Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris talked with Alabama News Network about the state’s first recorded case of COVID-19 on March 13, 2020, and what has happened in the two years since.
Dr. Harris reflected on the emotions felt by many as the pandemic hit and the feeling of the unknown as the virus began to overwhelm the world.
“It was kind of a surreal time,” he said. “It just felt like we knew something was happening, but we didn’t know what it was. We didn’t have information, and really worst of all, we didn’t have treatments or therapy for anybody. It was a pretty scary time, to be honest.”
He says he is proud of the progress the state has made in two years. Despite the many deaths, he says there were a lot of lives saved by research and the technology that we now have available.
“It’s absolutely true, and it’s miraculous that we got a vaccine for this disease in a year. But remember, the building blocks for that process have been around for a long time.”
As Dr. Harris reflects on the past two years, he shares one lesson that he took away from this entire experience.
“A big lesson that we should have known maybe, but you know I had to learn, is just the extent that misinformation gets spread out there. You know, we sort of naively thought, ‘Well, we’ll just show people what the science is and that will solve all of the arguments and that will answer everyone’s questions.’ Well, clearly that was a dumb thing for us to think.”
The latest figures show that there have been 1,288,999 COVID-19 cases in Alabama since the first case was recorded on March 13, 2020. There have been 18,832 deaths.
The good news is that currently, the rolling 7-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is down to 3.5%.