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COVID-19 Update

We begin the month of May with the promise of beautiful weather ahead.  This is the month where it is finally safe to begin planting the gardens of our imagination into ground that should remain warm. But, not yet. This weekend we still plan, and next weekend we plant.

This weekend is a time to recharge, reflect, and take care of ourselves.

After five weeks of the state’s Stay At Home order, many of us are experiencing the strangeness of this new way of living, so it is fitting that May is also Mental Health Awareness Month.

  • Reach out to friends or family for support, and read Saturday’s Star Tribune Inspired section. There you can read about a program developed to provide novel tools for those experiencing depression or anxiety.
  • Learn from a new program for frontline healthcare workers, called the Minnesota Resilience Action Plan (MinnRAP). It is modeled on the U.S. Army “Battle Buddy” system. This peer-to-peer program matches care providers of similar experience and backgrounds, and gives them a format to check in with each other to process workplace stress with additional resources available from mental health professionals supporting the initiative.
  • Consider sharing a piece of art with us via the Artistic Antidote website. The arts are my coping mechanism and likely many of yours as well.

I remain grateful for the leadership in this state and institution. Governor Walz is employing a careful strategy of turning the dial to reopen a few more types of businesses, while asking us to remain in place for two more weeks. And today, President Gabel has unveiled the Sunrise Plan for a safe and gradual return of some employees to campus. Make sure to read the details of her plan here.

And we can remind ourselves of the importance of each life our work can save with the story of well-known local musician Nachito Herrera. With thanks to Mr. Herrara and his family, we are able to share his story of recovery from COVID-19, and enjoy his song called “Esperanza.”