The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions and challenges. We are concerned for the health and welfare of our families, friends, and students during the COVID-19 pandemic. And we long for a sense of security, stability, and an end to this crisis. I am writing to salute you all for your courage and resilience in the face of this challenging new reality. And I want you to know that Indiana University is proud of you!
A number of staff members are heroically keeping key facilities running or are preparing the dorms for the arrival of healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this crisis. Others are tending to the needs of those students who—lacking safer options—have remained at IU. And dozens of IU’s medical, nursing, and social work students are bravely working to help those who are suffering from the virus.
The majority of IU faculty and staff are working from home, grappling with how to remain productive and engaged while facing the challenges of home confinement. Our experiences differ based on our individual lives. Many are juggling full-time family care, assisting children in schoolwork, managing online courses, and navigating the new reality of social distancing. Many are feeling isolated, yearning for interaction with peers, students, friends, and family. Some are grieving the loss of loved ones. No matter your situation, this is an overwhelming time for all.
In the midst of our shared sense of loss and disruption, I have for you the following wishes: that you attend to your own physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness; that you take a moment from each day to reach out to another person—perhaps phoning a friend or colleague or family member; that you adjust your expectations of productivity; and that you renew your appreciation of the people and values that give life meaning. Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation.
These are difficult times, but together we will get through them. And when we do, we will reconvene as friends and colleagues, neighbors and family members, to celebrate and renew our bonds of friendship and community. Until then, I invite you to stay connected with me and the OVPDI team. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing campus resources and updates. Should you have any questions or issues that you wish to discuss, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow us on social media (see links below).
For now, I encourage you to consult IU’s clearinghouse of information at: https://coronavirus.iu.edu/campus-resources/bloomington.html.
Stay safe, stay connected, be well.
Vice Provost, Diversity & Inclusion