One year ago COVID-19 meetings were being held in the Midland/Odessa area for the first time.

According to NewsWest 9, the first meetings at the hospitals in Midland and Odessa were being held to discuss a new virus that was already hitting the east coast of the United States.

"It was one year ago today that Medical Center hosted our first COVID meeting with the entire community, the city, the county, the schools,” said Russell Tippin, Medical Center Hospital CEO.

Meanwhile in Midland, Russell Meyers, CEO Of Midland Health had trained for a global pandemic at the beginning of his career.

“Thinking at the time this is all imaginary, this isn’t going to actually happen," said Meyers. "This is a scientist thinking about the worst thing that could actually happen...and here we are and it actually has happened...it's hard to believe.”

"We went from zero patients, not having any idea what COVID was to 120," Tippin said. "We were all at the point where we had more COVID patients than regular patients.”

Fast forward to November, and that is when the news that a new vaccine had been developed.

"It was a ray of hope and sunshine because it was pretty dark at the time," Tippin said. "How appropriate that something like that shows up at Christmas time.”

Russell Meyers believed the vaccine was the perfect gift but it came with a challenge.

“We had to make up as we went along how we were going to get the vaccine out and it's been a real triumph," Meyers said. "I’m really proud of the work our people did.”

There is new optimism with the vaccine that is now being distributed in both Midland and Odessa.

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