Back to school used to mean getting enrolled, paying the tuition bill, figuring out parking, buying some new jeans, an ergonomic backpack specially balanced to maintain good posture and downloading the latest Starbucks app.
This fall, life is not so simple. Key purchases are tech-related: laptop with camera and microphone, earbuds, plus stable and a lightning fast Internet connection. Having an online calendar so you know which week you meet in-person in your hybrid courses vs. virtual is essential. Then there’s the hygiene and sanitation supplies you’ll need to have with you (maybe get a bigger backpack?): masks, hand sanitizer, and small packs of disinfectant wipes. Yes, these things will be available around campus, but be prepared.
All of us want to return to campus. The best and fastest way to do that is to protect yourself and others by following CDC guidelines: avoid crowds of any kind, wear a mask when you go out, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, cough into your elbow and be mindful of friends and family who are at risk because of age and chronic conditions. Encourage others to practice public health as well. Even if they don’t believe the prevention science, it won’t hurt them to do these things and it gets you started on your path to becoming a public health hero and advocate.
These things might be inconvenient, but they won’t last forever. The longer we pretend that these things don’t matter, the longer the pandemic will last and the more people who will die, get sick, lose their jobs or become homeless.
We’ve got just a few more weeks until UNC Charlotte is slated to re-open. Please do your part - BE A PUBLIC HEALTH HERO!
See you in September!