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Psychology and the Pandemic

Date: March 9, 2021

Last week in a meeting, the Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, Ph.D., was musing on the challenge of the “psychology” of the moment. The new CDC guidelines have come down for those in the community who are vaccinated. It states clearly that for those who are fully vaccinated they may “visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart.” Yet as Judy observed, this may be difficult for some. We have spent almost twelve months trying to care for others by keeping our distance. Psychologically, shifting our minds will be difficult.

One task for us all is to work hard to understand the moment we are living in. Every human life is weighing the different factors. Some of us have a low risk toleration; others have a high. Some are alert to the dangers of COVID to themselves or to others because of some underlying medical conditions; others have fewer such concerns. Some are desperate to get back together; others want to ease back into presence and proximity carefully and slowly.

Seminary policy cannot be controlled by our different individual attitudes to the pandemic. However, I do want to stress that I entirely understand that we are community with people in all sorts of different places; and we seek to take this diversity of viewpoint seriously as we try to navigate this season.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President

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