Head Stamps physician holds AMA session

Stamps Health Services hosted AMA Session. // Photo by Sierra Schmidt

On Jan. 18, the senior director of Stamps Health Services, Dr. Benjamin Holton, was available online at the Tech subreddit to answer questions students had about the COVID-19 pandemic or any other COVID-19
related problems. 

The event, put on by the office of Student Engagement and Well Being, was designed to offer students the opportunity to ask questions in a more informal manner than is typically afforded to students. Dr. Holton explained, “The goal of this event was to give students an opportunity to ask questions related to COVID in a setting that was a little more informal, in a setting that would allow for them to ask questions that they may not have otherwise been comfortable asking otherwise.” 

The Institute has recently been dealing with a large increase in COVID-19 infections as a result of the newly emerged
Omicron variant. 

While some believe that the new variant has peaked, there is still evidence to suggest that the Omicron variant will continue to challenge the U.S. and its population for a few more months. Many of the questions centered around trying to gain an increased understanding of the Omicron variant and felt quite a bit more personal than any questions asked at other COVID-19 townhall sessions. 

While this event only lasted for an hour and has since come to close, Dr. Holton elaborated that there are still plenty of resources accessible for students who may have questions about COVID-19. He explained, “Students are always free to reach
out to me. At the end of the AMA, there were also resources provided for those interested, and can be found on the reddit page.” These resources can be found on Tech’s department of Student Engagement and
Wellbeing website.

When asked how students can combat feelings of burnout and loneliness in the face of the newest phase of the pandemic, Dr. Holton had this advice: “It’s not just students, everyone, I think, is struggling with these feelings, and they’re completely normal. 

We are all ready for this to go away, but the reality is that COVID-19 still poses some risk; it requires that we adapt to the risk COVID-19 poses, while still maintaining a healthy level of social connection to help our mental health. I would recommend trying to engage with your friends in person outside, such as in a park, and when you meet inside, just being careful and ensuring that you’re staying safe and using the resources we know we have available to us.” 

While there are no current plans to hold another reddit AMA for members of the r/gatech subreddit, the past AMA can be found on the subreddit and is currently bookmarked to the top.

More information about Omicron and the pandemic can be found on the Tech reddit under Dr. Holton’s AMA, as well as at Stamps healthcare center’s website: health.gatech.edu.