As the coronavirus pandemic enters its third year, world leaders are discussing how to move forward with a new normal. But for the thousands of San Diegans who lost loved ones to an unthinkable disease, they’ll be moving forward with missing pieces.
The extent to which our lives would change was still unimaginable on this day two years ago, when the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic; the disease would affect the entire globe, leaders warned.
Like dominoes, cities and counties across the U.S. began limiting gatherings, closing schools and businesses and canceling events in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
But the toll of the pandemic took on a new meaning days later, when a man in his 70s who had just returned from a trip to Hawaii became the first San Diego County resident to die from COVID-19.
Day by day, San Diego County leaders provided daily updates on the impact of the coronavirus and, day by day, the number of deaths climbed.
Exactly 5,100 people have died in San Diego County in the last two years, according to San Diego County data, a fraction of the local population but a number that is by no means insignificant.
For those on the other side of the numbers, their loved ones were anything but a statistic.
Each of those individuals was at the center of their own web, linking their stories to so many others. They were relatives, coworkers, friends or even a familiar passing face – and their loss means thousands of lives forever changed.
We continue to share their stories – to put a face to the number – because, as those who lost someone to the coronavirus know, moving forward does not mean moving on.
Here are the stories of three San Diegans – a sister, a grandson and a nephew – all who were committed to memorializing their family members on the second anniversary of the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic.
Loved Ones Lost
Here are more stories from NBC 7 looking back at San Diego's response to the coronavirus and the lessons learned after two years of the pandemic.
In the two years since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, what used to be our usual shifted as the world adapted to changes. The NBC 7 News Today crew reflects on the past two years that were full of stay-at-home orders, drive-by birthday parties and Zoom connections.
The past two years have been a roller coaster, reports NBC 7's Artie Ojeda, who recalls the story of a barista who people rallied around after his ill-treatment by a customer.
NBC 7 anchor Mark Mullen talks to a South Bay doctor who has seen some amazing success stories but also has a first-hand account of the pandemic's scary start.
Newly released statewide testing results from the California Department of Education show a wide gap in younger students’ learning, reports NBC 7's Alexis Rivas.
NBC 7’s Melissa Adan heard from business owners in Barrio Logan about their unique experiences making it through the pandemic.