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A year without: How Texas survived the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: March 10, 2021

Several Dedman College professors were quoted in this March 10, 2021 Dallas Morning News article.

Stacey Monroe barely flinched as the nurse jabbed a needle into her right arm.

Wearing a N95 mask and a clear face shield, she looked straight ahead as the nurse pressed her thumb against the syringe’s plunger injecting a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

That’s it, the nurse said after slapping on a bandage.

For the next 15 minutes Monroe, 26, sat in the lobby, fiddling with her vaccine card that she placed on her lap and reflected on nearly a year’s worth of pandemic memories: The lockdown that forced her out of work. An apartment without food, cleaning supplies or toilet paper. Getting sick. Finding work. Battling depression. Getting fired. Marching for racial justice. Voting. More depression.

Finally, a moment of relief.

Weeks after being fully vaccinated, Monroe isn’t letting up on the safety precautions she adopted since the global coronavirus pandemic came to North Texas — especially after Gov. Greg Abbott announced an end to a statewide mask mandate and virtually no restrictions on business going forward.

“This isn’t over,” said Monroe, who has struggled with asthma and is immunocompromised. “We can’t ever get too happy with COVID. Just when we think we have it under control, something else comes up.”

March 10 marks the one-year anniversary of Dallas County announcing its first confirmed COVID-19 case. Since then, 248,225 county residents — nearly one out of 10 — have tested positive for the coronavirus.

For many, it has been a year without. No concerts or live sporting events. No dinner parties or date nights. No grandparents or grandchildren. No church. No handshakes. No hugging. READ MORE