UC Davis employs one of the most famous researchers on gratitude, Dr. Robert Emmons. As Emmons says, gratitude has the power to heal, to energize and to change lives. Gratitude recognizes that although life is not perfect that there are always good things to be thankful for.
This year has been difficult for much of the world, from a global pandemic, racial injustice, to economic hardships, we are all feeling stressed and wish for a brighter future. However, I am deeply grateful that despite the challenges, we have been able to persevere in our mission and continue to educate our students, treat our patients, and attain breakthroughs that improve the greater good. I take pride in knowing that all of you have responded throughout the year with compassion, and resolve to do your job to advance the health of animals, people, and our planet. When stories are written about this pandemic period, they will be a composite of tragic events, but also tales of courage in the face of adversity marked by acts of kindness within our community. You are all writing your own legacy and collectively our history of the school, documenting the impact we have made in society. I am grateful for how you all have participated in our collective efforts, and how as individuals you have all found a way forward despite the challenges we’ve faced.
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving in person or over Zoom with your friends and relatives this year, I hope you have a relaxing and safe holiday in which you can rejuvenate. It has been an extraordinary eight months, and yet we still have a lot to be grateful for.
In the meantime, I have a few updates I want to share:
· Please continue to follow good security practices. Holidays have traditionally been vulnerable times for break-ins and other issues at the university, so be extra vigilant and follow these safety tips.
· Campus-specific fiscal planning related to systemwide guidelines put forth by UC President Michael V. Drake are underway and more details will be released in early December.
· The campus’ saliva-testing program has been implemented extraordinarily swiftly. Everyone who accesses campus facilities is required to be tested. This university information page is the most current resource on testing—you may want to bookmark it along with the Daily Symptom Survey page.
Along with many of you, I’ve already taken a COVID-19 saliva test at the new site and found it to be quick, easy and painless. I also got my results back within 48 hours. If you haven’t done the test yet, make sure you set up an appointment beforehand and don’t eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes before you take the test.
· Campus facilities out of the area are not required to participate in the testing program, but may have their own requirements depending on local public health policies. If you work in an off-site location, please check with your supervisor if you are unsure of your responsibilities.
· Consider participating in the new California COVID Notify pilot project, of which UC Davis is partner. The phone-based alert program is anonymous, but can potentially make a significant difference in reducing exposure notification times. In turn, this could help stop the spread of the disease.
· Travel is discouraged for Thanksgiving, as the chancellor noted in his Friday university-wide email. Those who do leave have specific expectations they should follow, as he outlined.
I wish you all a safe, restful holiday. Thank you for all you do for the school and for watching out for each other.