Professor Santa J. Ono
March 23, 2020
2 mins read

The importance of physical distancing

Dear students,

As you know, the university, the region, and the country are working as hard as possible to flatten the curve of COVID-19’s spread in the population.

Everyone has a role to play—including you.

Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and our Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, have been very clear—people must practice physical distancing, also called social distancing. This is not a request or a suggestion. It is an order from the health agencies which are working to safeguard the health and safety of everyone in the province—including you.

The time to act is now. Our province is in a state of emergency. What we do today will impact the health of British Columbians in the weeks and months to come.

Social distancing, sometimes referred to as physical distancing, means:

  • Maintaining a minimum distance between one another of two metres (six feet).
  • Not gathering in groups for any reason—this includes playing outdoor and indoor sports.
  • Not having parties.

Staying six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19 and lessens the chance of you passing it on to others. Please consider not only your health, but the health of others around you.

I know these are difficult times for you. I know this isn’t what you thought your term at UBC would be like. Nobody did. You’ve likely heard it said before, these are unprecedented times not just for you and the university, but for the country and the world.

We must do our part to help.

I want you to know UBC is doing everything it can to help you through. If you need some ideas on what you can do while observing distancing, take a look at this site.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, there are supports available to you. You can find information on those supports and how to access them here.

I thank you for your patience as we work through the many questions we all have as the situation evolves.

UBC is an exceptional community of students, faculty, and staff, all of whom are doing what they can to support one another through these times. Together we can and will overcome the challenges.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Header photo credit: Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing