To our students, staff and faculty, welcome to winter quarter 2021. At this incredibly challenging moment in our nation's history, punctuated by rioting violence at the U.S. Capitol and the biggest surge in the deadly coronavirus pandemic to date, I encourage everyone to keep the faith, rely on one another for support and retain the optimism that characterizes our UCLA community.
The recent rollout of the first vaccines against Covid-19 was heartening news after a very challenging year. It will take many more months before the virus has been contained across the country and the world, but there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. The virus remains dangerous, with new strains emerging that are even more contagious, so wearing masks, physical distancing, avoiding gatherings and washing our hands remain our best line of defense. I urge you to vigilantly observe campus-mandated public health precautions and regularly consult the UCLA Covid-19 information page.
I salute our students, staff and faculty for their patience, persistence and endurance. All of us at the International Institute miss seeing our students and colleagues on the beautiful UCLA campus, as well as the local residents who regularly attend our public events. I look forward to seeing all of you in person when the campus re-opens. Take care, have a great winter quarter, and Happy New Year!