Healthy Brown
Brown Takes Care

Why I Care

Your story helps others know that caring is a shared value and helps educate others about how to find connection in these uncertain times.

For Brown community members, the reasons to follow public health guidelines and help prevent the spread of coronavirus are many — and often deeply personal. Reflecting the community values of conscience and caring, the Brown Takes Care public health initiative asks students, faculty and staff to share their stories about why they practice the behaviors that keep us healthy.

Angela Zhang, Medical Student

The day before my first COVID-19 vaccine, my grandma and aunt called me in a panic. They asked if it was true that people had died from the vaccine or gotten permanent paralysis or fainted. COVID misinformation runs especially rampant on non-English social media and I wish we talked about this more. After talking them through these myths in Chinese, my grandma got her vaccine too! This is for my Chinese-speaking relatives and others like them.

– Angela Zhang, Medical Student

I got vaccinated to ensure that I'm doing everything in my power to keep myself, my patients, and my community as safe as possible.

– Kaushik Yeturu, Class of 2021, Chemistry

Kaushik Yeturu, Class of 2021


At first I was concerned about vaccination, as I have a cluster of autoimmune disorders as well as a history of allergic reactions and I was unsure of the possible health risks. I was also getting contradictory information from friends and family. I was grateful to be able to read myth-busting information from Dr. Megan Ranney that helped me to clearly understand the risks and benefits — which outweighed the risks. I felt confident in choosing to get the vaccine, and I got my first shot with no side effects except for a sore arm. The point is not to have to stop taking all of the preventative measures, like social distancing and mask-wearing, but to limit the potential of getting severe or potentially lethal cases of COVID-19 and to do my part to help unburden our system as we move forward toward healing.

– Alana Sacks, Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources & Education Advocate, BWell Health Promotion

I chose to be vaccinated to stop the spread of the virus and to protect myself and the people around me from infection. I feel strongly that we all need to be vaccinated as soon as possible to stop the strain on our healthcare workers and health systems. As variants emerge, it has become clear that it is critical that we do everything we can to stop the virus from mutating into more contagious and deadly forms.

– Michele Cyr, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Medicine, Professor of Medical Science

Eloho Akpovi, Medical Student


Caring about other people is the only way we’re going to get to the other side of this crisis. My grandparents live in Kenya and it’s really distressing to me that I can’t be there to make sure people are being careful around them. So I wear my mask here, around everyone else’s grandparents, in the hopes that people in Kenya will be doing the same around my grandparents.

– Sasha Pinto, Class of 2021, Literary Arts 

I wear a mask and socially distance myself because I would feel terrible if I infected anybody. Also, wearing a mask is a statement of concern for the community. It is very gratifying to ride a bicycle down Thayer Street and see almost everyone wearing a mask—makes me proud of Brown.

– Barrett Hazeltine, Professor Emeritus of Engineering


As a medical student, I wear a mask for the hundreds and thousands of healthcare providers who have sacrificed their time and their lives to fight this global pandemic.

– Ade Osinubi, Class of 2018, Medical Student

I think it’s very important that we all do our share to help keep the COVID virus away. If I wear my mask, wash my hands and keep a distance, it will help me not to spread it to someone else—or to help keep somebody else from spreading it to me. And I’m very concerned about that because I’m in the high-risk category.

– Gail McCarthy, Cashier/Checker/Clerk, Dining Services


Tell your story: Why I Care

Whose health do I want to protect? Why do I care about a healthy Brown? Why is it important to protect my neighbors in Providence? How do I create connection and community at a distance? 

Share your personal reasons for following public health guidelines in the age of COVID-19. Use #WhyICare🐻 on social media to tell the community who you wear a mask for, how you find ways to socialize virtually, and why it matters to you. Using your voice to tell your story is one of the most motivating ways you can call others to action and encourage them to speak up, too.

It’s important to wear a mask, practice social distancing, keep your contacts low, because this is about more than just you.

– Jason Carroll, Class of 2021, Political Science

The way you act will influence not just what happens to you, but what happens to everybody around you, happens to everybody in the university, happens to everybody in the community.

– Dr. Ashish K. Jha, Dean, Brown School of Public Health

“ I care because my community, friends, and family matter, and I've seen firsthand the long-term effects of COVID-19. I care because my mom was sick for months despite being healthy before contracting coronavirus. I care because any one of us can fall ill, and we all need to look out for each other. I care because I hope someone else cares about me, too. ”

Alexandria Lovell Class of 2021, English and Italian


COVID’s not the only stressful thing in the world these days. We’re exhausted from all the changes and challenges and hours spent staring at Zoom just trying to maintain some productivity. But it’s really important to prioritize friends and family—and just connecting with people to share what’s going on in your world and to listen to what’s going on in theirs. The energy we need to survive this chapter is going to come more from our shared humanity than the satisfaction of somehow adapting to a new work routine. It’s more than masks and handwashing. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, just reach out to the people you care about and cherish those relationships—emotionally close even if you’re socially distant.

– Charles Morton, Lecturer in Chemistry

I care because I want to return to being physically present with the Brown community I love.

– Zane Ruzicka, Class of 2023, Behavioral Decision Sciences and Public Policy


“ I care because I want to protect those who are most vulnerable in our communities. I believe colleges have a role to play in keeping a community healthy and safe. As university students, we must realize how important it is for us to follow all health guidelines and be careful in order to keep the local community safe. I care because I believe in the intellectual mission of Brown University and getting an education means we must think about those around us as well. ”

Chanelle Dupuis Graduate Student in French studies

We can all do our part and we all should do our part. Just like I think a lot of us are mobilized and invested in voting. I see mask wearing and voting as a similar thing. It’s like one small step we can do to make our country and our community better. It’s part of our civic responsibility.

– Sage Morgan Hubbard, Assistant Director, Brown Center for Students of Color


I think we need to be really careful that we, at Brown, are respectful of the community around us. They welcome us here. They run the restaurants that we have. They support us in all of the stuff that we do. And one of the ways I think we can give back in this kind of situation is making sure that we are not the source of outbreaks. That we are being even more careful than everyone else to try to make sure that we protect everyone around us.

– Emily Oster, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence and Professor of Economics, Professor of International and Public Affairs

There are individuals who don’t have doctors that you will pass as you walk on the street. This is something that impacts everybody that we’ll be in touch with. We need to think about what we do today and how it will interface with people that we know and don’t know tomorrow.

– Adam Pallant, Clinical Director of Health Services



I know some folks who are immunocompromised, and they’re in my pod. So it’s important to me to follow all of these guidelines, to make sure that everyone’s safe.

– Isaac Albanese, Residential Area Coordinator

I think wearing a mask is really the least we can do to protect other people. And I really care about everybody’s health and I care about protecting everyone. A lot of the people in the most vulnerable communities, they don’t choose to be vulnerable. They don’t choose to have autoimmune diseases. They don’t choose to be elderly, and they are the most vulnerable people. So I think we should all do our part to help them out.

– Jordan Ecker, Graduate Student in Education

During this time of social distancing, it’s reminded me that it’s important for me to keep in contact with people who have always supported me. One example is I’ve reconnected with my pen pal from high school and that’s been one of my favorite activities, to get off the screen and write a letter home.

– Emily Pham, Class of 2021, Religious Studies and Chemistry

Show care by doing: Why I Care

How do I keep my distance on campus and in shared spaces? How do I have conversations about the level of risk that I want to take with individuals in my pod? How do I wear a mask to be sure it covers my nose and mouth?

Explaining to others how you practice healthy behaviors helps keep the Brown community safe. Practical tips that show how you are navigating life on campus in the pandemic reinforces the fact that we’re all in this together. Use #WhyICare🐻 on social media to show your care for peers, mentors, essential workers and the people of Providence and their friends and families. Follow health guidance and celebrate others who do the same.


We know that members of our community are going to be deeply impacted if they get sick, so we have a responsibility to protect them and to show up and respect boundaries that are set.

– Kayla Thompson, Class of 2021, Public Health

Operating within a pod has helped me feel more connected to my communities. I feel less isolated because I do have a few people that I see regularly and we're in constant conversation about how we're keeping ourselves healthy and what we're doing for each other to keep each other safe.

– Alexis Jackson, Class of 2021, Public Health and Slavic Studies



My message for my fellow Brown students would be to make these sacrifices so that we can all come back sooner and so that we can all go back out into the world sooner. We all have to pull together. So stay inside. Wear a mask.

– Kathleen Kuesters,  Graduate Student in Epidemiology

I wear a mask and put on hand sanitizer and socially distance for my fellow community members, especially those who are more vulnerable to this virus. Professors, people who are immunocompromised — I do this for the Brown community.

– Emmanuel Greenberg, Graduate Student in Public Health



Contact [email protected] with questions, feedback, and ideas for promoting a healthy Brown.

The Brown Takes Care prevention and education initiative is a critical component of the University’s plan for a safe and Healthy Brown.