COVID-19 Update: This Semester is Like a Marathon

COVID-19 Update: This Semester is Like a Marathon

October 23, 2020

Dear Truman Community:

We are completing our tenth week on campus and that is certainly something to celebrate!  While the semester has been challenging and exhausting, being together has given us a cherished opportunity to create impactful and transformative curricular and co-curricular experiences that are hallmarks of a Truman education.

However, with COVID-19 cases surging in the Midwest, Missouri, and Adair County, and cases rising on campus, all of us must recommit to being vigilant about following our health and safety protocols (see  We need to be vigilant not just on campus, but in our personal lives as well.  We have four weeks to go before our in-person classes end, and it is up to us to make sure we cross the finish line.  We haven’t come this far to give up now!

Crossing the finish line is an apt analogy as, in many ways, this semester is like a marathon.  There is no easy or quick way to get through it, and it is physically and mentally draining.  While we don’t know when the pandemic will end, we do have a finish line and it is in sight; on November 24, in-person instruction will end and there will be two weeks for final course requirements to be completed through online and virtual options.

So how do we get to the finish line?  We can’t stop going.  We can’t let the challenges of this semester overtake us.  To keep going, we need to take care of the basics.  We have done very well being vigilant and following health and safety protocols in classrooms and offices.  While it is much harder, it is essential that we commit to being as vigilant in our activities and our personal lives.  The health of everyone at Truman depends upon it.

Speaking of health, each of us must develop and pursue a personal strategy to sustain our own physical and mental health during these trying times.  We will soon be sharing information and tips to help inform your strategies.

Finally, we must work together to get everyone across the finish line.  If you need help, please don’t hesitate to ask for it.  If you see someone struggling, please don’t hesitate to assist them.  It can make all of the difference in a marathon.  It certainly did in the 2018 Boston Marathon.

In icy rain and relentless 25 mph headwinds, elite runner, Desiree Linden ran with doubt and in fear.  She wasn’t feeling well, and she considered dropping out mid-race.  Instead, she made the choice to help a fellow runner.  She held back toward the beginning of the race to help that runner catch up to the pack.  You would assume that by helping a fellow runner, she forfeited her own chances to win, but you would be wrong.  Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in over 30 years.  She later commented, “When you work together, you never know what’s going to happen.  Helping her helped me.”

When the pandemic first started, the statement, “we are in this together”, was heard far and wide and the sentiment continues to this day.  We need to make sure our actions match these words.

Be well, Bulldogs!