Minnesota man carries new outlook 1 year into pandemic
Saturday marks one year since Minnesota’s first documented case of COVID-19.
As Minnesotans and people around the world were met with tragedy, disappointment and struggle, some also found triumph.
Now, 365 days into the pandemic, many Minnesotans have a different outlook on the year ahead. David Blackwood is one of those people.
Blackwood’s daily walks with his dog, Lily, helped get him through the past year.
"COVID-19 has changed my whole life," Blackwood shared. "My wife is dead now. I’m a single person and it affects people with no support system much more than people who do have support systems."
Very soon after the pandemic began, life seemed to flip upside down for many.
Restaurants and other businesses were forced to close; Minnesotans lost their jobs. For the first time in 74 years, the Minnesota State Fair was canceled. The moments that make us Minnesotans were put on pause.
"It’s just been isolation. I see people as of late, but the first six to eight months of it were horrible," Blackwood said.
He stayed away from his family to protect himself. Still, two of his grandsons got sick.
"I call my one grandson ‘CC,’" Blackwood said. "His name is Graham. I call him CC now — Charlie COVID."
Through it all, Blackwood still has his sense of humor and now he has hope.
"Everything is getting better. Hospitalizations are way down," he said. "I had my last shot the other day."
Fully vaccinated, these are the first steps toward normalcy, and his companion keeps walking ahead.
Three months into 2021, life is slowly getting back on track. More than 1 million Minnesotans had received at least one vaccine dose as of Saturday and vaccinations are only speeding up.