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Coronavirus Pandemic: How Did We Get Here?

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

First detected in Wuhan, China, late last year, the coronavirus quickly spread around the world and became a global pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak has altered and disrupted every day operations. Life is at a near standstill for most of the world, and San Antonio is not exempt.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared a state of disaster and public health for the City of San Antonio on March 2 due to the coronavirus. The following week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a statewide emergency.

Public health officials discouraged large gatherings to help mitigate spread of the novel coronavirus. By mid March most large public events had been canceled or postponed, including Austin's South by Southwest festival and major league sports seasons. Fiesta was rescheduled for the first time since WWII.

On Sunday evening, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Bexar County stood at 410 with over a quarter of the cases attributed to community transmission -- a milestone that signals the pathogen's rapid transmission from person to person.

Shelter-in-place orders were enacted to slow the spread of the new coronavirus but the number of confirmed cases continues to tick up as testing capacity increases. 

From its genesis to its arrival in San Antonio, the coronavirus has become a historic event. The pathogen will leave its mark on the world, creating a clear distinction in time: before and after the outbreak. 

When was the turning point of when this became a major world event? What is the timeline of COVID-19's emergence in San Antonio? How has life changed amid the outbreak? What will be left behind in a post-coronavirus world?


"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call  833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This show originally aired on Monday, April 6.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.