Update on BGSP Activities
I hope everyone is managing to weather their first week of social distancing and online classes with as little difficulty as possible. It’s certainly a huge change from the way we usually operate and from our emphasis on in-person contact. It will be a learning experience for all of us. This email includes some announcements as well as answers to questions which have come up from students.
Extension of Closure of Building and In-Person Activities through April 6
My email last week said we would be closed to in-person activities for two weeks. Given current developments, including the Governor’s order prohibiting gatherings of more than 25 people, we will be extending the time of the shutdown of in-person activities through April 6. It is likely we may remain shut down through the rest of April; we will see.
Will Cancelled Classes be Made Up? What is the Schedule Next Week?
The classes cancelled last week will not be rescheduled; they were cancelled. Next week is a Spring vacation week; there are no regularly scheduled classes. However, several instructors have scheduled makeup classes for prior schedule changes. If you have a question about whether your class is meeting next week, please ask your instructor. In addition, we will be scheduling some optional faculty get-together times during the break (see below).
Counseling Internship Hours
Counseling students whose internships have been suspended may be concerned about completing all of their internship hours for licensure. We are part of a consortium of counseling programs (MARIACES) that is meeting today online with the state Board of Allied Mental Health to advocate for remedies for affected students. We will keep you posted of any developments.
Why Social Distancing?
Social distancing is strongly recommended and put into place by many closures and suspensions of activities. This is being done, as you know, to “flatten the curve,” that is, really slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which is highly contagious and often asymptomatic for 5-14 days. If this is done successfully, the medical system will hopefully not be overwhelmed by many new cases coming to them at once. I am sure you are keeping up with the news. I will be posting articles and sources I find useful on our webpage under Coronavirus, and I thank those of you who have been sending me good articles and links. I am including one link now from Boston physicians emphasizing the importance of people staying home.
Are Young People at Less Risk?
Many young people feel they are at less or no risk. Current statistics indicate this is not true! Young people are equally at risk of getting seriously ill, possibly dying. They are not the highest risk group for fatalities, but that doesn’t mean that young people won’t become critically ill. It will happen to some. In other words, group statistics do not tell you what will happen to individuals. I am emphasizing this because as you probably know, many young people are not taking this epidemic seriously, and are mingling and socializing in ways that may put them at great risk and the public at large at higher risk by spreading the disease. Please protect yourselves and tell your friends to take every precaution they can.
More Opportunities to Connect at BGSP
As we are finding ways of connecting at a distance and working online and on the telephone, we have been discussing how to offer more opportunities for the BGSP community to connect online beyond the scheduled classes, supervisions, and meetings. I am asking the faculty to take turns sponsoring a scheduled time to “hang out,” i.e., get together to talk about how things are going. People can share ways people are entertaining themselves when housebound, trouble or success buying groceries, new ideas about psychoanalysis — whatever people want to talk about. When we have a schedule, we will send out an email, and Mrs. Kaeli will send an invitation the day before to all students and faculty via Zoom. Dr. Hugenberger is also thinking about how to offer Continuing Education events online, since in-person CE events will be cancelled through April. If you have other ideas about how we can get together, let me know.
Thank you to the entire BGSP community for coming together and working so cooperatively to go online quickly, figure out how to do it, and keep connecting. Thank you to our wonderful staff who worked all weekend last weekend to get us up and running smoothly, or smoothly enough!
PS For the complete list of Coronavirus resources, please go to the BGSP Student Resources page. Right now, all resources are embedded in my previous letters. I will be working to update it over the weekend to include a list of resources in addition to my letters.