VANCOUVER -- Oh, how things have changed in the past year.

And we have been forced to change with them.

March 17 marks 12 months since our lives were upended.

That’s the day a public health emergency was declared in B.C. because of COVID-19.

“I didn’t think it was going to be going for this long,” reflected Burnaby resident Raman Manhas.

“We are maybe starting to realize that we're not as untouchable as we think we are.”

By March 18, 2020, the Canada-U.S. border was shut down to almost everyone.

With people ordered to stay home and physically distance, streets grew eerily empty.

“I think that's the weirdest part, just not seeing people outside, everybody tucked away. No cars,” recalled Vinnie Banho of Vancouver.

Schools were closed, and when they eventually re-opened, things looked very different.

Thousands of non-urgent surgeries were cancelled.

Gatherings were restricted.

Businesses were boarded up.

People felt uncertain as B.C.’s death toll from COVID slowly began to climb.

“I was trying to figure out, can I still go on my weekly runs?... Is there social stigmas attached to it? Is their risks associated with it, health-wise, doing those activities?” recalled Vancouver’s Lucas Neufeld.

Remember the lines outside of grocery stores?

Toilet paper and hand sanitizer became scarce as shoppers snatched them up in a panic-buying frenzy.

In some stores, pasta, milk and eggs were also hard to find.

“When I get home now, I wash everything. I wash the fruit. I wash the potatoes,” said Banho, who says he quickly learned to take precautions against the disease that had silently crept into our province.

Visitors were locked out of care homes in an effort to keep COVID-19 out.

Places of worship were ordered to close.

People were no longer permitted to gather for funerals.

Many couples saw their wedding plans thrown into chaos.

“(I remember) Zoom weddings being a thing, all the graduations, baptisms going virtual,” said Metro Vancouver’s Jenny Wong.

Though many people lost their jobs as businesses shuttered, others learned to work from home.

“No commuting, no dressing up, no wasting time. Then after about three months, I started missing it. I started missing my colleagues,” says Manhas.

A year ago, who could have known that masks would become mandatory or that mask rules would lead to protests and confrontations?

But even through the darkness of the past 12 months, there have been moments of humanity.

Who can forget the 7 o’clock cheer in support of healthcare workers?

Or how murals were painted on boarded-up Robson Street businesses in downtown Vancouver?

Birthday parades and drive-thru weddings helped us celebrate special events.

People started to make new connections.

“I started connecting with my neighbours more and seeing them,” said Manhas.

The second wave of the virus would hit B.C. hard.

But even as social restrictions tightened in B.C., people found ways to adapt.

“I hope that as a society we learn more from the pandemic and we are more compassionate and respectful of one another,” said Warren Wong.

He says the toughest part for him has been the separation from his grown children who live elsewhere.

“When restrictions ease, I look forward to seeing my children and giving them the biggest hugs ever,” Wong said.

More than 1,400 people have died in B.C. from the novel coronavirus.

But vaccinations are offering hope.

“I’m pretty optimistic that things are taking a turn for the better,” said Vancouver resident Lucas Neufeld.