Columbus residents look back as anniversary of Muscogee Co.’s first COVID-19 case approaches

March 19, 2020 was the county’s first coronavirus case.

Columbus residents look back as anniversary of Muscogee Co.’s first COVID-19 case approaches

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It’s been almost a full year since COVID-19 hit our area - and a lot has happened since then. On March 19, 2020, Muscogee County saw its first case of the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every single person in some way, shape, or form. But, through it all - some people we talked to in Columbus all had one thing in common because of COVID-19: gratitude.

Columbus citizen Monika Pattillo moved her mother from Florida to an assisted living facility in Columbus. She said it’s been challenging for their family, as COVID-19 protocols have limited time in person with her.

“Being around your loved ones, family members, and worrying about - could you possibly be passing COVID to them, or they could be passing it on to you,” said Pattillo.

Social distancing from loved ones is just one impact of COVID-19 in Muscogee County. Many local restaurants have also struggled staying afloat, like the Food Mill Food Farmacy.

“We’ve really had to adapt really quickly as far as, you know, just looking at other areas of revenue,” said Olivia Amos, director of the Food Mill Food Farmacy.

The Food Mill, once known as Bare Roots, had to close down their restaurant due to lack of customers last year. But, the organization found a positive way to help others during the pandemic by making the Food Mill both a restaurant and non-profit.

“For every two meals that were purchased, we were donating a meal back to someone who was food insecure in the community,” said Amos.

The Food Mill also works with Mercy Med, a health clinic and ministry that has been testing and treating people with the virus for the past 10 months. Leaders with the non-profit said, while COVID-19 has been difficult, it’s been rewarding.

“When we look back and remember this past year, we remember many many patients who’ve gotten sick, some have passed away, we also remember the amazing response our community has given us,” said Mercy Med Chief Development Officer Billy Holbrook.

But despite all of the setbacks, people in Columbus say the pandemic has taught them a lot.

“Now, we appreciate just going to a restaurant or just going out and doing things that we always took for granted,” said Pattillo.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, Muscogee County has vaccinated close to 25,000 people so far, according to the Department of Health.

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