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The day coronavirus became real for millions of Americans


(CNN) – Wednesday, March 11, 2020. That’s the day the coronavirus crisis became real for millions of Americans. President Trump addressed the nation. Tom Hanks announced he had tested positive. The NBA suspended its season. The day started with the World Health Organization declaring a pandemic, and by the time it ended, things felt like they had hit an inflection point.

“The virus is an enormous story, a once-in-a-generation crisis that inevitably touches everyone’s lives,” NYT Exec Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn wrote to staff in a Wednesday evening memo. On “NBC Nightly News,” Lester Holt noted, “Literally, the whole world is talking about this outbreak. None of us is unaffected.”

Things are happening at breakneck speed. Hours feel like days. Days feel like weeks. Weeks feel like years. And there is no end in sight. We don’t quite know what the future holds in store. But what we do know is that it’s likely that this story and news cycle will accelerate even more in the days and weeks ahead.

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