By Adrienne Moore

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Friday marked two years since the World Health Organization called the COVID-19 crisis a pandemic.

It was the announcement that brought life to a screeching halt. Within days, businesses shuttered, schools closed down and hospitals were overrun.

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“My job, traditionally, as a cardiac ICU nurse was to fix people and get them better,” Sarah Houz said back in December 2020. “And my job now is to put my patients in body bags and get the room ready for the next patient.”

Houz was a traveling ICU nurse who came to California to help care for an overwhelming number of COVID patients.

“I had nightmares. I still sometimes do,” she said.

Today, Houz is still a nurse, but no longer works in the ICU.

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“It’s just taken a huge toll on me,” she said.

Dave Kenny remembers doing distance learning with his three daughters back in 2020. Today, he says things still don’t feel normal, but nearly everything is simpler.

“Kids are back in school, so it makes working a whole lot easier,” Kenny said.

Now,  as cases continue to drop, schools and restaurants are back open.

Even Houz admits she’s feeling cautiously optimistic about the future.

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“It does feel different. It doesn’t feel like it’s crisis mode,” she said. “There are still cases but the patients aren’t as sick as they were, I don’t think.”

Adrienne Moore