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Published: Apr-2021 Public Health Voices:
Reflections on the Year of COVID-19
by Maribel Cervantes-Ortega, PhD Student, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Apr-2021 Columnist: Maribel Cervantes-Ortega PhD Student, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Maribel Cervantes-Ortega

Fear, worry, and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, and at times when we are faced with uncertainty or the unknown. So, it is no surprise that many of us are experiencing fear through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Added to the fears surrounding our health and safety in the presence of COVID-19 are the significant changes we have endured in efforts to contain and slow the spread of the virus. Faced with the realities of masking, social distancing, and working from home, I look to my peers and wonder if it’s okay to feel angry. As we begin yet another academic quarter under stay-at-home orders with news that friends and family will be unable to attend the 2021 commencement, there is a sense of overwhelming frustration that we just can’t seem to get everything under control fast enough to return to normal.

While COVID-19 cases continue to decrease, there is no forgetting all that it has taken from us. Holidays, celebrations, vacations. More importantly, we think of all our friends and family who have been infected or have succumbed to the virus. All of this only compounded by the continuous news of protests, shootings, and hate crimes. We must all remember that resilience is key and while we may not all know each other; we are a community of support. It is imperative that we each take the necessary time to focus on our mental, physical, and emotional health during these difficult times. Doing so will only put each of us in a better position to further help and support those around us.

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