Reason to hope — but we are not done yet

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Last week was another successful week at Allegheny College, with very low COVID-19 transmission on campus. Amid a global pandemic, with colleges around us experiencing high transmission rates, Allegheny students are on campus, learning in person and keeping COVID-19 at bay. This is not luck: students and employees wear masks and keep physical distance.

Vaccines continue to be administered to the local Crawford County community. I mentioned in a prior email that if one can get the vaccine, I recommended accepting it. I should clarify: when you qualify. There are still vulnerable people who have not yet been able to obtain the vaccine in Pennsylvania; make sure you are eligible before you sign up.

To quote the new CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, we have “so much reason to hope.” But we are not done yet. COVID-19 is continuing to ravage our country: the national case rates for the last two weeks are equal to last October’s numbers. President Biden is urging people to continue to wear masks. While this is usually the time of year when we all start looking forward to summer, we don’t know what summer will hold. Even if fun events exist, safety continues to be a question.

One of the challenges of the pandemic is living with uncertainty. As we muddle through, it is critical to hone our coping skills. I recommend finding what works for you, and if or when it stops working, try something else. Netflix is a good distraction. Brisk walks, with or without earbuds, are great for stress relief. Enjoy lunch outside with a friend. Offer gratitude to an essential worker. Call the Counseling Center or send me an email.

Hang in there.

Dr. Morrow