A Note from Director Waisbord

October 27, 2020

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Dear SMPA students, 

Hello, how are you?

Life during the pandemic is hard. Almost nothing is what it used to be. Daily routines are quite different. Mondays seem like Thursdays (or Sundays, I am not sure).

There is plenty of reasons to be anxious. Many people are facing troubling work, housing, health, and food conditions. Loved ones get sick and need help. All of us are juggling the usual challenges of life in the new normal. Nobody knows for sure when the current situation will be over or what awaits us on the other side of this pandemic.

It is understandable that we feel overwhelmed and maxed out. It is also easy to feel disconnected when we lack regular in-person access to our friends, classmates, and co-workers. Zoom interaction does not provide the many cues that we automatically use (in pre-pandemic life) to feel human, to develop common bonds, and to recognize ourselves as members of social groups.

I wanted you to know that we are thinking of you. We, the SMPA community, are here for you and for us. If you need someone to run ideas by or discuss courses and career plans, please let us know.

As important as it is to continue with our studies and work, it is also crucial that we take care of ourselves. Self-care and collective care are always essential, especially in these tough times. We need to recreate the social fabric that sustains us, day in and day out, in quite different conditions.

Be creative. Be patient with yourself and others. Be extra flexible. Reach out. Check in. Say I’m here. Say hello.


Silvio Waisbord

Director, School of Media and Public Affairs