Today I was wondering why “March 13” was pulling at the back of my brain as a date of some importance… and then I realized why.
Three years ago today, everything changed.
It was on Friday, March 13, 2020, that Governor Phil Scott issued Executive Order 01-20, “Declaration of State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19 and National Guard Call-Out”. It imposed visitor restrictions at hospitals and state facilities, restricted travel by state employees, prohibited large gatherings, and called up the National Guard to assist. The Executive Order did not itself shut down schools, but it directed the Secretary of Education to prepare for school closings. And only a few days later, all schools would shut down.
It concludes with this section that was in retrospect rather optimistic (my emphasis added):
This Executive Order shall take effect upon signing and shall continue in full force and effect until April 15, 2020, at which time the Governor, in consultation with VDH and DPS/VEM, shall assess the emergency and determine whether to amend or extend this Order.
How little did we know then...
The Governor would of course extend that Order… again and again and again...
Our lives would change in SO MANY ways.
And in fact we would come to divide our lives and world into “now” and a “time before the pandemic”.
For us here in Vermont, that journey into pandemic precautions all began… three years ago… today.
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