As we enter “Groundhog Day” it is critical to look back on the positive way with which we dealt with the last lockdown, which shows us that we are considerably better placed to deal with this second lockdown than we were with the first.  I have been, and continue to be, tremendously impressed with how the staff have responded to the challenges imposed by social distancing requirements. This is at all levels of activity but in the School of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, we particularly have the technical staff to thank for ensuring that working can continue in a safe environment, and I am sure that the same can be said for the technical staff in the other schools. Their dedication in making the University a space safe for working for everyone has been exceptional – thank you.

The University has been quick to send clear guidance about working during this next lock down in the Vice Chancellor’s all staff e-mail of 2nd November.  However, one of the challenges of the coming months will be the need for everyone to pull together as a community in order to keep the University working as detailed in the statement from the VC. This involves reducing the risk of transmission of coronavirus to the minimum and we are fortunate in having a weekly saliva testing regime available to eligible staff. We are fortunate to have this opportunity and it is one way in which Southampton can help to keep staff and students as safe as possible.   To sign up, click here.

Finally, I would like to personally thank all the researchers for their fantastic response to the pandemic as part of national and local projects in collaboration with the hospital trust. This has been an exemplar of collaborative working both at the UHS site and across the wider University.  It is something to hold onto when we emerge from the current crisis.

“Entering a second lockdown” by Professor Salim Khakoo

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