Thanksgiving Message 2020

November 24, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Postdocs,

First, I would like to wish you all a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday and break and share this video message with you.

While this is typically a season full of celebration, it will be one like many of us have never experienced before. As the pandemic continues and infection surges across the country, we need to adapt with smaller holiday gatherings and virtual get-togethers to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. However, it is indeed worth celebrating the recent news that coronavirus vaccines are on the horizon, and if we pull together for just a few more months, life will begin to get much better in 2021.

In that spirit, I would also like to share several reminders and announcements to make it a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving for all.

As members of the public health community, it is our responsibility to promote healthy behaviors so that holiday gatherings don’t cause more infections during this pandemic. To that end, I would ask you to review these two resources: State of Rhode Island tips for a safer holiday season and Reopening RI: Holiday Season Guidance.

I also know that many of you have asked about dining options for students over break. For students who remain on campus this week, Dining Services will serve a carry-out Thanksgiving meal at the Sharpe Refectory. Students on Meal Plan may continue to dine as usual, and students not on Meal Plan may pick up a meal on Thursday anytime between 11:30 am and 7 pm by presenting their Brown ID.

Meanwhile, the entire SPH community is invited to join an informal Thanksgiving drop-in Zoom session on Thanksgiving Day from 9:30 – 10:30 am EST (follow the link for Zoom details). Due to guidance and restrictions based on where you live, we recognize that some people may be required to spend the holiday on their own or with much smaller groups than usual. So I hope you might be able to connect with each other virtually no matter how you plan to spend your day.

In closing, I am excited to announce a photo contest that we are running. The School is so grateful to our students, faculty, postdocs, staff, and community partners who continue to work hard during these challenging times. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, we want to know what you are thankful for! Use this form to submit a photo of something you are grateful for by Thursday, November 26 at 12 pm EST. We will be sharing our best submissions on social media, and students will be entered into a random drawing to win prizes. We encourage anyone within the SPH community to submit their photos; however, only students will be entered into the photo contest and be eligible to win a prize. I can’t think of a better time to acknowledge what we all are grateful for as a community.

Thank you again for all your incredibly hard work during these unusual times. Have a safe and wonderful break, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to advance public health for all.


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Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
Dean, School of Public Health