By Mack Male
For many Edmontonians, this weekend marks the anniversary of when everything changed.
"This past year will likely be the toughest many of us have experienced: Edmontonians have missed key life events, been separated from our friends and family, lost livelihoods, and suffered deaths," said Mayor Don Iveson in a statement on March 11, 2021.
The first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Alberta was announced on March 5, 2020, with the first case in the Edmonton zone following the next day. But it was a series of events the following week that demarcated the "before times" and the "after times".
Reacting to the news, Iveson announced that an emergency city council meeting had been scheduled for March 13, 2020. “We need to act with caution but there is no need to panic. This is a serious health issue, and each of us can do our part to help limit the spread,” he said. At the meeting, city council suspended all meetings until the end of March, and announced enhanced cleaning protocols for transit and recreation centres. Closures followed shortly thereafter.