By: Samar Post Jamali, Nurse Practitioner


Hello to members of the USM Community:

We at Health Services miss seeing your faces around campus. We hope you are safe and supported during this unprecedented time.

Please know that while Health Services is currently not seeing patients in person, we are happy to schedule telehealth appointments. 

You can reach us at 207-780-5411 or [email protected] for non-urgent medical needs.

We are happy to talk about birth control options; STD testing; sleep hygiene; mindfulness; food access; counseling services; you name it. If we can’t help you directly, we will work to connect you with someone.

In the meantime, I’d like to check in about COVID; SAFETY and LIFE.


Social distancing measures continue to be in place. If you are young and healthy and frustrated by these restrictions — which I understand! and feel at times!— perhaps it would help to reframe the situation. I try to think of our new, temporary, reality as protecting those who are more vulnerable than I. This includes the elderly, immunocompromised, or other individuals with chronic medical conditions or acute illness that makes them more susceptible. It also includes workers on the frontlines who are exposed to more of this virus than they would ever choose: USPS workers; grocery clerks; nurses; doctors; EMTs; janitors; CNAs; MAs; hospital technicians; bus drivers; the list goes on.

As you likely know, CDC guidelines now recommend the general public to wear non-medical, cloth face coverings in public especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (grocery stores and pharmacies). This is to slow the spread of the virus and to mitigate asymptomatic shedding, when a healthy-appearing individual is actually transmitting the virus to others. Even with a face mask, we should still keep a minimum of six feet of space from other individuals.


For non-emergency situations, please reach out to us AND you may check out the below online resources as well


if you are having trouble accessing food, here is a list of food access in your

local areas:


National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7/365 at @ndvh by chat or by calling their hotline at 1-800-799-7233.


UHaul is offering 30 days free self-storage to college students;


I’d also like to commiserate. LIFE these days can feel cancelled. I feel you. The good news is that you still have opportunities to connect with people.


We may all be feeling a bit zoom-ed out, but you can also make a non-video

phone call. It’s less intense than video chat and a good way to spend time with friends or family members from a distance.

Get those ENDORPHINS going! Many yoga and fitness studios are hosting reduced cost video classes.

A few Portland-based ones that I recommend are:

  • Portland Yoga Project: Lots of yoga and

barre classes; $30 for your first unlimited month.

  • Lila Yoga: $5/day
  • Greener Postures: $5/class
  • LiveVital: FREE strength programs on Instagram: @livevital


  • The Body Architect: offering FREE online workouts on Instagram: @thebodyarchitect

and Facebook:


The weather in Maine is shaping up! The days are growing longer. The temperatures are warmer. If you can, take this opportunity to get some fresh air while maintaining social distance. There are many hiking trails and outdoor spaces available for exploring.

  • Portland Trails:
  • Maine By Foot:


I’ve picked up a few books lately that have been waiting for my attention for years. The Overstory by Richard Powers is phenomenal and with slightly more time on my hands these days, I find myself looking at trees in a whole new light. Others may find journaling or pursuing a hobby (ukulele, anyone? A second language on duolingo?) a welcome opportunity during this weird time.

Wishing you and yours health, resilience and emotional well-being. We are all in this together. 

We are all having ups and downs. Please let us know how we can support you.



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