Though coronavirus came on the scene much earlier, it’s today that we mark its one-year anniversary. That’s because the first case was recorded in Kankakee County on March 19, 2020.

By then the community had already been feeling the effects of the virus as schools were closing, events were canceling and store shelves were picked clean. But on March 19, 2020, it all hit home.

We lived the following year partaking in history as it was being written. Nothing was left untouched by the pandemic, and many things may never be the same.

Over the next two weekends, the Daily Journal will be publishing stories looking back on how Kankakee County's year of COVID-19 has changed education, business and social norms.

First, a look at how local businesses are surviving during a time when many people are leaving their homes less and changed their spending habits. 

The Daily Journal followed up with Dale Shaw, a Bourbonnais resident who spent 91 days in the hospital earlier this year when he contracted COVID-19, on his recovery.

After elective outpatient procedures and annual checkups were canceled by hospitals at the beginning of the pandemic, it took time for patients to reactivate health screenings at normal rates. 

Throughout it all, people tried to celebrate special occasions in new ways. Social-distancing, connecting virtually and postponing celebrations continue to be part of daily life one year later.

One of the major social norms impacted by COVID is how people celebrate momentous occasions. Now one year later, social-distancing, connecting virtually and postponing celebrations continue to be part of daily life.

We developed a timeline of important moments surrounding local lockdowns, reopenings, virus treatment and vaccines. 

The second weekend's stories can be found here: