COVID-19: Looking Back One Year Later
As of this week, it has been one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic and everything shut down. For many, it has been a year of fear, frustration, and loneliness. For some, it has been a year of great loss. And for all, it has been a year of change and challenge.
Blessings in Disguise?
It’s easy to look back and see only the loss and loneliness that we experienced, and while it is perfectly right to grieve our losses, we would be remiss if we didn’t also take stock of the good that this year has afforded us, lest we miss the joy and gratefulness it would bring. As I reflect on the year behind us, I see much creativity and resilience despite the circumstances.
If there’s one thing this pandemic has shown us, it’s how truly creative we can be when we are forced to come up with new solutions. We witnessed this firsthand at Trinity as teachers pivoted quickly to move classes online when schools first closed. They adopted new teaching techniques to better accommodate the online format and explored alternative ways of communicating with their students. Then, when Trinity opened up in the fall, we saw their creativity flourish once again. Here are just a few examples:
- Our Performing Arts Department displayed creativity as Upper School Theater Arts Teacher Mr. Winters re-wrote a play to comply with COVID-19 protocol like masks and social distancing, and our choral, strings, and band classes all recorded virtual, socially distant concerts.
- To keep traffic in the hallway at a minimum and reduce the spread of germs, co-curricular teachers now move from room to room to teach their different classes instead of having students change classrooms.
- Teachers learned to prepare activities that are appropriate for both in-person and virtual students so that both groups can learn synchronously.
- Since few schools are playing interscholastic sports, the Trinity Athletics Department pivoted to hosting games that pit different Trinity teams against one another. For instance, Trinity’s Boys Varsity Cross Country team challenged the Boys Varsity Soccer team to a race, and in turn, the soccer team challenged the cross country team to a soccer game. Similarly, when it came time for the annual “Dig Pink” volleyball game, a group of senior boys formed a team to play against the Girls Varsity Volleyball Team.
- Teachers learned to use plastic shields as learning tools instead of obstacles and rearranged classrooms to accommodate social distance.
The past year has been a lesson in resilience, which is developed uniquely under challenging circumstances. Without adversity, there’s no tenacity. Without being knocked down, there’s no getting back up. It’s only in less-than-ideal circumstances that we can overcome. Resilience not only enables us to survive and even thrive despite our circumstances, it also comes with spiritual blessings and growth.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing… Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:2-4, 12
God is Faithful Through Hardship
Although it has been a challenge to adapt to a year of COVID-19, we have witnessed the agility with which we can operate under difficult circumstances. As COVID-19 concerns eventually diminish, I believe we, as a school and as a society at large, will move forward with greater creativity, resourcefulness, and innovation than we’ve known before. Through this challenging time, God has remained faithful, and in his providence, has made a way for human flourishing through hardship.
About the Author
Jo Wilbur is a Marketing and Communications Specialist at TCS and proud JMU grad who loves writing, shopping, and making new friends. She and her husband live in Paeonian Springs and spend time together cooking plant-based meals, singing worship songs, and volunteering as Young Life leaders in their community.