The Big Picture: The new normal

A chalk message written on a column on the north end of the Quad inspires students to “Be Positive. Be Strong.” (Image by Fred Zwicky/UI Public Affairs)

U of I students began wrapping up their 2020–21 classes at the one-year milestone of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Face masks, physical distancing, classroom- and event-capacity limitations all became customary as Illini life moved on. With continued testing and on-campus vaccination sites, the University began to define “the new normal” as education and Illini pride continued apace. “Be positive; be strong” were campus watch-words to live by.