When COVID-19 came on scene, many colleges across the nation closed their doors and moved all their classes online. 

But not Winona State. 

WSU stayed open because students wanted as much in-person opportunity as possible. 

So, to make sure every Warrior does their part to keep our campus life safe, WSU created five daily actions that we can do to protect one another.

Here’s why you can #CountOnMe.

You can #CountOnMe to wear my mask.

As someone who has an underlying heart condition, wearing a mask is non-negotiable.

I always have one with me whenever I leave my house, and I avoid being around others—especially indoors—who don’t wear masks. 

I never know if I could potentially come in contact with COVID-19 when I interact with someone, and I want to take whatever precautions I can to protect myself.

You can #CountOnMe to practice physical distancing.

At this point, all my classes and campus jobs are online. Because of this, I decided to move back home with my parents.

This surely isn’t how I pictured my final semester. But I like that I can complete my responsibilities remotely because I don’t need to make regular trips to campus.

It’s easy to physically distance myself within my own household since there’s only three of us… or four, if you include my cat.  

But even though I’m not residing in the Winona community, I’m still a Warrior. So, when I need to leave my house to run essential errands, you can count on me to back up.

I hope that living and learning off campus can ultimately help lower the chance of exposure for other students, faculty, and staff, as well as myself.

You can #CountOnMe to stay clean.

Because this Fall is my last semester of my undergraduate career, I’ve already had the “college experience.”

I don’t blame first-year students for wanting a normal college experience. I also don’t blame them for being upset at how much their college experience has changed.

To give first-year Warriors the best experience possible, I frequently wash my hands and disinfect belongings I touch the most in spaces I spend a lot of my time. I also carry hand sanitizer with me wherever I go.

Adopting increased washing and sanitation in my daily routine at home helps me do these things automatically when I’m on campus. 

Although I can’t control COVID-19, I can control what I do to fight it.

You can #CountOnMe to screen for COVID-19 symptoms.

If I forget something back in my residence hall room or I can’t kick my craving for Panda Express or I just miss the bluffs and lake, I’m prone to taking a road trip down to our college town. 

And when I do, I make sure to complete the self-assessment before stepping out of my car.

I can’t not do my part when answering the self-assessment questions takes less than a couple minutes. Everyone has time for that!

You can #CountOnMe to stay connected with my loved ones.

It’s easy for us to feel stuck and alone when we stay inside long enough due to personal preference or either quarantine or isolation reasons. 

That’s why, with winter just around the corner, I know checking in with my friends is crucial.

Every other Sunday evening is dedicated to chatting with some ladies I’ve known since middle school over Zoom. We all attend different colleges, so there’s always something new to share and/or vent about.

But when I miss my Winona gang, I send regular “How are you?” check-in texts.

I never know if someone I love is having a difficult time unless I reach out to them. Sometimes, the simplest message can mean the world to someone.

Otherwise, I don’t have to worry about not knowing how my parents are doing because I see them every day. And having their support during these tough times has, without a doubt, dramatically helped me stay motivated.

You can #CountOnMe to do what I can to protect myself and others.

Can I count on you?

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Hailey Seipel

Hailey is an English: Applied and Professional Writing major with a Mass Communication: Journalism minor who will graduate in 2020. She is from Rosemount, MN, and and her interests include writing, listening to music, hiking, and watching football and basketball.

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