March 24, 2020:
Dear Members of the Harvard Community,
Earlier today, Adele and I learned that we tested positive for COVID-19. We started experiencing symptoms on Sunday—first coughs then fevers, chills, and muscle aches—and contacted our doctors on Monday. We were tested yesterday and just received the results a few minutes ago. We wanted to share this news with all of you as soon as possible.
Neither of us knows how we contracted the virus, but the good news—if there is any to be had—is that far fewer people crossed our paths recently than is usually the case. We began working from home and completely limiting our contact with others on March 14 in keeping with recommendations to adopt social distancing measures. In line with standard protocols, the Department of Public Health will be in touch with anyone with whom we have had close contact over the past fourteen days.
We will be taking the time we need to rest and recuperate during a two-week isolation at home. I am blessed with a great team, and many of my colleagues will be taking on more responsibility over the next few weeks as Adele and I focus on just getting healthy. Thanks, in advance, for your good wishes. Thanks also for your understanding if I am not as responsive to email as I normally am.
This virus can lay anyone low. We all need to be vigilant and keep following guidelines to limit our contact with others. Your swift actions over the past few weeks—to respond to the needs of our community, to fulfill our teaching mission, and to pursue research that will save lives—have moved me deeply and made me extraordinarily grateful and proud. I hope to see as few of you in our situation as possible, and I urge you to continue following the guidance of public health experts and the advice and orders of our government officials.
The world needs your courage, creativity, and intelligence to beat this virus—wishing each of you good health.
All the best,
Lawrence S. Bacow