FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – One year ago Thursday, Jan. 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the United States, and the impacts were first felt at airports across the country.
More than 24,300,000 people in the U.S. have gotten the virus since then and more than 404,000 people have now died, according to the CDC.READ MORE: Power Lines Electrocute 1 Of 2 Pilots Ejected From Military Training Jet That Crashed
The first patient one year ago, had returned to Seattle from a trip to Wuhan, China.
Five airports in the U.S. had started screening some passengers for the virus. DFW Airport wasn’t one of them yet.
CBS 11 News reported on January 21, 2020, “Most international travelers we talked to hadn’t even heard of the coronavirus. Those who had, weren’t too concerned about it.”
Towards the end of the month, we began seeing restrictions on international air travel.
In March, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic – and that’s when air traffic plummeted.
The amount of people flying has increased since then, especially over the holidays, but the experience is quite different now.
“There’s my N95 mask, a bottle spray and some wipes,” said Louis Koven, whose wife packed him a special kit for his flight to New York from DFW. “Never had that previously, and now I couldn’t leave without it. So things have changed completely.”READ MORE: Abreu, White Sox Closer To AL Central Title, Beat Rangers
This is Koven’s first business flight since last March. He used to fly once or twice a week.
“There’s no executive platinum line,” he said. “I’m kind of used to that, so I had to walk in the main line. Luckily there’s no line for anything, so you don’t really need those perks.”
No lines, masks required, Plexiglass shields, signs encouraging social distancing, and plenty of hand sanitizer – that’s what the new normal looks like at DFW Airport.
Enhanced cleaning efforts have been going on for a year as well, but some passengers still feel uneasy about being on a flight.
“Even on the plane from Denver to Dallas, you’re scared,” said Johnny Adokor. “You don’t want to talk to anybody. You don’t want to be near anybody. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.”
It’s hard to have predicted that a year ago, when most people were just starting to hear about COVID-19.
“Had no clue the impact this would have to everyone,” Koven said. “Friends, family, parents, everyone.”
And as Koven anxiously waits to get the vaccine, he says he has no clue what the next year will look like either.MORE NEWS: Military Plane Crashes In Residential Area, 2 Pilots Injured, 3 Homes Hit
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