weddings” or “concerts” but not for “school” or “businesses.” In hindsight, what difference did it make in what situation the gathering occurred? School or wedding, you are potentially being exposed to countless people who could carry the virus.
Vanessa Hudgens called COVID deaths “inevitable” on an IG Livestream. Not cool Gabriella. Bestie, we expected better from you.
California became the first state to issue a “stay-at-home” order. Much like the first school-closure, California’s “stay-at-home” order was an ominous sign as to the policy most states would soon begin to implement. While I could sit here and explain what this means- I think we are ALL too familiar with what a “Stay-at-Home” order means. Not only did most of us have to endure this mind-crippling lockdown period where we couldn’t escape our own thoughts (😀), but we also had to put up with the god-awful cover of Imagine by A-list celebrities. Oh, memories!
Tiger King debuted on Netflix to provide some much-needed early pandemic entertainment for all us cool cats and kittens. One year later and I’m still wondering whether or not Carole Baskin actually killed her husband.
Late March 2020
The Olympics were officially postponed to summer 2021. Prior to this, the Olympics had never been rescheduled for anything except war.
The United States started to lead the world in COVID-19 cases. Although it’s a quite upsetting statistic that still, a year later, hasn’t gotten better, this shows how unprepared America truly was for a pandemic. The world’s most “scientifically advanced” country wasn’t ready for a pandemic which was, sooner or later, going to hit the United States. It would be unfair of me to say that this unprecedented situation could’ve been handled better, however, it would also be unfair of me to not call out the federal government for their lack of action in controlling the pandemic. While Trump and Congress did take steps to combat COVID-19, there was SO MUCH MORE that could’ve been done.
A bipartisan CARES Act is signed into law. This was one of the biggest relief packages to ever be signed into law, the government finally decided to provide help for their impoverished citizens (literally tho… unemployment was at an all-time high and people were quite literally going broke). Although the CARES act has many parts, the most important aspects include: stimulus checks, unemployment support, business aid, and money for hospitals and health facilities.
Luigi Bencosme is an online writer at Rowdy Magazine. When he's not frantically swiping through Twitter or Instagram, he's indulging on an iced coffee while blasting all genres of music. You can reach out to him on Instagram @luigibenc or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Madison Rosenfield is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. When she's not going down internet rabbit holes at 2 AM, she can usually be found curating the perfect Spotify playlist, celebrating her Jewish heritage, crafting, watching coming-of-age films, or taking action in support of causes she cares about. You can find her at @madisonrosenfield on Instagram or @madisonleahh on Twitter to get a deeper look at her passions and perspectives.