All students who were able to travel home have done so. I thank them for being so understanding about our concerns for our community and for taking our advice to leave.
Undergraduate and Masters students should hear from their departments shortly to find out what arrangements have been made for examinations. Meanwhile, our librarians have made arrangements to support students at a distance, making sure that students continue to have access to the resources and academic-skills information that they need.
Those students who remain and are practising social distancing alongside (but not close to!) Chris and me would be able to tell you just how odd College feels. No buzz of conversation, no sharing of passions and ideas – just an occasional smile and “hello, how are you?” if we see each other across a lawn. All the communal areas have been shut down, but we are fortunate to have beautiful gardens to stroll around and (when the weather was warm last week), to sit and read in. Being able to go out for exercise is a treat (at the moment) and again, we realise how lucky we are to live so close to the river and the water meadows.
Some things remain the same - the Porters are still on duty offering us that sense of security and normality, and the kitchens are still open every day supplying both bag meals and a hot lunch. But most staff are at home. I thank all of those in College for taking the Government’s advice, keeping themselves and others safe by social distancing.
It seems that it will be quite some time before we can open the College and return to our communal living. We are blessed to be living in a time when social media can bring us close to friends and family. Do keep in touch with Wolfson through our website and other social sites (Instagram & Facebook for example). Some of you reading this will inevitably have succumbed to the virus or be self-isolating because of your close contacts. I wish you a speedy recovery.
Our thanks (and admiration) go to those in our community who are continuing essential research to help combat Covid19. We wish you good luck and success. Thank you too, to all of you who have sent such kind messages of support which I have enjoyed reading.
Finally, my thoughts are particularly with those members of our Wolfson community, large in number, who are doctors, nurses, police officers and other essential public servants who don’t have the luxury of working at home, but who are working tirelessly on our behalf. I thank you, we all thank and salute you. Please send us your stories, if you can share them.
My colleagues and I look forward to keeping you updated in the coming weeks and months and will be considering how best to do that in a variety of formats and channels.
Keep well and keep in touch.