NORFOLK, Va. - On March 7, 2020, a Marine tested positive for COVID-19 in Northern Virginia, making it the official start of the pandemic in the Commonwealth.
Since then, there's been more than half a million confirmed cases and more than 9,000 have died. "None of us could've imagined what was coming or how the pandemic would touch every one of us in virtually every aspect of our lives," said Gov. Ralph Northam in a video posted to Twitter.
From shortages of toilet paper to working from home to kids learning virtually, it's hard to think of things the pandemic hasn't impacted. "Far too many people's lives will never be the same again, it has been a hard year," said Northam.
The pandemic has forced many business to close - some temporarily - others forever. Millions lost their jobs and many are still claiming unemployment benefits. "For the past year, our lives have been different," said Northam.
A year later there is now reason to be optimistic. Nearly 1.5 million people have gotten at least one dose of a vaccine in Virginia, representing 17.5-percent of the population. "One year into this pandemic we are seeing an even brighter light at the end of a long tunnel," said Northam.
Northam will address the latest on the vaccine plan in Virginia on Tuesday. President Biden is expected to deliver a prime time address on Thursday night. "It's been a long year, but the end of this pandemic is in sight," said Northam. "There is every reason to be hopeful that things are getting better for all of us."