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- Letter of recommendation from V-ce Rector for Students’ Affairs Assoc. Prof. Tomasz Smiatacz, M.D., Ph. D.

Dear Students,

Today is Friday 13th March – the second day of class suspension at the MUG. Please note the following: 1. the primary information is this: the goal of the class suspension is to reduce any physical contact between people to an absolute minimum. This solution may not be as sophisticated as you probably expected it to be but it is the only way to control the risk of contracting COVID-19. At the same time, you must understand that there is no 100% guarantee that it will help you in avoiding contraction. It highly reduces the risk. What matters is the form of activity that you decide to take up: thus, please stay home (whatever you call home in this difficult time), contact only those close to you, keep at least 1,5 m distance from others, wash your hands frequently and keep them away from your face etc. You know these rules as well as I do.

2. Class suspension at the MUG does not mean that there will be no classes at all. In this case your individual activities are very much appreciated and needed. Self-study and remote classes are the key. Please look at the courses which were planned for this and the next week – read the syllabus, look at the learning outcomes, suggested textbooks, books and other didactic materials – please use these suggestions. Have a look at the Extranet page of these courses – soon there will be more information about online classes, suggested didactic materials and the way to obtain credit – it shall be available now or any time soon; in many cases it will take us some time to place it all in the Extranet, we have to learn how to do it ourselves but the goal here is to realise the learning outcomes – fulfil the objectives set in the syllabus.

3. Be a professional – keep you grandparents safe, as well as your colleagues who struggle with immunodeficiencies. Help them out and suggest what to do.

4. Over time we will need support from the Polish Division students or even their presence as volunteers in preventing the epidemic. We are now working on a website where we will be posting such information, along with requests and instructions on how to volunteer.

5. Please let us know if anything important happens – either to you or your family – if you fall ill, are in quarantine, or affected in any way by the COVID-19 virus. We have set up a dedicated email address – full confidentiality provided, we do care about being in touch.

6. Today the Polish Ministry of Health will probably declare the state of epidemiological threat. In legal terms, this is a big change, roughly meaning the introduction of a nationwide state of emergency. Please comply with any instructions from our local authorities and other emergency services – it is crucial. This is an unprecedented situation; school closure was previously introduced in 1970 during the Hong Kong flu epidemic.

7. Wishing you all the best, staying healthy especially – you will hear from me soon.

Tomasz Smiatacz, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. Vice-Rector for Students’ Affairs

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