Humans of the U: Cameron Wright

The COVID-19 testing efforts at the U are run by a group of people who sincerely care about making campus safer and who have been incredibly flexible in a rapidly changing environment. We’ve learned a lot and benefitted from the patience and engagement of the campus community as our operations have improved.

My role has involved quickly setting up new testing operations for large numbers of individuals while keeping staff and participants safe. It has been really challenging. COVID-19 testing presents some real operational challenges.

On the one hand, precarious supply availability and rapidly changing testing technology can mean that even planning one week in advance is difficult. On the other hand, we have lots of people coming to get tested in a time when we need to be particularly thoughtful about how we congregate. We’ve gotten much better at responding dynamically to these forces and it has required remarkable resilience and flexibility on the part of the testing staff.

Candidly, my feelings are mixed since I’m grateful that we can offer testing to the U of U community, but I know more testing would be better and that even then, transmission rates will be largely determined by the behaviors of people after they leave the testing site.

I had a daughter born and a grandparent pass away during this pandemic. In each case, the limited ability to interact with family has been challenging; I could probably point to some silver linings to the isolation but mostly it’s just been really hard. It’s hard to be there for each other when we can’t physically be there for each other. I know that our continued efforts to be cautious can prevent even more loved ones from passing away and I know now more than ever the effect of interpersonal connection on my mental health.

—Cameron Wright, program manager, Campus COVID-19 Testing