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It's A Grim Anniversary: 2 Years Since LA's First COVID Lockdown

A woman outside a window holds what looks to be a small dog against her chest as she stares at another person behind the glass. Both are wearing masks.
The Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center in Hayward was one site of a COVID-19 outbreak that claimed the lives of numerous patients early in the pandemic.
(Justin Sullivan
Getty Images)
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It's been two years. Two. Years.

Saturday marks the anniversary of L.A. County's first stay-at-home order issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Flash back to 2020, when L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said this: "We're about to enter into a new way of living here in Los Angeles for a period."

Neither the mayor nor anyone else had any idea it would be such an understatement, or that the fight against COVID-19 would last this long.

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Since then, L.A. County has logged 2.8 million COVID cases, and the virus has claimed the lives of more than 31,000 people. In Orange County, the death toll is close to 6,800, with well over half a million confirmed cases.

Over the past two years, we've endured surges, new variants, and seen a whirlwind of restrictions come and go.

But living with the virus has gotten easier, with the introduction of vaccines and new treatments to fight the disease.

Still, even as those advances have helped push down cases and hospitalizations, L.A. County's public health director, Barbara Ferrer, said we're not out of the woods just yet.

"While this is not forever, we are encouraging a continued focus on sensible safety measures for a little while longer," she said.

Here's a glimpse of the concerns — and the stories — that we'll be continuing to follow as we make our way into a third year of the pandemic:

And here's a blow-by-blow timeline from that first terrible year, if you can stand it, from our media partner CalMatters.

What questions do you have about the coronavirus and/or how it’s affecting your life in Southern California?

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