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People Reveal When Coronavirus Got Real For Them

Paddy Clarke 25 Mar 2020

For some people, the severity of the coronavirus pandemic is somehow yet to still sink in. However, as the world carefully grinds to a halt in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease, those people are slowly beginning to understand just how devastating this pandemic is.

One curious person took to Reddit, in order to find out when the reality of the current situation set in for people, by asking, "When did COVID-19 get real for you?"

The internet responded quickly and with a plethora of heartbreaking, shocking, and unpleasantly unsettling responses, a collection of which have been gathered for you below.

1. Echoes Of WWII

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"Just heard that the company that sews MLB uniforms is bringing back their workers to start making surgical gowns. This is starting to sound like the factory conversions to war production during WWII." — PenandSquid

There have also been a lot of large scale engineering companies making ventilators and other essential equipment for hospitals, so this is not such a leap to imagine.

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2. Working From Home

Unsplash | Burst

"I have worked in investigations/security for 8 years and was always told we can NEVER work from home. Reason being we have access to millions of individuals sensitive data and they didn't want to risk it being stolen. 2 weeks ago they bought hundreds of laptops and sent us all home to work..." — Pizzaandpushups

Other people also shared their similar stories, with a lot of people wondering if the number of jobs being shown to be able to be done from home will cause companies to restructure certain positions following the pandemic.

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3. Hospitals Running Low On Supplies

Unsplash | 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz

"When I was told by the administration that we had one box of N95 masks in the hospital". — qaw213

And to think that there have been people stealing from hospitals at this terrible time. There was also one heartbreaking comment from a nurse which garnered incredible attention, reading:

"I'm a nurse. I am sincerely dreading next week. I feel like I'm fighting a forest fire with a garden hose." — CursesandMutterings

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4. Death Of A Close Loved One

Unsplash | Mayron Oliveira

"My aunt is one of the 100 people that have died in the last 24 hours in the US. She was like a mother to me growing up and I feel like my childhood just died with her. This is the first death in my life that has me confronting the realities of losing someone close to you. I was planning on going to visit her not too long ago but the developing concerns over COVID kept me from doing so because she was already very sick.

"My cautious nature was to no avail because it still killed her. I could've seen her, but I didnt because I was concerned about something that happened anyways. This morning it got very, very real for me." — watchyerbeck

Hundreds of people shared their condolences for this person's loss. This person posted an update thanking everyone, and also shared this powerful message, "Stay safe everyone. Most of all, stay strong. If there was ever a time for us to put aside our differences to band together and make sacrifices as a species, this is it right here."

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5. Becoming Unemployed.

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"When I lost my job." — SweetPockets51

There have been thousands of people who have been left out of work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This person had been working as a bartender, and now, along with so many others, is looking for ways to make ends meet in this difficult time.

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6. The Triple Whammy

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"When in the space of an hour: the NBA got cancelled, Trump banned all travel to and from Europe, and Tom Hanks announced he had it.

"That made me go '...oh'." — miseraa

The moment that many major sporting events were canceled was a turning point for a surprising amount of people across the globe.

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7. Missing Out On College

Unsplash | Vasily Koloda

"When my college switched to online and I had to move back home (I was living on campus)". — twerkcicle

There will be a lot of people who think that this is not such a big deal for college kids; however, they are loosing out on life experiences that they would otherwise have been able to cherish forever, and this can have a negative effect on their mental health. One student also wrote:

"At my college, we probably won't even get graduation. Just a document in the mail. We also had no time for proper goodbyes and a large portion of the student body is international, out of state, etc. I don't know when the next time I'll see my best friend again is. I've honestly been crying or at least in a very volatile mood the past couple of weeks." — hecaete47

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8. Having A Colleague Die

Unsplash | Kaleidico

"When my colleague died. She was the first covid-19 death in our state. I had seen her a few weeks ago and she was doing great, and then I received a company-wide email that she had passed." — DK_Vet

This person went on to say that their coworker that passed was in her early 60s, and explained that "She had children late though so her daughter had just graduated high school". I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for that family.

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9. Closing The Pubs For St. Patrick's Day

Unsplash | Adam Wilson

"When Ireland closed the pubs shortly before St. Patrick’s day." — CaptainsLincolnLog

As more and more popular festivities and festivals are closed down, the severity of this pandemic is more and more apparent. In a similar vein, someone pointed out "When Austin canceled SXSW" as an eye-opening moment for them.

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10. Panic Buying

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"When I went grocery shopping for the first time in several days last week, and many of the shelves were completely empty." — DeathSpiral321

Panic buying is one of the most selfish, malicious, and generally disgraceful things you can partake in. Stop screwing over each other, try and remain calm, and spare a thought for your fellow human.

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11. Not Being Able To See Sick Loved Ones

Unsplash | Annie Spratt

"When I realized I might/should not be able to go home and see my elderly parents, one of which recently got diagnosed with cancer." — funskittle

This person said that while they can't go home and physically be with their sick loved ones, they will be frequently FaceTiming and calling their parents in case they are not able to physically see them again.

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12. When The Schools Closed

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"Wednesday, March the 11th. I'm a teacher and that was the first day that we had a meeting about 'the extremely unlikely odds' that we would miss school. By Thursday, we knew that we would be out but we figured that it would be the week after Spring Break.

"On Friday, we knew that we weren't coming back for at least three weeks. Now, I doubt we go back until next year." — classroomcomedian

As many parents, students, and teachers are concerned about how the students are going to be progressing, this teacher did post this quite unsettling update:

"We had virtual days last week and I was well-planned for that week already. No real extra work on my part. This week was Spring Break and our bosses told us to just try and enjoy it. Frankly, I have no idea what I am going to do."

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13. When Italy Went On Lockdown

Unsplash | Anthony Abruzzo

"When the whole country of Italy was put on lockdown. That should've been a wake up call for the world to take it deadly serious." — Intoxikent

It has been amazing how slow to act, and generally reluctant to act, certain countries across the globe have been over the last few weeks. Many have and will lose their lives as a result of governmental incompetence on a massive scale.

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14. When The Government Ordered Them To Shut Down Their Business

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"We own a small business. Three days ago the government ordered us to shutdown. We had to let go all of our employees, including three senior citizens who depended on their checks for their livelihood. We have some savings but not nearly enough to continue to live and maintain the business afloat. The state is not offering enough help for us. We are really in a tough situation.

"Our employees are also in the same boat. We have a 30-year-old employee who has nobody. She lives by herself and most likely will get evicted, as her landlord is an asshole. Her situation is desperate. This is so sad and so crazy. All of our hard work is going down the drain in three weeks." — Internetson

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15. Defending Their Thesis In Their Underwear!

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"When my thesis defense was forced to be live-streamed from my apartment in just a single day's notice. Luckily the connection was great, the audience was small, and I was able to not wear pants (oh also, luckily I passed it too lmao)." — julseth314

Well, at least one person has a positive story about this virus, congratulations to this person for successfully defending their thesis in their underwear!

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16. Family Member Testing Positive

Unsplash | Adhy Savala

"My cousin got sick, was admitted to the ICU, and tested positive for it. He's been out of the hospital for a few days but hasn't really improved; he just hasn't gotten worse. I texted with him a bit and it's still really serious (he has asthma as well). I guess it was only a matter of time before it affected somebody I know." — tamelotus

When you are actually in the immediate proximity of something like this, it really is an eye-opener. To a lot of people, the severity of this pandemic is still lost, hopefully, they will come to their senses soon.

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17. When They Went Back To Work At The Hospital After Time Off

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"My first shift at the hospital after 9 days off and seeing how absolutely unprepared we were to deal with what’s coming. For example two nurses were allowed to come back to work after flying home from a cruise - in early March. They pulled both of them and sent them into quarantine but not until they received a call from the cruise line that two passengers so far had tested positive.

"There were at least two people on our unit who were like 99% confirmed, they just hadn’t been tested because neither met the criteria for testing in this state: having left the country recently or directly knowing someone who had.

"And now I’m in the middle of another 9 days stretch off, having had what feel like a chest cold for going on three or four days now. Knowing I need to check-in for a virtual health consult and wondering if they’ll be footing the bill if I’m told to take two weeks off?" — ded_a_chek

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18. Fearing For Their Economic Stability

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"This is mine. I work for a payroll company, one of the largest. They just sent 4000 employees home. We were asking for it. Demanding it actually and then they did. I woke up the next morning and looked at my sleeping kids whose school is canceled for the rest of the year and just felt panic sit in. I'm thankful I have a job but God damn am I scared." — mybrainhurts

Parents who now have to work from home as well as looking after their children are under incredible strain. Hopefully, these people will be able to find a way through this incredibly difficult time without pulling all of their hair out!

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19. When The Virologists Began To Panic

Unsplash | Michał Parzuchowski

"My girlfriend is a wildlife virologist. When she started constantly reading articles during her free time, maybe mid February or so, I realized it was the real deal.

"When cases popped up a few miles from my elderly, immune compromised father's home, I started being truly scared for him and others." — NoWordOfALie

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20. Ice Rinks Being Turned Into Morgues

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"Today, when the government announced they're going to start putting the dead in a skating rink inside a local shopping mall because the local funeral homes don't have any more capacity." — pesse88

The Palacio de Hielo ice rink in Madrid has already been turned into a temporary morgue which will be used to store bodies of the coronavirus victims, Metro reports.

If you have a personal story you wish to share at this dark time, please feel free to do so in the comments below.

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