Editor’s Column: Will Anything Be Normal Again?

Ryan Jones, Editor-in-Chief

Wake up. Roll out of bed. Open your laptop. Welcome to the college experience of 2020-21.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I will never forget the email we all got on March 12 of last year from Central President Dr. Zulma Toro.

“Dear Central Family, this is a time for calm, compassion and patience. We just received word that a CCSU student has had potential exposure to an individual who is currently being tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus,” the email stated.

As the entire campus shut down, it seemed the world did too.

In the time since March 12, so much has happened. The world transformed into panic, we went through the trials of finishing a semester online, Black Lives Matter protests flooded streets, America elected a new president…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

But in some ways, the change we thought we’d see seems oh so slim. We went home March 12, and many of us are still there. When we first left, many people (myself included) believed that this would not be the “new normal” it came to be.

“This will all be over in a few weeks” became a common phrase, as long as we just washed our hands, stayed inside and wore masks.

Spoiler alert: that did not happen.

We are soon approaching a year since we were sent home from school and the idea of returning this semester in a regular fashion is all but a dream. “Once this is all over,” we say time and time again that we often step over and walk around that we have no idea when “this is all over,” can be. A simple phrase that gives us hope can also put our spirits down.

Remote learning is the only option for many. What may have felt like a nice vacation and break from real class now just feels like a never ending stare at bright laptop screen and tired droopy eyes.

The idea of anything going back to how it was the morning of March 12, feels foreign and man is that upsetting.

As vaccinations become more readily available, maybe things will start to look like they did pre-covid. But the reality is that many of the things we loved from those days will not be returning. There are many things we did before the pandemic that we might have done for the last time and not have known it. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I am not going to be running back to concerts, sports games or packed restaurants anytime soon.

You might say that I’m being too pessimistic and you’re probably right. There are a number of reasons why we all might feel a bit gloomy right now.

Since March 12, optimists have become a dying breed. COVID-19 cases continue to rise and many people increasingly act as if it no longer exists while the death count attributed to the virus keeps climbing. It’s tough to be an optimist when you’ve got no say or control in the craziness thrown at you each day.

Even though times are incredibly difficult right now, there is hope that we will one day get back to the ancient time period of pre-March 12.

In the meantime, we must boost each other up and not tear each other down. Every single person in the world is dealing with the stress of navigating through a pandemic. If we all can show some compassion to that, along with the struggles that come from it, the world can be a better place, even during a pandemic.