Today marks ten weeks since the start of the HMI Fall Semester and we are pleased to report that we have so far not had a positive COVID-19 case on our campus. After arriving on August 17, students spent four days on campus before heading into the wilderness on their first backpacking expedition. All students were COVID tested on three different occasions: once shortly before traveling to HMI, once on the first day of the semester, and once halfway through their first backpacking expedition. The first backpacking expedition, which lasted 16 days, also served as a chance for students to quarantine in small groups before merging with the larger HMI Semester community.
Upon returning from first expedition, students and faculty settled into a routine that included many COVID-19 modifications and protocols. Each morning before entering our main building, students partake in a health and temperature check. While inside any building–with the exception of meals and cabin time–students and faculty wear masks at all times. While the warm weather lasted, many activities were pushed outside including meals and faculty-student meetings.
Despite the masks and other precautions, the magic of HMI feels as palpable as ever. Students run on frosty mornings, chop wood to keep their cabins warm, and dance and sing in the kitchen during cook crew. As the cold weather forces more of our activities indoors, we will continue to be vigilant with our COVID protocols. With so many schools operating virtually this fall, each new day on campus feels like a gift.
For a full album of “Semester 45 day in the life” photos, click here.