One year ago, life at Wake Forest underwent one of the most drastic shifts in our university’s storied history. On March 11, 2020, an email was sent from the university stating that students would not be returning to campus as usual following spring break. Instead, we were to receive an extra week off while the administration decided the most prudent course of action as COVID-19 began to wreak havoc on colleges across the United States.
One year ago, all semblances of normalcy crumbled around us. Our airwaves grew saturated with doomsday messages; the little things we had once taken for granted — sharing a meal, hugging a grandparent, attending a live lecture — became unthinkable. The world around us changed dramatically, the lives we lived had to as well. The virus is here, the news anchors told us, and it’s not going anywhere. Few among us understood the gravity of the situation at hand — how the world was slowly coming undone all around us — nor the devastating impact the virus would have on our beloved community.
One year ago, Canvas and Zoom became the backbone of our academic careers, the cornerstones upon which the foundation of our remastered college experience was constructed. Packed lecture halls were replaced with virtually raised hands, blank stares and muted microphones. Like the surrounding world, our college experience seemed to transform in an instant. Yet, with the perseverance of typical Wake Forest students, we worked to make the best of an unprecedented situation.
Today, the Wake Forest community continues to climb the seemingly unconquerable mountain that is COVID-19. We mourn the loss of over 2.6 million people worldwide, and we continue to work diligently to eradicate the virus from our community. Let us not fail to applaud the noble efforts of the medical community, as each vaccine distributed represents a step upward and onward towards this peak we aim to crest.
Today, we cherish each and every opportunity we are given to hug a loved one, dine in with a friend or don a mask and attend an in-person class. Our moments together have been limited, and each carries twice the worth it did a year ago. We sit on the quad and feel the sun’s warmth, grateful for the progress we’ve made as a student body. We see the fog begin to clear, and we look forward to a future in which we can all again congregate without fear.
Today, our Wake Forest community is stronger than it has ever been. And we here at the Old Gold & Black are confident that this strength will continue to grow as the semester stretches on.