Home Culture & Wellness Reflecting On One Year of the Pandemic: Coping With Stress and Trauma

Reflecting On One Year of the Pandemic: Coping With Stress and Trauma


Written by Marisa Seager

On March 11, 2020 Roanoke College made the decision to send students back home and switch to fully online courses, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Now it is March 2021, roughly a year later, and some of us are beginning to experience these feelings all over again.

As the month of March began to creep around the corner, something felt off, and I couldn’t pinpoint the cause of it till now – the one-year pandemic anniversary. It’s very likely that a lot of us will be experiencing a “trauma anniversary,” as it’s bound to bring up difficult feelings from the “before” and “after” of life in the pandemic. After times like this, it is normal and expected for our bodies to be looking out for anything that could be threatening. Every day now I begin to see more and more indicators of that time: weather changes, stress about midterms, and the stress that lives in the back of our minds about being sent home again. To me, springtime was a happy reminder that there isn’t much more of the semester to go and now it is just a poor memory of my life taking a completely different turn.

The possible reactions to this anniversary will vary from person to person. It’s okay to find yourself feeling anxiety, grief, fear, or even anger. All of these and more are trauma responses. So, over these next few weeks please be gentle with not only yourself but also with everyone else too. We are all experiencing this differently, but we can and will get through it.

Want to read more about this or the different trauma responses? Check out this trending topic on Twitter and other social platforms to see what others have to say or are feeling. I can guarantee you that you are not the only person who is experiencing a different reality during this pandemic.