Over 100 years ago, in the midst of the Spanish flu pandemic, Scholastic printed a greeting sent to Notre Dame by Lieutenant James O’Brien reading, “While influenza has brought tremendous work on us, tradition and the spirit of Notre Dame coupled with God’s grace will support us.”
This issue tries to put into words the overwhelming nature of our new reality, one in which the coronavirus is omnipresent and brings tremendous work.
Even over the course of putting this issue together, campus has been turbulent. We began with an almost recognizable semester, one in which we could go to in-person classes and study in the library, albeit with masks on. But only one week into school, we saw a surge in COVID-19 cases such that we had to suspend in-person classes and ban off-campus undergraduates from university grounds.
Our cover story tries to make sense of some of this chaos and delves into what life at Notre Dame is like during a pandemic. Scholastic sought the perspectives of students, professors and university administration on what it means to return to campus. Unfortunately for a campus usually proud of its unity, COVID-19 proved divisive. While some ardently support being back together in person, others vehemently protest the university’s re-opening and are critical of its safety protocols.
With tensions running so high, we’ve seen many students come forward with strong opinions on how things should be. To give the student body a platform to express these thoughts, Scholastic is launching a prompt-based opinion column. This issue’s question asks: Did the university make the right decision by reopening?
On a less polarizing note, our Sports section explores the fate of fall athletics in a socially distant world. For non-coronavirus related content, be sure to read our feature on senior Ashley Cavuto, who is currently working on a novel. For a laugh, check out the Humor section where students grapple with their COVID-19 test results being the only positive thing in their lives.
Any jokes aside, this is our new normal, whether we like it or not. I encourage you to look at this moment, not as a loss, but as an opportunity. If we make the right choices, we can make history and do what we do best: Beat the odds.