KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — It's been exactly four months since the first COVID-19 diagnosis in Knox County.
The CDC marked Knoxville and Knox County as hot spots after positive cases nearly tripled in the last month.
As hospitalizations continue to rise, it's important to take a look back at where everything started.
Four months ago on a calendar seems like just yesterday, but four months living in a pandemic feels like a lifetime. March 12, 2020, is the day Knox County reported its first positive case of COVID-19.
At that point, Dr. Martha Buchanan, the director of the Knox County Health Department, said there was no community spread.
In over 120 days since then, life has done a 180. Cases have nearly tripled in the last month, and the Knox County Health Department reports 10 people have died from the virus.
But, how did we get here? Let's take a look back.
Not long after the virus started to spread in the community, Knox County officials implemented a "safer at home" order, closing nonessential businesses and asking families to stay inside and only go out for essentials.
"We understand the significant and in some cases devastating impact this will have on local businesses," Buchanan said, announcing the order in March.
The terms "flatten the curve" and "new normal" became household sayings. Families sacrificed parts of their lives to slow the spread. Churches found a new way to worship.
Volunteers made masks for the public, healthcare workers were celebrated. Education took on a new form, and employees worked from home.
The state reported nearly 700,000 unemployment claims were filed since March 15.
Slowly, businesses started to reopen.
"For the good of our state, social distancing must continue, but our economic shutdown cannot," Governor Bill Lee said in April.
The lingering health crisis is still here and cases aren't going away. Now, masks are required for indoor public spaces in Knox County and survivors are stressing the importance of taking it seriously.
Take precautions now, so the next four months' COVID-19 cases go down and the quality of life goes up.