Two Years Ago Was Our First Day In a Global Pandemic


At this point, in 2022, it feels like the pandemic has sort of been around forever. Occasionally, we’ll catch ourselves watching a movie and thinking, Wait, you forgot to put a mask on! One wonders if future generations will look at us the way some people look at folks who lived before the advent of the Internet — What was it like, then? I can’t even imagine it. But it was only two years ago yesterday that the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and the entire world changed.

As recorded by PubMed, on March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. What had started as a disease ripping through China had quickly become such a problem in Europe that several countries locked down immediately. Some, like Italy, went quickly into full crisis mode, with citizens being asked to stay indoors and only emerge for necessities. The United States followed soon after the WHO announcement, with states one by one declaring stay-at-home orders and distributing information about how to wash your hands properly and sneeze with care.

For the music world, the effect was monumental. Almost overnight, every tour was postponed or canceled; first, European treks were shut down, and then every live outing was at the very best put off until the fall. Countless albums, mixed and ready to go, were shelved until further notice. As reported by Kerrang!, New York City closed all venues, clubs, bars and theaters on March 16th, effectively shutting down the city’s biggest moneymaker. The American public was warned that this shutdown might take as long as two weeks, a concept that now seems laughable.

To break the Fourth Wall, I remember when COVID went from a bizarre phenomenon my wife followed on the news to a world-changing event. It was Wednesday, March 11th, the day of the WHO announcement. I was working at Kerrang!‘s U.S. offices in Brooklyn, while my wife worked at a high-end cake bakery. When I picked her up that afternoon, she said, “All of the weddings were canceled today. All of them.” Not all of them, I assured her, but she said yes, every last one. The next day, all I wrote about were tours being postponed or canceled. When I left work the next afternoon, my boss told me that the London team weren’t coming in Monday, so I should work from home, too. It was the last time I went to that office. Within a month, my wife and I had both lost our jobs.

Today, two years later, it’s hard to believe what happened. But it happened to all of us, and it’s important to look back on where we were, how it affected us, and how it changed the world around us. So if you feel like it, tell us your story in the comments section. Where were you when the world shut down? How did it change your life?

Let us know. In the meantime, good luck, be safe, and death to false metal.

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