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Whitmer reflects on one year of coronavirus

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer holds a press conference on COVID-19.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer holds a press conference on COVID-19.(source: State of Michigan)
Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 4:24 PM EST
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MID-MICHIGAN, Mich. (WNEM) - March 10 marks one year since the coronavirus uprooted millions of lives by shutting down businesses with everyone having more questions than answers about the weeks and months ahead.

“I’ve learned to look at the next 10 yards, think about the next 100, but look at the next 10 so it doesn’t overwhelm you. And you know, we’ve got a lot of people counting on me,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

Whitmer says the year span when she took care of her mom at the end of her life, and her daughter at the beginning of hers, taught the governor how to stay strong during tough times. She channeled that strength to lead Michigan through the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We simply knew that we didn’t have enough PPE. We were going into a weekend with our hospitals filled with COVID patients. We saw our death toll climbing at an incredible rate. And so we had to be aggressive and we had to take action,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer believes the combination of state-issued COVID-19 orders along with Michiganders doing their part has saved thousands of lives. Now, with three COVID-19 vaccines in play, Whitmer said the state could have enough vaccines for all who want it by late April, early May.

“It’s going to be on us to encourage our loved ones, our friends, our coworkers to get vaccinated. Ensure them that it’s safe and effective. Because the closer we get to that 70 percent, maybe by this summer we can do a lot of the things that we all want to do,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer knows a lot of state residents want to see all sectors of Michigan’s economy reopened at 100 percent. She said we’re not there yet. She said once 70 percent of Michiganders 16 and older are vaccinated, a return to normal will be in sight.

“This virus can spread fast. We’ve seen that. At this juncture though, we’ve got over 20 percent of our eligible population vaccinated. That’s great. I mean, that’s better than a lot of other places. We’re going to continue moving on that front. As we get closer to that 70 percent number, we’ll be able to do more things,” Whitmer said.