By Jennifer Tougas, CAPP, PhD
I have fond memories of walking to classes at UGA during my grad school days. From my not-as-convenient graduate student parking lot, my path would take me along East Campus Road to the biology building. During the winter months, the trek was often overcast and chilly, at least by Georgia standards. As the year trudged on, daffodils emerged on the bank. That pop of yellow-trumpeted blooms brightly announced each morning, “Hear ye, hear ye! Spring is coming!” To me, they were Mother Nature’s promise of better days ahead.
Spring is a time of renewal around the world. In 2021, that promise of better days ahead is as meaningful as ever. This year, spring corresponds with widespread vaccination against a pathogen that has claimed the lives of 2.6 million people worldwide, with more than 500,000 in the U.S. As vaccinations increase, daily cases and inevitable deaths are declining. Economies are opening again and we’re returning to restaurants, bars, theaters and concerts. People are beginning to travel again, to visit families, go on vacation, or resume business trips. We are planning for in-person instruction on college campuses for the fall, complete with football games and tailgating rituals. We’re looking forward to attending baseball games in person rather than as cardboard cut-outs in the stands.
Hope is returning after a dark winter. And the daffodils are blooming in my front yard.
Jennifer Tougas, CAPP, PhD, is interim assistant vice president of business services at Western Kentucky University and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors.