The countdown to Thanksgiving break has begun. For many members of our campus community this means excitedly packing bags in anticipation of reuniting with family members, friends from home and loved ones. For others it means frantically finishing up projects and then shoving essentials in a bag last minute to just barely catch a bus, a flight or a ride share home. No matter how we prepare to travel we must continue our collective healthy behaviors and preventative actions as we venture outside of the Ithaca College community for much needed rest and reconnection.
Protect yourself and others during your travels over break. You can accomplish this by first and foremost, not traveling if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for SARS-CoV2. If you are healthy to travel, be sure to wear a face covering that fits snuggly over your nose, mouth and chin. Maintain physical space of 6-feet when in public wherever possible. Wash your hands and refrain from touching your face.
Once you arrive at your destination, it is important to be aware that most COVID-19 cases are the result of SARS-CoV2 transmission inside households. Do your part to reduce transmission during indoor gatherings by continuing to wear face coverings while celebrating together, especially if members of your household or guests are not yet vaccinated. Also, be mindful of your health every day. Check yourself for symptoms daily and be sure to protect others by quarantining and seeking testing if you develop symptoms.
On a related note, it is important to be mindful that COVID-19 has exacerbated problems of food shortages and food insecurities. We are experiencing inflation on food prices, compounded with food shortages and supply chain issues. Therefore if you are in a position where you have resources to give, please consider dropping off non-perishable items to the blue cabinets located around Ithaca, or consider volunteering your time to serve at the Ithaca College food pantry.
In closing, I wish you all a joyous, restful break. Let’s continue our healthy behaviors and minimize risk for our community.
Kari Brossard Stoos, PhD
Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education