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COVID-19 Updates DMH

Published

THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, 2021

Dear DMH family,

I was planning to send a spirited happy new year email this week to welcome us all to 2021. However, yesterday’s scenes at the US Capitol make that sentiment feel a bit thin today.

All of us watched, with a myriad of emotions, the disgraceful acts of violence, vandalism, and disrespect for a building that has been a lasting symbol of our democracy, I had a hard time processing the images that included hatred, demagoguery, white supremacy, within the halls of public and private congressional spaces. I was also struck by the images of scared congressional leaders and staff, fearing for their lives and the lives of others in the initial uncertainty, not unlike (far too) many adults and children across our country who have experienced active shooter situations. All of this with a backdrop of further COVID deaths; yesterday claimed one of the highest recorded daily death tolls in the US.

So, happy new year may sound weak. But, actually, the more I have ruminated on this, the more I think I will radically embrace and strive for a happier new year. The acts yesterday were horrific, and emblematic of the deep divides we face in the US, as well as globally. But they did not succeed. Congress did, indeed, finish its intended business. Our election system did work, and there will be peaceful transfer of power. That new power will include a congress and white house slightly weighted towards a party that has generally been open to public health support and expansion. Further, the stunning act of <12-month vaccine development has now resulted in vaccine roll-out across the country. As many of us in public health know, dissemination is not an easy task, even when you have an evidence-based practice. So, there will be ups and downs in this process, but I am so excited that this is the year we WILL get it done and those who choose (hopefully most of us) will be vaccinated. Further, the gut-wrenching demonstrations of long-occurring and active racism in our society have hopefully led to a sustainable anti-racist agenda in 2021. Locally, I am eager to see the work of our faculty, staff, and students blossom in this regard. Many of you have expressed a renewed commitment to this work.

Finally, we are all aware that a national COVID recovery cannot occur without attention to mental health and substance use. I have been so impressed by your collective efforts on this and believe that your hard work and tenacity will continue to improve the public’s mental health in 2021. We may even make lasting change in our mental health system post-pandemic!

So, please, take the time to check-in with yourself, breathe, regroup, and mourn the events of yesterday. If you need support, please reach out (studentsfacultystaffpost-docs). When you are ready, I am eager to join you in wishing each other a happy new year with true gusto and commitment to making it so.

Warmly,
Dani


Past Updates:
Friday, December 18, 2020
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Monday, July 27, 2020
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Friday, June 5, 2020
Friday, May 29, 2020
Monday, May 11, 2020
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Monday, April 13, 2020
Monday, April 6, 2020
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Friday, March 27, 2020
Monday, March 23, 2020
Friday, March 20, 2020
Monday, March 16, 2020
Friday, March 13, 2020 
Tuesday, March 10, 2020