By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Over the past month, we’ve all been through a lot of changes to life as we know it. We’ve adapted to our “new normal” and found we really are stronger together.

But how did we get here?

It was Friday, March 6 when the state reported its first positive case of the coronavirus that has infected at least 1 million people worldwide. Minnesota’s first patient was over 65 years old and likely got COVID-19 while traveling on a cruise to Mexico. Four days later, a person in their 30s became the second, and was hospitalized in critical condition.

After that news, things started to change very quickly. By March 11, the impact was palpable. The NBA decided to suspend its season, college campuses started closing or moving to online only, and the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global pandemic. And that was just the beginning.

“I think by now the idea that this is nothing is put to rest,” Gov. Tim Walz said on March 13. “This is a serious pandemic.”

That same day, Minnesota declared a peacetime emergency, and in the days that followed, life as we know it changed. On March 15, Walz closed schools. Students were to be sent home full-time and teachers were told to prepare for distance learning. Family and work life were turned upside down as many adults transitioned to working from home.

On March 16, bars and restaurants in the state were closed to dining-in, forcing all of them that didn’t shut down completely to adjust to a new curbside/delivery model of doing business.

Two days later, Minnesotans were recommended to stay at home over COVID-19, as new cases were growing every day.

Testing was hard to come by, and so was the needed personal protection equipment for our medical staff on the front lines of this fight.

Grocery stores also boosted their defenses, protecting their people now on the front lines. But extra barriers only united us, as our Minnesota spirit kicked in, along with donations of money and extra medical supplies.

Walz kicked off April by saying that Minnesota is only at the very beginning of its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and now is the time to show how we’re all really in this together.

Liz Collin