The global health crisis, which is now known to the U.S. as COVID-19 first reared its ugly head right at the beginning of last year.
At that time, the first cases of a new novel coronavirus (scientifically called SARS-CoV2) started popping up in Washington state. The first official case relating to the COVID-19 crisis in the United States was announced by the state of Washington on January 21, 2020. Washington made the first announcement of death from the disease in the U.S. on February 29, 2021. Later, the state announced that two of its deaths there on February 26, 2020, were also due to COVID-19.
Until mid-March of 2020, Washington had the highest absolute number of confirmed cases and the highest number per capita of any state in the country. It was later surpassed by New York state on April 10, 2020. Many of the deceased were residents of a nursing home in the city of Kirkland, an Eastside Seattle suburb in King County, Washington.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide, two-weeks long stay-at-home order on March 23, 2020. Additionally, the state had 322,487 confirmed cases and a total of 4,988 confirmed deaths as of March 2, 2021. Public health experts agree that the true number of cases in Washington was much greater than the number that had been confirmed by laboratory tests. It is very difficult to know the true number since most people experience only mild illness.
Testing for COVID-19 was not widely available early on. However, as of February 17, 2021, Washington had administered 1,201,284 COVID-19 vaccine doses, with 11.7 percent of the population receiving at least one dose. As a person who has been a resident of Washington for the last four years, I can personally attest to how COVID-19 has affected my community and a number of its residents.
However, COVID-19 has horrifically gripped the rest of the country tremendously over the course of the last 12 months.
I have friends and family members across the country who I have also been concerned about since the start of this global health crisis, which has gripped America harder than any other country on Earth. As of March 2021, well over 500,000 people in states all over the U.S. have died of COVID-19. In the U.S. state of Louisiana, over 9,000 people have died of complications from COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus.
Casey "Spizzy PM" Howard is a resident of Louisiana's Lafayette Parish with who I have been in close contact since the beginning of the nationwide COVID-19 crisis. Howard is not just a hip-hop artist that I have been managing since 2017. He and I have formed a true brotherhood, which has deeply ingrained me within his family in Louisiana, a state I visited and stayed in for a time during 2018.
In a recent conversation, Howard disclosed to me that he himself was diagnosed with COVID-19 and became a survivor of it. Like many other Americans who have observed the national severity of this health crisis, Howard told me that he did not take the virus seriously until he was personally affected by it.
"I wasn't masking up. I was going to gatherings where people weren't masking up either. But when I started having trouble breathing, running a fever, and all that, I had to get to a hospital. That's when I found out I tested positive for COVID-19," Howard told me over the phone in our conversation.
"I'll admit, I wasn't taking the sh*t too serious. But after I was diagnosed with COVID-19, I started seeing how much it didn't just affect me. It affected my family too," he continued.
However, like any real music artist, Howard went to the recording booth and made a song about his experience. His coronavirus awareness anthem Bye Bye 2 Da COVID features model and rapper Lady PM and his uncle, Patrick Henry, a man known as "the James Brown of Louisiana."
Listen to this powerful song of COVID-19 awareness and survival here.
About the Creator
Mr. Trammell is an award-winning digital media producer, freelance journalist, and author. Formerly, he wrote national radio content for the Michael Baisden Show. He also served as Senior Editor at the Your Black World online news network.