One year after the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the U.S. local doctor says we can win this battle

Panama City

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB)– One year ago this week, the CDC reported the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in the United States and had no idea what this would mean.

Today, the U.S. has just surpassed the grim milestone of 400 thousand deaths with questions left to be answered.

Causing local doctors to say “we can’t underestimate this virus.” It started in Wuhan, China. Then made its way to Washington State on January 20, 2020. 

Dr. Rubina Azam of Baldwin Pediatrics said not even doctors understood what this meant. 

“We had no idea that a year later we would have more than 400 thousand deaths, more than 24 million cases of coronavirus, and this virus would be so deadly and so contagious,” Azam said. 

She said she calls the virus the quiet spreader.

In January 2020 some thought there would be 100 thousand deaths total from the virus. Now in the U.S., we have had that many deaths just since November, and as we start to see the lingering effects from New Year celebrations that number will only climb higher. 

Dr. Azam said that number is only the beginning of a dark winter. 

“Avoid overcrowding, avoid family gatherings,” Azam said. “Wintertime yes you are trying to be indoors, you are trying to hold your gatherings inside you feel comfortable with your family and friends.”

She said these next months are critical in our battle – if you are offered the vaccine, take it. 

“The vaccine is a good thing,” Azam said. “I feel like this is the only way we are going to fight this pandemic and if we are not getting vaccinated, we should expect the pandemic to go on longer than we thought.”

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