EDITORIAL — What a year it’s been for all of us

It’s almost eerie to look back at The Observer of March 11, 2020. It included the very first COVID-19-related story about the early “Dos and Don’ts” of the virus that was slowly making its way from Asia to our shores. 

There were warnings about how important it was to wash hands thoroughly. There were tips about travel. The words “social distancing” hadn’t even made their way into the CDC’s lexicon yet, though they did say the virus transmitted most easily from one infected person who was 6-feet or less away from another who was not.

The idea of wearing masks had barely been tossed around at this point.

And yet so much has happened since that rather fateful week. We’ve seen some of the best humanity has to offer. And we’ve seen some of the worst humanity has to offer.

Stunningly, half a million Americans have lost their lives in that time frame. Unfortunately, rare is the person who doesn’t know someone who has died from this hideous virus. Our local communities have been hit as hard as anywhere else in the country.

And yet, little by little, it seems we’re all beginning to put the pieces together, in anticipation of a return to “normalcy,” whatever that means. 

Slowly, life is being breathed back into communities that have suffered so much.

Fans are returning to sports venues.

Restaurants are at a better capacity, though nowhere near what they need to be.

Kids are preparing to return to in-person school.

The incomparable loss is something we’ll likely never forget. But the way our communities have banded together is nothing short of extraordinary.

Life as we once knew it might never be fully the same. But it can be close. It will be close. And it is all made possible because so many people have done so much to make this a better world.

As we meet the first anniversary of the change to the world as it was before we knew the word “Coronavirus,” we should all remember those who have died. We should never forget all the loss. And may we never have to experience anything like this —  ever again.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.