Message to Postdoctoral and Postgraduate Researchers

March 15, 2020

Message from Elias Lolis, Facult   Director of Postdoctoral Affairs and Professor of
Pharmacology

Dear Postdocs/Postgrads,

As you know, Yale University is a major research institution with large and varied clinical and basic research functions. Provost Scott Strobel recently issued guidance for research continuity at Yale University during widespread COVID-19 transmission (available here with more information in this FAQ). We will continue to provide the necessary infrastructure for critical research functions but recognize there are outside factors beyond our control. We all need to be flexible as situations change. Please consult with your mentor immediately about their expectations for continuing critical research in the coming days and weeks. As much as reasonably possible, work productively from home. As conditions vary dramatically from lab to lab, it is up to you and your mentor to design a plan for your work that balances the need for safety with continuity of research functions.

A few suggestions:

·      It is very important to STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK and let your mentor know. IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 INFECTION – ACCORDING TO THE CDC, THESE ARE COUGH, FEVER, AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH, CALL THE HEALTH PLAN FOR INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE (203-432-0123).

·      It is important for you to check on and be supportive of colleagues in your lab, research teams and department. None of us have gone through this type of situation before. A caring act can make a huge difference.

·      If it is necessary to work in the lab, please observe social distancing – maintain a distance of 6 feet from any other person – and practice good hygiene. The goal of these actions is to continue each laboratory’s research endeavor, although at a slower rate, while we alter our behavior to “flatten the curve” of infection and reduce the burden on our hospitals and medical system (e.g., read corona simulator).

I want to end on two positive notes at this challenging time. (1) Although anything is possible even if you are young and healthy, at your age you may be asymptomatic if infected with COVID-19 virus (but could transmit the infection to others) or suffer from mild to moderate symptoms. But I am sure you agree it is best if you are not infected at all! (2) We are going to get over this pandemic and life will return to normal. We just need to change our habits for the short- help each other. I thank you for your cooperation.