The "New Normal" of Life

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Sara Le Nguyen

1st Year MPH Health Behavior Health Education Student

Most of the COVID-19 pandemic geared their focus on other needs, but as we enter a new phase and the public health emergency is coming to an end, we are coming to learn about how to navigate this new era. I’ve worked in various roles during the COVID-19 response, and I thought I would put this life behind me as I embarked on my first year of the MPH program. I’m ending my first year back in the COVID realm.

 I will visit Texas with Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST) to partner with Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) to learn more about Long COVID. Even if it seems like things have returned to normal, COVID-19 hasn’t left. We’re just learning to adapt to a new normal. A new normal can be scary, but I’m feeling hopeful. My first-time visiting Texas will be scary, but it will be an exciting trip and also a meaningful trip as I learn to navigate this new normal with my friends and colleagues.

 The concept of health disparities isn’t new, but with Long COVID added to the picture, another layer of complexities has been introduced. I look forward to beginning to unravel these complexities in Texas. I also hope to learn more about evolving and adapting to new initiatives to reduce these health disparities. As I end my first year of the MPH program, I want to live and learn in this new normal as I grow more skills and experience to help me become a better public health professional.