2020 had its way of bringing life into focus, but for the most part, a life we’d just as soon forget.
While COVID-19 first appeared on the last day of 2019, it reached little old Wyoming County with disruptions in March and literally on April 2 with the first case reported to the state department of health, and the first death later in the month.
By year’s end, the county recorded 787 positive cases of CODID-19 and 29 deaths. The impact, however, was much greater than that with lives disrupted and hopes of a vaccine on the way.
With sports seasons ended and students forced to learn virtually, no institution was harder hit than The Gardens nursing home in Tunkhannock. It missed the first wave, but when the first case hit Oct. 22, its administrator called it a ‘small outbreak.’ Unfortunately it didn’t end there. A week later it was 23 cases that jumped to 45 Nov. 2 and 91 on Nov. 25, virtually infiltrating the entire resident population with at least 22 resident deaths.
How one reacted to the COVID became a political issue with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, that reached a head May 7 as more than a 150 residents, many without masks, demanded they be allowed to have their businesses reopened. That fervor spilled over to those sympathetic to President Donald Trump as well. But there was a quieter protest empathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement on four different occasions during the summer months.
And then in October there was the matter of Phillip Walters, held in jail since 2018 in the death of girlfriend Haley Lorenzen. A week-long trial in October found him guilty on four counts, the most significant of which he was sentenced Dec. 10 to life without parole.
We share a year which had its own twists and turns.