Word spread quickly on March 1, 2020, that Manatee County had documented its first positive case of the novel coronavirus, the second case reported in Florida. It was the height of season, and our theaters, restaurants, hotels and galas were packed with happy residents, snowbirds and vacationers. That first case gave us jitters, but few of us anticipated that only two weeks later our world would appear completely different. Here’s a look back at the last six months, from innocence to shock to resilience. We have a long way to go—possibly a year, according to some scientists—before we can get back to anything resembling “regular” life. But we’ve also come a long way, and we will emerge from this smarter, stronger and able to hug one another again.

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