PA program COVID-19 Update: 2nd Year message

Hello PA Class of 2020,

By now you may be tired of hearing how unprecedented and unusual these times are. You are probably inundated with emails, texts, and videos with information (and misinformation) to filter through and integrate. I’m probably the hundredth person to try to normalize what many of you may be feeling – overwhelmed, scared, anxious, confused, and a host of other emotions.

We are each experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic from our unique context and through our own lens. We recognize that, as PA learners, a significant part of your experience is missing out on the normal learning that should be going on. We are busy in the virtual PA offices organizing meaningful supplemental content to help you make the most of this time when you are not able to be in your clinical rotations. We have some plans already and are interested in hearing from you, through your class leadership, if you have additional suggestions. Information will be posted in the coming days with details about these plans.

In the meantime, please take time for self-care. Beyond protecting yourself from the virus, which is the absolute top priority, consider protecting yourself from the psychological and social residual effects. Whatever practices you already have – physical activity, meditation, mindfulness, prayer, virtual social interaction, listening or playing music, etc. – keep doing them!

If I can add one more activity to this list, if you’re not already doing this, please keep a journal and reflect regularly about what is going on in your own life and around you. Try to write a little bit each day – e.g. how you feel, what you are most worried about, what you most look forward to, and what you observe in the world around you. During some of our upcoming online classes, it may be nice to hear from a few of you who can share one or two of these reflections before we launch into the didactic elements of the session.

I am also adding a link to a video suggested by Leslie, titled Three steps to coping with anything (including COVID-19). Please watch this 7-minute video before our online class meeting next Wednesday morning and we can discuss these steps and how you are experiencing them.

Wishing you safety and good health as we navigate this uncharted territory together,

Sharona, on behalf of the entire PA Team