The death of George Floyd and what we are seeing and hearing since is painful.
Even if it were the first time, which it isn’t.
In the words of Dr. Sophia Vinogradov, we are experiencing: “severe acute trauma on top of chronic trauma. This has violated our sense of justice and it is breaking our sense of togetherness."
We are flooded and overwhelmed by how it feels, by thoughts and emotions that are hard to untangle:
grief | tragedy | rage | injustice | frustration | despair | disbelief | trauma | hurt | heartbreak | cynicism
As we are able, we have an important question to address: How do we change for the better? This will require honesty and action. We must hold ourselves accountable. We value and practice:
caring | hope | kindness | speaking up | community | fairness | grace | integrity | trust | equality | respect
For today and this weekend, please stay safe. Pay attention to advisories from the University or public officials. Your safety, and that of our health care staff and patients, is a top priority. Remember that COVID-19 is still here.
If the current situation threatens your physical safety, call 9-1-1. If you are without power, if you lack access to food and medicine, or if you are in need in other ways, please go to the Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center or other local services for help.
If you need urgent mental health support, please note these resources:
- UMN Crisis Line: 612-301-4673
- UMN Faculty and Employees: Sand Creek services 1-888-243-5744
- UMN Students: Boynton Student Health Services 612-624-1444 (business hours only) or 612-301-4673
The pain our community is in is real. I understand the deep need to protest injustice. As a person who protested against communism, I know how critical mass demonstrations are to create change. We also know this will increase the number of COVID-19 cases in the weeks to come. Communities—already hurting—may suffer more due to the pandemic. We will be ready to serve.
I am working hard to hear you and to serve you. I know I will not always get it right. When I don’t, I welcome your advice on how I can do better. That's what the feedback button is for.
Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD
Vice President for Clinical Affairs