Samford community, students and employees… On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week, we saw a sobering rise in the number of positive cases and contacts related to COVID-19 at Samford. We already expect that the first half of next week will see another increase in cases. Continued increases—at this rate—will create significant challenges for us to maintain operations as we have done since mid-August.
So what can we do? Let me offer a handful of small changes we can make starting this weekend:
- Have each other’s back. When someone forgets to put their mask on after taking a big bite of nachos, remind them to put it back before yelling at the referee (yes, it’s football season and TVs will be tuned-in).
- Don’t unmask and drive. Far too many of us are getting into crowded cars, windows up, and not wearing masks. Think about that…two, three or four people all within less than two feet without fresh air. Alone? No problem.
- Face to face is a bad idea. Sitting five to a booth in the UC or four in a small study room guarantees you’ll be sharing the same air.
- The more you yell, the more you share. In a loud, crowded environment or watching the game (see first point above), we lean in at the same time the other person takes off their mask to be heard.
- Hand sanitizer is back on the shelves. Get it. Have some with you at all times. Use it. A lot.
- Failing a test can be good. When your name is called for a random test, show up. Testing is the best tool we have to protect your health and the health of our friends, students, faculty, staff and guests... and it provides peace of mind as we start thinking of returning home for the holidays.
- Friendship does not grant immunity. Perhaps the most frustrating reality is that those closest to us can become our greatest challenge. We see it in our numbers here at Samford: small clusters of friends are the leading driver in our increase.
Samford, we are not immune from regional and national trends…and those trends are rising. We can, however, resist the trends by having a heightened sense of self-awareness. Let’s get all the way through to November 24, beginning with wise choices now… this weekend.
Be self-aware. Be diligent. Love your neighbor. Take care…. Buck Brock
Harry B. Brock III (Buck)
Executive Vice President