Finlandia’s Dean of Students, Erin Barnett, joined Finlandia Fridays host Olivia Myers this week to reflect on Finlandia’s year with COVID-19 and what the future has in store for the university.
“One thing I’ve learned is that we’re all so much more resilient than maybe we thought when all this started,” said Barnett. “We learned a lot during the fall semester about communication about masking, social distancing, how to set up our classrooms, teach online and learn online. Going into spring semester it’s kind of old hat at this point.”
Barnett, who participates in a vaccine workgroup focused on higher education professionals within the state, also talked about the vaccine rollout and the hope it provides to the community for returning to normal this coming fall. Currently, all nursing and PTA students who work in a clinical setting in addition to older faculty and staff have been vaccinated or are on a waitlist to be vaccinated. Barnett is hopeful that others will sign up for the vaccine when they become eligible either on March 22 or April 5.
“I think we can all be assured that the scientists have done their due diligence and the FDA has done their due diligence and that it is safe to get,” said Barnett. “You’re not just protecting yourself, you’re protecting your community. It’s not just about us, it’s much much larger than us, creating this herd immunity to the virus. If and when you get the ability to do so, I highly recommend you do.”
The university is hoping to return to in-person learning completely for the fall 2021 semester; getting a vaccine and continuing to follow CDC and state guidelines can go a long way in ensuring that happens.
“We’re ready to go back to normal and build the community that we’re so fond of here at Finlandia,” said Barnett. “It can’t come soon enough.”
To learn more about FinnU’s Covid-19 plan, please visit finlandia.edu/covid.
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