COVID-19: Changing Our Lives | March 19: No waking from a bad dream
Frustrations and fears mount, but this is all a great chance to learn some cooking skills.
Author: Brian Dugger
Published: 6:05 PM EDT March 19, 2020
Updated: 6:05 PM EDT March 19, 2020

TOLEDO, Ohio —

March 19, 2020 

Ever since college, I've had a recurring dream in which I suddenly realize that I am getting ready to take a test and I have not gone to class or studied at all.

I'll wake up with my heart pounding and then a wave of relief washes over me as I realize it was just a dream.

Unfortunately, I'm now waking up each morning and realizing that we are living in a new reality.

Thursday morning, WTOL employees got orders from corporate saying that we are to avoid in-person interviews as much as possible, and we are not allowed to interview someone inside of a building. It must be outside or over a video call.

Typically, I will wear a microphone and clip a mic to the shirt or coat of the person I am interviewing. Today, my photographer, Eric Rerucha, put a microphone on a stand and I fired questions at a small business owner from about 10 feet away as we stood on the sidewalk in front of his store.

It was a surreal scene in Levis Commons in Perrysburg as store after store was closed. One store posted a sign reading that its hours have been adjusted. Next to that sign was another sign. This sign told customers that the store was temporarily closed.

Across the street, the scene at Costco was even more surreal. Customers walked around with gloves, some wearing masks, as if they were in a trance. Each one of their carts had a 30-pack of toilet paper. The mountain of toilet paper was guarded by an employee, who ensured that each customer only received one package.

For now, our new reality is a deeply impersonal one.


  • Italy surpasses China with more than 3,400 deaths.
  • Confirmed cases of COVID-19 soar to 119 in Ohio and 336 in Michigan.
  • Lucas County Republican Chairman Mark Wagoner says his father has died from coronavirus
  • China reports no new domestic cases of the virus in the previous 24 hours.

COVID-19: Changing Our Lives | March 19: No waking from a bad dream

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A time to learn new skills
Get your chili fix at the Mobile Meals Great Chili Cook-off

Each and every day brings scarier headlines, but I will try my best to not worry and find adventure within our own home.

I pray each day that others will take this as serious as possible for the sake of all of our safety.

By the way, my 4-year-old daughter might be a master cook by the end of all this! 

  • Stephanie Carmony
Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Restrictions are mentally challenging
Closed sign

This virus has drastically changed my perspective on day-to-day life, and it happened with no warning.

Am I scared? Absolutey.

I went into work on March 14 and I was kind of busy, but the next day, there were no customers in sight.

I talked to my boss, and he said that the governor was considering shutting down restaurants. People can go to grocery stores but not out to dine? That makes no sense.

I was saddened - almost emotional - wondering what was coming next. Guess what? About 4 p.m., we were told we would close at 9, except for takeouts.

I'm mad. What about my daughter, who is a single parent? Not so much about me but my daughter and many others.

We need to look at the bigger picture here. It is important to protect our health, but what about our emotional health as well? These people will be stuck in their homes - some not having the skill set to deal with a special-needs child. Or what about not being able to see your elderly mom? Or what about going to the grocery store and it's empty, and you have to feed your baby? 

  • Sara Harris
Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Mother's love is endless
Webster Groves 'hearts' benefit foundation

I cannot help but have anxiety over all this. 

I’m scared for my daughter. I know we are doing everything in our control to protect her, but the everyday life alone of an immuno-compromised child is scary.

This amplifies my fear a million times more. I’ve watched my daughter fight for her life before, something I never want to do again. 

All this fear and uncertainty, questions without answers, takes me back to when we found out about Addie and her being diagnosed with Biliary Atresia and her need for her transplant. Those feelings, are eerily similar to how I’m feeling now.

It’s no fun. And I’m working so hard to calm my anxiety. I love this girl so much. Stay inside people!

  • Meghan Thieman

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