Covid-19 kills young people at a lower rate they are not immune. The people who run the college, your professors, deans, staff, secretaries, police, range in age from as young as you up to elderly. If nothing at all is done, then your school would experience casualties and infections like a cruise ship. That would be due to the close quarters that prevail on a college campus. If your school is trying to stay open and framing it in terms of student service that is at this point incredibly dishonest. They are not doing it to make sure you graduate on time, for your sake. They are doing it either to pad their statistics or because the political machines behind them want to keep the trains running on time.
(Update: As of March 20th with the states in question ordering shelter in place the community colleges below have done the sensible thing and paused all in person instruction until mid April. The fact this was done only after the cities or states they were in called for a shelter in place proves I was correct to say that the political considerations of the cities or states were a big factor. Students welcome to the world of realpolitik)
If your school is planning to keep any part of in person class going given what we know then they are doing you a great disservice. They are putting your life and the lives of those who are needed to run the school in jeopardy. Graduating and getting to have your commencement all that fun stuff under normal circumstances it matters. I won’t say that on some level you’ll miss it because of this.
That is the point. You will live to miss it and to do far more important things that graduate in May or June. That graduation date in December of 2020 will stand as a mark of distinction. You will have gotten to celebrate Thanksgiving, graduation, Christmas, and New Years. You will go on to live. That is what a school that cares about you cares about.
If you care about your teachers, your professors you will show sympathy for them if you find yourself at a school that won’t close. If you care about your teachers, you will be as patient with them as they try to figure out how to teach online as you want them to be with you. If you want to defend yourself and your teachers YOU have the power to vote with your feet. You have to be like some magnificent bastards I taught Physics last year, when half my family got sick (before it was cool), and drop rather than force them to stay for the selfish sake of making some artificial deadline. . Show them sympathy for their sick relatives as some great people I taught math last year did if they have to be there in person.
Faculty if you care about your students and your college is forcing you to conduct in person instruction right now seriously consider organizing a mass sick out. Everyone who is not doing work that is of life or death important needs to just refuse. Let the ones making such decisions from relative safety and distance come to your workplace and take a deep breath of what they wish to inflict upon you and upon your students.
Think no place has been reluctant to fully closedown their colleges due to coronavirus. See the following.
- New York “Teacher’s union escalates fight with de Blasio over NYC school closures amid coronavirus”
- Chicago “Lightfoot hints CPS closure could last longer than 2 weeks, says families might not be told if someone from their school has coronavirus” (UPDATE: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has to her credit finally, 3/19/2020 at 5 PM local time, called off Chicago Public Schools until April 20th.)
- City Colleges of Chicago have announced policies which include closure for one week with most classes going on by distance learning. This seems to indicate that they are going to try and keep laboratory and studio instruction going on some basis. * (UPDATE: Though Chicago Public Schools are now closed City Colleges of Chicago may still hold in person laboratory classes. Hopefully they will see the sense in postponing those until this danger has fully passed.)
- Kansas City Missouri “https://fox4kc.com/tracking-coronavirus/kc-health-department-director-says-closing-schools-wont-slow-coronavirus-outbreak/”
Notice a pattern?
In places where authorities are doubtful of the true impact or scope of this virus, in the face of a world full of evidence, they are quite willing to keep things like laboratory and studio practice classes going. This will put the life of future scientist, engineers, doctors, nurses, musicians, mechanics, electricians, artist at risk. All their future productivity lost because of a moment where it would be far more wise to have them sit at home and survive.
*Full disclosure I was terminated on the 12th by City Colleges of Chicago because of the above-mentioned magnificent students who dropped my physics class when they heard the extent of my family being sick and how it would impact me. That a job that barely pays the bills demands I come in when half my family seems to be dying. (They survived but only just) Right as I was trying to help my department figure out what to do about this virus months after the fact they do this. I also teach at College of DuPage which has sensibly cancelled all in person instruction for now and my union will likely sue City Colleges of Chicago over my and at least one other probably wrongful termination around this time.
Even with that said I know better than to blame the officials who nominally run the schools.
Do not blame the high officials of the colleges for this callous reaction to a global pandemic. Even the chancellors and presidents of the colleges have limited authority over things like closure. They answer to political leaders who care about the statistics of the colleges graduation rates, and the optics of colleges being closed. They answer to people who care about the economic impacts of it and their reelection chances. Remember which political leaders cared about your life when the chips are down and didn’t just talk in nice words or have the right letter (R or D) next to their name on the ballot.
In short be realistic about your colleges true motives for all it does. Take care of yourself and your faculty by dropping if the school won’t take action to correct the situation or anything like this. Do so knowing that the people who work there are not all powerful.
Realize that in the long run life and living to see the next year matter more than school.
One more thing: Covid-19 is the disease caused by SARS-COv-2 the Coronavirus virus from Wuhan China. China is now trying to blame the United States for originating the virus against all evidence. No one should be racist towards Chinese or Asian people over this BUT it is not racist to call this the Chinese Virus that causes Covid-19. Lets not let China win that bit of the propaganda war. This relates to the above because in their rush to blame the USA and have good optics they are reopening cities even as supposedly recovered people are dying.
For more about how China is lying about this because like some politicans here they care more about optics and statistics than lives take a look at these videos.
This is not a generational thing plenty of young people have messed up priorities. The difference is the politicians that do things like not close the beach are supposed to know better and have some backbone.
UPDATE As of April first the governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker, and the Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot have demonstrated that they get it. They understand that though our state was able to keep a lid on the one case that did come here very early others didn't. That this pandemic is real and that we will need to shelter in place for longer than usual. Shelter in place as if there was a tornado warning.