Reflections of a Plague Year

“Exactly a year from now, you’ll be a high school graduate! Is it scary? Exciting? How are you feeling right now? Currently I am in a state of confusion.”

- Huyen Tran, May 2020

In May 2020, Huyen Tran, a junior at Garden Grove High School in California, wrote a letter to her future self. “A Letter to 2021 Me” reflects on the adaptations she made to life in a pandemic, the connections with family and friends that sustained her, and her hopes for the post-pandemic future.

COVID-19 pushed the world into a “New Normal” altering the way we learn, spend our leisure time, and how we build and maintain our relationships. The New Normal challenged our mental health while also encouraging us to find strength by remaining connected to others in new ways.

It is now April 2021, and this archive is a year old. To commemorate a full plague year, we invited people to contribute their thoughts through social media. Their responses seem to answer Huyen Tran’s questions, as she reflected on her future just as we reflect on our past. 

Many of the submissions reflected some common themes:

This exhibit was developed as part of a public history course at the University of Cincinnati.

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