Publisher’s Note: It has been a year unlike any other in our lifetimes, as a pandemic which struck without regard to social or economic status not only ravaged populations worldwide, but altered the ways in which Americans, Ohioans, and Richland Countians live and work. The changes have been dramatic and many continue.
It was during these weeks last year that the news broke and the world changed. We are marking that anniversary with a repeat of an article we ran back on New Year’s Eve, looking back at 2020.
Coincidentally, on Wednesday I obtained my own vaccination in Ontario. — Thomas Palmer
On the last day of the year we look back at the story of this public health crisis as told in the pages and posts of 1812Blockhouse.
It is difficult to know how many posts had the pandemic as a topic. A quick look at analytics revealed that there were 266 posts that referenced the word “COVID,” and 162 that included the word “coronavirus,” but some of those would have occurred in the same article.
What is clear is that the first post that referred to the crisis was shared on February 4 in a post entitled Coronavirus Tests Negative In Ohio, But Vigilance Still Needed. That post read in part,
“The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), along with the Butler County General Health District and Miami University announced today that test results from two students at Miami University in Butler County for the 2019 novel coronavirus are negative. There are no other persons under investigation in Ohio.”
It would be February 28 before our terminology changed and we began using the phrase “COVID-2019” in The Latest On Coronavirus Preparation From Richland Public Health. Our first post referencing mask wearing came on April 7 in reference to the pandemic situation in Mansfield, England.
We began to collect information about COVID-19, steps which Richland Countians could take, cancellations, etc., and by early March we had launched an Update Page as these notices had became unwieldy on the 1812Blockhouse home page.
In the coming months, we would use new software to create daily updated links to such information on the Richland Coronavirus Information Page.
As noted above, COVID-19 has dominated news coverage for us and other local, statewide, and national media this year. It would likely come as no surprise that our most viewed post of the entire year was related to this topic. On November 14, our story “COVID Numbers By Zip Code” reached over 200,000 readers on our site and on sites in which it was reposted. Even our masthead changed when the state’s mask mandate was announced in July, by adding a face covering over the Blockhouse logo.
Below is a quick timeline of Ohio’s response to COVID-19: