Probably nothing has united — and separated — the world so much like the COVID-19 pandemic. People were working, traveling, studying, socializing, going about their daily lives. Then suddenly, everything took a completely different turn; it’s almost as if the world with its fast-paced momentum came to a halt. But as months went by and we learned to live with this pandemic, a new normal began to ensue — a pattern of living that undoubtedly has left its mark on each of us in a different way.
In this issue, we look at this new normal from the perspective of AUCians. We have our faculty members busy at work researching multifaceted aspects of the Novel Coronavirus, from the hard to the soft sciences, working as they always do to make an impact that will truly make a difference. Their research includes examining how to cope psychologically during such difficult times, protecting informal workers and vulnerable employees, enhancing online assessments and using nanotechnology to develop protective, cost-effective face masks. And while everyone has been engrossed in online learning and how to make the best of it, our AUC community members were simultaneously making the most of their time singing, playing music, coming up with some of the most entertaining lyrics, writing diaries and theatre scripts, cooking new and old recipes, and just documenting this moment in history through their own photographs and reflections. Don’t forget to read about their experiences, thoughts and feelings in Life Under Quarantine and A Day in the Life.
And, of course, our alumni continue to make us proud: from frontline workers in New York hospitals and faculty in U.S. universities researching drug leads to combat the coronavirus to fashion designers using their creativity and skill to create protective — and stylish — face masks for the community. Alumni in business are shifting their operations and tasks to adapt to and adopt the new normal, while also giving back to their communities in more ways than one.
Let’s remember that throughout history, humankind has gone through tough and challenging times that included wars, natural disasters, famine and other global crises — and has survived and many times thrived. Obviously, nobody is happy with a global pandemic hitting the world so hard. But seeing the glass half full rather than half empty, COVID-19 has taught us many things about ourselves, our lives, our communities, our humanity and what we hold dear. Let’s take this moment to be thankful for what we have, reflect on what we have gone through and move forward equipped with all that we have learned.