Dear Tulane Community:
Today marks exactly two weeks since students and faculty last met face to face in classrooms and staff reported as normal to their offices. To me, it seems like only yesterday and forever ago at the same time. How are you feeling?
If the answer is stressed, uprooted, dislocated and any number of other emotions, that is perfectly understandable, given the current circumstances. But whatever you are feeling, it is valid and valued by your Tulane family. We are all under enormous pressure during this time and we all react differently. The important thing is to be patient with one another and lend your fellow students and colleagues support whenever you can. Also, be patient with yourself.
And whatever you are feeling, know you are not alone. Literally, the entire world is facing the same crisis together at the same time. In some ways, being forced to distance ourselves from one another has brought us closer together than ever before. COVID-19 is a common threat that also reveals our common humanity. Between countless meetings, phone calls and emails, I have had the opportunity to reconnect with some old high school friends over the last week – classmates I have not heard from in years. Bonding over a shared experience, no matter how difficult, can connect people across time, miles and boundaries. Let’s hope that this is one of the effects that linger long after this crisis has passed.
I encourage you to make connections within your own network of family and friends, especially during these trying times. Social distancing should not mean emotional distancing. Reach out to others and know that when you do, you have the Tulane community behind you – emotionally, virtually, totally. You can also have a sense of purpose and pride in knowing that you play a critical role, with your study, teaching, research and hard work, in bringing us successfully through this current crisis and helping us to emerge on the other side – together again.