Take a moment to review the educational messages below from the Community of Care: Coming to Campus campaign to learn about everyday actions we can all take to slow the spread of COVID-19. For more information, email email@example.com.
COMPROMISE ON WAYS TO CONNECT.
As you arrive at ASU, either for the first time or after months of being away, you may be looking to meet new people and reconnect with friends. We know this can be hard while public health experts are still encouraging physical distancing.
- Respect the decision of friends who are continuing to physically distance. You may have friends, family members and peers who have varying levels of comfort about how they wish to connect. During this time and always, it is important to not pressure people to connect socially in ways that may make them feel uncomfortable.
- Find creative ways to connect. You might be feeling bored with video chats and phone calls, so work together to discover ways you can safely have fun and disconnect from your daily responsibilities.
- Suggest an alternative, such as meeting up outdoors or virtually. Being outdoors can help boost your immune system, support your mental health, and is safer than being indoors where there is little air circulation. However, be sure to remain physically distant and wear a cloth face covering if you are unsure if you will be able to keep your distance. Continue to hang out with friends and family virtually by trying out new activities such as, karaoke, online card games, or participating in a virtual visit to a local museum.
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Protect your Quaran-team.
If you have roommates or housemates, it is incredibly important to work together to keep your household healthy and safe. The decisions you make will have an impact, both positive and negative, on your household as a whole. By protecting your “Quaran-team,” you will also be protecting other members of our community who you may come into contact with.
- Commit to taking care of one another. You are going through a very challenging time in history together, and you should listen to and respect one another while validating concerns others may have about our current environment.
- Establish boundaries that everyone agrees to. Have a conversation about what everyone feels comfortable and safe with regarding cleaning practices, social interactions outside of the home, and visitors inside the home. Set aside uninterrupted time to have this discussion at the beginning of the semester and revisit as often as needed. An example of boundaries could include:
- Taking turns disinfecting all common areas on a regular basis.
- Requiring visitors inside the home to wear face-coverings. (As a reminder, residence halls do not allow visitors that live outside of the hall).
- Having your own food to limit the spread of germs.
- Check-in with each other to provide support. Adhering to public health guidelines during a pandemic can be hard. Have regular conversations to check-in with each other to process how everyone is feeling.
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Notice a Sun Devil not following public health guidelines?
While on campus and in the surrounding community, you might notice some people not following public health guidelines. This might feel frustrating for you, especially if they are someone who is in your family or social circle. It is important to engage in polite conversation to encourage them to make decisions that support public health and safety.
- Understand their perspective. Start by having a conversation to better understand why they are not taking preventative actions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about the virus, how it is transmitted, and who it impacts the most. Perhaps a person is choosing not to wear a face mask because of this misinformation. Maybe they do not know that asymptomatic transmission is possible, so if they are not having symptoms themselves, they may not see the harm. By understanding their reasoning, and by following up with fact-based information, you may be able to encourage them to think differently.
- Communicate your concern. Let them know the reason why you are concerned about their behavior. Providing a personal story about how the virus has impacted you or someone you know, or sharing your concern for the general well-being of our society, might give them a different perspective.
- Model healthy behavior. Continue to model healthy behavior, regardless of whether someone chooses to change their habits. By showing you are committed to actions that support public health, you might encourage others to do the same. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, so connect with friends, family, or ASU Counseling Services if you need support as you are trying to encourage others to make healthy and safe decisions.
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Set boundaries in your relationships that support public health.
Boundaries help nurture our relationships. They are part of the soil in which our relationships can bloom. Whether it be with family, friends, peers, or partners, boundaries work to ensure that all parties are heard and respected. While it is always important to check-in with our own, and other's boundaries, these times are a reminder of just how vital those conversations are. Boundaries cannot be assumed as we cannot simply guess another's boundaries. Thus, the only way to know, is to ask.
- Be open about why you choose to help slow the spread. Being open and honest with those you have relationships with, will help you to not only create stronger boundaries, but better adhere to them.
- Remain firm on what you feel comfortable with. While it is challenging to do, it is always okay to decline social invitations if you do not feel comfortable attending. You may find yourself having to honor your boundaries with those close to you by declining invitations to get together in-person. Be respectful, but assertive in your boundaries. Your comfort matters. If you do decline a social invitation, validate how the other person may feel without sacrificing your boundaries: "I really miss you and I recognize how hard it must be that we can't get together in-person."
- Provide alternative and safe options for connection. Compromise on other ways to connect: "I would love to connect virtually or to get together at a park with face coverings and physical distancing." Check-in and invite them to communicate their feelings and boundaries: "How does that sound?"
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Respect someone’s decision to remain physically distant.
Not only should you set boundaries for yourself, but it is important that you respect the boundaries that others set for themselves. While many areas of the country are beginning to open and are returning to in-person social interactions, everyone will have varying levels of comfort on how they choose to be social. If someone wants to remain physically distant while you are choosing to interact in-person in your relationships, respect their decision to do so.
- Accept other’s perspectives. It can be hard when you want to get together in-person with someone you care about and they do not wish to do so. Try to not take it personally. Instead, work to understand their perspective so that you can support their boundaries.
- Acknowledge that these times are difficult. If someone is declining a social invitation because of their decision to be physically distant, it is likely not easy for them to do so. You can validate their decision by letting them know that even though you’d prefer to see them in person, you support them.
- Compromise on how to connect. Decide together on ways to connect that everyone feels safe and comfortable with.
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Physically distant, but socially connected.
During this challenging time, it is important to remain social, connected, and emotionally together even if the physical distance between us has to be increased for a while. Remaining socially connected can help cultivate your well-being and contribute to your academic, personal, and professional success.
- Reach out to friends and family. Identify who within your social network can provide the support you need. When feeling sad, lonely, frustrated, or scared, reach out to them.
- Connect with support if needed. Sometimes we might find ourselves in situations where we feel isolated and do not feel connected to those around us. This might be especially common right now if those in your social network do not have the same perspectives regarding the pandemic. If you need additional support, reach out to ASU Counseling Services or join a Devils 4 Devils support circle.
- Be proud of your contributions to slowing the spread. While we might have the illusion, based on social media, that staying home is easy, it is hard to remain physically disconnected from others. By staying home and refraining from going to large gatherings and crowded locations, you are helping to slow the spread and should be proud of yourself for doing so.
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Devils 4 Devils. Physically distant, but socially connected.
Devils 4 Devils is a student-led community for training, outreach and engagement for shaping an empathic environment at ASU. This student organization and community initiative is dedicated to the inclusion of all students and improving the social emotional well-being of the communities we serve. Attending a Devils 4 Devils community circle, designed to connect students over common interests, is one way you can feel socially connected while remaining physically distant.
- Empathy is key. It is normal to experience a vast array of emotions to the current times and it is important we work on empathizing and understanding everyone’s varied experiences. A support circle is a safe space in which you can explore these perspectives and feelings alongside your peers.
- You are not alone, we are here for you. Sharing your experiences can help other students feel validated and connected. Visiting a support circle can remind us that we aren’t alone and that our responses to what we are experiencing are normal and valid.
- Build community through connection. Though the ways in which we connect may look different, this does not detract from our need to develop community with one another. Focus on building community through avenues in which you feel the most connected to your peers and stretch yourself to come up with creative modalities in which to accomplish this.
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Is someone too close for comfort?
As we continue to be physically distant from one another, you might encounter a situation where someone is standing too close for comfort. This may contribute to distress or anxiety, especially if that person is coughing or sneezing near you. If you are in this situation, it is important to remember that while you personally might be able to move, it is also acceptable for you to politely let them know that they are standing too close.
- Politely remind them that 6 feet is about the length of a bicycle. This can be a helpful reference for anyone to better visualize the length of space that should be maintained between ourselves and others. Although we have been physically distancing for several months, it can still be challenging to adapt, especially when we are in a different environment. Avoid immediately assuming that the person is intentionally standing too close to you.
- Let them know why you are concerned. Your comfort matters and they may be unaware that they are causing you to feel discomfort. Politely bring up your concerns: “I feel a bit uncomfortable with how close you are. I recognize this was probably unintentional. Would you mind moving over a bit? Thanks.”
- You are helping keep our community healthy and safe. Bringing the issue of space to someone’s attention might help them to become more self-aware and they may reconsider their distance to others in the future.
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Want to contribute to a healthy ASU community?
All ASU community members are instrumental in creating a healthy campus community at all times, but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, there is a lot of false and inaccurate information out there regarding COVID-19. This may cause you to feel distrust or overwhelmed when trying to determine what information is accurate. Prior to sharing information on social media, or through other avenues, we encourage you to look into the news source to see if they are citing credible sources. The Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) is constantly updating guidelines as new research emerges on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commit to following CDC Recommendations to help slow the spread:
- Maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet, the length of a bicycle. All of us as a community can work to maintain physical distancing expectations in all our social interactions. We still need to maintain a minimum six feet of distance between ourselves and others to keep everyone safe and to slow the spread. We know this can be difficult as all of us have different boundaries, but we can work together to communicate our boundaries and find ways to connect that make us all feel comfortable. If you are planning to get together with a friend or two, discuss your boundaries beforehand so you can come up with a plan that everyone can agree to.
- Wear a face covering. It is in the best interest of all our community members that we wear masks or cloth face coverings when we are around others. Employees and students will be required to wear a face covering while in ASU buildings and in outdoor community spaces where physical distancing isn’t possible. Some people who have contracted the virus show no symptoms and are unaware that they have contracted it. Thus, wearing face coverings protects others in case we are the ones who are sick, even if we don’t feel sick. Face coverings stop most particles from leaving the wearer and entering another's space. Ensure that your face covering sufficiently covers your nose and mouth and is held taut around the sides of your face. It is advised that you practice physical distancing from others even while wearing a mask or face covering.
- Stay home when feeling ill. If you are feeling ill, especially if you develop any new respiratory symptoms, a fever, or shortness of breath, stay home. We know it can be a challenge to stay home when you are worried about missing class or work, so communicate with your instructors or supervisor and create a plan to make up any missed work. There are resources available that may allow you to participate in coursework while staying home. Staying home when you don’t feel well is the right thing to do and ASU will support you for it.
- Wash hands frequently and always before eating. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. The best times to wash your hands? After being out in public or in a social setting, after coughing or sneezing, and always before and after eating. If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Though, soap and water is always preferred. Be sure to carry hand sanitizer with you in the case that you cannot access soap and water or a hand sanitizing station.
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Wearing a face covering? Thank you.
The health of our community is greatly impacted by the individual actions of all our community members. Thank you for continually wearing a mask or face covering; we know it can be uncomfortable at times. By doing so, you are making an individual choice which illustrates your compassion for our entire community and supports our community’s overall well-being and health.
- You are contributing to our culture of care at ASU. Sun Devils care for one another and want to create environments in which every ASU community member can thrive. During these times, that means wearing a mask or face covering to keep our community safe.
- Wearing a face covering helps to slow the spread. Wearing a face covering helps protect your community members from contracting COVID-19. Unfortunately, asymptomatic spread is possible, meaning you could be sick and not know it and subsequently spread it to another Sun Devil. Thus, no matter how we are feeling, symptoms or not, it is important to commit to wearing a face covering.
- Keep it on and others will follow. Wearing a mask or face covering is the right thing to do, even in situations where others may not be. Demonstrate your leadership and commitment to the health of our community by practicing these healthy habits. Model the behavior you hope to see in others.
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We wear face coverings not only for ourselves, but for each other.
Though it may seem small, consistently and properly wearing a mask or face covering makes a big difference in keeping our community happy, healthy and safe for all Sun Devils. We never know who may be more vulnerable in our community and it is important that we all take precautions to keep each other safe.
- Wearing a face covering protects those who are most vulnerable. It can be difficult for us to know who in our community may be at increased risk, particularly those with underlying health conditions that are unknown to us. Additionally, we may not know who in someone’s home life, or social circles, may be more vulnerable and thus, how important these precautions are to someone in order to keep their family members safe. This is why it is not only important to follow recommended precautions, but to check in with one another in order to better understand how we can keep each other safe.
- Protect everyone in our community. All Sun Devils are important members of the Sun Devil family and it's crucial we follow these recommendations so that everyone is protected. While your immediate friend group may not be overly concerned about their health, they may come into contact with other students, staff, and faculty that might be at a higher risk for falling extremely ill.
- Commit to wearing a face covering. Make it a habit. Wear a mask or face covering in all ASU buildings and outdoor spaces (except when eating). Continue to wear a mask or face covering when engaging in our local community, such as when you run errands. Each additional interaction in which you wear a mask or face covering contributes to an even safer community for all of us.
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MY MASK PROTECTS YOU, AND YOUR MASK PROTECTS ME
Notice someone wearing a mask or face covering? They are wearing it to keep you safe. My mask protects you, and your mask protects me. Consistently wearing a mask or face covering reminds your community members that you are working to keep them safe. The more of our community that commits to wearing a face covering, the safer we all are.
- You are at the lowest risk when all those around you, including yourself, are committing to healthy behaviors and habits. Examples of healthy behaviors and habits include wearing a mask or face covering, practicing good hand hygiene and maintaining at least six feet of distance between ourselves and others.
- Your risk increases as more community members do not engage in these healthy behaviors, even if you are working hard to do so.
- Finally, your risk is at its highest when you are not engaging in these precautions nor is anyone around you.
Wearing is caring. Sun Devils recognize that our community’s overall safety and well-being is a direct result of their individual contributions and decisions. Sun Devils build a community of care, together.
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