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Coping with COVID-19 anxiety and staying well during uncertain times – April 15

Coping with COVID-19 anxiety and staying well during uncertain times

The following information is intended for informational purposes only.  Please consult a mental health or medical professional with any questions or concerns.

What are some easy options for making face coverings to use in public when participating in essential activities and physical distancing is not fully possible? – April 6

This is a helpful overview of updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control regarding face coverings.

There are a growing number of patterns for homemade face coverings being offered online. Some require sewing; and many don’t. Here is a selection of some of the easier patterns that are available right now.

DIY patterns for sewn face coverings:

DIY face coverings that don’t require sewing and use easy to find items:

What mental health resources and supports are available to students, faculty, and staff right now? — March 23


  • Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services (CHWS) currently remains open during their regular, published business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm. In most cases, students will first be offered a phone appointment, ensuring continuing access to Counseling Services for PLU students who remain in Washington State, but who may not be on campus right now and also upholding public health physical distancing guidelines.
  • Lute Telehealth remains available 24/7/365 to all PLU students who currently are anywhere in the United States, as does PLU’s after hours urgent mental health support and crisis line – 253-535-7075.

Faculty and staff:

Links to helpful online mental health resources:

The Counseling Center staff also have organized a COVID-19 specific list of online mental health resources that offer helpful guidance for coping during this unprecedented period of uncertainty. Those resources can be found on the Counseling Center website and a few resources that members of the PLU community have found especially helpful so far are included here for your easy access:

CWHS: Coping with Anxiety

The Oregonian: 10 ways to deal with coronavirus-related stress and anxiety

Active Minds Blog

Active Minds Blog: Mental Health Amid the Coronavirus

The Conversation: 7 science base strategies to cope with coronavirus anxiety

Are health services still available through the remainder of the semester? – March 23

The Health Center will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the remainder of the semester.

Please call to schedule an appointment, especially if you are experiencing symptoms of cough, fever and difficulty breathing.

Urgent mental health support after-hours (including weekends and holidays), contact the Counseling Center Crisis Line at 253-535-7075.

Urgent medical advice after business hours, contact the MultiCare Consulting Nurse Line at 253-792-6410.

Lute Telehealth:  24/7/365 medical and mental health services.

I’m staying on campus. Can I use the fitness center and pool? – March 17

Names Fitness Center and Memorial Gym are closed until further notice. The recreation website has some suggestions for fitness while these facilities are closed.

Is there some kind of guide for students to help us transition to distance learning? – March 16

Sure! The information below written by Sean Michael Morris provides some helpful and easily digestible tips to help you through this transition.

Pivot to Online: A Student Guide

If you have found yourself suddenly dealing with:

  • Abruptly online courses
  • The loss of student employment
  • A sudden move off campus

I hope the ideas below will help. Most of these involve being pretty direct with your instructors. I’ve put a little note at the bottom with some additional recommendations for how to make being direct work well.

Technology. Not everyone is going to have the same access to the same technology. Be proactive in reaching out to your teachers to let them know what tools you can use. Think about everything in your toolkit: email, text messages, phone calls, video conferencing/calling tools, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media.

Internet access. Assess your internet access. If you have only a mobile phone, then insist that any technology used during this pivot to online be mobile-friendly. If you only have access to a computer for a few hours a day, at work, or at a library, don’t hesitate to make that known to your instructors.

Class hours. A lot of colleges are insisting that students and teachers keep to their class schedules. This may not be realistic for you. Write to your instructor and let them know when you can meet, and why you may have trouble meeting during regular class hours.

Captioning. Insist the video lectures be captioned. Even if you don’t need this, someone in your class may need captioned videos for accessibility.

Help each other. If possible, reach out to other students in your classes and create a support network. Use whatever digital means necessary to stay in touch. There are free tools, like Slack, that are good places to “gather” online; you can also create a Facebook group, a hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. Email works. Group text messages work. Find a way to stay in touch so that no one of you feels stranded or alone.

Seek help. There are resources that will remain available to you. Find out who the Dean of Students is at your school, locate a CARE team, or reach out to other student support services. Your school may have a food pantry, or emergency funding for students. If you don’t know how to find your college’s emergency aid fund, you can Google your college’s name and “emergency aid fund” to find it. Your IT department might have laptops, mobile hotspots, tablets, or other equipment you can borrow during this crisis. There are people at your school who are not only trained to help you, but that is their job. So don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Also, take a look at this toolkit for coronavirus anxiety.

Be forgiving. And here’s the thing: your instructors are just as anxious about all of this as you may be. They are nervous, they are unprepared, they are worried they will fail to teach you, worried that you will not meet the course requirements now, that they will not be able to figure out how to administer exams, grade homework, and more. Very few college or university instructors received any training in teaching. And even fewer have been trained, or sought training in, digital teaching. Be patient with them even as you ask them to be patient with you.

Refer faculty to The Hope Center . This tireless group has created a resource guide for teachers during the COVID-19 crisis.

This is a time to work together. In all of the above suggestions where I’ve recommended that you reach out to teachers, that you insist on certain kinds of accommodations, the key is to be kind. Take me at my word here. I’ve worked directly and indirectly with faculty on six continents, and most of them will respond to kindness. If they know you are trying your best, they will also try their best. (Some of them are reading this right now, too.) Remember that faculty are human beings who have been caught just as much by surprise by this pivot to online as you have… only many of them are not as tech- or web-savvy as you are.