COVID-19: Changing Our Lives | March 17: Uncertainty reigns
An eagle, a poem and toilet paper - these are the things weighing on the minds of a community facing the COVID-19 crisis today.
Video: WTOL
Author: Brian Dugger
Published: 6:42 PM EDT March 17, 2020
Updated: 6:42 PM EDT March 17, 2020

TOLEDO, Ohio — The text messages started early in the morning.

"Did you hear?" "Do you know?"

Unfortunately, I hear way too much and probably know too much about COVID-19. As a journalist, my life is consumed with it. This is important, because we need to keep the community informed. But it is difficult mentally to escape. 

On Monday night, my boss sent out an email with steps to practice. I think they are steps that we should all practice.

  • Call a timeout. Many facets of life are now COVID-19 focused, but we need to find a comedy to watch, a walk to take, a friend to talk to about non-virus topics.
  • Don't let the last thing you read or watch at night be about the virus, and don't let it be the first thing that you think about in the morning.
  • Get regular sleep, exercise, and be careful about eating or drinking too much.
  • Keep pictures around that remind you of normal, happy times. Those normal times will return.
  • Be good to yourself and to others.


  • Ohio's primary election, which was supposed to take place today, was thrown into uncertainty by attempts to control the virus. A judge says that the state cannot move the election, but Dr. Amy Acton, the state's health director, orders polls closed. Gov. Mike DeWine says it is his duty to allow a significant time for people to vote by absentee ballot.
  • Dr. Acton says, "Sometimes the truth can be scary." She then introduces U.K. modeling that shows the virus will not peak in the United States until June and could kill more than 1 million people.
  • Actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson leave an Australian hospital after being quarantined with the virus. Wilson releases a 32-song playlist for people facing quarantine.

Just a reminder: Send me your stories, photos, and videos that I can feature in this daily blog to blog@wtol.com. Include your name, hometown, and contact information. I may reach out to include you in a later documentary.

COVID-19 Changing Our Lives logo
Let us know what your day was like, what was good, what was bad, what brought you joy, what has you worried. Give us 250 words or a video 60-90 seconds long and we'll share your stories as you help us document this unprecedented pandemic. Share your daily blog to blog@wtol.com



COVID-19: Changing Our Lives | March 17: Uncertainty reigns

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Nature's Balm
Eagle blog post
An eagle soars over the water, providing hope in an otherwise sad day.
Allison Schroeder

I didn’t sleep well last night.

The anxiety over the illness side of this sucks and being a business major and small business marketer, as well as the executive director of a local nonprofit, I have huge concerns for the economic impact of all of this. Personal Income streams are down. Business profits are crushed. Our country, not to mention the world, will feel this for years to come. 

I looked out my back window this morning, however, and saw a bald eagle.

Maybe it’s Mother Nature letting me know my Natures Nursery critters are going to be just fine. Maybe it’s God remind me that we live in a strong capable country. Or maybe it’s just a bird that was hungry and found a dead fish. 

Whatever the reason, it drew me away from the crazy for a few moments and reminded me that  life is beautiful!

  • Allison Schroeder
Chapter 2

Chapter 2

A Poem of Timely Reminders

The coronavirus is here and

They say try not to fear

But it’s hard not to

When toilet paper is far and few

And the schools are closed

For how long? Who knows!

Restaurants and bars, no place to sit and eat

We should all stay home and take a seat

So the virus doesn’t spread like a wildfire

Those who says it’s like the flu, I say you’re a liar

We will get through this together, United we stand

As long we don’t forget to wash our hands

  •  Angela Rajner
Chapter 3

Chapter 3

The Birthday Before The Storm
COVID-19 Blog
family photo

Both my boys just celebrated their birthdays. They had friends, family, good food, and so much fun. Their sister even had a few friends there, so she didn’t feel left out.

The party was on a Sunday, but by the following Tuesday, the chaos began. I received an email saying my nursing classes would be moved entirely online until the beginning of April. That alone was a bit overwhelming because these classes are anything but easy. 

Two days later, I hear my kids will be completing schoolwork from home for the next few weeks. 

I am someone who struggles with anxiety, but I can feel the smile on my face when I look at my kids, even though in my head there are so many things I am sorting out and trying to plan - not only with my own education, but for theirs.

The next day, it's time it’s time to go to the grocery store, not because COVID-19 has become a pandemic, but because it’s our routine for that day of the week.

When we made it to Meijer, it wasn’t as bad as we expected, but the toilet paper was completely depleted. It was unbelievable to see. Thankfully we found a couple packs - a typical number for a family of 5, I'd say. Stay well! 

  • Estefania Aurand

RELATED: Area nursing home, assisted living adapts to keep residents communicating safely with loved ones

RELATED: Sylvania man pulls off epic proposal in midst of coronavirus pandemic