Students, faculty and staff from the College of Pharmacy took time to chat with The Pulse about their plans for this year’s unusual winter break, why they are choosing to avoid gathering in groups, and some quality alternatives to celebrate this holiday season.
First, resist hugging your family and friends. And second, Hold back the Urge to Gather in Groups. With the prevalence of COVID-19, these are ways we can all help to keep the NEOMED community and our families safer.
Here are some comments from the NEOMED community:
“I will contribute toward our goal of future in-person celebrations by making phone calls, hand-writing letters, video calling, and video gaming online with those outside my household. As a future health care professional and leader of my community, I am trusted to protect and live as a role model to family, friends, and potential patients.”
-Larissa Melnyk, third-year pharmacy student
“This break, I will be avoiding gatherings to contribute to the greater good of keeping us all safe and healthy. Our families have planned Zoom get-togethers to stay connected; we are getting outside (brr!) in the chilly weather and enjoying the beauty of the snow and holiday lights together; and our family will be having fun indoors by playing board games and running around the house with my four-year-old daughter.”
-Jaclyn Boyle, Pharm.D. (’12), M.S., M.B.A., BCACP, BCPS, associate professor of pharmacy practice and assistant dean of student success
"I'm avoiding gatherings to keep other people safe. My internship is in the ED and my past rotation was on COVID ICU floors. Instead of gathering in groups in person, I'm having virtual game nights with my friends and family, such as playing Among Us and Cards Against Humanity or screensharing movies and shows."
-Patrick Nguyen, fourth-year pharmacy student
“I want to keep my family and friends as safe as possible during the pandemic. I will be avoiding groups and instead spending my time communicating with family and friends in the virtual world until the situation allows closer contact.”
-Richard Kasmer, Pharm.D., J.D., dean, College of Pharmacy
“Instead of gathering in large groups, I will be spending my winter break having a movie marathon which will include all of The Santa Clause movies as well as all of the Harry Potter movies – and I challenge all of my fellow NEOMED community to do the same! Watching a classic holiday movie can always get me in the spirit even if this year feels different.”
-Elizabeth Tagliarini, second-year pharmacy student
”This break, I am avoiding social gatherings to keep my family healthy and safe. I will be celebrating the holidays by connecting with family and friends virtually, rooting on my sports teams in a socially distant manner (Go Browns!), and watching holiday-themed movies with friends via screen sharing technology.”
-Will Pierce, program coordinator
“This virus is so challenging, since you never know who might be contagious at any given time. We really want to protect our friends, family and community, so we have been really limiting our activities in groups. As a family, we have been spending a lot more time at home, and with five kids and a puppy there is always something going on. We have really taken advantage of all the things that are offered virtually, including watching movies, attending church, and visiting with our families and friends.”
-Seth P. Brownlee, Pharm.D., BCCCP, senior associate dean, program quality and student success and associate professor, pharmacy practice
“I will not be gathering in groups this winter break because both my parents are at risk due to their age. I’ll be spending much-needed quality time with them and learning to cook new recipes from my mom.”
-Momi Talukdar, first-year pharmacy student
"I am avoiding groups during break to stop the spread of COVID-19. Instead of gathering in groups, I will be catching up on TV shows (FINALLY watching Schitt's Creek!), playing video games, reading, and trying new recipes!"
-Chelsea Donovan, M.Ed., assessment program coordinator
“A socially distanced holiday season isn’t ideal, but it’s necessary to keep everyone safe. I’ll be using technology to connect and spend time with my parents, siblings, and grandmother this holiday season. We’ve all honed our technological skills over the past year!”
-Chris Paxos, Pharm.D., BCPP, BCPS, BCGP, director, pharmacotherapy and associate professor, pharmacy practice
Remember – resist hugging your family and friends. And second, Hold back the Urge to Gather in Groups.