Thursday marked one year since the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 crisis a pandemic. It has been a year of loss, sacrifice and hardship for most Americans. Union County has suffered its share of suffering and loss with more than 21,000 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 200 deaths.

The past 12 months have been far from normal as we have sheltered in place, turned our homes into offices and classrooms, cared for loved ones from a distance and sacrificed for the well-being of our families and our neighbors by making significant changes to our routines. While we are all fatigued from the past year, we must continue to practice what health care officials recommend, including practicing social distancing and wearing a mask.

Today, the Enquirer-Journal takes a look back on the past 12 months of its coverage of the pandemic and the impact COVID-19 has had on our county. As we reflect back on the events of the past year, we should all be reminded of the resilience and strength we have found within ourselves during this time.

As we continue to move through the vaccination stages, we are encouraged by the hope for better days. Until that time, we share in your grief if you lost a loved one. We wish you a full recovery if you were a victim of the virus. We encourage you back to financial stability if you suffered a loss of income and we hope for each of you a day where things just seem normal again.