April 24, 2024
Annapolis, US 71 F

4 Year Retrospective: March 23, 2020–The Day Maryland Came to a Halt

On March 23rd, 2020, a typical Maryland morning, I woke up with the sun and my cat demanding breakfast– my normal morning. Little did I know, that day Maryland was about to enter “hard mode” in the game of life. No more casual strolls downtown in Annapolis or trivia with our Wednesday night gang at Rams Head Roadhouse. It was March 23rd when Governor Hogan announced we were all about to play a real-life version of “The Sims: Lockdown Edition.”

Now, the initial days were like an unexpected snow day – exciting yet puzzling. The streets of Annapolis looked like a ghost town, or as I liked to call it, a set from a budget apocalypse movie. All my friends turned into amateur bakers overnight, though I took a pass on that since I barely know how to turn on my oven, much less bake in it. Toilet paper became the new state treasure, and Zoom? Let’s just say I saw more of my friends’ ceilings than I ever cared to.

Then there was remote learning. My kids had all flown and grown, but as I walked my neighborhood, I could sense the stress and perhaps desperation of parents trying to figure out this whole new world.

And a=dapting to this new world was like trying to assemble IKEA furniture without the manual. Who knew you could miss the smell of Old Bay in a crowded bar? Virtual events became the norm, but let’s be honest, clicking “Leave Meeting” doesn’t have the same vibe as a standing ovation. I missed my friends. I missed the arts. I missed shopping and dining out. I hated my morning walks when people scurried across the street to avoid coming into contact with anyone! The bonus, I got a new appreciation for the outside and our wonderful parks in Anne Arundel County.

But hey, we Marylanders are tougher than a bucket of blue crabs. We adapted, masked up, and learned the fine art of window-waving. It’s been a ride, but here we are, finding new ways to connect. Things are differemnt now. Handshakes are fewer. Business hours are reduced. People are wary and cautious for the next time. And there will be a next time; and hoefully, we all learned some lessons together.

It’s been a journey full of twists, turns, and more hand sanitizer than I ever imagined possible. But we’ve stuck together (metaphorically, of course, social distancing and all that). We’ve got this, Maryland! What’s next, a crab shortage? Bring it on!

Now, I am headed to my local Giant to grab some toilet paper!

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