Dear ASFM Community,
At this week’s end celebrate not only completing three successful weeks of school but also Mexican Independence Day. I will return to Independence day in a moment, but first let’s reflect on this week.
We are still open.
Many schools around us had to close because they discovered a COVID case on campus. This week our local authorities changed their position on closing school because of COVID cases, and they announced that we can add hours to the academic day.
While our local authorities appeared to have “relaxed” and opened the door for adding hours to the academic day, we are waiting for confirmation from them as to how schools can actually respond in accordance with SEP. For example, if we add hours, then how will students eat on campus, which could force us to break other Covid protocols? Rest assured, we will continue to be creative and figure out how to provide more learning opportunities on campus. What we really need, however, is for the government to allow us to increase the number of students on campus.
PCR testing will continue every Monday in order to prevent COVID from coming on campus. As a community we are making steady progress. In our first week of testing we had more than 20 pools test positive for COVID. By week two we cut this number in half. By week three...wait for this...we had only two positive pools. Our transmission rate is practically zero. Honestly, doesn’t this make you feel good? Still, our success cannot be a reason to relax our commitment. You have demonstrated resilience, flexibility and compassion. Thank you. Our preventative strategy is working and you are supporting it. Thank you for your commitment--please continue wearing your masks too!
In light of our collective success with addressing COVID, I can’t help but reflect on what it means to celebrate independence. As many of you know, I’ve lived the last 25 years in Concord, Massachusetts which is the cradle of the American Revolution for independence (see photos below). Every spring on April 19th, my town celebrates the triumph of the Minute Men (the Patriots) over the Red Coats (British army). The Minute Men came together at the North Bridge, which is about a mile from my house, to keep the Red Coats from crossing. At that point the first shot was fired and thus, so we say, began the revolutionary war which led to the colonies earning their independence 1776. We celebrate this again on July 4th, with lots of fireworks. On that day in April, farmers could have stayed on their land, continued with their chores, and ignored the call to arms. They probably would have been fine. Instead they sacrificed their private interests to fight for a collective cause.
Celebrations of independence seem to always have in common the celebration of community. I’ve seen this over the last few days here in Monterrey. Regios care about community. They care about their neighbors, food, hard work, and family, to name a few priorities. As we enter this weekend, please consider how your celebration of independence furthers our collective ideals; they are after all two sides of the same coin.
For now, let’s project our “grito” as we look to the future “Viva ASFM, Viva Mexico!”