It’s like I’m falling out of bed from a long and vivid dream
It was probably one of the most uneasy beers I’d ever drank. Sitting on the back porch of Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville, myself and the rest of The Smoky Mountain News staff gathered for one final adult beverage together before we ventured into the depths of the unknown for the foreseeable future.
A glimmer, and it sure feels nice
A year later. We’re still mourning the deaths and illnesses, the disruption of life as we knew it, the months of gut-wrenching unknowns causing unfamiliar anxiety. It was March 17, 2020, when Gov. Roy Cooper began shutting down businesses and most of us waited for the tsunami that we could see — or at least imagine — in the distance without having any idea how horrific its final toll, when the worst of it would come, when it would finally recede, and who or what would be left standing.
One year later: COVID-19 killed 189 in the four-county area
When life as we knew it slammed to a sudden stop in mid-March of 2020, the novel coronavirus from Wuhan hadn’t yet infected a single resident of Western North Carolina, but with the virus continually expanding its territory since the United States’ first confirmed case on Jan. 21, 2020, it seemed only a matter of time.
Living Through A Pandemic — Year One
Think back to 2019. Back when things were normal. Back when masks were only for Halloween, or for bank robbers. Back when social distancing was mostly for people who’d recently eaten ramps. Back when the biggest story in Western North Carolina was about a congressman who decided not to seek re-election.
When the job can’t stop: Trash collection picked up during the pandemic
When meetings moved to Zoom and schools shut down last March, Zach Sorrells kept on reporting to work. As a maintenance worker with the Town of Sylva, he’s responsible for jobs that simply must get done, pandemic or no — like trash collection, for instance.
‘My place in life’: Nursing student finds peace in COVID-19 response
For Malcom Skinner, the pandemic was not a pause, but rather a call to action.
“I’ve been trained up to this moment,” he said.
Using humor, finding purpose during a pandemic
Many people in the high-risk category for COVID-19 began isolating themselves at home last March to wait out the pandemic, but not Virginia Wall.
Embracing solitude: Retiree finds peace in yearlong quarantine
In the pre-pandemic world, life was a constant swirl of activity for Lynn Jones and her husband.
School through a screen: Cherokee immersion teacher navigates pandemic
Katlin Roberts was making coronavirus contingency plans before most people in the United States had even really heard of COVID-19. By February, she’d grown concerned enough to walk into her principal’s office and ask what would happen if the disease spread to Cherokee. They’d take precautions, she was told, but certainly wouldn’t send students home.
Unusual COVID case wreaks havoc on Macon EMT
It’s not easy to slow Wendy Barker down. She’s been an EMT for 15 years. She’s used to working 24 hour shifts under some of the most stressful and strenuous conditions, so she wasn’t ready for COVID-19 to put her out of commission for more than six weeks.