3 Years Later: ADPH official reflects on change since first COVID case in AL
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - March 13, 2020, marked the beginning of ominous days for Alabamians everywhere.
Sometimes it’s hard to fathom just how much things have changed in the three years since COVID. We’re still technically in the pandemic, but the ramifications from that first confirmed case are still being felt today.
The first case of the novel coronavirus had been confirmed in Montgomery, and would soon spread throughout the rest of the state.
“We have come an extremely long way in Alabama,” said Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health.
After three years, 1.6 million total cases, and 21,000 deaths in the state, Alabamians have mostly returned to pre-pandemic routines.
Dr. Landers told me that she believes the state did a great job communicating what they knew in those hectic early days of the COVID pandemic.
“Coordinating with our hospitals about the extremely limited situation we had in terms of PPE, in terms of beds, in terms of availability of to take care of patients.”
As hospitals did all they could, the aftermath of a COVID-restrictive lifestyle took a tremendous toll on the state. Those who had caught the virus sometimes faced lingering symptoms. Others saw children falter with their education and struggle to recover.
Dr. Landers says one thing we just didn’t have 3 years ago was the ability to test and get results back quickly. She thinks it might’ve made big difference.
“I believe that that would have given us better information in terms of situations that we subsequently determined that persons can have COVID-19 and be asymptomatic. I don’t think we were sure about that early on.”
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