With COVID-19 cases falling and the fully vaccinated population climbing, phrases like “return to normal’ are increasingly commonplace in Northeast Ohio.

Yet these improving conditions cannot erase the pandemic’s profound impact on each member of the Case Western Reserve community.

Some have buried loved ones. Many have feared for friends and others infected. Economic upheaval, racial reckoning, social isolation, and mental health struggles—the specifics may vary, but these 14 months still have affected everyone in some manner. 

Acknowledging those experiences is an essential aspect of the transition to an environment where constant COVID-19 tests and reduced room capacities no longer are commonplace. To that end, the campus will mark a Day of Remembrance this Friday with activities online and at the Tinkham Veale University Center.

“We have faced tremendous loss—both the loss of lives and the loss of living the life we used to live,” said Megan Holmes, an organizer of the day and co-director of the Center on Trauma and Adversity at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. “It is valuable for all of us to honor what we have lost—and what we need to move forward.”

Holmes and Human Resources leaders collaborated to organize the Day of Remembrance project, with assistance from several other campus offices. The office of Interim President Scott Cowen provided funding for the event.

Among the day’s highlights are:

11 a.m.: Virtual Roundtable Discussion

Interim President Cowen joins Holmes and Mandel School student Ivan Conard, Mandel School faculty and trauma center Co-Director Jennifer King, University Health & Counseling Services Executive Director Sara Lee, and Office of Multicultural Affairs Director Naomi Sigg to reflect on the effects of the past 14 months and ways to address them. Provost Ben Vinson will end the event with concluding remarks. Please complete the form for the virtual roundtable discussion by 5 p.m. Thursday to receive a link for the event.

Watch a brief preview.

Noon: Virtual Safe Space for Faculty and Staff (registration required) 

Mandel School faculty Adrianne Fletcher and Amy Korsch-Williams will host a live discussion on Zoom for individuals who would like to speak about their experiences during the pandemic and thoughts regarding the virtual roundtable. 

Please complete the form for the Virtual Safe Space for Faculty and Staff by 5 p.m. Thursday to receive the link for the event.

Noon: Virtual Safe Space for Students (registration required)

University Counseling Services’ Hillary Jones will host this live discussion on Zoom for students who would like to share and receive support regarding lossed experienced during the pandemic. 

Please complete the form for the Virtual Safe Space for Students by 5 p.m. Thursday to receive the link for the event.

All Day: What We’ve Lost and What We Need to Move Forward

Stop by the Tinkham Veale University Center to complete Post-its describing both topics and place them on the board provided. Alternatively, you can share your thoughts virtually using a form.

1–3 p.m.: Regulation Station Bags

Pick up a free bag of items designed to help you regulate difficult emotions—think stress balls and Play-Doh—at the Tink near the Post-it boards.

All Day: Luminary Kits

Students can stop by the Sparta Center (Room 148G) in the Tink to pick up a free kit to use to create their own glowing day of remembrance (Sponsored by Student Activities and Leadership).

All Day: 20-Minute Meditation (pre-recorded)

Mindful meditation can provide a mechanism for relaxation and healing amid stressful circumstances; open to those new to meditation and regular practitioners alike. Please visit the Faculty and Staff Wellness webpage Friday for a link to this meditation.

All Day: Musical Performance (pre-recorded)

Music can have a profound positive effect on body and mind. Hear our university’s orchestra and symphonic winds perform as part of the Day of Remembrance. Please visit the Faculty and Staff Wellness webpage Friday for a link to this musical performance.