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Killeen: Reflecting on COVID-19 pandemic, one year later

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 7:35 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - One year ago this weekend, the first presumptive case of COVID-19 popped up in Central Texas.

Since then, this past year has brought changes to day-to-day life. From schools to restaurants and public venues, nearly everything was shut down. All while half a million Americans lost their lives to COVID-19.

Psychology Professor Sam Fiala says not interacting with students in person has been the toughest challenge.

“For many of them, the job situation has changed,” he said.

“For a while, kids weren’t in school, they had to figure out childcare and work. It was just a lot of stress in a short amount of time. Typically, when you see a student is struggling, you can pull them aside after class and talk to them. When it’s all online, it gets a little bit harder.”

With the vaccine becoming more available, some say there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Fiala believes that COVID will never go away and will eventually become just as common as the flu.

“I’m definitely optimistic,” he said.

“In terms of returning to the way things were, I don’t think we will, and I don’t necessarily think we should. One thing that this pandemic has taught us not at the cognitive, but in your face level, is we can control the spread of disease and germs.”

Many local experts say even though they’re ready to get things back to normal like everyone else is, the fight against COVID-19 isn’t over.

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