student on mountain at sunset
10.23.2020
By Roanoke College News

Message from President Maxey Oct. 23

Happy Friday Maroons! 

This fall we have seen that despite the pandemic we have been able to move forward positively with academics and enjoy on-campus activities together. I know saying that this semester has been difficult is an understatement. Whether you are on campus or at home, online classes can present challenges and the unknowns of the virus and how long we may have to cope with it can be a source of extreme anxiety. With Thanksgiving just a month away, I want to let you know we are here to support you.

The good news is that we are maintaining a low level of COVID-19 cases on campus. Today, October 23, there is one staff COVID-19 case and five student cases at Roanoke College. We continue to test students, faculty and staff, and will do so throughout the semester as needed.  

As we have learned over the semester, following our health and safety protocols will keep us safe. Thank you for your cooperation and flexibility. Following these rules is the best chance of staying healthy, on campus and returning this spring.

Mental health professionals talk about caution fatigue and remind us that this is a real issue for all of us. It describes how people were energized at first to fight the virus but then tire of the restrictions. 

On campus, we’ve seen how the health and safety guidelines can work, they minimize positive cases and help us remain on campus.

We all can get tired of the rules and start to slack off, but we must fight against these feelings and continue to be diligent because the virus doesn’t get tired and it doesn’t slack off. 

We must continue to take care of ourselves and our community.

So, yes, keep wearing your masks, keep your physical distance, but stay connected to each other. Call or text your friends, go for a walk with a friend, or call your family.

“Having students on campus this fall has really helped me, and seeing you all in person is an important part of my life and something that brings me joy. ”

President Michael Maxey

Here are a few suggested ways to combat caution fatigue:

  • Do your best to stay in the present moment versus thinking and worrying about the future. One day at a time.
  • Take care of your body. Practice deep breathing - stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy foods, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. It can be upsetting to hear about a crisis and see images repeatedly.
  • Make a list of activities you enjoy - think about those you can do while following appropriate safety guidelines. Commit to doing those activities today, this weekend, it’s important to prioritize the positive.
  • Connect with others. Share the things you are feeling about the virus with a friend or family member. 

Having students on campus this fall has really helped me, and seeing you all in person is an important part of my life and something that brings me joy. Think about what you need in your own life to find stress-relief, happiness and joy, that answer is different for every one of us. For me personally, I spend a lot of time walking outdoors. I walk and I think. I also have made an effort to reconnect with important people in my life whom I don’t speak with regularly. 

Remember, if you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you are worried about your health for any reason, please reach out to Student Health and Counseling Services at (540) 375-2286.

As always, you may visit roanoke.edu/healthycampus for answers to questions you may have. You will find a dashboard on our website, roanoke.edu/covid19, where we report Roanoke College COVID-19 cases on a weekly basis. Questions may also be sent to questions@roanoke.edu or you may leave a voicemail with your question by calling 540-375-2244.

Be well Maroons,

President Mike Maxey