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My mom's experience with COVID-19 taught me the urgency of virus protection practices

We asked NEST Ambassador Emily Burke, a psychology major from Freeport, Michigan, to detail her family's experience with COVID-19 and how that experience informs her passionate advocacy for virus-related safety practices at SVSU. Here is what she wrote:

I know a lot of us are getting tired of all the protocols, regulations, and mask wearing. However, it is vital these things are implemented in order to ensure that things go back to normal someday. The only way for that to happen is for cases to go down and the spread of COVID-19 to decrease dramatically.

Wearing a mask is important because it is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of COVID while still being able to carry out everyday life. Although not everyone has personally seen the effects of contracting the virus, and some people even think it’s a hoax, I have a first-hand account of someone close to me who tested positive for coronavirus.

My mom works at a facility for older persons with high-functioning dementia. One outbreak there, and it spread like wildfire among residents — and even some of the staff — who are in the “at-risk” groups for the virus. A handful of residents passed away from the sickness, and many of the workers tested positive and had to isolate. My mom was one of those workers.

She started to show symptoms, especially loss of taste, smell, and sore throat. She had to isolate in her bedroom, and my family and I would leave food, water, and whatever else she needed by the door. I could hear her cough, vomit, and groan in pain from the sickness. Some days were relatively fine; like when she just had a sore throat. Other days were really bad. Not only did having COVID affect her physically ... it also took a toll on her mental health. Being trapped in a bedroom with nothing to do and no social interaction is depressing and lonely.

Luckily, my mom recovered and was able to return to “normal” life within three weeks. However, she still has not regained her full sense of taste and smell, and she and other staff who contracted COVID are experiencing hair loss.

My mom wore a mask and gloves the entire time anyone was near her when we communicated with her during isolation, and neither myself, nor any of my family members contracted COVID-19. I fully believe it is because we all wore masks when there was any risk of exposure.

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Dr. Deibel addresses testing questions

Dr. Matthew Deibel, Medical Director for Covenant Emergency Care Center, reminds SVSU students that while college-age individuals fall into a lower risk category, college students can experience serious negative health effects – short-term and long-term – from COVID-19. He also encourages people to get tested and addresses some common questions about testing.

Keep up the good work!

NEST Ambassador Chelsea Dzenga reminds us why it is even more important to Practice 5, especially with the upcoming holidays.

The importance of indoor air quality

SVSU's continued concern for the health and safety of the campus community was the focus of a recent WNEM story about indoor air quality, and the cooler weather keeping more people indoors. Read more

Voluntary testing continues next week

Photo: Members of the campus community can participate in SVSU's voluntary testing program in O'Neill Arena.

SVSU will continue to offer voluntary testing in O'Neill Arena. Those testing sessions are scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Participants will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card.

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Complete the CampusClear survey daily, no matter where you are

While completing the CampusClear health screening survey is required to enter campus, medical experts are encouraging the campus community to fill out the survey daily, even when you will not be visiting campus.

The consistent usage will allow SVSU to monitor the health and wellness of students, staff and faculty regardless of whether or not they spend considerable time on campus.


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(989) 964-2110

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(989) 964-4200

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