Coronavirus, Local, News

Infectious Disease Expert, WABE’s Health Care Reporter Look Back On A Year Of COVID-19 In Georgia

Vaccines offer hope, and some aspects of life are restarting, although things remain far from "normal."
Vaccines offer hope, and some aspects of life are restarting, although things remain far from "normal."
Credit Gerry Broome / Associated Press file

A year ago Tuesday, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the first cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. A year later, two cases have grown to 823,000. Health systems dealt with an eruption of coronavirus cases, mounting deaths and patient beds spilling into hospital hallways. And COVID-19 has now killed more than 15,000 Georgians, according to Georgia Department of Public Health data.

Vaccines offer hope, and some aspects of life are restarting, although things remain far from “normal.”

What a year it’s been for all of us. But especially for frontline health care providers, and the reporters responsible for tracking the state’s response to the pandemic.

One is Dr. Danny Branstetter, an infectious disease specialist with WellStar Health System. Another is WABE health reporter Sam Whitehead, who also hosts the station’s coronavirus podcast “Did You Wash Your Hands?”

Both sat down with WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress, who asked them to take us back to those first few March days of 2020.

The Atlanta community can also join Whitehead for a live discussion this week, as he talks with Emory University’s Dr. Carlos del Rio and Fulton County Health Director Dr. Lynn Paxton about where we are in the pandemic.

Sign up for this free, virtual event at www.wabe.org/community

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.