The Comenian’s Living History Project: Your Stories of Life in the Age of COVID-19


John Amos Comenius Statue sporting a mask to remind us to protect ourselves and others. Photo by: Mark Harris

Below, we have collected responses from the Moravian community about their experience of living through the COVID-19 crisis. To help tell future generations about our everyday experience, we are looking to have one place to record our experiences, feelings, and thoughts in a meaningful way.

If you’d like to contribute and be featured in this space, please send us your reflections, via the link to our public history project here.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I would summarize my experience as trying to overcome and adapt to new and different circumstances. One of these experiences was taking up a new job. Difficulties arose in the family and because both of my parents were out of work and the stimulus was not enough to cover expenses our family needed to act. My dad is working two jobs, and I am working one. My father and I are throwing newspapers at 2 am and this is something that we both have to adapt to as we started this change as soon as I came home from college.

Adapting to academic change was something to overcome as well since I have never taken an online class before and even the teachers had to adjust. Classes had to completely change their dynamic and I had to change the way I prepared for quizzes, essays and exams. This pandemic has taught me not to take the little things for granted such as going to class, seeing my classmates, and enjoying our beautiful campus.

Lastly, it was a physical adjustment being an athlete as I am used to having the athletic gym and fitness center on campus when I want to workout. Unfortunately at home we do not have the equipment that is available so I have had to change my workout routine to stay in shape. It has been difficult to say the least but going through this tough time will only make me stronger coming out and it is extremely important to look on the bright side in order to stay positive. (May 8, 2020)

– Anonymous


In these times it is hard sometimes to think of the positives, but I will try and offer a unique perspective. Although everyone has had to adapt to online learning during this pandemic, I have found certain aspects of online classes so helpful to me. I have problems with my vision, which evidently makes it hard for me to see. Since classes have been moved to online via Zoom, I have been able to interact with my class in ways I could not before. When a professor is teaching off a presentation I am now able to see the “board” easily since it is directly on my laptop screen. Also, each student appears on zoom through their laptops camera. Because of this I can see all my fellow colleagues faces, subtle facial expressions, and therefore feel like I am interacting with the class on levels I could not before. I can see someone smile at a funny joke that was made or their look of confusion about a topic and know my colleagues are feeling the same as me. I appreciate that zoom has allowed me to see everyone in the class, not just the people immediately around me, and has therefore allowed me to experience classes in a way I never have been able to in my entire academic career. (May 4, 2020)

— Anonymous student


My feelings fluctuate weekly about the pandemic. Sometimes I feel so disappointed that anticipated plans and important events have been forced to vanish for everyone or I feel pain for those directly affected by the virus. Conversely, sometimes I feel grateful that I am home with my family and pets. I fear for how long certain aspects of our lives will be put on hold… It will be interesting, to put in plain words, to see what will happen with fall semester. Whether or not students, staff, and faculty will return to campus as normal or we will continue online is unknown, but I do know that if we have to start new classes online peoples morale will fall even lower. (May 4, 2020)

– Anonymous student


This experience had been difficult because I have to learn how to control my emotions living with four other people. Being locked up with your family members and having to see them day in and day out is not an easy task. We all have to learn how to live together and not step on each other’s feet. In the beginning of the quarantine, I was sort of emotional and got upset easily because being in the house for long periods of time without going outside takes a toll on your emotions and thought process. Now that we have been in quarantine for a longer period of time, I’ve sort of accepted it and everyone for the most part gets along in the house, with the occasional argument that gets resolved pretty quickly. Also being an athlete, this pandemic has hit pretty hard considering all of us were training so hard for our spring outdoor seasons, which ended abruptly. It was very sad because now a lot of the seniors aren’t able to come back and red shirt for an extra season due to either location, work, personal reasons, etc. It was a tough moment because we didn’t really get to say goodbye to our friends who are graduating and we didn’t realize that our last meet or game would actually be the last. I’ve been trying to work up the motivation to work out and have been doing good for the most part, but some days it does suck and you just don’t want to get out of bed.This whole process has just been mentally draining to be honest. But this pandemic has shown me not to take anything for granted and I know a lot of athletes realize this as well and are going to come back ten times stronger next year. (May 3, 2020)

— Anonymous


My experience throughout this pandemic is most likely the same as many other students. It’s a struggle to try and find motivation to do basic things during a time like this such as working out, getting out of bed, sometimes even trying to log onto the computer to go to class which is so simple. I have been quarantined for almost 3 months now on the 14th, and I can’t say that it hasn’t been without struggle. I’ve found that I am far more fatigued and have been sleeping very irregularly. My motivation to workout has been next to none for almost two months but I’ve actually worked up some energy to go and workout for the last 2 weeks. School on zoom definitely has been challenging, but I’m happy that my grades have not suffered drastically from the switch online. Sometimes doing the assignments took way longer than usual because I just didn’t feel like doing them, or sometimes I would do them right away just to have something to do. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been staring at my computer and phone for so long, that I’m actually tired of it. My eyes feel like they’re going to burn out of my head, even typing this. But overall, I know that self-isolating is bigger than I and I’m doing my part to help us get to where we need to be. I hope everyone else is continuing to be safe as well! If we all stay inside, then there’s a chance we can have a safe summer and all of this would have been worth it! (May 3, 2020)

— Anonymous


I am lucky enough to say that non of my direct family members have been affected by the COVID outbreak, but just recently I lost a close family friend. The father to one of my mother’s very close friends had just passed away at home yesterday. Even though he was no direct family, my brother and I have grown up calling him “pop” and we have built a strong connection. Due to the virus I was not able to visit him at all in hopes that no sickness would be brought around him. Yesterday while I was working, my mom and brother stopped by on the way to get groceries and the exact moment that they arrived he passed away. Neither my brother or my mom was able to say goodbye. It has been a rough time for my family especially my mother because she was the one who had to pronounce him dead (she is a nurse). Death is something that is never easy for anyone, so in this time of the outbreak I hope that everyone really appreciates the time they have with their loved ones. Keep In contact with people and make sure that you don’t forget what is really the most important thing- Family. (May 2, 2020)

— Anonymous


— Kristin Cassidy

I came back from winter break ready to win another conference title, and to make the academic semester my best one yet. A month and a half in that all changed. I remember the day I first heard about the coronavirus breaking out in China. I was with my roommate Emma at team dinner after practice, and I was reading the news and I thought to myself how terrible it was that it was spreading through Wuhan and taking the lives of so many people. It felt like a weird dream, everything that happened next. I remember attending a Student Athletic Advisory Council (SAAC) meeting on the second Monday in March, and we were planning events for D-III week, Special Olympics – everything full steam ahead. Tuesday of that week, the first school in the Valley closed. Everyone thought it was incredibly premature and out of left field, and then Muhlenberg closed that Wednesday. Thursday came and my roommates and I were anxiously refreshing our email – scared of a situation that we didn’t even fully grasp or understand. Friday came and President Grigsby sent out the email that we were closing. I left that Sunday and returned to move out the following Friday. I don’t think I fully understood what was going on until my fourth week at home. My zoom had crashed three days in a row, I had a teammate send me a picture of us playing our crazy match against Scranton the year before, and all of a sudden, I just missed everyone and everything. I missed my friends, my teammates, I even missed the broken light in my dorm. I missed the opportunity to defend my conference title. I missed seeing my professors in person. I missed sitting on the hammocks or a picnic table with my best friend on the first warm spring day. Even though I missed those things, and I know so many other people missed them too, I remember how lucky I am to not miss one of my loved ones. We are living in such an unfortunate, uncertain, unwaveringly scary time, and my family and I are among the lucky ones to not have that compounded by grief. Bearing this in mind, it is so important to reach out to people right now. Friends, family members, anyone and everyone. Human connection does not have to mean physical connection. Go and tell someone you love them, and to stay inside. This will all be over soon, and it could just save their life. (April 30, 2020)

— Kristen Cassidy


The COVID-19 outbreak has been a difficult time for millions of people world wide. Personally, the first time I felt a strong impact on my life was yesterday. Yesterday was my birthday. Ever since I can remember, I would go to my grandmother’s house for my birthday. She always makes me her special homemade meal and we have a nice family party. This party was cancelled due to the outbreak for the safety of everyone. Not being able to see my family on my birthday made me feel sad and a bit lonely. I finally realized the importance of family and friends when I sat outside yesterday listening to music myself. There is not much to do other than homework and watch TV so I figured opening up the pool and laying out in the sun would be a nice change. While sitting there I thought about all my friends and family that I want to visit but currently can not. The one person I miss the most is my best friend who is stationed in Georgia. He was going to take leave and visit me during my birthday but had to cancel due to the current situation. Now I will have to wait another six months before he can take leave again and I can see him. Overall appreciate your family and friends and once this outbreak is over make sure that the time you spend with them is worth it. (April 29, 2020)

— Anonymous


Pandemic… a word that I knew from history classes and meant little to me before means so much to me now. I remember it all happening so suddenly, from in-person classes canceled to grocery stores dwindling in supplies. At first, I was not able to digest it, only trying to understand it was terrorizing. As time went on, watching the news caused me to have emotional reactions for the world and individual families who were aiming to overcome this disease. As a medical technician at a local hospital, these reactions became even worse. Scared to go into work, scared to come home and possibly bring home the virus, scared to even think about coronavirus. While this fear has not subsided, I’ve learned to cope…not exactly with how the future will look but to manage my emotions. To find a relaxation method and calm my mind effectively. For me, this included using my faith right after my 12-hour shift in which I was grateful I was not floated to a floor with COVID-19 and praying for all others working helping those patients most in need. I found calm in disconnecting from social media when I realized my mind became busy. I continue to learn things about myself during this pandemic. While I await this time we are in to pass, I am hopeful. By seeing the strength in each human being and essential workers, I have faith that this too shall pass. When it does, I’m just hoping we continue to spread the love to one another as we are right now because at the end of the day it’s the love we give that provides us strength and courage. COVID-19 might be terrorizing and unyielding but has nothing on the human spirit. (April 29, 2020)

— Anonymous

"When Zoom exhausted me, I turned to chalk!"
“When Zoom exhausted me, I turned to chalk!”

-Dr. Khristina Haddad

There is no doubt that the coronavirus has hit hard to every family that spans across the world. Through times of unforeseen difficulty and hardship, we as individuals need to stay grounded in our morals and beliefs. The coronavirus for me has been a blessing and a curse. There is no doubt in my mind that I would rather be spending my days with my friends, playing sports, or going for a nice bite to eat. However, I have to adapt and change my lifestyle to better suit the environment that I now live in. There are a lot of what if’s but I try to stay positive and look at the positives of this pandemic. I am able to spend time with my family and really get to relax without the stressors of constantly moving because of a busy day or schedule. I am also very fortunate to be healthy and to be able to live comfortably without the stress of worrying about a next meal or shelter. I’m my opinion, there are a lot of things to be happy for. Just a change in your outlook will make you realize the beauty and simplicity of what you can do with this window of time. It is important to spend as much time as you can on things you enjoy and your family because life will inevitably resume and our lives will be back to moving two times as fast again. (April 25, 2020)



I have been thinking a lot about the “turning point” or crossroads that our InFocus symposium keynote speaker, Eric Klinenberg, mentioned. Earlier that day, current and former students and I did a panel focused on assessing the UN process that attempts to address global climate change. We got into a conversation about “building back better” – essentially using this moment in history to rethink everything and to engage civil society in demanding and acting for a better future. As we have been discussing in my environmental health course this semester, while there may not be direct links between climate change and COVID, both are redefining a new normal. See blog post here: 

I also really appreciated Dr. Klinenberg’s comments about resilience, especially in the context of his observations from the Chicago heat wave. Resilience is a concept that I focus on in my climate change work, but also consider in terms of students and “grit”, the nexus between community-based adaptation and sustainable development, etc. We certainly need resilience to get us through this pandemic.

I tried to capture some of my random thoughts in a blog post entitled “Ponderings During a Pandemic” found here. (April 26, 2020)

-Diane Husic


As a new transfer student I was pleasantly surprised how little the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted my education. The professor’s willingness to work with students and continue our growth through these challenging times has made me grateful for my decision to attend Moravian College. Furthermore, I work part time at a senior living facility which has been the most challenging part for me. I have been blessed that no one close to me has been sick or directly impacted by the pandemic but this is extremely difficult for the senior citizens and their families. It is heartbreaking to see them struggle in their quarantine experience. For many, it is impacting their memories, happiness, and overall well being. I am so thankful for the new communities I have been welcomed into and look forward to everything after the pandemic. I hope that others have the ability recognize their responsibility to their community and loved ones in life and throughout this time. (April 28, 2020)



If I was approached in the fall semester by someone saying, “We are going to have a pandemic that is sending you home from college”, I would have never believed them. As someone who is extremely active and involved on campus, heading home was a difficult transition. I stay engaged in my classes, but it is important for me to remain physically active, which unfortunately is difficult in quarantine. Admittedly my family has struggled to manage in such a confined household, with one of us working from home, one of us schooling from home, and one of us not being used to home all the time. This has caused some disagreements and has made me feel like a teenager all over again. I’m sure other students are experiencing similar feelings. When at school, we are all in so much control over our own lives. When we are back under the roof of our parent/guardians, we lose all of the self-regulation that we are used to. (April 28, 2020)



While being in quarantine can be difficult, I have tried new things to remain positive during the pandemic. I have begun to have a deeper awareness of my body and passions. While remaining active may be difficult, I have begun trying new habits such as online barre classes and taking long walks outside. Additionally, I have taken up cooking, which has enabled me to maintain a healthy diet and focus on nutrient intake. Finally, I have been more artistically creative. I have never had this much time to paint or take on organizational projects. These are things that I never really made time for at school, but I am appreciative of this opportunity to find new passions and focus on easing my mental health in these ways in order to combat the emotional downfalls of quarantine. I also promised myself a sit-down steak dinner when this is all over! (April 28, 2020)



My day to day experience during COVID-19 has certainly been unique, from waking up and throwing on a shirt to go to my zoom classes, to really starting my day at 3pm when I have to go to work at a fish market/restaurant. I wish I didn’t have to but if I don’t help them out than they only have one other person in the kitchen. It has definitely been a challenge to work all day in a mask and gloves when handling fish. But once 8pm hits we close, except I don’t get to leave I am stuck there cleaning out the case and prepping for tomorrow. Once I finally get out, I go home and shower to get the smell of fish off my hands. I then begin working on my school work. Although many professors have adapted and helped their students the workload has not changed. In fact being at home has possibly been more stressful and anxiety ridden for me than being at school. I usually finish my work around 1am and watch an episode of Community then I wake up the next day and repeat. I know that many other people aren’t as lucky as I am to be working and continuing my education, but that doesn’t mean that I am not experiencing hardships especially in a time of my life that is considered your golden years. (April 28, 2020)



On Wednesday afternoon, Professor Claudia Mesa, my colleague and co-author from Modern Languages and Literatures, walked from Fountain Hill to visit me on the West Side. We don’t have many visitors these days so this was very uplifting — even at the required physical distance. She came bearing a special gift: a shield visor made from office supplies designed and made by her sister and brother-in-law, both professors of architecture at Roger Williams University in Providence, Rhode Island. Professor Olga Mesa, an award winning graduate of the Harvard School of Design, and Professor Aaron Brode are at home making large numbers of shields for healthcare workers during the coronavirus crisis. The shield visor is easy to assemble and can be cleaned.  Production time for a visor is fifteen minutes. Read more about the design, production, delivery, use, and gratitude for these shields in this article: Haddad


I am fine during the day. I try to stay off social media as much as possible. I try my best to do homework. But at the end of the day, I cave. I go on Twitter and I see article after article. For some reason is much harder to compartmentalize my abject terror at night. I fear for my family and other people’s families. I fear for everyone. The other day I left to pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy and everything was still the same outside. The trees are blooming. As it turns out, they still do that. Everything is still where it was before, and it was comforting to see. I urge everyone to remember that the threat is still real even if we can’t see it, even if our community is doing okay right now, considering. Because a virus isn’t visible to us, it’s not someone running around screaming and threatening people, it’s easy to forget that something devastating is happening. We need to remain vigilant for ourselves and for others. Other people’s lives matter too.(April 23, 2020)

-Sonya Hennet, student


I am so grateful for the millions of people around the world– everyone from health care professionals and community members to government officials and teachers working nonstop so that the lives and well-being of all people are protected in this pandemic. Many people are even risking their own lives to help those in need. Therefore, I can’t help but be reminded of the person who sacrificed His life so that those who put their faith in Him would have eternal life. It was not a coincidence that this pandemic occurred during Easter– the time of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our savior. God is waking us up– stripping us (in a matter of days, mind you) of things that can so easily distract us from honoring Him. God has set aside this time so that we can refocus on what truly matters– our families, loved ones, those in need, and our relationship with Him. This is an uncertain time for everyone, but my certainty is grounded in the One who has overcome the world. God did not give His followers spirits of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. Through our reliance on Him, we are drawn to reflect the love that Jesus freely gave and continually gives to all people. Despite this tragedy, I’ve never seen more love spread within communities, families, businesses, and organizations who have come together in a way such as this to care for our human brothers and sisters. For this reason, I’ve never been more assured of God’s presence in our world and more certain that He is in control. I pray that this virus is eradicated soon, not gradually, but drastically so that the credit and glory can only be given to the God above. I pray for those trapped in fear, grief, hatred, and hardship– that they come to find comfort in God’s unconditional and everlasting love for them. -Anonymous

Look Up Child” by Lauren Daigle

I graduated in December 2019 and have been unable to find a full-time job since then. The Coronavirus outbreak is not helping my situation either since a lot of places I’d like to work at are closed or have been put on a hiring freeze. I have a freelance job writing articles about township meetings, but that has been reduced due to only having online meetings and a summer job at the zoo, but that is currently in jeopardy. Since college students weren’t able to get the stimulus check and I’m not sure if my loans are on hold, I am worried that I won’t have enough money to pay my loans off and have enough money for other expenses. However, I don’t want to ask my parents for money because the loans are supposed to be my responsibility and it’s not their fault I have no job. -Christina Santo

Getting through this quarantine started by living on a day-to-day basis. Now the days all blend together. I am not sure which of these two situations is better. Many aspects of this cause struggle, but I am not as scared as everyone else seems to be. I do not see this as doom-and-gloom. Instead, I see a lot of good in this. People are turning to kindness, families and friends are growing closer, the planet is healing! Yes, there are obviously many tragic parts to this pandemic, but there are also many good parts. It is a shame that it took a pandemic to open our eyes. In a way, I hope we never go back to our “normal lives,” because we can do so much better than that, as we are seeing every day. Many of us are developing a new appreciation for things and I hope that is not lost when we can finally return to society. -Shayla Borger, student

Without going into much detail, the events of our recent memory have been in many ways unprecedented. As a result of the pandemic, we have witnessed a collectivist effort to alter our daily lives as a means of preserving life. Indeed, we have come together for the sake of saving others. I find this to be an important aspect of this time of fear and uncertainty because it reminds me of why we have all made adjustments in the first place. For this simple but very important reason, I encourage you to utilize your time in quarantine to enrich your life. This pandemic has provided us with an opportunity to explore and enlighten ourselves amidst crisis—a wonderful distraction, I must say. I encourage you to further your liberal arts education by exploring the humanities. Delve into classical literature, explore the arts, ponder the roles of religion and politics, and think. As T. S. Eliot writes, “So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing,” he acknowledges the need for stillness to thrive. Invigorate yourself to enrich your life with thought and reflection so that in your stillness you may become animate. -Gavin Kemery, student

My neighbor around the corner has sewn over 285 face masks in the past two weeks. She offered to make masks via Facebook and within minutes had 75 requests. I have ordered many masks from her for adults and children. It’s easy to pick them up on her front porch (no contact!) on my daily walks with my family. I leave a check in the mailbox. My neighbor and I have more contact now than we ever did before. I knew her more indirectly through the local elementary school community, but now we are in touch via texts and photos, via requests and pick ups, and very materially via the masks she creates from so many different fabrics. Recently, I gave her all my old cloth napkins to be made into masks. I had been meaning to give away or recycle this old fabric for years — now I wonder whether I will see my napkins around the neighborhood on the faces of fellow walkers… -Khristina Haddad, professor, political science

I really didn’t think when I was told to leave the college the first time that I would be leaving for good for the rest of the semester. I brought next to nothing with me – not even my textbooks. When I got the news that the school was closed for the rest of the semester and we were not allowed to go back to get our things, I really was shocked. I had to call the campus police to get special permission to get my textbooks, which felt like a covert mission. I had to schedule a time, say what I needed, and have the police verify with other departments that I was allowed to access my textbooks in my room. I felt like I was doing something wrong, and the college was deserted. I really felt for the first time there just how widespread our situation was and how much the world was changing for those next couple weeks. It was a very strange feeling that made me stand still and just think.  -Elizabeth Horn, student

The first time I really started to panic about the virus wasn’t the first time I heard about it, or even when quarantine was starting. The first time I got really scared was when I read a post on Facebook about how people my age (healthy 21-year-olds) were having to be told they were being put in an induced coma to be put on a ventilator. I couldn’t imagine standing there with a doctor telling me that I was going to fall asleep and they didn’t know when – or if – I was going to wake up again. That was when I started to realize just how big of a deal this virus was. -Elizabeth Horn, student

Right now I am a commuter student, enrolled in a Principal Leadership courses being offered at Moravian. The past three weeks I have been remotely teaching 72 seventh grade ELA students, while homeschooling my 3rd and 4th grader, and taking two online courses. The first week was emotional as my students were scared and confused and I was tied to my phone and computer around the clock. It was important for me to set a schedule in my own home to ensure all of our unique needs were being met, and that has helped allow all of us to work collectively on our assignments. As a family we are going for bike rides, eating meals together, and enjoying quiet time in the home, as that was not our norm. My mom just moved in with us last week now that we realize this is going to be longer than originally expected, so we are looking at it as a time to make magical memories together. -Kelly Markus Giacalone, student

At the end of January, my parents were planning a trip to New Orleans, LA, to surprise me for my 20th birthday, which was during spring break this year. While they were planning, both my parents had a bad feeling about traveling as the threat of the coronavirus was starting to become more real, so they canceled the trip. Hearing this week on the news that New Orleans may become the new epicenter of the virus in the US because of the Mardi Gras festivities really put things in perspective for me as I very easily could have been there during that time and could have carried the virus back to Pennsylvania. I am thankful every day that my parents listened to their instinct as traveling to New Orleans for just those couple days could have drastically changed how the last few weeks would have been for me and my family. -Kaitlyn Furst, student

When we received the email from President Grigsby that we would not be returning to campus for the rest of the semester, I was participating in a dance class that was being live-streamed online. However, once I heard an alert from my sorority’s group chat and saw the news, I immediately read the email and started to think about all the changes that would have to be made. Being someone who has been a “planner” since high school, being in this kind of uncertainty about the future made me extremely nervous. The week before, I had to quickly figure out how I would do all my lessons and classes online, as well as find time to practice and study, on a new schedule. I had to accept the fact that all the concerts I’ve been working towards this semester and my initiation into Zeta Tau Alpha were going to be canceled or postponed until next semester. On top of all the school stresses, I had to make sure I was following all the health precautions well as I have a weak immune system and get sick very easily. However, I’ve been trying lately to do things that keep my mind off of the negative and think more about the good things in my life right now. I still get to go to my classes and learn about things I am passionate about, I have time to hang out with my family and pets, I have time to try new things and exercise more, and I have found a love for the “Exploding Kittens” game. I also found myself looking to “after-quarantine” events like having my first meal out at a restaurant again, going to the jam session at Porter’s Pub every Monday night with my boyfriend again, and going to the mall with my mother who loves to shop again. While this semester is definitely not what I had planned, it has taught me to be grateful for all the little things in life and had made me excited for the good things to come after quarantine. -Kaitlyn Furst, student

I work on the front lines of this pandemic in a hospital. It is so terrifying to not know what is going to happen next, especially in an extremely delicate environment. –Anonymous

I grew up in Germany one generation after World War II had ended. My childhood was filled with stories about the war and survival. The coronavirus outbreak has pulled all these old stored away memories up to the surface. I find myself remembering everything I ever learned about the war and survival from personal stories as a child and my later readings and studies. As a doctoral student, I studied the works of Hannah Arendt who wrote one of the most important accounts of totalitarianism in the 1950s when voices analyzing the past were still rare in Germany.

What I learned about the Holocaust, the war, and its aftermath has given me practical ways of thinking about taking care and being persistent while isolated. Arendt argues that being able to tell a story about what you experience is a survival skill. She points out the destructive power of isolation and the importance of maintaining communication and community. Isolation can suppress our sense of being able to act, but action is especially important in moments of crisis. During Covid-19, our daily actions have higher stakes and there is so much to be done to take care and to help others. In crisis, we may experience a heightened sense of agency. Everything matters. Much can be done. Small acts of kindness matter.

For the past few years, I have been very worried about the political situation in the United States. Having grown up with the imperative of facing the past of National Socialism in Germany, I have been deeply concerned about growing nationalist and radical rightwing movements in the United States. I anticipated crisis as all the signs have been there in the United States and also in Europe. Yet the crisis I anticipated was not a pandemic. Still, as a state of emergency like a war, the current situation requires extra vigilance regarding the protection of important rights and marginalized groups.

I hope many community members will contribute to this shared journal. To understand and to be a community, we need to tell our stories. -Khristina Haddad, professor, political science

It has definitely been challenging. I have never had to do anything like this. While the world is dealing with it, I’ve appreciated all the positivity that people are trying to spread as well. -Anonymous

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