It's hard to believe but it's been 4 years since the COVID-19 pandemic rocked our worlds and essentially brought our day-to-day lives to a screeching halt.

We're taking a look back at some of the most jarring and shocking headlines from this week in 2020 across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

Governor Wolf Orders Mass Closings in Bucks County - Saturday, March 14, 2020

Pennsylvania started with localized restrictions in mid-March 2020, but that would quickly become a more statewide approach.

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On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Governor Wolf urged all non-essential retail facilities to close at that time in Bucks County. This would, of course, be expanded to a statewide level in under two days.

Pennsylvania Schools Closed Statewide - Monday, March 16, 2020

The decision to close schools was made on Friday, March 13, 2020, which sent parents scrambling. 

Tom Wolf Press Conference
The Office of Governor Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Wolf ordered that all Pennsylvania schools would be closed for 10 days beginning March 16. The announcement included the city of Philadelphia.


CURFEWS! All New Jersey Bars, Restaurants, Etc. To Close Nightly — Monday, March 16, 2020

Life really started to come to a standstill on Monday, March 16 in the Garden State.

It was on that day that New Jersey's Governor Phil Murphy ordered all New Jersey bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and casinos to close nightly at 8 p.m.

He also enacted a "statewide curfew," which strongly discouraged all nonessential travel between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. 

All Philadelphia & Pennsylvania Bars & Restaurants Ordered to Close — Monday, March 16, 2020

The city of Philadelphia ordered all restaurants to stop dine-in services on Monday, March 16 at 5 p.m. They were required to only stay open for delivery at that time.

Cities And Towns Across U.S. Close Schools To Slow Spread Of Coronavirus
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Additionally, all bars were also forced to close, by order of Philly's Mayor Jim Kenny.

Later that afternoon, it wasn't just Philadelphia that would be closing restaurants. Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Wolf signed a measure on that day closing all bars and restaurants in the State of Pennsylvania.

All New Jersey Schools Close for COVID-19 - Monday, March 18, 2020

All schools across New Jersey were forced to close starting no later than Wednesday, March 18.

The order was signed by New Jersey's governor, Phil Murphy, two days before. As we know the school closures, which were originally slated for two weeks, would last the rest of the school year statewide.

"Stay Home!" New Jersey Governor Orders All Non-Essential Businesses to Close Indefinitely - Saturday, March 21, 2020

By Saturday night (March 21), things had advanced in the State of New Jersey even worse. At that time, the state said they had 1,327 cases, and officials said they were working to "flatten the curve."

All non-essential retail businesses were ordered to close indefinitely, effective 9:00 p.m. (Saturday, March 21).

This was probably the moment that many brides felt the final punch to the gut as well because all gatherings (including weddings and private parties) were canceled by the governor.

Philadelphia Orders All Residents to Stay Home - Monday, March 23, 2020

The City of Philadelphia ordered ALL residents to stay home on Monday, March 23, 2023.

Though most businesses were already closed in the city, this was the final move that would change the lives of Philadelphians for weeks and months. Businesses providing essential services were allowed to remain open. 

Philadelphians weren't even allowed to place a takeout order inside a restaurant, Mayor Jim Kenney said.

READ MORE: Inspiring Stories From the Coronavirus Pandemic

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