There are many days that we could claim as a milestone to acknowledge the change that COVID has brought to our lives and to our world. But today, March 17, is the one that’s most meaningful to me. On this day a year ago, I worked my last full day on campus, running workshops for my Hood colleagues as we all worked like mad trying to move our courses online. When we first started planning those workshops a week beforehand, we thought, “oh, we’ll order lunch for everyone – surely most folx will want to meet in-person.” We reconsidered and rethought that decision (and dozens, hundreds more in both the short- and long-term) and in the end, I saw only a small handful of my fellow teachers on campus that day.
When I came home to get dinner before my evening workshop, there was a flyer in our mail slot from the local Irish pub just a couple of blocks from our house, advertising a special takeout menu for St Pat’s in lieu of the usual wall-to-wall celebration that usually happens there every year. We called in an order that was the first of many takeout meals over the past year (and many more to come as we continue to support our favorite local restaurants in downtown Frederick!).
The scale of grief and loss over the past year is hard to process. None of us would have ever, ever wanted this to happen. There’s precious little to celebrate about this pandemic.
But to all of my fellow educators who are still working like mad trying to give your students the best possible education in spite of everything, I see you. I thank you. I celebrate you.
To all of the students out there doing your best to learn and grow and be stronger than this pandemic, I see you. I thank you. I celebrate you.
To everyone out there who’s still struggling to navigate everything that COVID has brought into your life, I see you. I thank you. I celebrate you.
Keep wearing your masks and washing your hands. Find a few minutes today and every day to care for others and for yourself. Get vaccinated when you can. Do all you can do so that we can all gather safely again together SOON: to be in classrooms where we can learn and laugh and move the desks around to do some group work; to have that lunch meeting that has been on hold for the past year; to hug our friends and family both near and far.
Hang in there, friends. We can do this.