The pandemic has dominated headlines across the world throughout 2020. Denton County was spared until March 15, when the first local was confirmed to have the virus.
Since then, the Denton Record-Chronicle has written about the pandemic nearly daily.
Below, in no particular order, are some of the top pandemic articles published in this paper:
To prepare for virus, seek out ‘sick-day foods’ — and don’t hoard
In neighboring Collin County, a Frisco man is presumed to have COVID-19.
Denton County Public Health wouldn’t confirm the first local infected with the virus for six more days when this article was published, but the pandemic had already made its way to Denton County.
Locals were seeing Texans in neighboring counties test positive for the virus as household names the world over went into isolation or quarantine.
At that point, the biggest concern for many Texans was the prospect of quarantining for two weeks after exposure to the virus.
Local grocery stores were running low on essentials and signs started to pop up urging people to limit their purchases of certain items, namely toilet paper, cleaning products and raw meats.
Local authorities were still comparing the virus to similar outbreaks of Ebola and H1N1, neither of which came close to the sort of impact caused daily by the current pandemic.
Denton bars, restaurants temporarily close, limit services over coronavirus
“We just decided that as a group that the best thing for the city of Denton, and the area, is to just shut it down and try to contain it as much as possible,” the owner of three Denton bars says.
The first wave of local business closures were voluntary.
Business owner John Williams at the time expected to open his three bar locations in Denton on April 1, barring advice to the contrary from public officials.
Even restaurant chains were closing dining rooms. Movie theaters were shuttering temporarily, and national associations were advising caution ahead of any federal mandates.
Why do we know late? Making sense of coronavirus numbers and how they’re released
Angela Biggs knew the county health department hadn’t published all the confirmed coronaviru…
Reporting lags joined the list between death and taxes this year as every level of government scrambled to gather and release data to Americans.
Much of the consternation was born out of improper or dysfunctional channels of communication between those governmental levels.
Different agencies were responsible for passing along different bits of information, and some agencies defined terms differently or had different processes for verifying information.
Public health officials were forced to balance the public’s right to know quickly with the crystalizing realization that information was retroactively determined to be wrong.
Missing positivity rate, reporting lags and more: Four pandemic reporting changes explained
What statistics are important, as well as their public availability, has changed over the pa…
The spiritual successor to the above article, this piece once again took a swing at explaining the monolith of government transparency during the pandemic.
All the problems presented in this article were still present by late December.
Pandemic data from public schools
The Texas Department of State Health Services eventually began collecting and disseminating more granular information about the state of the pandemic in public schools.
The Record-Chronicle has since put out an analysis of that data each week as it pertained to Denton County schools.
Everything from discrepancies between state and local data to the infection percentages from local campuses has been included each week.