I remember the day clearly, it was March 11, 2020. That’s the last day I was at my office. I woke up that morning, hit the gym and made my way into work. In the weeks prior, the radio was filled with non-stop updates about this novel virus that was quickly making its way toward to the Michigan Mitten. To be honest, I shrugged it off as another SARS or H1N1. You know, those virus outbreaks we heard about in the news but never really impacted our lives?
But this one was different. By 3 p.m. that day I was hearing rumblings that Eastern Michigan University was going to shut down most on-campus operations and move virtual. I had a program to help uninsured students enroll in health insurance later that evening but began the process of cancelling in the interest of public health. When I packed up my office that evening I had no idea that would be the last time I entered that office until…well, I guess I don’t know when I’ll be back.
COVID-19 has left us with so many questions, so many unknowns. And sometimes, it feels like the longer the virus is around the less we know about it. It’s frustrating to have no end in sight.
But if there’s one thing we know about this virus it’s that it can’t be beaten alone. The past few months have shown us that it takes an entire country coming together to tame the virulence of this disease. That’s why we’ve drafted the #EMUSafe Pledge for students, employees, alumni and community members to take and show their solidarity in EMU’s commitment to a healthy and safe campus. It takes a community to beat COVID-19 and we wanted to make a statement that could bring our community together.
To be clear, the Pledge is not a set of rules. It’s simply a verbal commitment to doing your part to keep our community safe, and that’s something we can all get behind.
I want there to be a spring commencement, I want the Rec/IM’s new weight room to be open, I want students to walk into a class and shake the hands of their classmates. I want students hanging out at the basketball courts in the evening or the volleyball courts having fun. But most of all, I want to look back on this time and remember how EMU pulled together, as a team, and fought to get back what we lost-normalcy.
Stay well, Eagles.
About the Writer
Nick Pomante knows what it means to be #TRUEMU. As an Alumni and now the Student Wellness Coordinator, Nick is committed to helping each student, faculty and staff member become the best version of themselves. The EMU Office of Wellness and Responsibility aims to develop all aspects of the student which includes intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional, environmental, occupational social and financial well being through programming and various services.