Carolina Hernandez

Carolina Hernandez, director of the Lehigh Community Service Office, lost her grandfather to COVID-19.

The Ongoing Impact of COVID-19

A letter from Bulletin Editor Tim Hyland

Photography by

Christa Neu

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The last time I sat down to write an Editor’s Letter for the Bulletin was in June, three months after life in America had been forever changed by the arrival of COVID-19. By that time, the reality of our “new normal”—mask-wearing, social distancing and strict limits on large public gatherings, not to mention the ever-lingering threat of the virus itself—had set in. I’m not sure that, even then, we fully realized how long this journey would be, and how it would test us. 

I am now writing these words a few months later, in late October, and looking back, it’s almost staggering to think about how COVID-19 has so fully changed our day-to-day realities—how it’s changed almost everything. 

Here at Lehigh, the pandemic has challenged members of our community in so many ways: Students have had to learn how to learn in an entirely new context, just as faculty have had to learn to teach in that same new context. Staff are going above and beyond to keep key operations up and running, even while the virus limits their ability to access campus. It is no overstatement to say that this is among the most difficult semesters in Lehigh history. 

But of course, the impacts of COVID-19 go much deeper. This pandemic has touched so many lives, and inflicted so much pain. Members of our community have lost loved ones. They have lost connection with friends and family. Some have fallen ill, and seen their families fall ill, too. Still others have seized on this challenging moment to reach out and help others, to try and make a difference—even for one person. 

In this issue, we are proud to share a few stories of how COVID-19 has impacted the people in our community. Their stories will evoke a range of emotions, as they run the gamut of human experience during a global pandemic. We hope that, by reading them, you are reminded that this has been and continues to be a difficult time for us all. At a time when it can be easy to feel alone, it’s important to understand that we are, truly, all in this together. 

We thank you as always for reading, and hope that you and your families are well.

Photography by

Christa Neu

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