MERI Center Blog


These are some surreal times while we’re living through a pandemic. For us in San Francisco, public school will be closed starting Monday, March 16 for three weeks, two weeks of instruction and one week of Spring Break. The City has cancelled the St. Paddy’s Day Parade, the 150th Anniversary of Golden Gate Park & the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival.  Pro sports teams are suspending play or delaying the start of the season.

Here at UCSF we are trying to limit traffic to our medical centers to only essential, in-person visits, converting as “non-essential” visits to video visits. Support groups and other small group meetings have been cancelled or “paused” while we all wait and see how widely affected our communities will be. The MERI Center has cancelled our in-person workshops for March and April.  There are many virtual townhall meetings about the policies and procedures our leadership is putting into place to treat cases of COVID-19, protect our staff and the greater community, and to “flatten the curve.”

Personally my lifestyle has changed in the past week.  Gone are the carefree days of just hopping on a bus or scheduling a Lyft to go where I want or need to go. How much social distancing do I need to practice?  Can the kids see their friends? How are we all going to survive 3 weeks all together. I think about my mother, who is in her 70+ and smoked 50+ years, and the likelihood she would get a severe case of COVID-19 if my family were to bring it home. She lives next door to us.  Is the risk of my mother catching COVID-19 worth going here or there? If we can’t go here or there, what are the consequences?  I’m trying to convince her to stop riding the bus, but she is far more independent than I, and itches to get out of the house daily. 

All of this can be a little overwhelming, disheartening.  So now is the time to focus on self-care and resilience.  The MERI Center will be tweeting resilience tips at least weekly so follow us at @UCSFMERI.  We will also post the tips on our blog.  Another good place to find resilience and self-care practices is Greater Good in Action, Science-based Insights for a Meaningful Life.  They have compiled many types of practices include some for resilience, self-compassion, and mindfulness.  In their Greater Good in Education site, there are practices for kids.

The MERI Center has started a COVID-19 page with links to information & updates about the pandemic as well as resources.  We’ll try to keep it updated.


With warmest wishes,


The MERI Center