Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Logo of The Middlebury Campus
Tuesday, Aug 9, 2022

A Closing Note

Unprecedented. Challenging. Uncertain.

These words have become staples in the past year — so prominent and ubiquitous that they have almost lost their meaning. But, in truth, this year has been all of those things. 

Some of us continue to grapple with the lasting pain of losing a loved one. Others are mourning the disappearance of the small things that color our days — impromptu visits, warm embraces and shared meals. Some have said goodbye to their families and left their homes for an indefinite amount of time; others are still separated from their loved ones and unable to return. For some, the pandemic has laid bare the structural inequities that engender violence and marginalization; for others, these injustices were — and continue to be — inseparable from their lived experience.

But for the first time in a long time, it feels as if an end to the pandemic is perhaps in sight. Covid-19 cases have finally started to decline, and the latest vaccine news predicts that most Americans will have access this spring. Many of us wonder if next fall will be a semester like the ones we remember from before.

As we approach what seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel, we should also remember some of the other words that rose to prominence in the past year: change, commitment and justice. These words remind us of the collective actions we took to keep each other safe and our dedication to building kinder, more equitable communities. 

As we venture into our “new normal,” let’s not leave them behind.