This moment in our lives is unprecedented. We live simultaneously with the invisible but dangerous coronavirus, and for many of us that means a changed way of life. Known as Disease X in pandemic preparedness circles, the coronavirus is challenging various infrastructures besides healthcare. Seemingly overnight, it changed education, finance, transportation, health and human services, and lower wage jobs. The economic impact changes hour by hour, day by day. This uncertain time is our new normal.
Our new normal means diligently practicing social and physical distancing. It means more virtual learning, increased telecommuting for non vital jobs, and delicately balancing small space co-existence with our loved ones. For the Class of 2020, it means exam cancellations, a removal of social activities, and no graduation ceremony - a rite of passage often reminisced about during adulthood. In a moment, all this was swept away in the coronavirus tide.
While this virus transcends national and international borders, socioeconomic class, race, ethnicity, religion, political stance, and stereotypes, it brings us down from our mighty perch in the animal kingdom. Your feelings, undoubtedly and with good reason, will appear erratic ranging from frustrated and scared to hopeful and confident. This is normal, and your feelings are yours to hold and acknowledge.
Each student and family must savor this unique opportunity (yes, opportunity). This is a moment to slow down and reflect on your feelings, your future, and ponder how your life will be measured. It is a chance to witness the unity taking place globally. It is a chance to take monumental steps to improve the future of our planet. It is a chance to make virtual memories and embrace the omnipresent digital world, to improve your time management skills, to read the book on your shelf, to talk to each other, to deeply enjoy each other's company.
This moment is merely that - a moment. You will always remember this time, the trials, tribulations, and victories. You will never forget it, and that is what will make the future a better place. We encourage you to continue working hard, showing empathy, extending grace, and believing the future is bright because you are the future of this world. You are the ones to make it the brightest world yet.
Stay safe, stay healthy, wash your hands, and remember to #dreamlaunchsoar. Onwards and upwards, Lauren + Sara