Last week we closed St. John’s campuses as a circuit-breaker – a safety measure to stop the spread of the newest COVID-19 outbreak.
It’s a good metaphor for what we’re going through. There was a massive spike in positive cases in the region and we are doing our part to slow the spread.
I want to thank everyone for making such a quick and successful transition to remote work – for once again working alongside partners, children and pets.
For many, this means studying or working with the real threat of COVID-19 in our homes. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students are in isolation and some may test positive.
Many of us are concerned about family, friends or loved ones who are also anxious about the virus.
Generosity and kindness from everyone is what’s most needed now. We need to be calm and remain positive.
In the words of our inspiring chief medical officer of health, hold fast.
Right now, we don’t know when we can resume normal operations.
I know many of you have questions and concerns about that. Though we don’t know what the future will hold, I can tell you we will not return to campus until it is safe to do so.
The province moving down from Alert Level 5 does not mean we will all immediately return to campus. There is no date right now when we know it will be safe to do so.
For the foreseeable future, we’re home. And I assure you that we will give you lots of notice so you can make appropriate plans when it is time to return.
Normally I would encourage faculty and students to enjoy your well-earned mid-term break next week.
But it’s not business as usual. So take the time to re-charge your batteries.
Maybe get outdoors or do something you enjoy to take your mind off the stresses for the short term. Do whatever you can to take care of you.
Be patient. Be kind.
This, too, shall pass.