COVID-19: Its Journey Since December 2019: A look at reported specs and a firsthand account from a N.C. gay couple

David Aaron Moore
September 4, 2020

North Carolina residents and married couple Brian McCann and Tom Costales know first-hand how devastating the impact of COVID-19 can truly be. Both men became infected and extremely ill, were hospitalized, fought the illness and have lived to tell their stories.

Initially it was reported that the first cases of a flu-like disease came from a Chinese province called Wuhan in December 2019.

This, while now in question, led to the naming of the seventh coronavirus known to exist.

Speculation about COVID-19 ran rampant. It was a laboratory experiment that got out of control. It was a biochemical weapon. It mutated from bats and snakes eaten at an outdoor market from its purported point of origin.

In early February stories began to emerge about disease-stricken passengers aboard a cruise liner known as the Diamond Princess. Reports carried by international news showed images of people seemingly trapped in quarantine aboard the ship.

Eventually, the passengers were released in a manner that, in hindsight, could best be described as chaotic and haphazard. Some simply walked off the ship and got into a taxi, while others were flown in limited quarantine fashion from Japan back to the United States.

Fragmented recollections such as these, thought to tell the story of the initial introduction of COVID-19 into the United States, now seem like ancient history, although just under seven months have passed.

Since that time, world culture has seemingly turned upside down.

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This story was produced by the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of six media companies working together in an effort started by the Solutions Journalism Network and funded by The Knight Foundation.