Saturday, October 23, 2021

Letter from the editor: Times are changing, but we’ll always figure it out

July 29, 2021
Headshot of Karly Graham. Photo courtesy of Karly Graham.
Headshot of Karly Graham. Photo courtesy of Karly Graham. —

Seventeen months.

It's been a full 17 months since we could sit and bask in the comfort of the monotonous aspects of day-to-day life. Sure, a lot of the time we would want to trade in late-night study dates in the library for something a bit more interesting, but I think it's safe to say a majority of us didn't want to put our lives on hold for one of the deadliest pandemics in history.

In simplest terms: it kinda sucked.

This will be my fourth year at The State News. Just in my time at The State News, I've seen two university presidents resign, a football coach retire, and a student government election that lasted 18 hours.

While all of those days were crazy, nothing compared to the last 17 months.

This pandemic didn't only change our way of living; it changed everything.

I am not the same person I was last March. Back then, I had a side-part and optimism that everything would be over by June. Seventeen full months later, I have blonde hair and bangs, a vaccination, and a slightly more legitimate, realistic optimism that there will soon enough be a new normal to return to.

New normal. You haven't heard that one in a while, have you?

And it is new. I'm fully vaccinated, but I still wear my mask when I run to the Starbucks by the office. I'm fully vaccinated, but I still get a little anxious when someone I don't know stands a bit too close to me.

I've always been a pretty tightly wound person. But the anxiety instilled in me by the pandemic is on a new playing field. The worst part is, I know I'm not alone in this.

As I'm writing this, I worry about inevitable campus outbreaks. Surely, there won't be anything as bad as what happened last August, but if the university isn't mandating vaccines, what's to say we won't?

I may not be able to ease your anxieties, and I may not be able to tell you if this is what's best, because even after 17 months, there are unknowns about COVID-19.

But I can tell you this: No matter what happens next, The State News has you covered.

From the second the message rolled in on student's phones saying Michigan State would be transitioning to online learning, we completely changed our print issue that was printed the next day and created a timeline of the coronaviruses impact in Michigan.

When the university decided that vaccines would not be mandatory but only announced it to the Faculty Senate, we not only reported that decision, but we figured out what our students and faculty thought of the decision.

The State News didn’t stop reporting when COVID-19 hit Michigan. We figured it out.

And no matter what happens next, we’ll continue to figure it out.

When it stopped being safe to come into the office, we worked remotely. Now, we’re mixing in-office and remote work. We’re figuring it out.

While I’m optimistic that we’ll be planning our fall semester with students setting up shop at their desks, no matter what happens, we’ll continue to do great work for the MSU and East Lansing communities.

In our 112 years of being around, we always found a way to make things work. We've covered everything from wars to last-minute wins in sports against the University of Michigan.

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Just in our last 50 years of independence we've covered those things. Why would we let a pandemic slow us down?

Things are constantly changing, but we’re changing too. Through all the stress and craziness, remember that you can always rely on The State News. No matter what, we’ll figure it out.

This article is part of our 2021 Summer Mail Home Issue. View the full digital issue here.

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