As we approach three years since COVID-19 became a household name, the COVID-19 emergency still sits fresh in our minds. We may still remember where we were or what we were doing when Greene County Health announced its first COVID-19 case. We still have stacks of masks in our homes. Our vaccine cards still have fresh ink from recent booster
The pandemic won’t always be a fresh memory, though, which is why Springfield-Greene County Health developed a tool to help future generations learn about our local, national and global pandemic response.
The COVID-19 Response Timeline highlights eight phases of key events, milestones and Springfield-Greene County Health’s response during the COVID-19 emergency. You can view it at health.springfieldmo.gov/COVIDtimeline.
Why did we build a COVID-19 timeline?
We decided to build a public COVID-19 response timeline for a few reasons. First, documenting our community’s response to COVID-19 creates a guidepost for a future pandemic response in our community, should we need it again. Secondly, looking through the timeline allows us to acknowledge and reflect on the events, both good and bad, we experienced individually and as a community. Finally, education is a significant product of the COVID-19 emergency. It’s how we persevere. We hope the response timeline can be a beneficial tool as you tell the story of COVID-19 for generations to come.
Sharing the COVID-19 story for future generations
As more time grows between the start of the COVID-19 emergency and the present day, people will have less recollection of what life was like during the pandemic years. In the distant future, stories of the pandemic for young people may feel like stories our grandparents tell us—vivid for them, but hard to grasp for us since we didn’t experience it firsthand.
With the Springfield-Greene County response timeline, young and old people alike will be able to immerse themselves in the events and stories that spanned the COVID-19 emergency. In the time frame from January 2020 to June 2022, you can explore real-time case data, read primary documents from federal, state and local governments and hear first-hand accounts from community members.
We empathize and connect with people, past and present, through stories. It is our hopethat by providing this storytelling tool, future generations will understand how the public health system responded, the toll the COVID-19 emergency took on our community and how they can help the community during a future public health crisis.
COVID-19 is a heavy topic Understanding the events of the COVID-19 emergency is a heavy task. To some degree, we all experienced trauma. This is important to acknowledge while highlighting the significant role the pandemic will play in our history.
It may be difficult for people, now or in the future, to learn about the COVID-19 emergency. When using the response timeline, you can ensure people are not overwhelmed as they learn by taking actions like:
taking breaks between each phase, reflecting on one encouraging and one difficult milestone during each phase and discussing how difficult events and milestones make them feel.
Ultimately, Springfield-Greene County Health wants to help our community to learn and grow from the events we experienced during the COVID-19 emergency. We hope our response timeline is a helpful tool in the process.
The eighth and final phase of the COVID-19 timeline is titled “Moving Forward.” As a department, as individuals and as a community, we are committed to taking steps toward the future. But this is only possible when we acknowledge what happened in our past.
Your mental health may have taken a hard hit during the COVID-19 emergency. It did for many people around the world. In the aftermath, we want you to know it’s brave to ask for help. You are not alone in your struggle and in your desire to move forward. If you’re ready, visit Springfield-Greene County Health’s mental health resources page to
take your first step: SGFMentaHealth.com.