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March 4, 2020

Operation wellness

March 4, 2020

I am not overly panicked about the coronavirus, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little concerned and taking some precautions. As someone with a heart condition, I don’t want to take any chances with deadly viruses that seem to be worse for those with underlying health issues. I’m washing my hands like a surgeon throughout the day and wiping down shared spaces at work and home.

Two days ago, I thought I’d swing by the grocery store and stock up on a few things in case I needed to hunker down for a bit. I grabbed some canned goods and other non-perishables. I hit up the cleaning aisle and threw some disinfecting wipes in the cart. Then I went searching for portable hand sanitizer and that’s when I realized I wasn’t the only one on an “Operation Wellness” mission. There wasn’t a drop of hand sanitizer in the entire store. No samples, no big bottles, no hand wipes. I even checked the camping aisle.

Then I remembered that Bath and Body Works had racks of mini sanitizers and thought maybe the crowds hadn’t thought of that option yet. (Not everyone has hit up the candle sale on a regular basis as I have.) I headed to the mall and jackpot! Not only did they have plenty, but they were even on sale. As an added bonus, instead of just a regular fragrance, I’m fighting germs with Copacabana Coconut and Warm Vanilla Sugar. 

Unfortunately, even with a ton of precautions, illness can still strike. And, the battle is ever-changing as new viruses emerge and bacterial diseases become resistant to antibiotic medicines.

Thankfully, Spartans are on the case. Researchers from a variety of fields are working together to identify new antibiotics and treatment methods to combat life-threatening bacterial infections. Read the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Outsmarting antibiotic resistance, to learn more about their important work in creating a healthier future for us all.

There are many Spartans who work every day for healthier tomorrows. There are scientists who have spent decades working on solutions, and students who are just beginning their careers.

Kayley Irwin is a senior majoring in physiology and minoring in health promotion. A College of Natural Science Dean's Research Scholar, she recently took part in an education abroad experience offering care to people in the Dominican Republic. Read Irwin's STUDENT VIEW: Study abroad sparks passion for medicine, about her experience shadowing physicians and how it reignited her desire to be a doctor. 

As a graduate student in the MSU Master of Public Health program, Megan Mulvaney is a little further along in her studies. She recently earned an honorable mention as a Student Who Rocked Public Health by the "Journal of Public Health Management and Practice." Read her STUDENT VIEW: Improving the health of communities in need, to learn how she gives back to the communities she belongs to.

MSU has faculty members who are also “rock stars,” but we refer to them officially as University Distinguished Professors. Robert Hausinger, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology recently was awarded the honor. Get to know him by watching a short video in the FACULTY VOICE: ‘Ah-ha’ moments, and learn more about his work and how he celebrates student accomplishments in his lab.

He’s just one of many brilliant Spartan scientists working to solve the problems of the world. Just this week I came across stories about researchers using something called “optical tweezers” to create better cancer treatments, and how others discovered new understandings about bile that could lead to further solutions for those with gastrointestinal diseases.  

While I wash my hands for the umpteenth time today and take care to wipe down my workspace and the office kitchen, I think about how grateful I am for researchers, scientists and caregivers who are determined to keep me and everyone else healthy. Take care of yourselves, Spartans. The world is a much better place with you in it. #SpartansWill.

 

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by Kurt Stepnitz