Pause and plan when it comes to socializing, says Dean Elmore

The following was sent to all students on Friday, February 26, 2021.

Dear Friends,

With the first two months of class and activities complete we are still identifying a high number of students infected with COVID-19. While our natural tendency, visiting friends’ (who are outside of our household) rooms and apartments, traveling distances to vacation and go on outings, and engaging in, seemingly innocuous, close-quartered weekend coffees and dinners without wearing masks are all contributing to the spread of the virus within our communities.

With Spring seeming so close and the weather improving, once again I ask you to pause and plan – especially when it comes to your personal socializing with friends and family. The next few weeks offer a number of routines, traditions, and rituals for connecting with one or two others – several religious-based observances and customs, the collegiate basketball tournaments in March, March 17, and Marathon Monday. In other times, these events were considered communal, now, we have to think of them as brief occasions to catch up with a friend (while maintaining personal habits to keep your mask on and up, and to stay sufficiently physically apart from each other).

As you move through it all, please keep the following in mind:

  • reconsider going into someone else’s bubble, pod, or household and stay rooted in the place you now call “home”
  • connect with the people who are not within your routine or usual travel via an online platform and not at their house, room, or apartment
  • if you can, meetup bundle up outdoors;
  • keep your in-person meetups to 4 people or fewer
  • refrain from eating from communal and family-style bowls and plates
  • keep your mask on while you sip, chew, swallow, talk, laugh, and sing
  • always respect the distance – 6 feet or 2 meters – between each other

Staying true to this checklist contributes to the collective protection against the spread of the virus.

Despite any hopefulness of receiving a vaccine and the easing of Massachusetts and Boston regulations for gathering in public spaces, we’ve all got to hang in there a bit more.

Be and stay well,

Kenneth Elmore

Associate Provost and Dean of Students

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