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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Cheerful on February 25, 2020, 09:33:33 AM

Title: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on February 25, 2020, 09:33:33 AM
During a conference call with reporters today, a CDC official reportedly (CNBC.com) said:

“We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this is going to be bad,” she said. “Now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities, schools and everyday people to begin preparing.”

Are you doing anything to prepare?  What are your thoughts?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on February 25, 2020, 10:00:19 AM
http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=1033.0 (http://thefora.org/index.php?topic=1033.0)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mythbuster on February 25, 2020, 10:27:47 AM
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6908e1.htm?s_cid=mm6908e1_e&deliveryName=USCDC_921-DM20815 (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6908e1.htm?s_cid=mm6908e1_e&deliveryName=USCDC_921-DM20815)

Here is today's CDC update from MMWR. 53 cases so far in the US. Most had traveled to China, or lived with someone who had.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on February 25, 2020, 11:04:22 AM
Could these two threads be merged, mods?

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on February 25, 2020, 11:46:34 AM
During a conference call with reporters today, a CDC official reportedly (CNBC.com) said:

“We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this is going to be bad,” she said. “Now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities, schools and everyday people to begin preparing.”

Are you doing anything to prepare?  What are your thoughts?

It is always sort of hard to figure out how to respond to public health messaging because so much of it is about trying to deal with panic. Obviously, the whole thing is concerning, but as someone who has a lot of anxiety about health and disease, I'm trying to keep it in perspective from a personal level. Obviously the whole thing is bad from a public health level, but the vast majority of people who get this don't get very sick. The people at really high risk are the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. Right now the death rate in China for people under 50 is less than half a percent, and it seems likely the real rate is probably lower since a lot of people with mild cases are probably not going to hospitals. Children don't seem to get sick at all which is good...

The point is personally I'm trying to keep in mind that the personal risk is relatively low even though the low thing makes me pretty anxious. Since I'm not in charge of anything, I'm not totally sure what steps I could be taking to prepare. If classes move online, I guess I'll just figure it out. The only think I've been considering is whether it might be a good idea to stock up a bit on non-perishable food, just in case everything shuts down for some period of time.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on February 25, 2020, 03:13:58 PM
Are you doing anything to prepare?  What are your thoughts?
No. So far, the 2019-2020 flu season has lead to 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths. But we can't get people to wash their hands and get a flu shot. Most "prep" is basic hygiene, not hunkering down for the zombie apocalypse.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on February 25, 2020, 05:53:56 PM
Earlier today, I got an e-mail announcement from Avalon Waterways about the coronavirus. (I'm taking Avalon's river cruise of the lower Danube in April so it's how I got the notification) Anyone who has traveled through China, Hong Kong, and Macau in the past 21 days can't go on their upcoming trip with any of Globus family brand company.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: namazu on February 25, 2020, 06:04:10 PM
This guide from the US CDC was written with pandemic flu in mind (https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/pdf/gr-pan-flu-ind-house.pdf), but may be useful in this situation as well.  (Just bear in mind that certain aspects of the actual illness are different.)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on February 25, 2020, 10:35:49 PM
Well, I think that the folks who are saying it's no worse than the flu are being a little rosier than the facts warrant. The flu kills somewhere between 0.1% and 0.015%. The generous estimates of the coronavirus fatality rate are that it kills 2%, which is significantly higher. And 20% of cases are severe, severe meaning requiring hospitalization for a matter of weeks. That's more than our hospital system can handle, even given that the cases will not all occur simultaneously. The idea that "Those most in danger are old" is not especially reassuring to me, given that I am in the over-50 category to which the greatest number of deaths happen. I nearly died from the flu in two separate years — despite flu shots — and so I am not sanguine about the coronavirus. My immune system is poor and I'm squarely in the vulnerable category.

Unfortunately, neither am I sanguine about the ability of the U.S. government to make the most effective choices to contain this. I imagine it will be chaos, just as in nearly every other natural disaster. Our healthcare system makes the problem worse, as people without insurance or with inadequate insurance may be reluctant to see a doctor or go to an emergency room until things are desperate and they have infected many others.

I am also not sanguine about my own university's plan for dealing with something like this. We had "emergency contingency planning" a few years ago — they were envisioning an earthquake or a flood — and everyone could see that the plans were unrealistic and left out very obvious things. If the coronavirus became a threat locally, they should have a plan to quarantine infected students and not have them in their regular room in the dorms, and to move classes online. In fact they should have had this plan up their sleeve years ago. But those in the know say they aren't even thinking about it.

Personally, I'm making sure I have a good supply of groceries that will mean I don't have to go grocery shopping for a few weeks, if the virus should hit the town. And I'm thinking whether I should simply refuse to come in to campus if coronavirus is rampant, or whether I should outright quit my job (which is something I'm tempted to do almost weekly anyway!) Easier for me to think of desperate strategies because I am almost at retirement age anyway. For younger folks, the options are tougher, although you younger folks can relax in the assurance that "It's the old people who are at risk anyway."
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on February 26, 2020, 05:58:49 AM
Well, I think that the folks who are saying it's no worse than the flu are being a little rosier than the facts warrant. The flu kills somewhere between 0.1% and 0.015%. The generous estimates of the coronavirus fatality rate are that it kills 2%, which is significantly higher. And 20% of cases are severe, severe meaning requiring hospitalization for a matter of weeks.

I'm not an expert, and I'm not trying to diminish the risks, which seem high from a societal level, but my understanding is that the fatality rate is probably under two percent, possibly well under.

Basically, the rate has been much higher in and around Wuhan, than in the rest of China, where it has been about 1 percent. That seems to largely be about the impact of the draconian containment measures and the inadequacy of the hospital systems. It also could partly be that people without really severe symptoms are not being counted in Wuhan because they are deciding, given how bad things are at hospitals and quarantine areas, that if they are sick they should just stay at home and they only get counted if they get really sick or die.

The other things is that most experts seem pretty sure that there along with the mild cases that get reported, there are also a lot of really mild, or even totally asymptomatic cases that aren't being counted at all. They are pretty sure this is what is happening with kids, but it is probably happening with other people as well. There are probably a lot of people who have Coronavirus, but have symptoms that never progress beyond those of a mild cold, or don't even get that far.

There are a lot of unknowns obviously and even if it just turned out to have a fatality rate 7 times higher than the flu or something, that would still be really bad, but it is worth having a clear sense of risks. I also wouldn't worry that much about going in to teach if there's an outbreak. If you have community transmission going on in the area, I'm sure your school will close. People are much more inclined to overreact than under react to this sort of stuff.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on February 26, 2020, 09:53:53 AM
My PhD school classmate wrote me about 10 days ago about the reported rates.  The reported rates are problematic.
"
 For Hubei for Feb 18, there are 9128 recoveries and 1921 deaths for a total of 11049 resolved cases.  The death rate for these resolved cases is 17% (1921 deaths divided by resolved cases 11049), and similarly the recovery rate is 83% (9128 divided by 11049). 

The total number of confirmed cases is 61682.  The confirmed cases 61682 minus the resolved cases 11049 equals the number who remain sick 50633.  For the 50622 who remain sick, we do not yet know what might happen (recover or die)."

subsequent articles have noted similar results with other new diseases.  There is a problem identifying the less severe cases (adding to the denominator), but given the ability of this illness to spread, a 2% rate would be catastrophic should it widely spread. 
For comparison, SARS had a reported death rate of closer to 10% but was far less contagious.  The one i looked at, for comparison was the Spanish Flu of 1917.  It had a lower death rate, but disproportionately killed the younger populations.   

On another front, my friend also tried to buy gloves to get ready for the spring gardening season. He wears the plastic/rubber gloves over gardening gloves because the neighborhood cats also appreciate his garden!  He tried to order some and they were all 'sold out'.  When he called the company he said they told him that the CDC has been allocated their supplies!

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on February 26, 2020, 02:25:00 PM
Heres what the former CDC director said about the death rate of 3 percent

That's a substantial over-estimate; many patients weren't tested, many infected people don't have symptoms and hospitals were overwhelmed. The proportion could be as low as less than 1 in 1,000 -- 30 times lower -- and is unlikely to be more than 1 in 100
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: fast_and_bulbous on February 26, 2020, 03:41:43 PM
It is becoming likely that I will be eating my upcoming 3 week trip to Italy, starting in Genoa (the work related part), and then Rome (the vacation part), in less than two weeks.

Worst case scenario is being stuck in a large city under lockdown in a foreign country and then being quarantined when you get back home.

I'm not confident the work related part is going to happen anyway - the university is already shut down, supposedly to open next week.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on February 28, 2020, 06:12:03 AM
It is becoming likely that I will be eating my upcoming 3 week trip to Italy, starting in Genoa (the work related part), and then Rome (the vacation part), in less than two weeks.

Worst case scenario is being stuck in a large city under lockdown in a foreign country and then being quarantined when you get back home.

I'm not confident the work related part is going to happen anyway - the university is already shut down, supposedly to open next week.

A friend just cancelled her Italian jaunt, and another friend worried about France in April.  Her biggest fear is that King Kong will close the US borders, and she won't be able to get back home.  I hadn't even thought of that, but given his lack of impulse control.....
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on February 28, 2020, 06:54:48 AM
I can't imagine the US closing its border. There are over 300,000 people entering the US every day...

The reason I'd nonetheless cancel European vacations isn't so much the coronavirus itself, but how governments respond. If tourist attractions are closed and events are canceled, the trip won't be all that much fun. If you have an opportunity to cancel the flight, I'd go ahead.

On the other hand, if you're not going for anything touristy, there are great sales on flights to Europe right now. NYC to Rome roundtrip in March is $350.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on February 28, 2020, 07:02:02 AM
I can't imagine the US closing its border. There are over 300,000 people entering the US every day...


Interesting question for constitutional/international law experts out there: Can a country legally bar entry to its own citizens if they haven't even been accused of any sort of crime in any country?

(As the saying goes, "Home is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.")
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on February 28, 2020, 07:47:04 AM
I can't imagine the US closing its border. There are over 300,000 people entering the US every day...


Interesting question for constitutional/international law experts out there: Can a country legally bar entry to its own citizens if they haven't even been accused of any sort of crime in any country?

(As the saying goes, "Home is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.")
Courts have given wide discretion to the executive when it comes to national security. E.g. Japanese internment camps were found to be constitutional. The bigger deterrent to this isn't legal, but political: the people who would be affected by this (i.e. who travel internationally) tend to be wealthier. Not a good strategy to upset business travelers if you want to get re-elected.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on February 28, 2020, 09:06:46 AM
Quote
I can't imagine the US closing its border. There are over 300,000 people entering the US every day...
Quote

Hasnt the US border been closed to anyone returning from China's infected areas?  US citizens are forced into 2 weeks of quarantine and others are refused entry?

IF the virus is now 'in the wild' in California and I would not be surprised that it is out and about in New York, then closing the borders is 'closing the barn door after the cows escaped'.

I worry that New York has the virus because reports indicate that no additional screening is going on from people flying from the virus areas of Italy and likely from any other non-China areas. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on February 28, 2020, 09:17:20 AM
Our head public relations person just sent an all-hands email saying that though "no risk has been identified" to the campus community, the university is recommending that all students currently studying abroad in Italy return to the USA immediately.

This is like the parents of a student of mine refusing to let her study abroad in Morocco "because of Ebola."
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on February 28, 2020, 09:19:54 AM
Quote
I can't imagine the US closing its border. There are over 300,000 people entering the US every day...
Quote

Hasnt the US border been closed to anyone returning from China's infected areas?  US citizens are forced into 2 weeks of quarantine and others are refused entry?


But being quarantined on arrival isn't the same as being denied entry, if the quarantine is in the U.S.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on February 28, 2020, 09:58:53 AM
Quote
But being quarantined on arrival isn't the same as being denied entry, if the quarantine is in the U.S.

True, but it certainly increases the cost of travel! 

And being put in quarantine is no extended vacation!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: fast_and_bulbous on February 28, 2020, 10:07:40 AM
It is becoming likely that I will be eating my upcoming 3 week trip to Italy, starting in Genoa (the work related part), and then Rome (the vacation part), in less than two weeks.

Worst case scenario is being stuck in a large city under lockdown in a foreign country and then being quarantined when you get back home.

I'm not confident the work related part is going to happen anyway - the university is already shut down, supposedly to open next week.

A friend just cancelled her Italian jaunt, and another friend worried about France in April.  Her biggest fear is that King Kong will close the US borders, and she won't be able to get back home.  I hadn't even thought of that, but given his lack of impulse control.....

Just got the email from the organizer of the event I was to speak at, it's been cancelled/postponed, so our vacation has as well. United is waiving some fees with rescheduling flights to northern Italy but I'm not sure what an all out cancellation will cost us if we can't reschedule in time. I am kind of relieved but a bit dizzy over all of this - we'd been planning our trip for a long time. In the grand scheme of things I guess I can't complain too much, although I prefer going to art galleries etc. to stockpiling canned food.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on February 28, 2020, 10:09:59 AM

Just got the email from the organizer of the event I was to speak at, it's been cancelled/postponed, so our vacation has as well. United is waiving some fees with rescheduling flights to northern Italy but I'm not sure what an all out cancellation will cost us if we can't reschedule in time. I am kind of relieved but a bit dizzy over all of this - we'd been planning our trip for a long time. In the grand scheme of things I guess I can't complain too much, although I prefer going to art galleries etc. to stockpiling canned food.

The stock market is down, but it's a good time to buy stock in streaming services.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on February 28, 2020, 11:05:24 AM
Stop worrying people.  Cheeto Jesus has put Mike Pence on the case.  I guess Jared was too busy.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on February 28, 2020, 03:13:25 PM
Hasnt the US border been closed to anyone returning from China's infected areas?  US citizens are forced into 2 weeks of quarantine and others are refused entry?
Only people from Hubei province for US citizens, which wasn't that many. Flights out of Wuhan were getting canceled already. As for non-citizens caught in this: they could rebook to, say, Vancouver and enter the US after two weeks. Definitely more than a minor inconvenience, but we're talking about a few hundred people here. Not hundreds of thousands per day.

If I were emperor, I'd fire anyone who does anything out of an "abundance of caution.". Out of an abundance of caution, you can do anything, no matter how nonsensical it is. A Hungarian soccer team suspended its Italian coach -- mind you, not because he was in Italy, but because of his nationality. And Asian restaurants are seeing a big drop in customers around the US. My Uber driver a couple weeks ago told me he wished he could block Asian riders from the app...
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Vkw10 on February 28, 2020, 06:02:48 PM
My university has cancelled several upcoming study abroad trips, reminded us that Board policy prohibits official travel to any country with certain State Dept travel advisories so we can't be reimbursed if we travel to those places, informed us that quarantine and remote teaching plans are being reviewed so everyone is ready to implement if needed, and ...

Placed huge bottles of hand sanitizer in every lobby, reception area, restroom, dining area, etc, with pleas to immediately report empty bottles so they can be replaced. They're also running a 60 second video on proper hand washing on announcement screens.  Saw in building lobby, library, and dining hall today.

I'm rather impressed at the practical response. Personally, I've stocked up tissue and canned soup, reminded staff that using sick leave protects colleagues and students, and started prepping alternate assignments in case we switch to remote teaching during an outbreak. I already have some from the last big flood that shut campus down.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on February 28, 2020, 06:39:52 PM
Earlier I got another e-mail notice from Avalon Waterways--South Korea was included.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 01, 2020, 11:50:20 AM
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/coronavirus-live-updates-who-covid19-covid-19-italy-china-canada-wuhan-deaths

Not new news.  the headline may not accurately reflect her comments.

Coronavirus updates: Stockpile food and meds in case of infection, Canada's health minister says

"Health Minister Patty Hajdu is encouraging Canadians to stockpile food and medication in their homes in case they or a loved one falls ill with the novel coronavirus.

Updates below

That’s good advice for any potential crisis from a viral outbreak to power outages, she said Wednesday.

“It’s good to be prepared because things can change quickly,” she said.

She also suggested people should do what they can to ease the burden on the health care system in the meantime by staying home if they’re sick, washing their hands and getting flu shots.

"
Are you stockpiling food and medicine?

I live in a hurricane zone. I usually have sufficient stocks to survive being without power for 4 or 5 days.  This is better because power should remain.  I have purchased some frozen foods, but there is no way I have 2 weeks worth of food stocked.  As my drugs are delivered in 3 month supplies (that is the plan we have from the employer health plan), so I m good there. 

How prepared are you to weather a virus related shut down in your community? 
What do you think will close and what will remain open?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 01, 2020, 12:33:05 PM
As I might have posted in this or another thread, the current semester has been the worst flu season among undergraduates on my campus that I have seen in twenty years of full-time teaching. I know that my state is reporting to the CDC a frequency of influenza-like illness that is 30% higher than last year. I've been getting official emails from Student Affairs that "so and so has been diagnosed with the flu and has been advised not to attend class" at a rate of about once every 48 hours. Often these students go home to recuperate. I suspect a noticeable uptick in student absences will happen with COVID-19, whether from actual cases or parental fears. I run all my courses, whether face-to-face or online, through our LMS, so even if the campus closes I'll still be teaching, just without any commute.

I bet conferences are going to fall apart. I've got one in a week, attendees were notified it will proceed as planned. There is another one in my disciplinary area on the West Coast in three weeks and it sounds like people are cancelling. I have a training in California in June; my university has already reimbursed me for the registration fee but I haven't bought airline tickets yet because of the possibility it will be cancelled. 

Other than that, I always keep a pharmacy's worth of prescription drugs in my house, and I've got plenty of firewood to heat the house until summer. I'll be buying a few 50 lb bags of rice this week, but I do that on a regular basis anyway.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 01, 2020, 01:19:22 PM
As I might have posted in this or another thread, the current semester has been the worst flu season among undergraduates on my campus that I have seen in twenty years of full-time teaching. I know that my state is reporting to the CDC a frequency of influenza-like illness that is 30% higher than last year. I've been getting official emails from Student Affairs that "so and so has been diagnosed with the flu and has been advised not to attend class" at a rate of about once every 48 hours. Often these students go home to recuperate. I suspect a noticeable uptick in student absences will happen with COVID-19, whether from actual cases or parental fears. I run all my courses, whether face-to-face or online, through our LMS, so even if the campus closes I'll still be teaching, just without any commute.



I hadn't thought about absence issues. I give students three absences with no penalty. I've always felt like that keeps people from feeling like they need to come to class if they aren't feeling well and that if students just skip a bunch of classes early and then get sick later that's on them, but I wonder if I'm going to need to tweak that policy or allow more absences given the state of anxiety.

I'm also a lot grumpier about the prospect of classes going online. I use the LMS, but just for quizzes, submissions, grades and attendance and I've never taught an online course. I worry it would just be an organizational disaster to have to start doing it in the middle of the semester.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 01, 2020, 01:43:05 PM
Maybe start uploading any files of "old standards," that you always use and already have on hand, just in case?

Maybe just do a week or two of a skeletal outline (put in a date and overview page for each class) that you can add to if need be, or leave alone if it becomes unnecessary.

That would at least make it easier if you do have to go full online, and while I sympathize with the need to wrestle with a CMS for anything beyond the basics, I can set up a shell like that in an hour or so, and usually do at the beginning of the semester, just to have it in place "in case."

M. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 01, 2020, 04:45:25 PM
Word from Japan: big run on toilet paper. Store shelves are empty.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on March 01, 2020, 07:48:52 PM
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/coronavirus-live-updates-who-covid19-covid-19-italy-china-canada-wuhan-deaths

Not new news.  the headline may not accurately reflect her comments.

Coronavirus updates: Stockpile food and meds in case of infection, Canada's health minister says

"Health Minister Patty Hajdu is encouraging Canadians to stockpile food and medication in their homes in case they or a loved one falls ill with the novel coronavirus.

For what it's worth, I think this is really bad advice coming from the government. This is going to lead to more empty shelves (we already see those), which can then cause even more panic when people think there's an actual shortage. And that in turn leads to more hoarding. Stores just don't have a massive inventory in the back anymore as everything is delivered just in time. It's the equivalent of a bank run: it's the panic response that then ends up causing actual problems.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on March 01, 2020, 10:37:34 PM
Lots of panic buying already here in Australia.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ergative on March 01, 2020, 11:27:59 PM
Fortunately, in the UK, those of us who were stockpiling for Brexit have our hordes already in place.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: backatit on March 02, 2020, 06:40:38 AM
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/coronavirus-live-updates-who-covid19-covid-19-italy-china-canada-wuhan-deaths

Not new news.  the headline may not accurately reflect her comments.

Coronavirus updates: Stockpile food and meds in case of infection, Canada's health minister says

"Health Minister Patty Hajdu is encouraging Canadians to stockpile food and medication in their homes in case they or a loved one falls ill with the novel coronavirus.

For what it's worth, I think this is really bad advice coming from the government. This is going to lead to more empty shelves (we already see those), which can then cause even more panic when people think there's an actual shortage. And that in turn leads to more hoarding. Stores just don't have a massive inventory in the back anymore as everything is delivered just in time. It's the equivalent of a bank run: it's the panic response that then ends up causing actual problems.

Don't you think it's not a bad idea to already have 2 week supply though? Those of us who live in hurricane alley are just doing our hurricane prep a month early. This is SOP for us, and honestly, no matter where you live, you should have some sort of plan for a natural disaster. I have an extra prescription from my doctor (that I pay for out of pocket - such a pain, and not really feasible for those without means), a 55 gallon water storage tank, a well pump (and a generator to run it) that I can hook up to the house plumbing if necessary, and a whole garage full of non-perishables. I teach fully online already, and keep 2 syllabi for Fall; one with some flexibility built in for school closure that I can snap up there (as long as my phone doesn't go down) in an instant. I suppose I'm weird but we were out of power for weeks after the last one, and that wasn't the first time it has happened.

I agree with you that people shouldn't panic buy, totally. But I also think that people should always have a plan in place.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 02, 2020, 07:30:10 AM
I'm trying to raise alarm bells on my campus. We have had interruptions before due to storms and loss of electricity, heat, etc. While administrators are generally on board with the idea of disaster preparedness, a lot of faculty are not. They don't want to bother disturbing their routines by making their teaching more resilient.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 02, 2020, 10:05:03 AM
Quote
Those of us who live in hurricane alley are just doing our hurricane prep a month early.

I dont know if it is exactly the same.  I am in a hurricane area. I have some water and some food to get me through five day's needs of food* that would not need refrigeration or even water to heat up. I have the ability to fill my gasoline and propane tanks (which are full).  However, this is somewhat different.  We will not need gas, water or be restricted to canned goods.  The electricity should still work, so I wont need to cook on a grill or camp stove or need my battery operated radio or flash lights.  I dont know why there would be a shortage (or run) on toilet paper! 
The loss will be in fresh goods. I can not exactly store bread or fresh fruit and veggies.  I can use frozen chicken, beef or fish, so meat wont be a problem

* Another difference between NOW and Hurricane season is that I am close enough to the coast that my primary hurricane default answer is 'flight'.  I evacuate for hurricanes, so I dont usually need to have a lot of food, water, gas for the generator... I board up and flee! 
There is no where to flee to!  In fact, the response to THIS 'crisis' is the opposite of 'Flee'. It is to hoard and hide.  That is a new response for me.  "Flight" may even be prohibited, in the most dire case, if the government tries to replicate the China response!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: backatit on March 02, 2020, 10:33:28 AM
I am on the coast as well, but with 4 dogs and 3 cats, we can't flee, so we've hardened our home (impact windows, reinforced roof, generator, etc) and are used to "hunkering down" (oh how I hate that phrase and yet it's remarkably apt). The food prep is definitely different, but we're doing the normal stuff for class and work prep that we would otherwise do. I have a couple of contingency plans for students should they get sick (I get guidance from my university for this - I think universities in hurricane-prone areas are a bit better at this sort of thing). For me my biggest issue is always meds (I have a couple of chronic conditions and I wouldn't live for long without certain meds, so I do have to prepare for that).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on March 02, 2020, 11:31:19 AM
Don't you think it's not a bad idea to already have 2 week supply though? Those of us who live in hurricane alley are just doing our hurricane prep a month early. This is SOP for us, and honestly, no matter where you live, you should have some sort of plan for a natural disaster.
Much of this depends on where you live. Suburbs or rural areas that could get cut off? Absolutely, even when there's no viral outbreak. Major urban center? It's just not very likely. If your city gets flooded, so does your backup stash. In other cases, restaurants are pretty good at adapting and tend to remain open. My disaster mitigation plan is frequent flyer miles to get a last minute ticket out of town. There's just no reason for me to sit at home with no power and it's not like work would continue.

But on the public health messaging: the problem is that most people don't have these kinds of reserves and they're now buying them all at the same time. If they spaced out their purchases over a month, it wouldn't be a problem. But everyone showing up to Costco on the same day isn't great. That can cause actual supply issues, in turn fueling more panic about shortages.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 02, 2020, 12:16:41 PM
Quote
Much of this depends on where you live. Suburbs or rural areas that could get cut off? Absolutely, even when there's no viral outbreak

My house is 1550 sq feet.  As I am currently single, that is plenty of room. However, in some urban areas, that size house would be HUGE. If you are living in a 1 bedroom place, there may not be storage room for 2 weeks of supplies.  Fortunately, I have a freezer that was empty before this weekend when I added some frozen goods to my possible quarantine scenario supplies. IF I lived in a one bedroom apartment, even my small freezer (the smallest upright Sears made at the time) would be too large.

Way off the topic, but my bride to be was looking at a china cabinet because we 'need' china on the wedding registry. Her mom was willing to give us hers.  I asked, "Where are you going to put it?  Your parents have an entire room for formal dining.  I/we have only this space for ALL eating (and part of my work space when I need to spread out to grade big projects). " 
So SPACE is a constraint for some people, especially in more urban areas. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: magnemite on March 02, 2020, 12:44:08 PM
I'm trying to raise alarm bells on my campus. We have had interruptions before due to storms and loss of electricity, heat, etc. While administrators are generally on board with the idea of disaster preparedness, a lot of faculty are not. They don't want to bother disturbing their routines by making their teaching more resilient.

I just prodded part of our department to look at, plan for, scenarios involving off-campus field courses coming up.

Although not "fair" to the interim person, I am very happy to be on leave, and not serving as department chair this year. We are a quarter-based university, and so there must be a non-trivial risk that a whole quarter could be cancelled...
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 02, 2020, 03:22:21 PM
I bought two liters of Cretan extra virgin olive oil today because I think supply chains of European goods might get disrupted.

American and Delta have cancelled flights to Milan.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 02, 2020, 04:22:29 PM
Well, we have plenty of dry pasta, fresh potatoes, onions, jars of sauce, tinned [canned] meat and fish, and other goodies. Most important, there is one helluva lot of wine. :-)

Best of luck to all.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 02, 2020, 05:25:34 PM
Quote
I can not exactly store bread or fresh fruit and veggies.

Actually, you can freeze bread, or I like English muffins, very easily. Just pop it in the freezer.

Be sure to take it out the night before you plan to use it and let it thaw, still wrapped, in the refrigerator. No sogginess, and no drying out.

For veggies and some fruits, there are frozen cubed squash, broccoli, etc., that hold up decently for a bit of time: they started out fresh and were flash-frozen, so are fine when used within their dates.

I also have some very good fresh/frozen strawberries....hmmmm.....and I bought shortcakes the other day....hmmm.....desssseeerrrtt....

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 03, 2020, 06:59:10 AM
I'm trying to raise alarm bells on my campus. We have had interruptions before due to storms and loss of electricity, heat, etc. While administrators are generally on board with the idea of disaster preparedness, a lot of faculty are not. They don't want to bother disturbing their routines by making their teaching more resilient.

I'm not sure what you mean by more resilient teaching. I teach face to face. My classes are designed around us having 2.5 class hours every week. I don't relish the idea of having to move everything online. I don't want to record lectures. When my lectures go well, it is because students engage and I'm sure me staring into a screen and talking isn't going to be real great. I don't really feel like spending a lot of time right now prepping for classes becoming completely different. If it happens, I already use the CMS extensively, so I'm sure I can figure out how to manage lectures and discussions and all the other stuff.

Will it be sort of a mess as the students and I figure out how to do all of this on the fly? I'm sure it will be, but since this would all be taking place within the context of a dangerous epidemic infection that will disrupt everyday life, this seems manageable. My class isn't providing power to the region. It isn't like I need to have some online version all ready to go at the moment of disruption. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 03, 2020, 07:08:42 AM
It looks to me like panic about the virus is still the biggest threat. And it makes sense to stock up a bit in response; if even just 10%-30% of the population stayed home for a few days (out of fear or illness), the upheaval would be pretty massive.

Nothing special going on in our household, though. We're in an earthquake zone, so our existing emergency-preparedness seems perfectly adequate.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on March 03, 2020, 07:20:11 AM
I'm trying to raise alarm bells on my campus. We have had interruptions before due to storms and loss of electricity, heat, etc. While administrators are generally on board with the idea of disaster preparedness, a lot of faculty are not. They don't want to bother disturbing their routines by making their teaching more resilient.

I'm not sure what you mean by more resilient teaching. I teach face to face. My classes are designed around us having 2.5 class hours every week. I don't relish the idea of having to move everything online. I don't want to record lectures. When my lectures go well, it is because students engage and I'm sure me staring into a screen and talking isn't going to be real great. I don't really feel like spending a lot of time right now prepping for classes becoming completely different.

My courses have a big lab and project component. Those don't really lend themselves to online.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on March 03, 2020, 09:17:06 AM
If you move to online, don't record yourself talking for X number of hours. It is deadly and students simply will not watch it. I've taught online for a while and know the ropes. Did you know the average YouTube video is watched for under 4 minutes? The same will be true for a recorded lecture. If you have to replace an in-person lecture, do it with a variety of media: a short written-out piece with pictures and diagrams, a Power-Point, an amusing and/or helpful clip from YouTube (already made by somebody else), etc. Divide the information up and put the different parts in different formats, as appropriate.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 03, 2020, 10:37:34 AM
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/03/03/cdc-tells-colleges-consider-canceling-foreign-exchange-programs-because-coronavirus (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/03/03/cdc-tells-colleges-consider-canceling-foreign-exchange-programs-because-coronavirus)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 03, 2020, 01:05:17 PM
My employer is recalling all students doing study abroad in Italy, Greece, etc. Spring break study abroad trips are all cancelled.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 03, 2020, 01:10:44 PM
If you move to online, don't record yourself talking for X number of hours. It is deadly and students simply will not watch it. I've taught online for a while and know the ropes. Did you know the average YouTube video is watched for under 4 minutes? The same will be true for a recorded lecture. If you have to replace an in-person lecture, do it with a variety of media: a short written-out piece with pictures and diagrams, a Power-Point, an amusing and/or helpful clip from YouTube (already made by somebody else), etc. Divide the information up and put the different parts in different formats, as appropriate.

Not there yet, but if we start seeing lots of schools moving classes online, perhaps we can set something up where those of us who haven't done any online teaching can ask questions.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 03, 2020, 03:44:19 PM
The Walmart Report:

I needed to shop at Walmart today.  I am out of some cleaning supplies so I ventured to the cleaning isle. It was pretty well cleared out! There were sporadic items, but for the shelves devoted to disinfecting , most of the shelf space was empty of product!

have you been to YOUR Walmart lately?  What is the situation there?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on March 03, 2020, 04:20:16 PM
have you been to YOUR Walmart lately?  What is the situation there?
No Walmart nearby, but the Whole Foods and CVS that I went to today were both fully stocked. Amazon also has cleaning supplies in stock, so if you can wait two days, that seems like it would be a good option?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 03, 2020, 05:10:56 PM
Oh ,I forgot to add about the Chunky Soup!

Hit pretty hard!  Lots of shelf space showing.  Not just at Walmart, but I was at my local grocery store and there was a lot of shelf space showing there too!

Im not much of a soup fan, so I was just looking to see if there was anything worth sampling.  None of what was on the shelf was anything that peaked my taste buds!

What is the Chunky Situation in year area?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 03, 2020, 05:31:54 PM
To the extent that shelves are bare here, I'm pretty sure it's primarily due to the rail blockades.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on March 03, 2020, 06:36:39 PM
We think that our Coronavirus closure will coincide with the week before Spring Break to give everyone two weeks off.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 04, 2020, 04:35:40 AM
An acquaintance in the public health field in the USA says France is testing 10,000 people per day for Covid-19. Here we've tested a total of about 500 people.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: FishProf on March 04, 2020, 05:16:24 AM
We canceled a spring break trip to the Domincan Republic where our students would be in the remotest corner far fropm any population centers, in a country with 1 case (an Italian who was napped at the airport upon arrival) in the opposite end of the island in the tourist trap area.

But our spring break trip to Florida, which has declared a state of emergency over the pandemic, is still on.

Yea for logic and reason!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 04, 2020, 06:16:18 AM
We canceled a spring break trip to the Domincan Republic where our students would be in the remotest corner far fropm any population centers, in a country with 1 case (an Italian who was napped at the airport upon arrival) in the opposite end of the island in the tourist trap area.

But our spring break trip to Florida, which has declared a state of emergency over the pandemic, is still on.

Yea for logic and reason!

It's common knowledge that any foreign country is a poverty-stricken, disease-filled shit hole, whereas USA #1!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 04, 2020, 06:26:29 AM
We canceled a spring break trip to the Domincan Republic where our students would be in the remotest corner far fropm any population centers, in a country with 1 case (an Italian who was napped at the airport upon arrival) in the opposite end of the island in the tourist trap area.

But our spring break trip to Florida, which has declared a state of emergency over the pandemic, is still on.

Yea for logic and reason!

It's common knowledge that any foreign country is a poverty-stricken, disease-filled shit hole, whereas USA #1!

All those brown people in the DR.....and 45* needs Florida voters.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: alto_stratus on March 04, 2020, 06:53:29 PM
Starting to see low stock on things, like disinfectant wipes and zinc lozenges (can't get them online either). 

I picked up tissues, a big container of the off-brand disinfectant wipes (all they had left), a couple jars of pb, crackers, Gatorade, pudding, and broth. 

I might pick up more stuff tomorrow after work.  We typically only buy a week's worth of food at a time, so we don't have a ton of backstock in our pantry or fridge.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Puget on March 04, 2020, 07:54:34 PM
I haven't done anything in particular to prepare (I think the individual risk is still very low), but I figure I have at least a couple weeks of food just with the pantry staples I normally have-- beans, lentils, grains of various kinds, pasta, potatoes, onions, ingredients for making bread and baked goods (I make all my own bread etc. anyway), plus the normal stuff in my fridge and freezer. It might get a bit boring, but there would be plenty to eat. Plenty of food on hand for the kitties too.  I think most middle/professional class people have more food in their house then they think, unless you primarily eat out.

I should stock up on coffee though-- that would be truly dire if it ran out!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ergative on March 05, 2020, 01:51:47 AM
I've been making a point of washing my hands more than usual (easy), but I cannot make myself touch my face less. There's not many cases in my area yet, though, so now's the time to start training.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: scamp on March 05, 2020, 07:42:32 AM
I've been making a point of washing my hands more than usual (easy), but I cannot make myself touch my face less. There's not many cases in my area yet, though, so now's the time to start training.

I have a bad astigmatism in one eye and even with the best contact fit possible it sometimes moves, so I am rubbing my eyes unconsciously all the time. I have trained myself a little to reduce this simply because of vanity and not wanting to increase fine lines around my eyes, but I still do it way too much.

I have been more conscious of washing my hands more frequently and I did buy some rubbing alcohol for disinfection (this is definitely marked up on amazon now!). But otherwise we have plenty of food in the pantry and another large bag of dog food just came in the mail (and we just opened the current one) so I think pooch will be fine as well.

But coffee!!!! I didn't think of that. Buying extra next time I am at the store!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 05, 2020, 08:37:43 AM
Bought my usual 80 lb of rice at one of the local Vietnamese markets today. The market was fully stocked.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: FishProf on March 05, 2020, 08:39:14 AM
Well, yeah.  That rice is probably contaminated.
/s
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: magnemite on March 05, 2020, 10:24:37 AM
There is a high level of angst manifest by hoarding-like behavior here. Local Costco has been out of bleach and TP for a week, for example. But, Pokemon Town is within 100 miles of the USA virus epicenter...
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on March 05, 2020, 10:55:44 AM
I'm perplexed by people who are panicked when their local Walmart/Costco is sold out, but don't think of ordering from Amazon (or Walmart's online store!). Not aimed at you, magnemite and clean -- just prompted by your reports about sold-out stores.

It's like people standing in line at Costco waiting for shopping carts to be returned, so they, too, can stock up for the apocalypse. If you're genuinely worried about a viral infection, why would you go to a store that is packed with (potentially infected) people? That's exactly when you want to shift to delivery.

That is, people's behavior is not at all consistent with their ostensible motivation. If they were worried about viral spreads, they would avoid crowds at all costs. But they aren't. Rather, I think they actually get enjoyment out of the hoarding behavior. Being part of a group that is "prepping" seems like it'd actually be pretty fun. It's like how standing in line for the latest iPhone is fun, too, because you get a community of waiters.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: scamp on March 05, 2020, 11:13:33 AM
I'm perplexed by people who are panicked when their local Walmart/Costco is sold out, but don't think of ordering from Amazon (or Walmart's online store!). Not aimed at you, magnemite and clean -- just prompted by your reports about sold-out stores.

I can report that Walmart is sold out of rubbing alcohol online (when I tried to buy it this morning). I bought a bottle from Amazon for $10, which is ridiculous as a two-pack was $4 on Walmart (when not sold out).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 05, 2020, 11:16:45 AM
There is a high level of angst manifest by hoarding-like behavior here. Local Costco has been out of bleach and TP for a week, for example. But, Pokemon Town is within 100 miles of the USA virus epicenter...

I've heard that some items are getting scarce at our local Wal-Mart, and we're in a distant corner of a state which has yet to record a single case.  There's speculation that that's because of knock-on effects from the runs at stores in more populated regions.

Our state library just did a poll of virus-related plans at libraries around the state.  Sounds like they're mostly doing just what we're doing--keeping up with standard flu-season precautions involving hand sanitizer and disinfecting things that patrons touch.  In our region we're surely at more risk from seasonal flu than from anything else.  Hopefully the seasonal flu has finally peaked locally.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: magnemite on March 05, 2020, 11:21:02 AM
It is really perplexing. The one I cannot figure out is bottled water- that too is sold out at our Costco. Lot's of odd behavior, and the amount of panic-like behavior as compared to what is really going on is kind of disturbing, and makes me wonder what crazy stuff will happen if this gets much worse...
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Thursday's_Child on March 05, 2020, 11:23:21 AM
It is really perplexing. The one I cannot figure out is bottled water- that too is sold out at our Costco. Lot's of odd behavior, and the amount of panic-like behavior as compared to what is really going on is kind of disturbing, and makes me wonder what crazy stuff will happen if this gets much worse...

Since history shows that crazy stuff always happens when people panic, I'm not even going to speculate what we'll see this time.  I just hope it stops short of actual mob violence.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 05, 2020, 11:36:15 AM
Quote
I'm perplexed by people who are panicked when their local Walmart/Costco is sold out, but don't think of ordering from Amazon (or Walmart's online store!). Not aimed at you, magnemite and clean

Quote
t is really perplexing. The one I cannot figure out is bottled water- that too is sold out at our Costco. Lot's of odd behavior, and the amount of panic-like behavior as compared to what is really going on is kind of disturbing, and makes me wonder what crazy stuff will happen if this gets much worse...

I did buy toilet paper online a week or so ago. NOT because I was 'CV19Shopping'.  Consumer Reports a few years ago picked a White Cloud brand, and I used to be able to get it at Walmart.  Over a year ago, Walmart stopped stocking it. I was able to get it at Amazon, but I had to buy 4 twelve packs at a time. It was a little cheaper than what I was paying at Walmart, so I did. Well, it was time to reorder.  My Amazon account reported that it was last ordered in Jan 2019, so it looks like I buy about a year's worth at a time. My case just came in last week. 

Water??  I KNOW!  WTF?  Same with canned soup? Why? You will not lose electricity!  You can still cook! Why buy such things? Frozen foods will not defrost, IF you decide to stock up on food, WHY go with the canned stuff?

AS for shopping online for other things, I dont think that there is much that I need. I have been trying to find Zest soap (coco butter and shay).  It is currently sold out at walmart and my local grocery store. I dont think that it is related to the CV19 as there are plenty of other bar soaps available.  Perhaps the manufacturer is discontinuing it.  On Amazon it is selling at a premium, as it is on Walmart.  The Walmart site was indicating that it would be shipped by someone else! 

I will need to buy alcohol soon, as I take allergy injections and it is about time to restock.  IF they are sold out of the correct strength of liquid, I can get the pouches of pre-soaked gauze pads. 

Anyway, I was posting earlier to report the nuttiness found in my neighborhood stores and wondering if it is wide spread. It looks like it is! Im not really shopping for the things that are sold out.  I have added to my frozen stocks, but certainly not Water, canned soup, Clorox (other than my cleaning lady reporting that I was running low and would soon need some).  Im certainly not buying batteries for my emergency radio!  BUT dont let people think that Netflix will be overwhelmed and no one will be able to stream their shows if everyone is quarantined at home, or there WILL be a run on batteries  too!!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on March 05, 2020, 11:44:56 AM
Well, I bought some water because we're advised to store one gallon of water per person for at least 14 days, because we're in an earthquake zone. I have a couple gallons of water, but clearly not as much as the official sites suggest for an earthquake. So when I was in the supermarket loading up on various supplies, I thought, "While I'm at it, I should get some of that water I'm always meaning to get."  At my supermarket I was apparently the only one who thought this, as there was plenty of bottled water.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 05, 2020, 11:49:18 AM
Water??  I KNOW!  WTF?  Same with canned soup? Why? You will not lose electricity!  You can still cook! Why buy such things? Frozen foods will not defrost, IF you decide to stock up on food, WHY go with the canned stuff?

Canned chicken noodle soup is what I consume when I have cold/flu.  Long a remedy according to conventional wisdom, some research suggests chicken soup helps.

Canned foods are nonperishable and convenient for people who don't have large freezers.

As noted by some officials, the current crisis is a good reminder to be prepared for other types of crises (e.g., power outages).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 05, 2020, 11:58:35 AM
Quote
As noted by some officials, the current crisis is a good reminder to be prepared for other types of crises (e.g., power outages).

Yes, people should Already Have water and food because of the other crisis situations.  Here it is hurricanes.  I already have water, and food that will store well. 

Also, and I could be wrong, but isnt Home Made Chicken Soup supposed to be best, and not Campbell's Chunky variety?

Anyway, I hope everyone stays healthy and is not forced to rely on their canned chicken soup to regain their  health!  I hope that no one has to quarantine and use up their bottled water so that their emergency stockpiles remain full! 
(do note, though, that water does expire!  And be warned that the plastic seems to leach into the water, so it may not necessarily be healthy to use long stored water!)

Good Luck to All of Us! 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 05, 2020, 12:02:15 PM
Also, and I could be wrong, but isnt Home Made Chicken Soup supposed to be best, and not Campbell's Chunky variety?

If, when sick, you or loved ones are eager to make home made soup, more power to ya!  If you have some stored in freezer, more power to ya!  I look for reduced-sodium canned varieties (which are still loaded with salt).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on March 05, 2020, 12:21:47 PM

I did buy toilet paper online a week or so ago. NOT because I was 'CV19Shopping'.  Consumer Reports a few years ago picked a White Cloud brand, and I used to be able to get it at Walmart.  Over a year ago, Walmart stopped stocking it. I was able to get it at Amazon, but I had to buy 4 twelve packs at a time. It was a little cheaper than what I was paying at Walmart, so I did. Well, it was time to reorder.  My Amazon account reported that it was last ordered in Jan 2019, so it looks like I buy about a year's worth at a time. My case just came in last week. 


I had to buy TP yesterday just because we had run out. At the grocery store, the cheap TP was sold out, but pricier brands remained.
Why do people stock up on that? A 12 pack lasts us for weeks already. Presumably whatever people buy lasts them several weeks as well. (Does anybody go to the store for each individual roll????)

So why buy several weeks worth on top of the normal several week supply????
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 07, 2020, 09:51:06 AM
Preparing to put the remainder of my courses online for this semester.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 08, 2020, 06:41:08 AM
Preparing to put the remainder of my courses online for this semester.

I guess I'm feeling like I have enough of a grasp of what I would probably do if courses were all moved online to not have to do more. I also just think it would be one of those situations where it would be important to just focus on getting the minimum done. If I started teaching a fully online course next semester, I would obviously spend time figuring out how to rearrange lectures and content to meet the format. But it is the middle of the semester and if we just move all classes online now, we are dealing with a very abnormal situation. If our CMS has some sort of live meeting function I'll give my lectures there and do what I can to encourage students to actually log in and participate. With a little modification, the essay exams I have now would work ok online. I'll start there and adapt as I go.  Will it all be great and optimized for ideal student learning? No, probably not, but if everything is changed in the middle of the semester because of a public health emergency, good enough will do.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: the_geneticist on March 09, 2020, 02:50:51 PM
Our provost has put out a call to have us "consider" how we could make our classes more accessible online/fully online. 
I teach large enrollment project-based lab classes.  I'm still waiting to hear what the plan is since those cannot be put online.  And the lab is linked to a lecture.  This is true for almost all biology/chemistry/organic chemistry/nursing classes.
I figure it's too large of an issue for me to worry too much.  Simply put, this is beyond a class-by-class issue.  I'm not going to try to make an online version since it simply can't be done (let alone done well) in the three weeks before Spring term starts.  And that assumes I have no other job responsibilities.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on March 09, 2020, 09:49:02 PM
Our provost has put out a call to have us "consider" how we could make our classes more accessible online/fully online. 
I teach large enrollment project-based lab classes.  I'm still waiting to hear what the plan is since those cannot be put online.  And the lab is linked to a lecture.  This is true for almost all biology/chemistry/organic chemistry/nursing classes.
I figure it's too large of an issue for me to worry too much.  Simply put, this is beyond a class-by-class issue.  I'm not going to try to make an online version since it simply can't be done (let alone done well) in the three weeks before Spring term starts.  And that assumes I have no other job responsibilities.

Intensive lab classes at the end of semester. At least that’s what we’re planning.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on March 10, 2020, 04:59:21 AM
Our provost has put out a call to have us "consider" how we could make our classes more accessible online/fully online. 
I teach large enrollment project-based lab classes.  I'm still waiting to hear what the plan is since those cannot be put online.  And the lab is linked to a lecture.  This is true for almost all biology/chemistry/organic chemistry/nursing classes.
I figure it's too large of an issue for me to worry too much.  Simply put, this is beyond a class-by-class issue.  I'm not going to try to make an online version since it simply can't be done (let alone done well) in the three weeks before Spring term starts.  And that assumes I have no other job responsibilities.

Intensive lab classes at the end of semester. At least that’s what we’re planning.

Isn't that kind of a gamble that the outbreak will have passed by that time? If it hasn't, "intensive" lab classes sounds like more people together for longer periods of time, a.k.a. a recipe for transmission.

Almost all of the actions people are taking seem predicated on the idea that they will be for a fairly short, well-defined time period, and thus are unsustainable if the conditions persist for months, rather than weeks.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 10, 2020, 06:42:42 AM
Our provost has put out a call to have us "consider" how we could make our classes more accessible online/fully online. 
I teach large enrollment project-based lab classes.  I'm still waiting to hear what the plan is since those cannot be put online.  And the lab is linked to a lecture.  This is true for almost all biology/chemistry/organic chemistry/nursing classes.
I figure it's too large of an issue for me to worry too much.  Simply put, this is beyond a class-by-class issue.  I'm not going to try to make an online version since it simply can't be done (let alone done well) in the three weeks before Spring term starts.  And that assumes I have no other job responsibilities.

Intensive lab classes at the end of semester. At least that’s what we’re planning.

Isn't that kind of a gamble that the outbreak will have passed by that time? If it hasn't, "intensive" lab classes sounds like more people together for longer periods of time, a.k.a. a recipe for transmission.

Almost all of the actions people are taking seem predicated on the idea that they will be for a fairly short, well-defined time period, and thus are unsustainable if the conditions persist for months, rather than weeks.

Well, presumably if necessary at the end of the semester, you can just cancel the lab classes, find some not great online alternative, finish the semester and move on. Part of dealing with a crisis situation is recognizing that various important things might not happen and that we will just sort it out later.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: the_geneticist on March 10, 2020, 10:51:09 AM
Our provost has put out a call to have us "consider" how we could make our classes more accessible online/fully online. 
I teach large enrollment project-based lab classes.  I'm still waiting to hear what the plan is since those cannot be put online.  And the lab is linked to a lecture.  This is true for almost all biology/chemistry/organic chemistry/nursing classes.
I figure it's too large of an issue for me to worry too much.  Simply put, this is beyond a class-by-class issue.  I'm not going to try to make an online version since it simply can't be done (let alone done well) in the three weeks before Spring term starts.  And that assumes I have no other job responsibilities.

Intensive lab classes at the end of semester. At least that’s what we’re planning.

Isn't that kind of a gamble that the outbreak will have passed by that time? If it hasn't, "intensive" lab classes sounds like more people together for longer periods of time, a.k.a. a recipe for transmission.

Almost all of the actions people are taking seem predicated on the idea that they will be for a fairly short, well-defined time period, and thus are unsustainable if the conditions persist for months, rather than weeks.

Well, presumably if necessary at the end of the semester, you can just cancel the lab classes, find some not great online alternative, finish the semester and move on. Part of dealing with a crisis situation is recognizing that various important things might not happen and that we will just sort it out later.

This is the last week of labs for us (next week is finals).  We could always cancel the last lab sections and excuse the students.  Not ideal, but I'm fine with doing it once.
What I'm really worried about is Spring quarter classes that are starting in a few weeks.  We have heard NO decisions on how that quarter will be run (will we offer lab classes?  Or just some of them? etc.). We live in interesting times.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on March 10, 2020, 06:30:24 PM
Our provost has put out a call to have us "consider" how we could make our classes more accessible online/fully online. 
I teach large enrollment project-based lab classes.  I'm still waiting to hear what the plan is since those cannot be put online.  And the lab is linked to a lecture.  This is true for almost all biology/chemistry/organic chemistry/nursing classes.
I figure it's too large of an issue for me to worry too much.  Simply put, this is beyond a class-by-class issue.  I'm not going to try to make an online version since it simply can't be done (let alone done well) in the three weeks before Spring term starts.  And that assumes I have no other job responsibilities.

Intensive lab classes at the end of semester. At least that’s what we’re planning.

Isn't that kind of a gamble that the outbreak will have passed by that time? If it hasn't, "intensive" lab classes sounds like more people together for longer periods of time, a.k.a. a recipe for transmission.

Almost all of the actions people are taking seem predicated on the idea that they will be for a fairly short, well-defined time period, and thus are unsustainable if the conditions persist for months, rather than weeks.

Sure, but it’s what we can plan for now. As others have suggested, if that doesn’t work we’ll move to plan b (or c, or...). Our lab courses are crucial for delivering the learning outcomes so the fall back is probably to give students incompletes and have them make up the labs in intensive sections the following semester or in the the summer. (I’m in the Southern Hemisphere where winter is coming...)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: alto_stratus on March 10, 2020, 06:44:26 PM
Wow, this is a first for me.  We're moving everything virtual and online. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: OneMoreYear on March 10, 2020, 07:48:58 PM
We also just got the news that we need to move everything online for at least two weeks starting next week. As I am teaching statistics to math-phobic grad students, I am a little nervous. At least in a face to face class, I can see the level of panic in front of me and adjust as needed.  Also, very few of my students have a personal license for the stats software they need for class (we meet in computer labs), so they are going to have to watch my online lectures in the campus computer labs anyway. I'm thinking that this somewhat defeats the purpose of putting my class online, but I guess the point is that students are not forced to meet as a large group?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on March 10, 2020, 10:26:41 PM
OneMoreYear, I wonder if you can try to find a workaround, as many universities are sending students home as well as moving all classes online.  Can you manage without the fancy software, just for this term? 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 11, 2020, 02:16:27 AM
I plan on buying more coffee at the membership club on the way home from work today.

I am getting really annoyed by all the email announcements from organizations about how "prepared" they are for Covid-19.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 11, 2020, 06:42:23 AM
Since it's the tail-end of flu season we're just continuing to use our existing sanitizers and sanitizing measures at work.  Our janitor has been out sick a lot lately (NOT anything contagious), so we've had a bit of a challenge there. 

I recently heard of an elderly patron who got a call from a well-meaning relative advising her as a senior citizen to stay inside and away from people during the virus crisis.  She wasn't happy about it!  We're in a state that has yet to have a single case reported, and literally over a hundred miles from any of the cities where the first case in the state will surely be identified.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 11, 2020, 07:36:12 AM
We also just got the news that we need to move everything online for at least two weeks starting next week. As I am teaching statistics to math-phobic grad students, I am a little nervous. At least in a face to face class, I can see the level of panic in front of me and adjust as needed.  Also, very few of my students have a personal license for the stats software they need for class (we meet in computer labs), so they are going to have to watch my online lectures in the campus computer labs anyway. I'm thinking that this somewhat defeats the purpose of putting my class online, but I guess the point is that students are not forced to meet as a large group?

Stats software company should just give the product to students!!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Engineer13 on March 11, 2020, 07:55:19 AM
If you move to online, don't record yourself talking for X number of hours. It is deadly and students simply will not watch it. I've taught online for a while and know the ropes. Did you know the average YouTube video is watched for under 4 minutes? The same will be true for a recorded lecture. If you have to replace an in-person lecture, do it with a variety of media: a short written-out piece with pictures and diagrams, a Power-Point, an amusing and/or helpful clip from YouTube (already made by somebody else), etc. Divide the information up and put the different parts in different formats, as appropriate.

This is really good advice!  I'll keep it in mind if we have to go totally on-line.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: OneMoreYear on March 11, 2020, 10:03:21 AM
OneMoreYear, I wonder if you can try to find a workaround, as many universities are sending students home as well as moving all classes online.  Can you manage without the fancy software, just for this term?

Yes, met with a colleague in the same boat this morning, and we are going to demo online what it would look like if they used the software, but not require them to actually run the stats. Class will focus on interpretation of output, which is mostly what our students need. Best we can do for now.
Our students are in a professional program, and, therefore, will remain in the area for other responsibilities even though classes are moved online.

We also just got the news that we need to move everything online for at least two weeks starting next week. As I am teaching statistics to math-phobic grad students, I am a little nervous. At least in a face to face class, I can see the level of panic in front of me and adjust as needed.  Also, very few of my students have a personal license for the stats software they need for class (we meet in computer labs), so they are going to have to watch my online lectures in the campus computer labs anyway. I'm thinking that this somewhat defeats the purpose of putting my class online, but I guess the point is that students are not forced to meet as a large group?

Stats software company should just give the product to students!!

My initial thought is that my university should waive the fees for student software access, so they can download onto their home computers, but I realize there is not a chance in hell of this happening, so we're going with Plan B.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 11, 2020, 10:26:27 AM
OneMoreYear, I wonder if you can try to find a workaround, as many universities are sending students home as well as moving all classes online.  Can you manage without the fancy software, just for this term?

Yes, met with a colleague in the same boat this morning, and we are going to demo online what it would look like if they used the software, but not require them to actually run the stats. Class will focus on interpretation of output, which is mostly what our students need. Best we can do for now.
Our students are in a professional program, and, therefore, will remain in the area for other responsibilities even though classes are moved online.

We also just got the news that we need to move everything online for at least two weeks starting next week. As I am teaching statistics to math-phobic grad students, I am a little nervous. At least in a face to face class, I can see the level of panic in front of me and adjust as needed.  Also, very few of my students have a personal license for the stats software they need for class (we meet in computer labs), so they are going to have to watch my online lectures in the campus computer labs anyway. I'm thinking that this somewhat defeats the purpose of putting my class online, but I guess the point is that students are not forced to meet as a large group?

Stats software company should just give the product to students!!

My initial thought is that my university should waive the fees for student software access, so they can download onto their home computers, but I realize there is not a chance in hell of this happening, so we're going with Plan B.

Why won't your uni waive fees???
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: OneMoreYear on March 11, 2020, 10:33:15 AM
OneMoreYear, I wonder if you can try to find a workaround, as many universities are sending students home as well as moving all classes online.  Can you manage without the fancy software, just for this term?

Yes, met with a colleague in the same boat this morning, and we are going to demo online what it would look like if they used the software, but not require them to actually run the stats. Class will focus on interpretation of output, which is mostly what our students need. Best we can do for now.
Our students are in a professional program, and, therefore, will remain in the area for other responsibilities even though classes are moved online.

We also just got the news that we need to move everything online for at least two weeks starting next week. As I am teaching statistics to math-phobic grad students, I am a little nervous. At least in a face to face class, I can see the level of panic in front of me and adjust as needed.  Also, very few of my students have a personal license for the stats software they need for class (we meet in computer labs), so they are going to have to watch my online lectures in the campus computer labs anyway. I'm thinking that this somewhat defeats the purpose of putting my class online, but I guess the point is that students are not forced to meet as a large group?

Stats software company should just give the product to students!!

My initial thought is that my university should waive the fees for student software access, so they can download onto their home computers, but I realize there is not a chance in hell of this happening, so we're going with Plan B.

Why won't your uni waive fees???

Because that would be logical and helpful?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Aster on March 11, 2020, 10:44:10 AM
In the restroom today, I found myself in a queue of people waiting to wash their hands.

Usually, over 70% of students do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. For the 30% that do, about half of that group don't even use soap. They just wet their hands and dry them.

But TODAY, it was like the Twilight Zone. EVERY SINGLE PERSON was washing hands, and EVERY SINGLE PERSON was using soap.

This made me curious, so I found reasons today to keep visiting the bathrooms. I noticed another weird thing happening. People who were washing their hands (or in the queue), were surreptitiously watching other people wash their hands, and then mimicking the motions. It was like people were so unused to washing their hands that they needed some visual aids. Ha ha ha.

I wish that we could have had a coronavirus mass-public hysteria last month during flu season. That would have been more practical.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 11, 2020, 10:45:32 AM
Quote
Stats software company should just give the product to students!!
And grocery stores should just give food to people!
And Winnebego should give campers to homeless people so at least they can travel and not burden any particular city

And the government should just print money so that there would be no poor people!

 
Quote
Because that would be logical and helpful?

How about because it is not theirs to give away?  There are contracts that limit the number of licenses that they have. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: OneMoreYear on March 11, 2020, 10:54:21 AM
Quote
Stats software company should just give the product to students!!
And grocery stores should just give food to people!
And Winnebego should give campers to homeless people so at least they can travel and not burden any particular city

And the government should just print money so that there would be no poor people!

 
Quote
Because that would be logical and helpful?

How about because it is not theirs to give away?  There are contracts that limit the number of licenses that they have. 

Perhaps so.  Students can rent the software for semester long periods (we don't require it b/c we hold class in the computer lab, and students often stay after to do the homework). I guess I was thinking there could be some type of waiver fee on the rental period for this semester.  But, like I said, I don't think it's possible.  We've got a Plan B, and we're dealing the best we can like everyone else.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: RatGuy on March 11, 2020, 10:55:17 AM
I have a cough today -- the clinic tells me its a run-of-the-mill sinus infection. Still, that didn't stop one of my colleagues from spraying my office door with Lysol as soon as I stepped out for a second.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Liquidambar on March 11, 2020, 11:00:33 AM
Quote
Stats software company should just give the product to students!!
And grocery stores should just give food to people!
And Winnebego should give campers to homeless people so at least they can travel and not burden any particular city

And the government should just print money so that there would be no poor people!

Not comparable.  Cheap academic licenses are often available for specialized technical software.  It's an investment so that students get used to the software and want it once they graduate and are working at companies.  The regular software price for companies is usually very expensive.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 11, 2020, 11:19:35 AM
Quote
Stats software company should just give the product to students!!
And grocery stores should just give food to people!
And Winnebego should give campers to homeless people so at least they can travel and not burden any particular city

And the government should just print money so that there would be no poor people!

Not comparable.  Cheap academic licenses are often available for specialized technical software.  It's an investment so that students get used to the software and want it once they graduate and are working at companies.  The regular software price for companies is usually very expensive.

It absolutely is!  "cheap" is NOT Free! 
For this emergency, why dont you donate your salary back to the university to help the students that may be suffering because of campus closures?  Students who purchased a food package and lived in a dorm now have to pay for food that they technically already bought.  Why dont you donate your wages to support them? HOW is that different from being in the position of the software company?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: newprofwife on March 11, 2020, 11:33:16 AM
This situation will be interesting for sure. I did work at a uni that was closed for a few weeks due to a hurricane. I also have a friend who was a grad student in New Orleans after hurricane katrina. I'm wondering if universities will use similar protocols to when natural distastes hit campuses and shut them down for weeks/months. Also interesting to go over these discussion threads: https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/board,27.0.html         
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Liquidambar on March 11, 2020, 11:57:59 AM
Quote
Stats software company should just give the product to students!!
And grocery stores should just give food to people!
And Winnebego should give campers to homeless people so at least they can travel and not burden any particular city

And the government should just print money so that there would be no poor people!

Not comparable.  Cheap academic licenses are often available for specialized technical software.  It's an investment so that students get used to the software and want it once they graduate and are working at companies.  The regular software price for companies is usually very expensive.

It absolutely is!  "cheap" is NOT Free! 
For this emergency, why dont you donate your salary back to the university to help the students that may be suffering because of campus closures?  Students who purchased a food package and lived in a dorm now have to pay for food that they technically already bought.  Why dont you donate your wages to support them? HOW is that different from being in the position of the software company?

Huh?  I'm not suggesting that software companies should have to give out free stuff because of an emergency.  I'm just pointing out that you're comparing apples and oranges (giving away free stuff out of altruism vs choosing to give up revenue on licenses now as an investment with the outcome of more future revenue).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on March 11, 2020, 12:49:44 PM
I'm not sure what our university will do considering there is an online petition with over 25,000 signatures on it urging the admins to move classes online. In other news, organizations (local and school-related) have started cancelling events. I just got an email today regarding an April event. Cancelled.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 11, 2020, 12:55:50 PM
Well, word is out today that we might now have a case in our state.  It's in a city a little closer to us than I anticipated, though still almost two hours away.  Reportedly people are losing their heads there, and the stores are in chaos.  I've been told that I need to buy some cleaning supplies for work this evening.  I hope the hysteria hasn't already resulted in the looting of our local shelves.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 11, 2020, 01:31:28 PM
Quote
"Stats software company should just give the product to students!!"

Quote
Huh?  I'm not suggesting that software companies should have to give out free stuff because of an emergency. 


What part of "just give the product to students" is NOT suggesting that software companies should give out free stuff?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on March 11, 2020, 01:40:26 PM
I’m on a plane and suffering from hay fever. No one next to me but the folks nearby are unimpressed when I sneeze or blow my nose.

Can’t blame them.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Liquidambar on March 11, 2020, 02:06:35 PM
Quote
"Stats software company should just give the product to students!!"

Quote
Huh?  I'm not suggesting that software companies should have to give out free stuff because of an emergency. 


What part of "just give the product to students" is NOT suggesting that software companies should give out free stuff?

You're not using the quote feature very well.  That comment wasn't from me.

ETA:  I mean the first quote wasn't from me.  The second was me.  I replied to your post, clean, because your argument didn't seem to be logically thought out or relevant.  However, I don't really care so am done discussing this topic.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: FishProf on March 11, 2020, 02:07:18 PM
I have now solved the problems created by my administration in response to Covid-19 five times.  But when we pivot to solve their latest scenario, they change the scenario.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on March 11, 2020, 02:10:57 PM
My place seems to be handling things quite well. Lots of preparation, good communication, and no panic.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 11, 2020, 02:12:32 PM
Quote
Quote
"Stats software company should just give the product to students!!"

Quote
Huh?  I'm not suggesting that software companies should have to give out free stuff because of an emergency.


What part of "just give the product to students" is NOT suggesting that software companies should give out free stuff?

You're not using the quote feature very well.  That comment wasn't from me.

Certainly SOME are advocating to "just give products to students"! 

IF there are companies that provide software to your labs, ASK them for or about student packages! They probably already have them available, but they are not likely free! 
I ve been inundated (as I m sure others have) by emails from publishers that are letting me know that they are 'ready to help' as universities go online to deal with redirecting classes to online delivery.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Aster on March 11, 2020, 03:10:14 PM
I'm not sure what our university will do considering there is an online petition with over 25,000 signatures on it urging the admins to move classes online. In other news, organizations (local and school-related) have started cancelling events. I just got an email today regarding an April event. Cancelled.

Petitions? Wow.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 11, 2020, 05:50:54 PM
I successfully purchased more coffee beans at the membership club today. Also a very large amount of toilet paper. I had coupons for both and saved $5.

I am now ready for the zombie apocalypse.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 11, 2020, 06:17:04 PM
No travelers from Europe.
No cargo from Europe if I understood, so IF you have anything from there that you want, stock up while you can!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 11, 2020, 07:37:12 PM
Glad to hear about no travelers from Europe: No additional visitors to my house, then.

Received eight 250g packets of dried meat filled tortellini [two orders of four] from Italy today, for eating in Brodo or with brand name bottled tomato sauce. Plenty wine from local delivery coming tomorrow.

Am ready to face the music.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on March 11, 2020, 08:06:13 PM
The word came down today to move everything to online forthwith.  I have never taught online before so I signed into the training session our IT folk put on this afternoon.

Said training consisted of watching the screen capture of 2 of our geeks zooming around the screen while speaking at the speed of light.  "You can do this neat thing over here!  But not over there!  And be sure to click this thing immediately or it will crash!!  But never do that thing over behind this menu!!  And remember, YOU are the first line of technical support if students are having trouble!" 

Next week is Spring Break.  I was hoping to take a week's vacation time.  Now I get to spend it teaching myself software.  Thanks for nothing. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 12, 2020, 05:12:55 AM
I have now solved the problems created by my administration in response to Covid-19 five times.  But when we pivot to solve their latest scenario, they change the scenario.

Can you provide details? Similar situation here. For example, administration has directed faculty to prepare for 100% online instruction after spring break. Yet no one has surveyed undergraduates to find out whether they will have enough bandwidth off campus to receive the 50- to 75-minute live-stream video of lectures that many faculty assume equates to "online instruction." No one has considered where or what the students with campus meal plans will eat if they can't return to parental households.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on March 12, 2020, 06:45:09 AM
We got a general "while other local schools have gone all-online, we probably won't" email from admin Tuesday evening.  Then late yesterday, department chairs sent an urgent, answer ASAP email to faculty asking what additional resources we would need if we have to go online, which in our place means that the shift is pretty much a done deal.

I'm fine with it (and would actually prefer an all-online teaching option, every semester), but I know the vast majority of my dept. colleagues and others across the district are going to be up the creek if this happens.  The initial email alluded to the need for all faculty to be trained before going online, and since I developed our robust online training program that's still used 7 years later, I know that any such "emergency" training isn't going to be worth the time it takes to muddle through it.  It is what it is, though. 

I feel good about it for my students, because I use Bb so much in my F2F classes that the technical part of it won't be anything new for them.  I'm not going to use Collaborate or taped lectures, though, since I don't say anything in lectures that they can't get from the reading (IF they'd do it), so I'll shift the discussions into reading responses and discussion boards.  Discussion is where our real work gets done in Comp II.

I'm skeptical about our students having the equipment and/or internet at home, though, let alone the bandwidth for the bells and whistles. And knowing our school's infrastructure, even though it's been beefed up as a result of my pushing for it during my brief admin reassignment those years ago, I don't trust that we can realistically expect to avoid frequent and long-duration crashes if we go from maybe 15% of our classes being online to all of them being online.  We'll see.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nescafe on March 12, 2020, 06:48:14 AM
I came home with a slight fever last night, and have decided to self-quarantine until further notice. It's probably nothing more than a typical cold... but it's got me nervous.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 12, 2020, 07:05:37 AM
Quote
Stats software company should just give the product to students!!
And grocery stores should just give food to people!
And Winnebego should give campers to homeless people so at least they can travel and not burden any particular city

And the government should just print money so that there would be no poor people!

Not comparable.  Cheap academic licenses are often available for specialized technical software.  It's an investment so that students get used to the software and want it once they graduate and are working at companies.  The regular software price for companies is usually very expensive.

It absolutely is!  "cheap" is NOT Free! 
For this emergency, why dont you donate your salary back to the university to help the students that may be suffering because of campus closures?  Students who purchased a food package and lived in a dorm now have to pay for food that they technically already bought.  Why dont you donate your wages to support them? HOW is that different from being in the position of the software company?

Did you have to study to be an assh*le or were you just born that way?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 12, 2020, 07:07:58 AM
He raises the same questions that Peter Singer does about affluence and morality.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 12, 2020, 07:09:34 AM
I have now solved the problems created by my administration in response to Covid-19 five times.  But when we pivot to solve their latest scenario, they change the scenario.

Can you provide details? Similar situation here. For example, administration has directed faculty to prepare for 100% online instruction after spring break. Yet no one has surveyed undergraduates to find out whether they will have enough bandwidth off campus to receive the 50- to 75-minute live-stream video of lectures that many faculty assume equates to "online instruction." No one has considered where or what the students with campus meal plans will eat if they can't return to parental households.

Our local college announced yesterday that it was closing down face-to-face classes.  We're likely going to have a lot of local students in here trying to use library computers and bandwidth for their classes.  Which we're glad to provide--but our resources are limited.  We'll see whether they prove adequate.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: FishProf on March 12, 2020, 07:13:30 AM
Conversation we WILL have today:  How to efficiently and effectively move your class to online.

Conversation we will NOT have today (but someone will try):  How online courses are crap and we should never EVER allow them HERE.

Do you see that bag over there?  In the open barn doorway?  You are waaaay too late.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 12, 2020, 07:29:40 AM
Quote
Yet no one has surveyed undergraduates to find out whether they will have enough bandwidth off campus to receive the 50- to 75-minute live-stream video of lectures that many faculty assume equates to "online instruction."


IF your faculty think that switching to online means live streaming their lectures, does your UNIVERSITY have the bandwidth to support 50 or 100 classes trying to broadcast at the same time?  Could you do it from your campus, or would FACULTY be expected to do it from home and do THEY have the bandwidth to live stream from home, much less the equipment?

Captasia (I dont know how to spell it) is not all that easy to use, in my opinion, and to do it better (edit out the 'ums' and other pauses) it can take quite some time to produce a submission. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 12, 2020, 07:39:13 AM
Quote
Yet no one has surveyed undergraduates to find out whether they will have enough bandwidth off campus to receive the 50- to 75-minute live-stream video of lectures that many faculty assume equates to "online instruction."


IF your faculty think that switching to online means live streaming their lectures, does your UNIVERSITY have the bandwidth to support 50 or 100 classes trying to broadcast at the same time?  Could you do it from your campus, or would FACULTY be expected to do it from home and do THEY have the bandwidth to live stream from home, much less the equipment?

Captasia (I dont know how to spell it) is not all that easy to use, in my opinion, and to do it better (edit out the 'ums' and other pauses) it can take quite some time to produce a submission.

This really isn't the time to strive for perfection. Everyone can deal with some ums and pauses.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 12, 2020, 10:53:20 AM
Has this been cited already?

   https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2020/03/11/practical-advice-instructors-faced-abrupt-move-online-teaching-opinion

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: backatit on March 12, 2020, 10:58:07 AM
Has this been cited already?

   https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2020/03/11/practical-advice-instructors-faced-abrupt-move-online-teaching-opinion

M.

I don't know - I've used it in a couple of guides I put together. This is certainly a busy week for those of us who normally teach fully online, but it's interesting!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 12, 2020, 11:35:20 AM
Conversation we WILL have today:  How to efficiently and effectively move your class to online.

Conversation we will NOT have today (but someone will try):  How online courses are crap and we should never EVER allow them HERE.

Do you see that bag over there?  In the open barn doorway?  You are waaaay too late.

Got official notification here: spring break extended by one week, dorms, dining halls, etc. closed and students not returning to campus until after Easter at the earliest, transition to 100% online instruction in the interim. Spring semester is extended one week later to compensate for the longer spring break.

Some advice that might prove useful: http://activelearningps.com/2020/03/12/tips-for-moving-instruction-online/ (http://activelearningps.com/2020/03/12/tips-for-moving-instruction-online/).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 12, 2020, 11:59:22 AM
Just learned that somebody locally posted on Facebook that toilet paper is in short supply because it is made in China.  This in a town where a toilet paper mill is the leading employer!  Whatever else we may run out of locally, we should be the last place with a shortage of that particular commodity.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on March 12, 2020, 03:17:55 PM
Welp. We are now closed for two weeks. Spring Break starts next week, so we have a week of 'online teaching.' I suppose they'll reassess the situation after the second week.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 12, 2020, 03:56:27 PM
Add my employer to the list of 'extended spring break'.  We are currently scheduled to resume classes on the 23rd, unless something else changes! 
The message was somewhat conflicting stating that online classes continue as usual, face to face classes are extending the spring break, but faculty are to continue the continuity plan (which is to go online).  So I am not sure IF I am to be online next week or not give assignments.  My chair has yet to answer my questions.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Diogenes on March 12, 2020, 04:57:15 PM
I cancelled a trip to a big city during our spring break because of risks and closures. I'm substituting it with a shorter trip to a sleepy resort town. Neither my state nor the other state have active community transmission.

But, I saw another academic on a twitter thread calling people that are doing this kind of thing- renting cabins, going camping, etc. as 'privileged' and 'irresponsible.'

My first thought is they don't get mountain culture when is comes to camping- it's a pretty normative activity. And that they are over reacting- I am not leaving nor going into risky areas.

But I'm curious if anyone wants to check me on that. Am I being naive? Is leaving my city for an isolated place a bad idea?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 12, 2020, 05:46:50 PM
You are doing yourself and others a favor: If others are infected, but not you, the chance that you get infected is bigger in a big city. If you are infected, the chance that you infect others is smaller in the wilderness.

More power to 'ya.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 12, 2020, 07:02:43 PM
Earlier today, Gov. Larry Hogan ordered all MD public schools close for 2 weeks. Full coverage and details:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-update-alexandria-records-1st-first-case-loudoun-co-schools-closed-for-more-than-a-week/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-update-alexandria-records-1st-first-case-loudoun-co-schools-closed-for-more-than-a-week/)
Also of note, Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth of VA. Mayor Muriel Bower already has done the same for DC.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: namazu on March 12, 2020, 07:14:14 PM
Earlier today, Gov. Larry Hogan ordered all MD public schools close for 2 weeks. Full coverage and details:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-update-alexandria-records-1st-first-case-loudoun-co-schools-closed-for-more-than-a-week/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-update-alexandria-records-1st-first-case-loudoun-co-schools-closed-for-more-than-a-week/)
Also of note, Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth of VA. Mayor Muriel Bower already has done the same for DC.
Likewise, Ohio has closed all public and private K-12 schools from March 17-April 3 (at least).
https://www.cleveland19.com/2020/03/12/order-ohio-gov-dewine-bans-mass-gatherings-more-than-people-during-coronavirus-scare/

There are currently 5 confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio; the Ohio Department of Health Director estimates that there could be as many as 100,000 infected people in Ohio already.  (Unclear where that number comes from, and I'm skeptical.)
https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/487329-ohio-health-official-estimates-100000-people-in-state-have-coronavirus
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on March 12, 2020, 08:43:36 PM
A student came to class today with a big can of Lysol sticking out his sweatpants pocket.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 12, 2020, 08:56:35 PM
Quote
https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/disneyland-disney-world-universal-studios-hollywood-to-close-due-to-coronavirus/ar-BB116V7z[/quote}


Disney has shut down Disneyland in CA, Disney World in Fl, and suspended Disney Cruise line voyages. 

See, students were expecting that this 'extended spring break' would be full of fun and games!  No cruises, not Disney, no Universal Studios, ....

Here dorms remain open because 'many have no where else to go' if we shut down the dorms.

I think that in the end, the students may well end up being glad to return to campus.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ergative on March 13, 2020, 01:04:33 AM
I just got an email from my mother reassuring me of the social distancing precautions she and my father (and grandmother) are taking. She sounds lonely and bored, but that's a heckuva lot better than the alternative.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on March 13, 2020, 01:04:52 AM
I bought beer. I figured I can figure out alternatives to most things. But not beer.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 13, 2020, 01:21:04 AM
I love the social distancing precaution. I have wanted to distance myself from the rest of the world since ca. the age of five.

And I have stodkpiled wine, plenty of it.

Avec moi le deluge! :-)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 13, 2020, 02:40:02 AM
I might be stocking up on pita bread this weekend. My wife is complaining that the rice and flour are not "her" foods. She is forgetting about the twelve pounds of coffee beans we now have.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: bento on March 13, 2020, 04:53:57 AM
My university is going to fully online after an extended spring break.  We are down to 'essential operations' on campus.

So: Our dean has called a general college assembly for Tuesday of next week.  This will include people who have just been traveling to all parts of the nation and world, packing into a lecture hall, to discuss ways we can manage our coronavirus response. 

Somehow this does not sound like the best administrative thinking.  I'm going to predict not great attendance.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 13, 2020, 07:27:49 AM

So: Our dean has called a general college assembly for Tuesday of next week.  This will include people who have just been traveling to all parts of the nation and world, packing into a lecture hall, to discuss ways we can manage our coronavirus response. 


That is bizarre.  Why not do it virtually like most smart places right now?  My campus has had numerous virtual meetings this week.  There is also streaming of meetings to listen but not participate.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 13, 2020, 11:02:04 AM
Classes here haven't been cancelled yet, and I sort of suspect they won't be, although I also suspect the first half of the summer term will be shifted online.

That pretty much suits me, since I didn't feel like slogging in four days a week in the summer. I do hope those summer classes aren't cancelled outright, though, because I can't afford not to be paid all summer. Not with rent what it is in this city.


I am anticipating that exams will be shifted online, however. Which, again, suits me to a certain extent, since that will greatly alleviate my grading burden.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: histlibrarian on March 13, 2020, 12:17:12 PM
With other similar sized institutions around us shifting to temporary online learning for the next 2-ish weeks, we've done so as well. I think the timing for the announcement could have been better, but oh well.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nescafe on March 13, 2020, 01:00:29 PM
I've got a stack of novels I've been meaning to read. Now that our Spring Break travel has been canceled, I guess that's what I'll be doing for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 13, 2020, 01:34:39 PM
Word is circulating that some faculty have decided that they simply won't do anything during the weeks that the university has shifted to online instruction, and will just resume following what's in their syllabi when we return for on-campus classes. This assumes we will in fact return to campus for the last few weeks of the semester, which is not certain, and it violates federal and accreditor credit hour standards. Administrators are figuring out ways to hold these people accountable. But it's entirely possible that an adjunct could say "I didn't sign up for this" and just walk away.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 13, 2020, 01:43:11 PM
Found out today we'll be closing down for 2 weeks. I plan to unplug from work e-mail.  It can wait until I come back to work at the library in April!

Good books are always things to stockpile! And beer and wine :D
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mahagonny on March 13, 2020, 01:51:36 PM
Word is circulating that some faculty have decided that they simply won't do anything during the weeks that the university has shifted to online instruction, and will just resume following what's in their syllabi when we return for on-campus classes. This assumes we will in fact return to campus for the last few weeks of the semester, which is not certain, and it violates federal and accreditor credit hour standards. Administrators are figuring out ways to hold these people accountable. But it's entirely possible that an adjunct could say "I didn't sign up for this" and just walk away.

Thus the whole college ends up in the ditch, and the faculty who make the good money because they are invested in the long term health of the institution are celebrating.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 13, 2020, 02:00:02 PM
My fiance and I were leaving lunch after some wedding planning trips, when her dad called to say that the local grocery store is packed because Trump was on the news declaring an emergency and that we should rush to Walmart to stock up on TP and soap! 

Fortunately, I already have plenty of TP AND soap because of my normal shopping.  On the way home the grocery store parking lot (at 3pm on Friday, while Trump was on TV and radio) was indeed packed with more cars backed up trying to turn into the parking lot!

Yep... Gotta be able to Flush!  Especially after eating the canned food that people are stocking up on ... the food that htey really dont even like!

Are you noticing runs on grocery stores/WalMarts in your neighborhood today? 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on March 13, 2020, 02:08:43 PM
Word is circulating that some faculty have decided that they simply won't do anything during the weeks that the university has shifted to online instruction, and will just resume following what's in their syllabi when we return for on-campus classes. This assumes we will in fact return to campus for the last few weeks of the semester, which is not certain, and it violates federal and accreditor credit hour standards. Administrators are figuring out ways to hold these people accountable. But it's entirely possible that an adjunct could say "I didn't sign up for this" and just walk away.

Anyone who thinks that some kind of normality will return in a few weeks is wildly optimistic. I don't expect there to be any face-to-face courses in the Fall, and maybe not Spring 2021 either.

If you take seriously even the fairly optimistic predictions of the numbers of deaths we can expect and the economic consequences of shutting down of many businesses, no one is going to give a shit about some faculty member who didn't do much work for the online portion of their class.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 13, 2020, 02:36:45 PM

[. . . ]

Are you noticing runs on grocery stores/WalMarts in your neighborhood today? 

I did not visit any stores today. I normally do my grocery shopping at off hours anyway (Friday on the way home from work? Forget it), but for the last three weeks I've been buying in bulk more than usual to further minimize my trips.

Word is circulating that some faculty have decided that they simply won't do anything during the weeks that the university has shifted to online instruction, and will just resume following what's in their syllabi when we return for on-campus classes. This assumes we will in fact return to campus for the last few weeks of the semester, which is not certain, and it violates federal and accreditor credit hour standards. Administrators are figuring out ways to hold these people accountable. But it's entirely possible that an adjunct could say "I didn't sign up for this" and just walk away.

Anyone who thinks that some kind of normality will return in a few weeks is wildly optimistic. I don't expect there to be any face-to-face courses in the Fall, and maybe not Spring 2021 either.

If you take seriously even the fairly optimistic predictions of the numbers of deaths we can expect and the economic consequences of shutting down of many businesses, no one is going to give a shit about some faculty member who didn't do much work for the online portion of their class.
 

You must not get the students and the parents of students that we do. We have already received demands for tuition refunds because "The semester is ruined. You wasted our money."

K-12 schools are not closed. That, plus being in relatively close proximity to a minor epicenter, is going to cause greater amounts of social distancing and isolation. Which in turn is going to further negatively affect university operations.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pgher on March 13, 2020, 02:46:31 PM
A word of caution: Zoom meetings seem more laggy than usual. I expect all of those sorts of systems will be heavily used and generally oversubscribed for a while.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on March 13, 2020, 03:01:36 PM

You must not get the students and the parents of students that we do. We have already received demands for tuition refunds because "The semester is ruined. You wasted our money."


I have no interaction with the parents so I don't know if they are demanding money back. I'd say the semester is basically shot anyway. If a student can get their money back, it would be a good idea. Few students will be able to pay attention from now on. I expect that the fail rates for many courses that have been put online are going to shoot up to high rates -- where I normally fail about 10-15% of a class, I won't be surprised to have 40% fail or withdraw this semester.

All this Zoom enthusiasm will soon fade -- it is mostly for appearances' sake.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: namazu on March 13, 2020, 03:08:13 PM
Are you noticing runs on grocery stores/WalMarts in your neighborhood today?
Yes.  Today was the wrong day to run out of potatoes!

Local medium-sized grocery store was sold out of loaves of bread, all poultry (incl. organic and kosher) and most fish (except smoked salmon), conventional but not organic bananas, many kinds of cereal, milk, eggs, small but not large cucumbers, and of course potatoes and onions.  I asked a staffer if they were having supplier issues (which sometimes happen at this store) or if it was all coronavirus-related panic buying, and she said it was the latter.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: backatit on March 13, 2020, 03:28:19 PM
k-12 schools just closed in our state.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 13, 2020, 03:32:52 PM



Are you noticing runs on grocery stores/WalMarts in your neighborhood today?
Yes.  Today was the wrong day to run out of potatoes!

Local medium-sized grocery store was sold out of loaves of bread, all poultry (incl. organic and kosher) and most fish (except smoked salmon), conventional but not organic bananas, many kinds of cereal, milk, eggs, small but not large cucumbers, and of course potatoes and onions.  I asked a staffer if they were having supplier issues (which sometimes happen at this store) or if it was all coronavirus-related panic buying, and she said it was the latter.

These runs on stores are so easily avoidable: Just raise prices! :-) Stores don't do it yet because they don't wish to piss off their customers. But if this keeps up, prices will rise, especially since supply isn't exactly going to go up.

I know it will objected that then the poor can't get anything. Well, maybe they can't get anything as is. More interestingly, we might impose a rationing scheme such that the customer gets what s/he bought last week at last weeks prices, but if s/he buys more, the extra is charged double, triple, or whatever it take to keep the shelves full.

Simpler is for stores to ration, say, one per customer. [But then watch the large sizes run out!] Maybe that will come by itself.

I overstock on wine only, but that's independent of the virus.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Aster on March 13, 2020, 03:39:44 PM
Word is circulating that some faculty have decided that they simply won't do anything during the weeks that the university has shifted to online instruction, and will just resume following what's in their syllabi when we return for on-campus classes. This assumes we will in fact return to campus for the last few weeks of the semester, which is not certain, and it violates federal and accreditor credit hour standards. Administrators are figuring out ways to hold these people accountable. But it's entirely possible that an adjunct could say "I didn't sign up for this" and just walk away.

Thus the whole college ends up in the ditch, and the faculty who make the good money because they are invested in the long term health of the institution are celebrating.

The Department of Education has issued emergency waivers allowing not-online courses to temporarily be online. I don't think that the regional accreditors are going to really be giving a crap about contact and credit hour requirements right now, just like they don't give a crap with institutions in regional areas that experience natural disasters and other emergencies. Sometimes, $%^& happens.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 13, 2020, 04:01:58 PM
The local news was broadcasting from inside a grocery store.  the lot was full and people were searching for a place to park. They showed the empty shelves fo cleaning supplies and the pages showing new limits of how many items one can buy of different now 'must haves'.
I paused the picture and counted At Least 10 carts in line waiting to check out/pay! 

I have not tried it out yet, but the local chain now lets you shop from home and go to a special outside pick up. I think that they charge $5 for the service.  A coworker claims that she will never step inside a grocery store again as they also deliver!  I dont know what they charge, but it seems worth it to her!  Though if an item is out of stock, I dont know what they do... As there is a time delay from when they 'shop' and deliver, I suppose that they can wait to see if your missing item comes in later in the day, or at least before scheduled delivery.  IF I can not park, I m surely not going to shop!  IF I actually NEED enough things, then perhaps I will consider paying for shopping or delivery. IF it is just milk or bread, there are convenience stores only 1/2 a mile away, though the prices are certainly higher, but not after factoring in the 'line time' cost. 

I would consider shopping for some premade salad kits/mixes, but Wendy's has a $2 off coupon, so IF I feel like a salad, that is probably the way to go for now! 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Diogenes on March 13, 2020, 04:10:38 PM

Anyone who thinks that some kind of normality will return in a few weeks is wildly optimistic. I don't expect there to be any face-to-face courses in the Fall, and maybe not Spring 2021 either.

If you take seriously even the fairly optimistic predictions of the numbers of deaths we can expect and the economic consequences of shutting down of many businesses, no one is going to give a shit about some faculty member who didn't do much work for the online portion of their class.

Name checks out.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 13, 2020, 05:16:36 PM
k-12 schools just closed in our state.

Sorry, I mis-typed in my post above. Our K-12 schools ARE closed.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Vkw10 on March 13, 2020, 06:22:45 PM
Our Spring Break just started. Students get an extra week, while we prep for remote teaching until mid-April at least. I've heard "I'll just scan my lecture notes and post to course site" and "I will do live lectures from the campus TV studio, because Zoom is lame." (The TV studio was decommissioned a couple of years ago.)

One of the bettter plans I heard involved essentially creating study guides, with a mix of multiple short Zoom recordings and short readings. That group of faculty is thinking about students who are sharing a computer or relying on phones.

One person is requiring students to complete a short online assignment and participate live in a 15-minute Zoom discussion held during regular class time each week. She's divided class time into multiple 15-minute meetings, with a discussion topic for each meeting. Everyone is responsible for all the content, but they only have to participate in one discussion. I'm interested in how that works.

I don't see us getting back to normal operations this semester. I hope I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 13, 2020, 06:24:35 PM
The city's two major universities just closed shop and told everyone to move online for Monday. I imagine we'll follow shortly.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 13, 2020, 08:27:37 PM
Not directly related to schools themselves, but for those who work in the arts, music, theater, and dance, support agencies are making some good suggestions for long-term survival.

I was proud of this organization (I don't live there anymore but a friend exhibits in their shows and we visit their gallery when I'm in town):

   https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/FMfcgxwHMPfZLXZmPBvfGtqxJVzKlxfm

Especially the idea of not demanding refunds if you can afford to let it go, or hanging onto a pre-purchased ticket against a probable re-scheduling of the performance later on, seems like a considerate one.

As places close or restrict their hours, performers in cafe's, restaurants, and coffeehouses will see their income reduced as well.

And encouraging people to hire skilled art instructors as tutors for children who are home when parents are also at home, trying to work, may be a way to turn a difficult situation into a win-win (with proper precautions--usually one would know the teacher or artist already, perhaps, and they you; all would need to be transparent about their known health status and exposure liabilities, and observe good self-care and hygenic precautions).

Anyway, just a thought...

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on March 13, 2020, 08:35:42 PM
My panic buying was completed before the rush and price gouging kicked in.  I have enough toilet paper to weather an epic case of the trots.  I've cleaned and loaded my gun, and am hunkered down to await the apocalypse.

We live in a fearful and angry country where the citizenry is armed to the teeth.  I'm not particularly afraid of Covid-19.  But all the rest of the a$$holes out there???  Any given city is 72 hours away from chaos if the trucks and trains that deliver all that food and toilet paper can't get here.  I hope and pray this is not going to turn into some kind of Hobbesian nightmare, but want to be at least somewhat ready just in case.

Oh - and I'm learning some new technology that I can use to move at least that part of my life online.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 14, 2020, 01:42:21 AM
On a neighborhood Google group, I volunteered to bake and deliver bread for anyone who is self-isolating at home because they are in a high-risk category, as sort of a cheer-me-up. There is a list being developed of how people can look after each other.

Administrators at my university are slow to realize that we may soon lose the ability to do face-to-face training for faculty who need to move their courses online. With the K-12 schools closed, child care at home is now a priority for many, and I can see the screws tightening in terms of travel. I myself have an hour commute, but am now in an administrative "emergency academic response" role despite having work to do for my own courses, so I'm still on campus a lot. I have also been fighting by email with our campus Sodexo reps, student residence hall directors, etc. We have some students still residing on campus because they have nowhere else to go, but all campus dining options but one are closed, and the exception has extremely limited hours and serves only pre-prepared snack foods. The students need to eat. And since we have a meal plan requirement, the food they need has already been paid for.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on March 14, 2020, 10:22:59 AM
This may be a dumb question, but for those of you who have already/are about to go online with your classes: are you (as faculty) still being expected to show up on campus per your normal teaching and office hours?

We finally got the word yesterday (extending spring break an extra week, so students are off until 3/30, when classes shift to online), but faculty are required to be on campus all week the week after regular spring break (i.e. starting 3/23) during our regularly scheduled hours.  Even if all our classes are shifted online before then, we still have to show up. I'm thinking they may well require this after the classes resume online on 3/30.

Maybe I'm being petty, but it seems pretty ridiculous to me to go sit in my office there (plus 2 hours round-trip commuting) just to do the same work I could just as easily do at home.  If a student would need to meet for some reason, sure, I'd go in, but otherwise....WTH?

I'm curious to know what others here are doing in this regard.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 14, 2020, 10:55:33 AM
Quote
are you (as faculty) still being expected to show up on campus per your normal teaching and office hours?

That is my read of the email we got Thursday afternoon.  The email indicated that we are extending the break one week, but we are to be on campus and preparing our classes to be online through the end of the term, though currently the plan is to be face to face on the 23rd.  The provost's follow up email indicated that all course shells should have no less than 2 weeks worth of material available in case the faculty member were to get sick!  I read that to say that while a sick faculty member may cancel a face to face class, worst case, that being sick is no excuse to stop an online class!   on the other hand, that just may be a good practice period. Having 2 weeks of auxiliary, related, topical, but not necessarily core material that is available should a faculty member need to be out is probably not a bad idea under any normal situation. 

There was also mention that we should meet with the department chairs to indicate how we will handle office hours online and how we would communicate with students about arranging appointments online. Will we be on the phone or email, or video conferencing.

My chair is already doing a lot of online teaching and she has regular online office hours in addition to the lessons she prepares (and emails) to her classes.  She is not on campus during those times, but her online office hours run from 7 to 9 on Mondays and Wednesdays for her classes. She has said that there are some days that she sits in her office working on things and no one shows up, especially in undergraduate classes. The graduate classes are usually much more likely to come and even want to extend the time!

Whether we are on campus (which may be a Dean or even Provost level decision) or whether we have online presence when we would have been in class is not clear yet, but I would not be surprised that we are expected to have a meeting scheduled online for those hours.  After all, we can not have it LOOK like faculty are getting paid and not be on campus!

What are other campuses doing?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 14, 2020, 11:12:27 AM
BREAKING NEWS  (ok I just saw it anyway).
starting 3/15 the primary  grocery store chain in my part of the state (really its either them or Walmart) has announced that it will reduce hours and will open only from 8 to 8! That is so that they can have time to restock the shelves, they claim.

SO maybe there IS  a reason to have a run on grocery stores! They are closing early and opening late!

Are you seeing such things in your area?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on March 14, 2020, 11:36:44 AM
Yesterday our University made the decision to close campus to students and the public for at least two weeks. We have Spring Break this coming week (starting on the 16th), so we will miss one week of instruction. The plan is for everyone to prepare to teach online, until further notice. Faculty and staff are allowed on campus, but students are not. They will be removed from dorms and relocated.

I have also seen the reduced hours for grocery stores. I tend to keep a pantry with a few months supply of food anyway, so we're ready (foodwise) in case something truly catastrophic happens. Hopefully, social distancing will work its magic.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 14, 2020, 11:41:58 AM



Are you noticing runs on grocery stores/WalMarts in your neighborhood today?
Yes.  Today was the wrong day to run out of potatoes!

Local medium-sized grocery store was sold out of loaves of bread, all poultry (incl. organic and kosher) and most fish (except smoked salmon), conventional but not organic bananas, many kinds of cereal, milk, eggs, small but not large cucumbers, and of course potatoes and onions.  I asked a staffer if they were having supplier issues (which sometimes happen at this store) or if it was all coronavirus-related panic buying, and she said it was the latter.

These runs on stores are so easily avoidable: Just raise prices! :-) Stores don't do it yet because they don't wish to piss off their customers. But if this keeps up, prices will rise, especially since supply isn't exactly going to go up.

I know it will objected that then the poor can't get anything. Well, maybe they can't get anything as is. More interestingly, we might impose a rationing scheme such that the customer gets what s/he bought last week at last weeks prices, but if s/he buys more, the extra is charged double, triple, or whatever it take to keep the shelves full.

Simpler is for stores to ration, say, one per customer. [But then watch the large sizes run out!] Maybe that will come by itself.

I overstock on wine only, but that's independent of the virus.

It's starting by limiting store hours and setting purchase limits.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 14, 2020, 11:52:06 AM
And this free-market miracle:

https://krcgtv.com/news/local/tiger-hotel-pop-up-store-to-provide-essential-items-during-covid-19-spread
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 14, 2020, 07:13:47 PM
The alumni office at my graduate school alma mater (where I did my MLS) has called off the summer alumni weekend reunion.  My undergrad alma mater has canceled all upcoming alumni regional receptions. There were additional e-mail messages about campus services and such from both, directed at current students and alumni.

On a neighborhood Google group, I volunteered to bake and deliver bread for anyone who is self-isolating at home because they are in a high-risk category, as sort of a cheer-me-up. There is a list being developed of how people can look after each other.
I'm seeing messages by individuals and community organizations offering various services to help on the 2 neighborhood listservs through Yahoo groups I'm subscribed. It's helpful to see what's being offered.
The city public school system is providing meals for students at designated schools in wards where there's the most need.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on March 14, 2020, 07:55:56 PM
BREAKING NEWS  (ok I just saw it anyway).
starting 3/15 the primary  grocery store chain in my part of the state (really its either them or Walmart) has announced that it will reduce hours and will open only from 8 to 8! That is so that they can have time to restock the shelves, they claim.

SO maybe there IS  a reason to have a run on grocery stores! They are closing early and opening late!

Are you seeing such things in your area?
The Whole Foods in my area had some empty shelves and some pallets with more food. Looked consistent with them having supply in the back of the store but not being able to restock the shelves fast enough to keep up with shoppers. The supply chain for groceries shouldn't remotely be impacted by this, so no reason to think they're going to run out. Of course the store did run out of hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

Fun fact: there are two large Asian grocery stores one block over and they had fully stocked shelves (including hand sanitizer and toilet paper). Wouldn't be surprised if half the people at Whole Foods would never step into an Asian store, though. On the upside: plenty of groceries for people who aren't racist.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 15, 2020, 10:12:16 AM
My university has banned all university-sponsored non-essential domestic travel, effective immediately. I assume that includes academic conferences.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 15, 2020, 10:29:17 AM
The Word has come down from on high: we have two days to shift all instruction online.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 15, 2020, 01:34:05 PM
The Word has come down from on high: we have two days to shift all instruction online.

Have fun.

Can't see my mother for an indefinite period. Her retirement home has banned visitors. Residents are prohibited from leaving the building.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 15, 2020, 01:44:50 PM
Yeah.

I remember when the program I ran added on-line instruction: We had substantial technical support, not optimal, but substantial. To get a good on-line course one needed an instructor who had already taught the course on-site, was willing to go on-line, and spend time on the project. That usually took one semester.

Much less time for an instructor with no on-line experience is illusory. The powers that be kiddeth themselves. It's their shield, not education.

The best one can hope for is that many instructors have some on-line experience of some kind.

Best of luck to all, as usual.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 15, 2020, 04:21:29 PM
Can't see my mother for an indefinite period. Her retirement home has banned visitors. Residents are prohibited from leaving the building.

Sorry, spork.  Maybe they can arrange some Skype/Zoom/FaceTime sessions for residents and their loved ones?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2020, 05:21:39 PM
To get a good on-line course one needed an instructor who had already taught the course on-site, was willing to go on-line, and spend time on the project.



Yes, they won't be good courses. I have no intention of trying to teach a good online course this semester. I am just vaguely adapting the course I have and slapping it online. It will probably be boring to the students, I will be generous with grading, students will get their credits and we will all muddle through because there is pandemic going on and this isn't the most important thing right now.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 15, 2020, 05:37:56 PM
Yes, absolutely correct. Trade-offs everywhere one looks.

I put all this to my daughter, a graduated graduate student and a then successful TA. She advised: No problem. Everybody gets an A. :-)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: kaysixteen on March 15, 2020, 07:54:28 PM
So what are we going to do with courses and whole degree programs that simply can't realistically be taught competently online, but whose students must effectively learn the material covered therein, say, like in medical school?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on March 15, 2020, 09:33:09 PM
Their education and their graduation are going to be delayed. As during wartime.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 15, 2020, 09:38:55 PM
Their education and their graduation are going to be delayed. As during wartime.

That would be the honest way of planning and then announcing things.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 16, 2020, 05:23:47 AM
The Word has come down from on high: we have two days to shift all instruction online.

Have fun.

Can't see my mother for an indefinite period. Her retirement home has banned visitors. Residents are prohibited from leaving the building.

No visitors at my mother's retirement home but so far, she's been able to leave (she still drives) but another meeting this morning. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: polly_mer on March 16, 2020, 06:01:19 AM
Their education and their graduation are going to be delayed. As during wartime.

That would be the honest way of planning and then announcing things.

Some things can be done online or at least checked online because not all of the program has to be done in a lab or other physical project space.  However, yes, the practical solution is to delay through incompletes or through shifting content for the rest of the program (i.e., up to 5 years) for those who are in the midst of their education. 

Being a few weeks short for the final term in the engineering programs with which I'm familiar mostly means the projects don't get completed.  That's far less concerning to letting people go out into the world as graduates than missing the middle of a program like half of calculus III or half of fluid mechanics.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 16, 2020, 07:58:43 AM
Turns out that a lot of faculty here are asking for loaner laptops from our IT department because they don't have their own computers at home. And apparently they don't have a university-issued laptop either (I've been here for over a decade and was issued a laptop on Day 1).

I guess there are some faculty who still do everything via photocopies.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Diogenes on March 16, 2020, 08:06:03 AM
Turns out that a lot of faculty here are asking for loaner laptops from our IT department because they don't have their own computers at home. And apparently they don't have a university-issued laptop either (I've been here for over a decade and was issued a laptop on Day 1).

I guess there are some faculty who still do everything via photocopies.

Is it your adjunct pool perhaps? My school only has some loaner laptops adjuncts can use during classes, otherwise they have to use their own laptops for everything else.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 16, 2020, 08:54:06 AM
Turns out that a lot of faculty here are asking for loaner laptops from our IT department because they don't have their own computers at home. And apparently they don't have a university-issued laptop either (I've been here for over a decade and was issued a laptop on Day 1).

I guess there are some faculty who still do everything via photocopies.

Is it your adjunct pool perhaps? My school only has some loaner laptops adjuncts can use during classes, otherwise they have to use their own laptops for everything else.

Still seems a little strange. Are there really academics under the age of 80 who don't have a laptop?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 16, 2020, 08:55:42 AM
When I was adjuncting I had to use loaners because my regular laptop had crumped and I couldn't afford a new one for a couple years.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 16, 2020, 08:58:21 AM
Turns out that a lot of faculty here are asking for loaner laptops from our IT department because they don't have their own computers at home. And apparently they don't have a university-issued laptop either (I've been here for over a decade and was issued a laptop on Day 1).

I guess there are some faculty who still do everything via photocopies.

Is it your adjunct pool perhaps? My school only has some loaner laptops adjuncts can use during classes, otherwise they have to use their own laptops for everything else.

Possibly. But this would indicate adjuncts who limit themselves to the photocopy routine for everything. I know of at least two full-time faculty who are probably the same.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2020, 09:02:15 AM
State university does not issue a loaned computer to adjunct faculty.

Turns out that a lot of faculty here are asking for loaner laptops from our IT department because they don't have their own computers at home. And apparently they don't have a university-issued laptop either (I've been here for over a decade and was issued a laptop on Day 1).

I guess there are some faculty who still do everything via photocopies.

Is it your adjunct pool perhaps? My school only has some loaner laptops adjuncts can use during classes, otherwise they have to use their own laptops for everything else.

Possibly. But this would indicate adjuncts who limit themselves to the photocopy routine for everything. I know of at least two full-time faculty who are probably the same.

Do you even know any adjuncts?

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 16, 2020, 09:04:54 AM
I know many, some of whom I hired when I've been a department chair. And I've worked as one. Keep in mind that the universe doesn't revolve around whatever single lens you choose to see it through.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2020, 09:09:27 AM
I know many, some of whom I hired when I've been a department chair. And I've worked as one. Keep in mind that the universe doesn't revolve around whatever single lens you choose to see it through.

Doesn't sound like you know much about yours.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 16, 2020, 09:24:37 AM
When I was adjuncting I had to use loaners because my regular laptop had crumped and I couldn't afford a new one for a couple years.

M.

Yeah, but the price of a basic functional computer has come way down in the last few years. It just seems odd because most of the academics I know really couldn't function without a computer at home or a laptop. Perhaps this varies by discipline? I know there are science disciplines where you really can't work unless you are in the lab.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 16, 2020, 09:39:04 AM
When I was adjuncting I had to use loaners because my regular laptop had crumped and I couldn't afford a new one for a couple years.

M.

Yeah, but the price of a basic functional computer has come way down in the last few years. It just seems odd because most of the academics I know really couldn't function without a computer at home or a laptop. Perhaps this varies by discipline? I know there are science disciplines where you really can't work unless you are in the lab.

At that point I was dividing my rent into two pieces to be able to pay it at all, and the price of laptops still "wasn't all that much."

I really didn't have any margins, or savings, or opportunities for such. I also had to give up my home wifi at that point, and wasn't able to re-establish it for several years. I was staying in libraries, cafes, or bookstores, for hours at a time, just in order to get my work done. In one sense, it was fine, it was possible, and I was willing to do it because it mattered to me.

But it wasn't easy, and some of the basics people seem to take for granted weren't possible.

And some of the assumptions, like, "Oh, just get a cheap laptop!" or, "Oh, they don't cost that much anymore!" don't always work for everyone.

Our public library has a laptop loaner kiosk with plugged-in laptops that you can take out for two hours at a time, which also helped (you have to return one and take out another because they're only charged to go for 2 hours each). Finally, another job that I'd started supplied me with a laptop and so on (but they still wouldn't cover wifi). Two years ago, I was finally able to buy a 100.00 used loaner from my old department, because they were replacing their old ones. Last month, I was able to re-start my home wifi.

You'll never know who is dealing with more extreme constraints than you can imagine because they won't tell you, they won't want you to know how severely they're limited in balancing things. When one is really trying to get ones real, true work done, complaining is just an unproductive time-sink.

But they may really be that limited, and that constrained, and off-hand dismissals don't really answer the need.

Empathy might.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: sinenomine on March 16, 2020, 10:25:29 AM
I'm an department chair who doesn't have a laptop by choice, or wifi thanks to where I live. I usually get along fine with my desktop computer at home, my school's tablet, and my phone. Given the current situation, I've just borrowed a mobile hotspot form my school, and have downloaded all the files on my office desktop onto a thumb drive.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 16, 2020, 10:47:57 AM
When I was adjuncting I had to use loaners because my regular laptop had crumped and I couldn't afford a new one for a couple years.

M.

Yeah, but the price of a basic functional computer has come way down in the last few years. It just seems odd because most of the academics I know really couldn't function without a computer at home or a laptop. Perhaps this varies by discipline? I know there are science disciplines where you really can't work unless you are in the lab.

At that point I was dividing my rent into two pieces to be able to pay it at all, and the price of laptops still "wasn't all that much."

I really didn't have any margins, or savings, or opportunities for such. I also had to give up my home wifi at that point, and wasn't able to re-establish it for several years. I was staying in libraries, cafes, or bookstores, for hours at a time, just in order to get my work done. In one sense, it was fine, it was possible, and I was willing to do it because it mattered to me.

But it wasn't easy, and some of the basics people seem to take for granted weren't possible.

And some of the assumptions, like, "Oh, just get a cheap laptop!" or, "Oh, they don't cost that much anymore!" don't always work for everyone.

Our public library has a laptop loaner kiosk with plugged-in laptops that you can take out for two hours at a time, which also helped (you have to return one and take out another because they're only charged to go for 2 hours each). Finally, another job that I'd started supplied me with a laptop and so on (but they still wouldn't cover wifi). Two years ago, I was finally able to buy a 100.00 used loaner from my old department, because they were replacing their old ones. Last month, I was able to re-start my home wifi.

You'll never know who is dealing with more extreme constraints than you can imagine because they won't tell you, they won't want you to know how severely they're limited in balancing things. When one is really trying to get ones real, true work done, complaining is just an unproductive time-sink.

But they may really be that limited, and that constrained, and off-hand dismissals don't really answer the need.

Empathy might.

M.

Sorry, wasn't trying to be dismissive or unpleasant and I take your point.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 16, 2020, 11:06:23 AM
Turns out that a lot of faculty here are asking for loaner laptops from our IT department because they don't have their own computers at home. And apparently they don't have a university-issued laptop either (I've been here for over a decade and was issued a laptop on Day 1).

I guess there are some faculty who still do everything via photocopies.

My university provides either a laptop or a desk top.  During tech replacement time, our IT person usually urges us to get the desk top.

The issue of using one's own home tech equipment for work raises many questions.  Some people may like to keep home and work tech separate, for example.  At the beginning of my academic career, my university paid for Internet access for faculty working from home.  Those days are long gone.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 16, 2020, 11:07:59 AM

Our public library has a laptop loaner kiosk with plugged-in laptops that you can take out for two hours at a time, which also helped (you have to return one and take out another because they're only charged to go for 2 hours each).

M.

That's part of why we're trying to keep open at work, even as schools close and City Hall is considering closing its doors.  People need our information services.  We can't move all of our services online, and we can't work from home, any more than the people who stock the grocery store shelves or work with sick people can.  We've got to be available.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on March 16, 2020, 11:08:18 AM
We just had an emergency meeting this morning to discuss options for the current emergency.   No classes for two days until further notice.   One colleague openly said that he has no electronics at home aside from an alarm clock but for him it is not poverty but a lifestyle choice.   He was concerned about not accessing school computers in case of a total campus shutdown and lockout.    I did not get a computer at home until 2012, mostly due to money issues.   I also refuse to walk around with a phone on my person.   I know that there are many people out there who are worse off than my situation a decade ago, especially due to student loan burdens.

It is quite clear that some things can't be taught in an online format such as ceramics, voice lessons and the hands on practical medical skills.   The best I can do right now is turn my classes (science) into some sort of correspondence course.  I dread the thought of recording myself lecturing to an empty room.  I need to see faces.

Sports teams have had their games postponed but they are still practicing which seems pretty silly since sports involves sweat, spit, blood, hair, etc.     
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 16, 2020, 11:14:39 AM
When I was adjuncting I had to use loaners because my regular laptop had crumped and I couldn't afford a new one for a couple years.

M.

Yeah, but the price of a basic functional computer has come way down in the last few years. It just seems odd because most of the academics I know really couldn't function without a computer at home or a laptop. Perhaps this varies by discipline? I know there are science disciplines where you really can't work unless you are in the lab.

At that point I was dividing my rent into two pieces to be able to pay it at all, and the price of laptops still "wasn't all that much."

I really didn't have any margins, or savings, or opportunities for such. I also had to give up my home wifi at that point, and wasn't able to re-establish it for several years. I was staying in libraries, cafes, or bookstores, for hours at a time, just in order to get my work done. In one sense, it was fine, it was possible, and I was willing to do it because it mattered to me.

But it wasn't easy, and some of the basics people seem to take for granted weren't possible.

And some of the assumptions, like, "Oh, just get a cheap laptop!" or, "Oh, they don't cost that much anymore!" don't always work for everyone.

Our public library has a laptop loaner kiosk with plugged-in laptops that you can take out for two hours at a time, which also helped (you have to return one and take out another because they're only charged to go for 2 hours each). Finally, another job that I'd started supplied me with a laptop and so on (but they still wouldn't cover wifi). Two years ago, I was finally able to buy a 100.00 used loaner from my old department, because they were replacing their old ones. Last month, I was able to re-start my home wifi.

You'll never know who is dealing with more extreme constraints than you can imagine because they won't tell you, they won't want you to know how severely they're limited in balancing things. When one is really trying to get ones real, true work done, complaining is just an unproductive time-sink.

But they may really be that limited, and that constrained, and off-hand dismissals don't really answer the need.

Empathy might.

M.

Sorry, wasn't trying to be dismissive or unpleasant and I take your point.

Forgiven. Accepted.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on March 16, 2020, 01:51:08 PM
Artem U's technology is the stuff we get left over from the Bulgarian Ministry of Ox Carts when they are finished with it.  It rarely works, but it's cheap.  I'm doing as much as possible from my personal laptop. 

In other news, is anybody re-reading The Plague by Camus?  Or re-watching Contagion or The Hot Zone?

Contagion is one of my favorite movies.  It depicts much of public health reasonably accurately and I get to watch Gwyneth Paltrow die a gruesome and horrible death.  Compared to Gwyneth, Ivanka Trump comes across like a tribune of the people.  Gwynie can go steam her head instead of her nether regions as far as I'm concerned.  And shove her jade egg into an orifice other than what she is promoting. [/rant]
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 16, 2020, 03:04:01 PM
This rendering of the outcome of the Spanish flu in the UK is what comes to mind for me:

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le0fDMVDp3g

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 16, 2020, 05:44:49 PM
I'm an department chair who doesn't have a laptop by choice, or wifi thanks to where I live. I usually get along fine with my desktop computer at home, my school's tablet, and my phone. Given the current situation, I've just borrowed a mobile hotspot form my school, and have downloaded all the files on my office desktop onto a thumb drive.

How does one borrow a mobile hotspot?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 16, 2020, 06:27:25 PM
In very clunky terms (someone can correct this!) it's a little box that acts like an antenna and lets you connect to the internet wherever you are.

You plug it in with (I think) a USB plug, or one of the other kinds of plugs, and it acts sort of like a wifi router.

You are charged by the amount of data you pull.

   -   -   -   -  ( (((((   ((((   (((((       ....  ....   ... /      /

OK, have at it, those who know IT much better than I do....!

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 16, 2020, 07:16:12 PM
Yesterday was our last day open to the public. We had patrons up to closing.  So I'm home for 2 weeks.

Went with my mom to Costco earlier today.  Besides limiting the number of people entering the warehouse, there were limits on how much people could buy of popular food items. In the food court area, only pizza was available as carry out.
At the local organic grocery, there were pockets of empty shelves. A lot of bread was gone.  One of the employees who bagged our food thanked us for keeping the place going.  :)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on March 16, 2020, 07:18:56 PM
We found out, via an online meeting tonight, that classes will be taught online for the remainder of the semester starting on the 30th.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: bento on March 17, 2020, 01:33:04 AM
On the subject of laptops:
At my U, an adjunct faculty member had a U-issued laptop stolen out of his car, a few years back.  He duly reported the theft to campus authorities.  He was then asked, "Was there any confidential student data stored on it?"
And the honest soul answered Yes, there were grades for his classes.
He was disciplined and forced to pay for the laptop replacement out of pocket, and then his contract was not renewed.

Moral #1: No matter how badly we treat adjuncts, there are always several degrees worse available to us.
Moral #2: Be careful what you download during these work-from-home times.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 17, 2020, 04:45:05 AM
On the subject of laptops:
At my U, an adjunct faculty member had a U-issued laptop stolen out of his car, a few years back.  He duly reported the theft to campus authorities.  He was then asked, "Was there any confidential student data stored on it?"
And the honest soul answered Yes, there were grades for his classes.
He was disciplined and forced to pay for the laptop replacement out of pocket, and then his contract was not renewed.

Moral #1: No matter how badly we treat adjuncts, there are always several degrees worse available to us.
Moral #2: Be careful what you download during these work-from-home times.

The absurd ways that schools interpret FERPA never cease to amaze me. The key thing about student grades is that while they are confidential, they are also basically useless to anyone but the instructor and the student. There's nothing a thief can do with them. Displaying grades publicly is obviously a violation of student's privacy, but that is really only an issue within the immediate environment. That's why all the rules about grades in person are about not carelessly disclosing grades. Don't post grades on your door, or allow students to rifle through a big stack of papers in your mailbox and indulge their curiosity. Nobody ever says that when a student comes to talk about a grade during office hours you need to set up a secure perimeter in case someone is listening outside the door.

Yet you see these ridiculous rules and interpretations about electronic information. Many schools seem to believe that you can't send grades through email because of the possibility of your email account getting hacked. Who are these hackers who are desperate to know that John got an 82 on the exam, but Priscilla got a 74? The car break in is a classic example of people oddly thinking that electronic information is different than other information. I've left blue books in my bag in the car plenty of times. Am I supposed to clutch the bag everywhere until I come home and put them in my safe? If my bag got stolen and I hadn't graded them that would be a mess but I wouldn't worry about student privacy because a thief would take my computer and immediately toss the blue books.

Rant Over.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 17, 2020, 05:51:50 AM
In very clunky terms (someone can correct this!) it's a little box that acts like an antenna and lets you connect to the internet wherever you are.

You plug it in with (I think) a USB plug, or one of the other kinds of plugs, and it acts sort of like a wifi router.

You are charged by the amount of data you pull.

   -   -   -   -  ( (((((   ((((   (((((       ....  ....   ... /      /

OK, have at it, those who know IT much better than I do....!

;--}

M.

Thanks Mamselle.  I have used my phone as a hotspot, so I grasp the concept.  However, the notion of borrowing a hotspot is..... weird.  Is one borrowing the device or the "ether"?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: polly_mer on March 17, 2020, 06:04:19 AM
My group at work is solely computational scientists and were just told the new default is telework for anything that can be done at home.  We are to work out shifts so we don't go together to work in large numbers, but can still go in for a few hours multiple times a week to work on the computers that don't talk to the outside world.

It's been entertaining to discover how many people in the category of using a computer all day every day had little-to-nothing set up at home.  A wiki was set up yesterday to share excess employer equipment and to explain how to log in to the work computers using a VPN or remote desktop.  There's detailed instructions on how to use home/personal computers to access employer cloud resources.

The faculty at Super Dinky I knew often weren't computer literate and many will not have any equipment at home except a smart phone.  I remember particularly having to sort out the accessibility issues when faculty simply scanned photocopies of photocopies of photocopies and uploaded unreadable-by-anyone PDFs for reading assignments.  Converting to online in the middle of a term would be a logistical nightmare for them since there's only one person who does anything with the LMS and she only created shells by specific request two months before the start of the term.  She didn't get to spend full time on her LMS work and Super Dinky doesn't have any excess IT capacity in other categories as well.  My bet is Super Dinky is not unique in having practically no ability to ramp up for online-only and is the primary reason they and many other tiny places haven't already announced that solution.

In other news, is anybody re-reading The Plague by Camus?  Or re-watching Contagion or The Hot Zone?

I tried to interest Blocky in Stephen King's The Stand, but kids these days ...

I know it's serious here because the public libraries were shut yesterday indefinitely.  An email came from the public library telling us to not return any materials--everything has been auto renewed until late April.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: sinenomine on March 17, 2020, 06:44:34 AM
In very clunky terms (someone can correct this!) it's a little box that acts like an antenna and lets you connect to the internet wherever you are.

You plug it in with (I think) a USB plug, or one of the other kinds of plugs, and it acts sort of like a wifi router.

You are charged by the amount of data you pull.

   -   -   -   -  ( (((((   ((((   (((((       ....  ....   ... /      /

OK, have at it, those who know IT much better than I do....!

;--}

M.

Thanks Mamselle.  I have used my phone as a hotspot, so I grasp the concept.  However, the notion of borrowing a hotspot is..... weird.  Is one borrowing the device or the "ether"?

In my case, my school has loaned me the physical box — technically called a jetpack.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 17, 2020, 07:12:58 AM
In very clunky terms (someone can correct this!) it's a little box that acts like an antenna and lets you connect to the internet wherever you are.

You plug it in with (I think) a USB plug, or one of the other kinds of plugs, and it acts sort of like a wifi router.

You are charged by the amount of data you pull.

   -   -   -   -  ( (((((   ((((   (((((       ....  ....   ... /      /

OK, have at it, those who know IT much better than I do....!

;--}

M.

Thanks Mamselle.  I have used my phone as a hotspot, so I grasp the concept.  However, the notion of borrowing a hotspot is..... weird.  Is one borrowing the device or the "ether"?

In my case, my school has loaned me the physical box — technically called a jetpack.

Quite a few larger public libraries circulate mobile hotspots.  It's something to check into. 

Smaller libraries like ours don't usually have those resources to offer.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on March 17, 2020, 07:14:52 AM


It's been entertaining to discover how many people in the category of using a computer all day every day had little-to-nothing set up at home.  A wiki was set up yesterday to share excess employer equipment and to explain how to log in to the work computers using a VPN or remote desktop.  There's detailed instructions on how to use home/personal computers to access employer cloud resources.


I think this is one of those things where academics, or at least certain kinds of academics, are very different than many other people. Many of my non-academic friends don't have a computer at home, or if they do have a laptop it isn't something they use regularly. For lots of people, a phone and perhaps a tablet are all they really need. I remember seeing a journalist point out years ago that tech journalists had totally missed the utility of the iPad, because it wasn't particularly useful to them.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 17, 2020, 08:29:27 AM

[. . . ]

I know it's serious here because the public libraries were shut yesterday indefinitely.  An email came from the public library telling us to not return any materials--everything has been auto renewed until late April.

I started stocking up on books from the university library two weeks ago for this very reason.

Faculty are starting to get the message that they can’t simply ride this out and do nothing for the next few weeks until students return to campus (some apparently had that as their “plan”). So now they are getting crazier about being immediately trained on technologies none of them have ever used before. And we don’t have any instructional designers on staff, so this duty has fallen to faculty (I am one, and I also have administrative responsibilities) who are familiar with the technologies.

I am now receiving an email approximately once every three minutes.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 17, 2020, 10:55:14 AM
Well, our library will now join the general trend of closing to the general public.  However, we will continue offering reference service by telephone and e-mail, curbside checkout of materials by appointment, and fax and certain computer services by appointment.  We can keep everything disinfected by limiting the number of patrons we have using the facility at any given time.

Although the American Library Association has officially recommended that public libraries close, libraries will often have limited availability of service like ours above.  Check your local public libraries to see what they may still offer.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 17, 2020, 12:51:38 PM
Took advantage of my IRL meeting today to snag the library's copy of Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year before they close. I have some hometime hammock reading to do!

Ohand. The department has already put feelers out for moving my teaching load online on a more permanent basis. So I'ma continue to do a bad job of transitioning.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 17, 2020, 01:10:49 PM
The paperback of Defoe that I read some months back and then put in the book sale room has sold in the meantime.  And we don't have a copy in our catalog! 

Oh well, there's always Project Gutenberg.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 17, 2020, 02:11:56 PM
Ohand. The department has already put feelers out for moving my teaching load online on a more permanent basis. So I'ma continue to do a bad job of transitioning.

This is a big deal.  Universities that had been pushing for more online learning see this crisis as a huge opportunity to energetically advance that cause.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 17, 2020, 04:19:22 PM
Ohand. The department has already put feelers out for moving my teaching load online on a more permanent basis. So I'ma continue to do a bad job of transitioning.

This is a big deal.  Universities that had been pushing for more online learning see this crisis as a huge opportunity to energetically advance that cause.

Yeah... there's gonna be a bloodbath of small and underendowed universities and colleges closing as a result of this. And so much of what's left is going to be intarwebzed.

Over here , it's international enrollment that keeps us afloat. It's gonna tank, and I expect my courses will get the axe. I sure am glad I've got at least 5 pubs coming out in 2020... =/
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 17, 2020, 04:26:29 PM
Actually I wonder whether the rush of poorly-planned, last-minute online courses might just cause a real reaction against online education.  A lot of students are going to have some very bad experiences of online education that they would not otherwise have had.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on March 17, 2020, 04:55:02 PM
Actually I wonder whether the rush of poorly-planned, last-minute online courses might just cause a real reaction against online education.  A lot of students are going to have some very bad experiences of online education that they would not otherwise have had.

Maybe. Who knows? I think that many students who are not well suited to online learning will have a bad experience and will not pass, whatever the quality of the instructor.

But for the most part, most faculty are going to give students a break and grade very generously, with pretty minimal requirements. Students will get through the semester with the grades that they wanted and they will be happy about it.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: bento on March 18, 2020, 05:21:06 AM
Moment of levity in an online all-college forum yesterday:

Someone left their mike on and went to the bathroom.  The mike was very good at picking up all ambient noise.  Loud bathroom sounds, then roaring flush.

Since there were 66 of us online, but no one using video camera, we are all now free to suspect each other of having been That Person.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 18, 2020, 06:34:24 AM
Well, while we're on this particular subject, at the professional conference I attended on Friday, the restrooms at the conference center had all been bleached to a fare-thee-well in anticipation of our arrival.  During a break in the proceedings I was walking past one restroom and could hardly draw a breath due to the not-bleach smell coming from it.  Somebody must have had a rough time in there.  I'm surprised we didn't have to drag unconscious people out of that room.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 18, 2020, 06:52:15 AM
at the professional conference I attended on Friday

An organization had a conference on Friday?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 18, 2020, 07:50:28 AM
at the professional conference I attended on Friday

An organization had a conference on Friday?

Statewide library children's services workshop.  Probably the last event of any size that took place in our state.  About 60% of registered attendees were actually there. 

Like many libraries, we have closed our doors to the general public, but are still offering reference service, "curbside" checkout (You call in with what items you want, and we bring them to you at the door), and essential computer and fax service by appointment.  We're all working our normally scheduled hours, and there's a good bit of weeding, inventory, etc. to keep us busy.  Maybe we'll actually get caught up!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 18, 2020, 09:58:02 AM
Had a staff member not scheduled to work today come in to collect her paycheck.  She advised us to go fill up our gas tanks.  Apparently there is likely to be a fuel shortage due to slowdowns in interstate commerce due to the emergency.

More likely a self-fulfilling prophecy, if this rumor prompts everybody locally to try to panic-fill their tanks all at once. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 18, 2020, 09:59:37 AM
Our campus library closed today. Got my Defoe in the nick of time!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 18, 2020, 11:01:39 AM
Quote
Had a staff member not scheduled to work today come in to collect her paycheck.  She advised us to go fill up our gas tanks.  Apparently there is likely to be a fuel shortage due to slowdowns in interstate commerce due to the emergency.

More likely a self-fulfilling prophecy, if this rumor prompts everybody locally to try to panic-fill their tanks all at once.

I live in a hurricane area.  Gas stations are considered 'critical' and are allowed to operate.  At this point, I am not aware that there are closings of any refineries. 

However.... I will also admit that yesterday I topped off my car, even though I still had 1/2 a tank.  As I said, I am in a hurricane zone and I have a large 14 gallon gas tank and a few 2 1/2 gallon tanks.  I have been thinking about filling those as well, and the primary reason that I have not is that I do not have the additive that stabilizes the gas for longer storage.  (and because I htink that the price will continue to fall as the low oil prices work through the system and the decreased demand further suppresses the price because we are not traveling much now). 

So I would not panic, but you may want to top off if it is convenient. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on March 18, 2020, 12:15:08 PM
All I know is that as long as my local Gannett "newspaper" continues to publish, it will not be possible to run out of toilet paper.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ab_grp on March 18, 2020, 12:59:26 PM
Moment of levity in an online all-college forum yesterday:

Someone left their mike on and went to the bathroom.  The mike was very good at picking up all ambient noise.  Loud bathroom sounds, then roaring flush.

Since there were 66 of us online, but no one using video camera, we are all now free to suspect each other of having been That Person.

We had a situation like that years ago.  One of my colleagues, who is very well known in our field, was giving a seminar to somewhere around 50 people.  He left the room during the break to use the restroom, also leaving the microphone on, which wasn't obvious to those in the room until it was obvious.  It was a bit awkward but could have been worse given what other events could have occurred in the restroom.

Yesterday, we had our first large group meeting that was supposed to be via full audio/video (about 100 people).  During our high muckety muck's presentation, someone belched rather loudly.  Thankfully for that person, most who were not presenting had turned off video because of bandwidth issues (he was one of them), and individual participants are not listed out when there are that many (so you can't see who is muted or not as in most cases).  Muckety muck paused and noted that it sounded as though there was some noise on the line, and admonishments to mute lines followed. 

I'll add one more just because it cracked me up pretty good at the time.  We had regular conference calls with probably 40-50 people, all different areas working together on one major project.  Meetings were run by a particular individual, and she facilitated the discussion.  At some point during one of the calls, some man started singing, kept at it for 30 or so seconds, and stopped abruptly.  Apparently, it was the facilitator's adult son.  Fortunately, the meetings are informal enough and colleagues know each other well enough that we all just got a laugh out of it after the initial startled silence.  I don't mind those kinds of meetings.

Lots of lessons to be learned, I guess! I get nervous when too much technology is involved.  Are all my microphones muted? I shut off and covered by laptop's web cam and use an external one that I can point wherever I choose or just unplug to be safest.  Everyone extols the virtues of video during these remote work times, but there are also a lot of folks who do not really have home office set ups conducive to that. 

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: alto_stratus on March 18, 2020, 01:08:41 PM
Talented singing professor capturing the story of adjusting to online classes. <3

https://youtu.be/CCe5PaeAeew
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 18, 2020, 02:01:01 PM
Talented singing professor capturing the story of adjusting to online classes. <3

https://youtu.be/CCe5PaeAeew

Awesome and fun!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on March 18, 2020, 02:39:38 PM
Talented singing professor capturing the story of adjusting to online classes. <3

https://youtu.be/CCe5PaeAeew

Awesome and fun!

Cute video. We just had a two hour online meeting about all of this. So many webex meetings...
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 18, 2020, 06:48:57 PM
Here's an update on rail and transit services in the metro DC area as of this evening. Info for drivers is included:
https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/03/local-and-regional-transit-services-adjust-to-coronavirus-presence/ (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/03/local-and-regional-transit-services-adjust-to-coronavirus-presence/)
Hope this is helpful!

Want booze with your order? Now available to DC residents:
https://wtop.com/business-finance/2020/03/you-can-order-booze-with-your-dc-takeout-or-delivery/ (https://wtop.com/business-finance/2020/03/you-can-order-booze-with-your-dc-takeout-or-delivery/)

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: backatit on March 18, 2020, 07:05:11 PM
Quote
Had a staff member not scheduled to work today come in to collect her paycheck.  She advised us to go fill up our gas tanks.  Apparently there is likely to be a fuel shortage due to slowdowns in interstate commerce due to the emergency.

More likely a self-fulfilling prophecy, if this rumor prompts everybody locally to try to panic-fill their tanks all at once.

I live in a hurricane area.  Gas stations are considered 'critical' and are allowed to operate.  At this point, I am not aware that there are closings of any refineries. 

However.... I will also admit that yesterday I topped off my car, even though I still had 1/2 a tank.  As I said, I am in a hurricane zone and I have a large 14 gallon gas tank and a few 2 1/2 gallon tanks.  I have been thinking about filling those as well, and the primary reason that I have not is that I do not have the additive that stabilizes the gas for longer storage.  (and because I htink that the price will continue to fall as the low oil prices work through the system and the decreased demand further suppresses the price because we are not traveling much now). 

So I would not panic, but you may want to top off if it is convenient.

Yup, we keep full tanks at all times starting now. And we have one diesel car because they ALWAYS keep the diesel flowing for the trucks. I love that thing.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 19, 2020, 03:41:02 AM
I'm out of leaf bags and canned pumpkin! No more yard work or pies!!!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 19, 2020, 05:54:54 AM
I'm out of leaf bags and canned pumpkin! No more yard work or pies!!!

Why rake or blow leaves?  Just mow them.  That's good for the grass.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 19, 2020, 08:01:35 AM
I'm out of leaf bags and canned pumpkin! No more yard work or pies!!!

Why rake or blow leaves?  Just mow them.  That's good for the grass.

I don't have a lawn. I ripped it out in favor of ornamental shrubs and flowers.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 19, 2020, 08:19:45 AM
First day of limited library service went well.  We had a trickle of patrons during the day, picking up materials at the door or coming in to use the computers for essential work.  We also answered various questions by phone or online, and sent at least one patron fax.  There were never more than two or three patrons in the building at one time.  So we were able to keep workstations sanitized without breaking "social distancing."

Meanwhile the staff has been doing cleaning, inventory, weeding, etc.  Actual waiting on patrons is only the tip of the iceberg of library work, so we've got plenty to occupy us for now.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on March 19, 2020, 08:58:18 AM
2020 is the year of Coronamok.

Annus Coronamoccus?

Anno Coranamoccus?

Too soon?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 19, 2020, 11:38:45 AM
First day of limited library service went well.  We had a trickle of patrons during the day, picking up materials at the door or coming in to use the computers for essential work.  We also answered various questions by phone or online, and sent at least one patron fax.  There were never more than two or three patrons in the building at one time.  So we were able to keep workstations sanitized without breaking "social distancing."

Meanwhile the staff has been doing cleaning, inventory, weeding, etc.  Actual waiting on patrons is only the tip of the iceberg of library work, so we've got plenty to occupy us for now.

Your library will likely close at some point soon.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 19, 2020, 07:18:31 PM
Today, I checked my work e-mail for the first time since Sunday. There was one or two messages from someone in our admin. offices for the entire library system but nothing pressing. Otherwise, it feels good to unplug from work.
There's a small cohort of administrators and outreach staff working remotely. Our digital offerings are being promoted to patrons as well as items of interest on social media.

On the topic of yard work, I've heard that small clumps of fresh cut grass is good for the lawn. I've noticed neighbors putting out shrub and plant clippings for trash pick up. That time of year!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 20, 2020, 04:36:16 AM
Here's how some of our Dear Leaders prepared for the coronavirus:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sen-richard-burr-r-nc-head-of-powerful-committee-sold-large-amount-of-stocks-before-sharp-declines-in-market/2020/03/19/6cf4b25a-6a31-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sen-richard-burr-r-nc-head-of-powerful-committee-sold-large-amount-of-stocks-before-sharp-declines-in-market/2020/03/19/6cf4b25a-6a31-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html).

I'm debating whether to go to the store to get leaf bags. I expect that next week we will be advised by the governor to "shelter in place."
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 20, 2020, 05:14:07 AM
Here's how some of our Dear Leaders prepared for the coronavirus:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sen-richard-burr-r-nc-head-of-powerful-committee-sold-large-amount-of-stocks-before-sharp-declines-in-market/2020/03/19/6cf4b25a-6a31-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sen-richard-burr-r-nc-head-of-powerful-committee-sold-large-amount-of-stocks-before-sharp-declines-in-market/2020/03/19/6cf4b25a-6a31-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html).

I'm debating whether to go to the store to get leaf bags. I expect that next week we will be advised by the governor to "shelter in place."

Tucker Carlson is calling for his resignation.  Tucker is, apparently, the person to credit with 45* finally taking covid 19 seriously.  Tucker and the road to Damascus!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: reener06 on March 20, 2020, 08:44:16 AM
Back to preparation: it occurred to me this morning that I don't know if there's a so-called (for want of a better term) "line of succession" for chair, dean, provost, etc. I'd ask, but I just gone through the wringer with my administration, and am not about to suggest I want something bad to happen to anyone. But I am wondering--does your department/college/university have such a thing, and if so, is it known and has it been discussed?

OTOH, we may all find out we function better with little or no administration.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 20, 2020, 09:05:15 AM
Back to preparation: it occurred to me this morning that I don't know if there's a so-called (for want of a better term) "line of succession" for chair, dean, provost, etc. I'd ask, but I just gone through the wringer with my administration, and am not about to suggest I want something bad to happen to anyone. But I am wondering--does your department/college/university have such a thing, and if so, is it known and has it been discussed?

OTOH, we may all find out we function better with little or no administration.

No. Historically we've operated with a "person, not policy" or "person, not position" culture, and now the easily-predictable but horrifying effects of it are plain to everyone.


It's official now: online courses for the rest of the semester, commencement cancelled.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Liquidambar on March 20, 2020, 10:19:56 AM
Back to preparation: it occurred to me this morning that I don't know if there's a so-called (for want of a better term) "line of succession" for chair, dean, provost, etc. I'd ask, but I just gone through the wringer with my administration, and am not about to suggest I want something bad to happen to anyone. But I am wondering--does your department/college/university have such a thing, and if so, is it known and has it been discussed?

My school made all departments put together an emergency plan that included a "line of succession" for the chair.  I assume the administrators have something similar for themselves, but it hasn't been announced.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 20, 2020, 12:35:18 PM
Success! I now have twenty-five leaf bags and am now ready for the zombie apocalypse.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 20, 2020, 12:37:10 PM
Success! I now have twenty-five leaf bags and am now ready for the zombie apocalypse.

Well, that MIGHT work, if you bury each bag of zombies deep enough once it's full.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: fast_and_bulbous on March 20, 2020, 12:41:46 PM
Success! I now have twenty-five leaf bags and am now ready for the zombie apocalypse.
That reminds me, I really need to stock up at the weed store.... except they just switched over to "medical only." Gonna have to stretch my remaining stash to stay sane during stuckinmyhousemageddon.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 20, 2020, 06:37:26 PM
Different labs, different purposes, different responses:

   https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/03/harvard-research-scales-down/

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 21, 2020, 11:41:55 AM
I have more canned pumpkin. Pie is in the oven.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on March 21, 2020, 12:22:51 PM
-Local supermarket has stopped making deliveries. :-(
-Local wine shop still makes deliveries! :-)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on March 21, 2020, 01:08:34 PM
I have more canned pumpkin. Pie is in the oven.

Pumpkin pie sounds wonderful! Have you ever tried it using coconut milk?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 21, 2020, 05:35:17 PM
I have more canned pumpkin. Pie is in the oven.

Pumpkin pie sounds wonderful! Have you ever tried it using coconut milk?

Nope. But I do use soy milk.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 23, 2020, 08:29:35 AM
Took the wifey on an excursion to the nearby low-end supermarket today. Obviously the place is heavily patronized by immigrants -- dried beans were completely gone and so were most of the frozen vegetables. Plenty of toilet paper on the shelves; paranoid demand for that is a white people thing.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 23, 2020, 09:50:41 AM
I made a very very good curry last night (if I say so myself).

First time in awhile I've had the chicken, tomato, peppers, veggies, and curry powder all in the same place at the same time.

Three night's worth will be about right...

Yum!

M.

(Maybe this belongs on the calming thread...but, oh, well...)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 23, 2020, 01:03:39 PM
Breaking: All schools in VA are closed until the end of the school year, announced by Gov. Northam:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-cases-in-dc-region-surge-near-600-national-guard-to-enforce-tidal-basin-restrictions/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-cases-in-dc-region-surge-near-600-national-guard-to-enforce-tidal-basin-restrictions/)
In MD, all non-essential businesses must close by 5 pm today.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 23, 2020, 02:44:12 PM
Our Board of Trustees has now shut down our library for what looks like the next four weeks.  Totally.  We will no longer be able to offer even the limited services we were offering.  Looks like I will essentially be reduced to a building caretaker who can't be of any real service to anybody.  I've never felt so useless in my life.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 23, 2020, 03:48:22 PM
Even a closed library can be useful!

I just wrote an extensive note to an archivist, who, if they can send me the online links, will have helped me with a research problem I've been hung up on for weeks.

There are lots of things that help people virtually, I do understand the feeling of isolation and frustration (my sister's a librarian in a small library in a midwest town) but I'm seeing lots of offerings from my own local library that make it clear they have found a niche for themselves in this situation.

Depending on the level of resources, some of those programs might not be in your library's range, but I'd be glad to share them, for whatever they may be worth.

Be of good cheer.

I'll PM you. 

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 23, 2020, 06:37:24 PM
Last week I found out we'll be closed through next month than the previously announced 2 weeks. (Same for the city public school system)

Apl68: there's a discussion thread or two about offering virtual services while the library is closed on ALA Connect.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 24, 2020, 09:15:06 AM
Even a closed library can be useful!

I just wrote an extensive note to an archivist, who, if they can send me the online links, will have helped me with a research problem I've been hung up on for weeks.

There are lots of things that help people virtually, I do understand the feeling of isolation and frustration (my sister's a librarian in a small library in a midwest town) but I'm seeing lots of offerings from my own local library that make it clear they have found a niche for themselves in this situation.

Depending on the level of resources, some of those programs might not be in your library's range, but I'd be glad to share them, for whatever they may be worth.

Be of good cheer.

I'll PM you. 

M.

But see, that's the whole problem.  We just don't have the resources.  We're a small-town public library with a home-made web site that's only just barely functional.  One of the most frustrating things about this situation is that we were scheduled to begin a comprehensive professional re-design of our site that would have made it far, far more functional.  But that's on hold now like everything else.  With our physical facility shut down, we're almost entirely useless to the public.  I've been reduced to a building caretaker.  There are tasks I can do here to catch up on stuff, but as far as direct public service is concerned, we just can't do it. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 24, 2020, 10:03:36 AM
Oh, dear. Ouch.

Sorry for my blind spot.

I hope you find a away through, perhaps by email, or something, of links for home schooling, etc?

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 24, 2020, 10:22:43 AM
Oh, dear. Ouch.

Sorry for my blind spot.

I hope you find a away through, perhaps by email, or something, of links for home schooling, etc?

M.

We're going to try to get the staff together for some virtual meetings to get the web site project moving forward. 

I'd love to try offering some virtual story times over social media and the like.  Unfortunately the staff member who does those sorts of things (and is quite good at it, when she wants to be) is really hard to get moving when it comes to trying something new.

I've still got all sorts of admin work to do--paying bills, answering e-mails, and getting statistics together for the annual statistical report, among other things.  Today I'm mostly trying to get past the shock of suddenly shutting down, after days of the craziness of trying to keep at least limited services going.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on March 24, 2020, 11:23:27 AM
My school has just "upped its game" and increased our restrictions.   All students must leave the dorms by Sunday evening but a few will remain behind who have nowhere else to go.   A few students were doing labs and ceramics but spaced far apart in the classrooms.  That is over with for now.  The strange thing is that official announcements suggest all is going back to normal as of April 13th.  My colleagues and I simply don't see that happening.   At this point my biggest concern is if we will have summer classes which begin after Memorial Day.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on March 24, 2020, 11:33:25 AM
My school has just "upped its game" and increased our restrictions.   All students must leave the dorms by Sunday evening but a few will remain behind who have nowhere else to go.   A few students were doing labs and ceramics but spaced far apart in the classrooms.  That is over with for now.  The strange thing is that official announcements suggest all is going back to normal as of April 13th.  My colleagues and I simply don't see that happening.   At this point my biggest concern is if we will have summer classes which begin after Memorial Day.

Since they're predicting a year to 18 months for a vaccine to be developped, it's more likely to be Memorial Day 2021.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Nightshade on March 24, 2020, 11:53:02 AM
My landlord has decided that they want to put the house we've lived in for many years up for sale now...right in the middle of the pandemic. The thought of realtors and people traipsing through the house when we are practicing social distancing, not to mention the fact that in our new reality, both my partner and I are working from home (with me teaching my formerly face-to-face courses online), is putting my anxiety through the roof. We live in a "hot" market, so no doubt we will have lots of showings. We've been through this before, but never during a health crisis of this magnitude. I really hope our mayor issues a shelter-in-place order soon, which might delay the process for a couple of weeks. Gosh, I hate renting.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apostrophe on March 24, 2020, 12:27:01 PM
Oh, dear. Ouch.

Sorry for my blind spot.

I hope you find a away through, perhaps by email, or something, of links for home schooling, etc?

M.



We're going to try to get the staff together for some virtual meetings to get the web site project moving forward. 

I'd love to try offering some virtual story times over social media and the like.  Unfortunately the staff member who does those sorts of things (and is quite good at it, when she wants to be) is really hard to get moving when it comes to trying something new.

I've still got all sorts of admin work to do--paying bills, answering e-mails, and getting statistics together for the annual statistical report, among other things.  Today I'm mostly trying to get past the shock of suddenly shutting down, after days of the craziness of trying to keep at least limited services going.

I know you're busy and not looking for advice, but I am just wondering if adding a few links to open access stories, books, whatever, on your current bad website might bring you good cheer?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 24, 2020, 12:54:19 PM
Oh, dear. Ouch.

Sorry for my blind spot.

I hope you find a away through, perhaps by email, or something, of links for home schooling, etc?

M.



We're going to try to get the staff together for some virtual meetings to get the web site project moving forward. 

I'd love to try offering some virtual story times over social media and the like.  Unfortunately the staff member who does those sorts of things (and is quite good at it, when she wants to be) is really hard to get moving when it comes to trying something new.

I've still got all sorts of admin work to do--paying bills, answering e-mails, and getting statistics together for the annual statistical report, among other things.  Today I'm mostly trying to get past the shock of suddenly shutting down, after days of the craziness of trying to keep at least limited services going.

I know you're busy and not looking for advice, but I am just wondering if adding a few links to open access stories, books, whatever, on your current bad website might bring you good cheer?

Well, we're already participants in the state's e-book consortium (Offering e-books was one area where we were a relatively early adopter).  So those patrons who already have e-book pins through us can continue using that source.  One of the things we'd wanted to put on the new web site was online forms for signing up for new library accounts.  At the moment we're trying to work by phone and e-mail.  I'm working on an e-mail application for a library account right now, as a matter of fact.



On a different note--over lunch I went to get groceries.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the local store was well-stocked with all food stuffs except bread.  I didn't even have any trouble getting any of my vegetables or milk.  Still short on certain cleaning supplies, and absolutely no toilet paper to be seen.  The ongoing TP shortage baffles me.  Cleaning supplies I can understand--use of things like bleach and sanitary wipes has skyrocketed, on top of the panic stockpiling.  But why are the shelves still bare of toilet paper?  Has the Covid-19 emergency caused the media to overlook a nationwide dysentery epidemic?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 24, 2020, 04:53:33 PM
Quote
...caused the media to overlook a nationwide dysentery epidemic?

Well done...<<chuckle!>>


In other news...

I just got a Tweet that Falwell is re-opening Liberty University.

Idiot.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 24, 2020, 06:40:54 PM
DC is following MD's lead to close non-essential businesses:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-updates-dc-maryland-march-24-virginia/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-updates-dc-maryland-march-24-virginia/)
Also, Metro is closing stations and street entrances because of low ridership:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/metro-to-close-17-more-stations-several-entrances-amid-coronavirus-rider-drop/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/metro-to-close-17-more-stations-several-entrances-amid-coronavirus-rider-drop/)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 24, 2020, 07:14:46 PM
My landlord has decided that they want to put the house we've lived in for many years up for sale now...right in the middle of the pandemic. The thought of realtors and people traipsing through the house when we are practicing social distancing, not to mention the fact that in our new reality, both my partner and I are working from home (with me teaching my formerly face-to-face courses online), is putting my anxiety through the roof. We live in a "hot" market, so no doubt we will have lots of showings. We've been through this before, but never during a health crisis of this magnitude. I really hope our mayor issues a shelter-in-place order soon, which might delay the process for a couple of weeks. Gosh, I hate renting.

That is a nightmare, Nightshade!

I wonder if an innocent call to the town assessor's office to ask about "...how to evaluate a house*....yours is being put up for sale and you wondered...and what about the realtors, and all...???"

You might also try any nearby Tenants' Unions, or just look up websites on tenancy and pandemic issues, to see what rights you may have.

M.

-=-=-=-
* You probably know that the assessors' offices all have webpages on each house in their jurisdiction, so if they don't take your meaning you could always just change the question to something about that...but I'm guessing theirs would be an office that would have thought through things like those you describe and might have something to say about the timing...(oops, was that my halo slipping over my eye?)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on March 24, 2020, 07:37:00 PM
My landlord has decided that they want to put the house we've lived in for many years up for sale now...right in the middle of the pandemic. The thought of realtors and people traipsing through the house when we are practicing social distancing, not to mention the fact that in our new reality, both my partner and I are working from home (with me teaching my formerly face-to-face courses online), is putting my anxiety through the roof. We live in a "hot" market, so no doubt we will have lots of showings. We've been through this before, but never during a health crisis of this magnitude. I really hope our mayor issues a shelter-in-place order soon, which might delay the process for a couple of weeks. Gosh, I hate renting.

When they do come to visit make sure you wear a surgical mask and act sick.   You can also put a sign on the door informing everyone that you are self quarantining.   There is not one law on the books that can punish you for playing make believe and guerrilla street theater.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 24, 2020, 08:02:54 PM
My county's first CV19 infection was confirmed Saturday.  Today the number is 10!!  The county administrator is making noises about a lock down.  At  530 today our dean sent a message that the provost is saying we should prepare to be locked off campus until ???  Once the order is given, we may have only 24 or 48 hours notice to get whatever we may need from campus.  After that, the buildings will be locked and the card readers deactivated!

I went in tonight an picked up what I think I will need.  No need to wait, I guess.  As faculty, I am already authorized to work remotely.  I prefer to run my webex meetings on campus though as the internet there is better and by the time my webmeetings start, most of the place is empty so I have been able to commandeer one of the medium size conference rooms with large tables, so I am able to spread out and have everything I need within reach... and no one needs to see what my house looks like in the background!  Not sure what I will do tomorrow.

i will vent about today's issues in another thread.... just leave it say that my car would not start.  I waited for over 2 hours for AAA to arrive, and when the truck arrived, the car started right up!!  Dammit!!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 25, 2020, 12:52:15 AM
A friend is dealing with an unexpected hiatus in her research and writing because the library was locked up before she could get her books out, and now they will not let anyone in or out.

I'm not sure what she is going to do; I have a couple books in another library in similar straits but most of my materials are at home, so it's less of an issue for me.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 25, 2020, 07:22:29 AM
My school has just "upped its game" and increased our restrictions.   All students must leave the dorms by Sunday evening but a few will remain behind who have nowhere else to go.   A few students were doing labs and ceramics but spaced far apart in the classrooms.  That is over with for now.  The strange thing is that official announcements suggest all is going back to normal as of April 13th.  My colleagues and I simply don't see that happening.   At this point my biggest concern is if we will have summer classes which begin after Memorial Day.

Obviously you are not at Jerry Falwell's Jesus Saves Liberty University.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on March 25, 2020, 07:24:14 AM
Quote
...caused the media to overlook a nationwide dysentery epidemic?

Well done...<<chuckle!>>


In other news...

I just got a Tweet that Falwell is re-opening Liberty University.

Idiot.

M.

Perhaps his action will remove idiots from the gene pool....except it threatens the health and safety of Lynchburg, whose mayor is not happy.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 25, 2020, 07:27:55 AM
It's amazing how busy you can stay at a library even when you're reduced to a caretaker operation.  I spent yesterday fielding calls and e-mails, looking for information on possible services we can still offer, pulling books out of the book drop and putting them into quarantine boxes, etc.  I didn't even get a start on the various jobs I was planning/needing to catch up on.  A very, very kind forumite has PM'd me some suggestions that I intend to look into when I have a chance.

Today I've got bills to pay, which means going downtown to the Mayor's office to have the checks co-signed.  A report to fill out that should have been done days ago, but was lost in the shuffle.  Staff members to get in touch with.  An exterminator coming for the routine monthly spraying (The bugs can't be trusted to practice social distancing!).  And I just received the library's mail from the mail carrier.  He's having an interesting time of it.  Some residents are cringing from his approach!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 25, 2020, 07:35:13 AM
My school has just "upped its game" and increased our restrictions.   All students must leave the dorms by Sunday evening but a few will remain behind who have nowhere else to go.   A few students were doing labs and ceramics but spaced far apart in the classrooms.  That is over with for now.  The strange thing is that official announcements suggest all is going back to normal as of April 13th.  My colleagues and I simply don't see that happening.   At this point my biggest concern is if we will have summer classes which begin after Memorial Day.

Obviously you are not at Jerry Falwell's Jesus Saves Liberty University.

This might be a good time for a reminder that the great majority of Christian schools and churches are practicing the recommendations on social distancing, cancelling large meetings, etc.  Most of us understand the relevance of Luke 4:9-12 at a time like this. 

The Falwells have always been disgraceful publicity hounds.  I hope this foolish decision doesn't result in too much harm.  If it does, I hope it finally causes people to see through this false teacher, and ends his influence on the evangelical Christian community.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 25, 2020, 11:18:00 AM
Amen.

I was very impressed with an online sermon emphasizing the social definitions of love as unselfish, more far-reaching thinking along the lines in Luke that you cite.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on March 25, 2020, 11:54:29 AM
I've gotten permission to ask other staff members--who have been furloughed on pay for now--to volunteer to come in part-time to cover that routine stuff, so that I can attend to my own tasks.  We've had a strong, willing response.  Also, the State Library has scheduled a Zoom session regarding children's services programming during the emergency, and our relevant staff member will be able to attend that from home.

It looks like we're groping our way toward a workable skeleton crew operation.  Meanwhile today I've done most of the tasks mentioned above.  We've also had calls from patrons asking whether they can do this or that (At least maybe a human voice telling them "no" will feel a little better), needing an e-book pin number, and getting books put on hold for when we can let them be checked out again.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on March 25, 2020, 12:41:56 PM
My school has just "upped its game" and increased our restrictions.   All students must leave the dorms by Sunday evening but a few will remain behind who have nowhere else to go.   A few students were doing labs and ceramics but spaced far apart in the classrooms.  That is over with for now.  The strange thing is that official announcements suggest all is going back to normal as of April 13th.  My colleagues and I simply don't see that happening.   At this point my biggest concern is if we will have summer classes which begin after Memorial Day.

Obviously you are not at Jerry Falwell's Jesus Saves Liberty University.

Hopefully the state governor will step in and put a stop to this.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 25, 2020, 01:31:37 PM
Why has soy milk disappeared from all the supermarkets? I assume it's not because the vegans are hoarding. There's still plenty of almond milk.

Today I did get the last two bricks of my favorite cheese from Spain. I assume the supply chain for products from Spain will be interrupted soon.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 25, 2020, 01:56:39 PM
Why has soy milk disappeared from all the supermarkets? I assume it's not because the vegans are hoarding. There's still plenty of almond milk.

A guess:  soy milk has more protein than almond milk.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 25, 2020, 02:12:25 PM
Isn't soy milk cheaper than almond milk, usually?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 25, 2020, 03:20:38 PM
I can get a half gallon of almond milk for $1.99. Half gallon of soy milk is priced at $3.49 (reading the price tag; the shelves are empty).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: namazu on March 25, 2020, 04:04:18 PM
Here they've been out of almond milk, too.  (I didn't check the soy because I think the stuff tastes vile.)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on March 25, 2020, 04:35:08 PM
Why has soy milk disappeared from all the supermarkets? I assume it's not because the vegans are hoarding. There's still plenty of almond milk.

A guess:  soy milk has more protein than almond milk.

Maybe it is because it has a longer shelf life than fresh cow's milk?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on March 25, 2020, 04:45:22 PM
Why has soy milk disappeared from all the supermarkets? I assume it's not because the vegans are hoarding. There's still plenty of almond milk.

A guess:  soy milk has more protein than almond milk.

Maybe it is because it has a longer shelf life than fresh cow's milk?

The dairy industry is government subsidized which ensures a steady supply and price. Soy, almond, etc are straight-up free market products.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 25, 2020, 04:51:25 PM
You know, I gotta say (and I am speaking only of my wife and I), but boy are we lucky during this world-wide calamity. 

Today we drove past a restaurateur standing in front of his pizza shop and desperately waving an "Open for Takeout" sign at the thin traffic going past.  Who knows when the government checks are coming, and I can only imagine how precarious his life is at this moment. 

We were driving home to a refrigerator and pantry stocked for 2 weeks home-cooking because we have a steady uninterrupted salary automatically deposited twice a month, and we have jobs we can do over the internet from the safety of our living-room. 

What's more, we were returning home from a lovely day walking the dogs in the park after taking a break from grading whenever we felt like it. 

And even if my job is eliminated, my wife is tenured and I would pick up a number of adjunct classes, so we will probably not starve. 

Count your blessings. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Frank McG on March 26, 2020, 03:15:02 AM
Count your blessings...great comment. I am trying to understand what it is like for my students who are not so blessed and are about to face a job market completely unlike what they were expecting even a month ago. What advice should we give them?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 26, 2020, 07:22:09 AM
Count your blessings...great comment. I am trying to understand what it is like for my students who are not so blessed and are about to face a job market completely unlike what they were expecting even a month ago. What advice should we give them?

Keep the faith.  Even at our worst American recessions look like boom-time to a great many places in the world.  The economy will recover. 

We are planning on inviting a friend over, only one, and having a pizza party, maybe two.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on March 26, 2020, 05:16:08 PM
From my states public health website,
I see a daily tally of tests, cases, those hospitalized, and deaths. If only as a morale boost, I would like to see numbers for those recovered, those released from hospitals, and
for folks released from quarantine, corellated.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: alto_stratus on March 26, 2020, 06:14:55 PM
If you have almonds, a blender, cheesecloth, and a little extra time on your hands, you can make almond milk.

If we're going to be at the top of something, I wish it weren't coronavirus cases.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: namazu on March 26, 2020, 06:42:24 PM
If you have almonds, a blender, cheesecloth, and a little extra time on your hands, you can make almond milk.
Is there a recipe you particularly recommend?  Do you just blend with water and strain?
(Do we have a recipe thread somewhere?)

If we're going to be at the top of something, I wish it weren't coronavirus cases.
Me, too.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 26, 2020, 07:32:00 PM
This year's American Library Assoc. (ALA) Annual in Chicago has been canceled:
http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2020/03/american-library-association-cancels-2020-annual-conference-due-covid-19 (http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2020/03/american-library-association-cancels-2020-annual-conference-due-covid-19)
The last time the annual was canceled was in 1945.
Chicago had been selected for 2020 and '21 from what I saw on the ALA website.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: paultuttle on March 27, 2020, 08:59:11 AM
From my states public health website,
I see a daily tally of tests, cases, those hospitalized, and deaths. If only as a morale boost, I would like to see numbers for those recovered, those released from hospitals, and
for folks released from quarantine, corellated.

Yes, absolutely.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on March 27, 2020, 10:47:27 AM
From my states public health website,
I see a daily tally of tests, cases, those hospitalized, and deaths. If only as a morale boost, I would like to see numbers for those recovered, those released from hospitals, and
for folks released from quarantine, corellated.

If you look at just Italy then I would say they have flattened the curve.  Cumulative total cases plotted on a logarithmic axis is approaching a horizontal line.   Daily new cases have been steady for a week at about 5,000 people per day.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on March 30, 2020, 06:08:13 PM
I've replenished my soy milk supply. But the supermarket was contagion central -- not a single employee wearing a mask, only a few customers wearing them, and no one staying six feet away from anyone else.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on March 30, 2020, 06:25:03 PM
Quote
But the supermarket was contagion central -- not a single employee wearing a mask, only a few customers wearing them, and no one staying six feet away from anyone else.

My understanding is that the businesses dont want to frighten customers and are not letting employees wear masks.  I did see cashiers wearing gloves.

My understanding is also that wearing a mask is not necessarily protective.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 30, 2020, 06:35:07 PM
It's now "Stay at Home" orders from Annapolis to Richmond:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-updates-dc-maryland-virginia-march-30/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-updates-dc-maryland-virginia-march-30/)
I got the notification on my iPhone this afternoon.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 30, 2020, 06:57:22 PM
My understanding is also that wearing a mask is not necessarily protective.

Austria now requires all to wear a mask in a supermarket.  Germany encourages such.  Long common in parts of Asia.  My sense has long been that, ideally, we should have all been wearing masks from the start to help contain the virus, but officials (including WHO, CDC) want to preserve inadequate supplies for health care workers.  One of several recent articles:

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/30/coronavirus-masks-trump-administration-156327
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on March 30, 2020, 10:30:49 PM
It’s much more important that health workers have masks than members of the public.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 31, 2020, 06:46:20 AM
It’s much more important that health workers have masks than members of the public.

I agree.  That's why I said "ideally" in my post.  Ideally, all members of the public would be wearing masks when out and about.  Given the lack of adequate supplies, medical personnel must have full priority.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on March 31, 2020, 07:22:21 AM
There's no shortage of N95 masks. See this report of a journalist who spent a day in the N95 mask trade world and saw 280 million US-manufactured masks get sold. They all got exported: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2020/03/30/i-spent-a-day-in-the-coronavirus-driven-feeding-frenzy-of-n95-mask-sellers-and-buyers-and-this-is-what-i-learned/

US hospitals have a shortage because they can't make fast procurement decisions. No supplier is going to wait around for a week to get some middle-manager to approve a purchase. If those details aren't worked out in advance, they're going to sell to someone who can move faster. Seems like a good month into this crisis, hospitals still haven't figured out how to adjust their bureaucracy to make these sales happen. That's on them.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on March 31, 2020, 07:35:53 AM
Thanks, pigou!  Enlightening.
Why is the U.S. not banning exports of medical supplies desperately needed in the U.S.?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on March 31, 2020, 07:50:45 AM
There's no shortage of N95 masks. See this report of a journalist who spent a day in the N95 mask trade world and saw 280 million US-manufactured masks get sold. They all got exported: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2020/03/30/i-spent-a-day-in-the-coronavirus-driven-feeding-frenzy-of-n95-mask-sellers-and-buyers-and-this-is-what-i-learned/

US hospitals have a shortage because they can't make fast procurement decisions. No supplier is going to wait around for a week to get some middle-manager to approve a purchase. If those details aren't worked out in advance, they're going to sell to someone who can move faster. Seems like a good month into this crisis, hospitals still haven't figured out how to adjust their bureaucracy to make these sales happen. That's on them.

I'm having difficulty believing this.

I worked as an accounting office assistant in a hospital before becoming a ward clerk on the floors.

There were weird backups that had to do with a balky, first-generation computer payment and ordering sytem, but there were workarounds, and the buyers could always pick up the phone, talk to the suppliers, and get STAT orders directly sent and billed.

Both the online ordering systems and the communications systems are more streamlined now than they were then. And no hospital president in their right mind is going to put a hold on orders of necessary equipment right now.

So I'd want to know more about that. In fact, sounds like a job for Snopes.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on March 31, 2020, 08:35:23 AM
Thanks, pigou!  Enlightening.
Why is the U.S. not banning exports of medical supplies desperately needed in the U.S.?
Because that would almost surely lead to retaliation. The US is getting much of its testing capacity from Switzerland, for example, so shutting down their supply of masks wouldn't be great. And that's just immediate consequences: the US would run out of most lifesaving drugs in a matter of weeks as they are imported. And if somehow, the government forced manufacturing in the US (which would take a long time to set up), the components to manufacture the drugs come out of China and India.

The modern world just doesn't work without trade and the restrictions that are starting to pop up are just causing much bigger problems with some delays, that inevitably we will hear nobody could have seen coming. Incidentally, it also took the US some time to eliminate tariffs on ventilators and masks from China, which meant nobody imported them early on when international shipping was still more easily available than it is now. At this point, pharmaceutical companies are chartering cargo planes to keep lifesaving drugs flowing, but there's a shortage of those, too, and shipping prices have gone up as much as 10-fold. Cargo ships, the usual and much more affordable channel, are facing massive delays and container shortages due to quarantine measures.

I'm having difficulty believing this.
Forbes isn't generally known for manufacturing fake news. Here's some corroborating information: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/28/3m-ramps-up-n95-respirator-production-amid-global-coronavirus-outbreak.html

Quote
Prestige Ameritech, based in North Richland Hills, Texas, said it received a total order of 100 million N95 respirators from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

I'm sure it's not an issue with the IT system, but there are often procedures that require multiple offers before a purchase can be made. Making a multi-million dollar purchase in a matter of hours just isn't something hospitals are set up to do. And a couple days ago, the mayor of Pittsburgh was pretty active on Twitter about how he can't procure any supplies without going through a formal bidding process, which in turn had to be open for a minimum 30 days (I believe it was). No mask supplier is going to wait 30 days to perhaps make a sale when they can have a buyer signing by the end of day instead. Basically, same reason why houses in some markets are sold cash-only: the seller doesn't need to risk the mortgage process falling through when there are plenty of interested buyers.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on March 31, 2020, 09:27:23 AM
There's no shortage of N95 masks. See this report of a journalist who spent a day in the N95 mask trade world and saw 280 million US-manufactured masks get sold. They all got exported: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2020/03/30/i-spent-a-day-in-the-coronavirus-driven-feeding-frenzy-of-n95-mask-sellers-and-buyers-and-this-is-what-i-learned/

US hospitals have a shortage because they can't make fast procurement decisions. No supplier is going to wait around for a week to get some middle-manager to approve a purchase. If those details aren't worked out in advance, they're going to sell to someone who can move faster. Seems like a good month into this crisis, hospitals still haven't figured out how to adjust their bureaucracy to make these sales happen. That's on them.

That's ridiculous.

Routine supply items such as masks, gowns, and gloves are on blanket purchase orders with set suppliers. They just increase the PO and the order size when they need more. Which happens, one would imagine, pretty regularly.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on March 31, 2020, 09:29:32 AM
Thanks, pigou!  Enlightening.
Why is the U.S. not banning exports of medical supplies desperately needed in the U.S.?
Because that would almost surely lead to retaliation. The US is getting much of its testing capacity from Switzerland, for example, so shutting down their supply of masks wouldn't be great. And that's just immediate consequences: the US would run out of most lifesaving drugs in a matter of weeks as they are imported.  And if somehow, the government forced manufacturing in the US (which would take a long time to set up), the components to manufacture the drugs come out of China and India.

The modern world just doesn't work without trade and the restrictions that are starting to pop up are just causing much bigger problems with some delays, that inevitably we will hear nobody could have seen coming. Incidentally, it also took the US some time to eliminate tariffs on ventilators and masks from China, which meant nobody imported them early on when international shipping was still more easily available than it is now. At this point, pharmaceutical companies are chartering cargo planes to keep lifesaving drugs flowing, but there's a shortage of those, too, and shipping prices have gone up as much as 10-fold. Cargo ships, the usual and much more affordable channel, are facing massive delays and container shortages due to quarantine measures.


This, I agree with.

Apparently the medical supply manufacturers are flooded with orders and have asked the CDC to help them prioritize which orders to fill nationally based on the greatest need. CDC has visibility into this - they don't.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on March 31, 2020, 09:40:33 AM
There's no shortage of N95 masks. See this report of a journalist who spent a day in the N95 mask trade world and saw 280 million US-manufactured masks get sold. They all got exported: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2020/03/30/i-spent-a-day-in-the-coronavirus-driven-feeding-frenzy-of-n95-mask-sellers-and-buyers-and-this-is-what-i-learned/

Okay, I just read this article.

The issue is that the market price is allowed to change. Those other countries probably have fixed government prices so they can easily extend their PO's without negotiating. That is causing the hangup.

Same with transportation costs suddenly shooting up.

 And that poor guy who was stocking up on hand sanitizer is stuck? (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/technology/coronavirus-purell-wipes-amazon-sellers.html)

Guess profiteering is only allowed if you are a big wheel with a big lobbyist.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 31, 2020, 07:24:30 PM
Cats ran out of food, so I had to stock up today. It's a pretty empty world out there, except for quite a lot of elderly people. The mall looks like it's a zombie movie backdrop.

Since I was leaving my mountaintop island fastness, I took the opportunity to resupply. There's plenty of most things around, except for beans, which are in short supply, and zero toilet paper and paper towels. Which is strange, considering most of them are manufactured less than 40km away. Actually, that's not quite right--Walmart has TP if you want to buy 40 rolls at a time. Which just seems silly to me.

The general store on our island has plenty in reasonable quantities, however.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on April 01, 2020, 12:51:28 PM
There's no shortage of N95 masks. See this report of a journalist who spent a day in the N95 mask trade world and saw 280 million US-manufactured masks get sold. They all got exported: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2020/03/30/i-spent-a-day-in-the-coronavirus-driven-feeding-frenzy-of-n95-mask-sellers-and-buyers-and-this-is-what-i-learned/

Okay, I just read this article.

The issue is that the market price is allowed to change. Those other countries probably have fixed government prices so they can easily extend their PO's without negotiating. That is causing the hangup.
But they're importing from the US at prices that are also changing based on market conditions. Market prices (by definition) change as a function of supply and demand.

ciao_yall: if it were as easy as just modifying the purchasing order, then there'd definitely not be a shortage at US hospitals. Yet, there is. Something is going wrong in the process.

Quote
Same with transportation costs suddenly shooting up.
A huge part of that is that cargo containers are being held up and that stuttering is causing massive delays in shipping. So wares are getting moved by cargo plane, which is much more expensive. And even those are running out -- some old planes currently positioned in desserts are getting activated again.

Came across an anecdote of an executive at Goldman Sachs getting two Gulfstreams to China to pick up masks for NYC. That's $5,000/hr operating cost per plane. (Apparently because the local airport didn't have space for a large cargo plane anymore.)

Quote
And that poor guy who was stocking up on hand sanitizer is stuck? (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/technology/coronavirus-purell-wipes-amazon-sellers.html)

Guess profiteering is only allowed if you are a big wheel with a big lobbyist.
Regulation against price gauging and hoarding backfiring... not surprising. Also no law against exporting at the higher price, you just can't sell it locally at the price.

We really shouldn't underestimate the harm that bureaucracy can create (in addition to all the benefits). For example, a colleague of mine can't hire a programmer for a specialized service, because the university requires her to get three bids from vendors -- and there's exactly one company that does it. They aren't doing an exception, so we can't use her funding. Another co-author needs approval from accounting to pay participants for experiments, but their earnings depend on what they do in the task. Without co-authors, he couldn't do any of his research.

Also, hoarders serve the same purpose as ticket scalpers: they take a good that's inefficiently allocated and get it where it creates the most value. People hate both the same and so laws against it aren't informed by economic efficiency as much as by a sense of fairness. Doesn't really matter when it comes to concert tickets, but inefficiency in responding to a virus outbreak is not helpful.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 01, 2020, 12:58:19 PM
Virtual funerals have started in this area. No one in my immediate circle yet.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on April 01, 2020, 01:19:06 PM

Quote
And that poor guy who was stocking up on hand sanitizer is stuck? (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/technology/coronavirus-purell-wipes-amazon-sellers.html)

Guess profiteering is only allowed if you are a big wheel with a big lobbyist.
Regulation against price gauging and hoarding backfiring... not surprising. Also no law against exporting at the higher price, you just can't sell it locally at the price.

We really shouldn't underestimate the harm that bureaucracy can create (in addition to all the benefits). For example, a colleague of mine can't hire a programmer for a specialized service, because the university requires her to get three bids from vendors -- and there's exactly one company that does it. They aren't doing an exception, so we can't use her funding. Another co-author needs approval from accounting to pay participants for experiments, but their earnings depend on what they do in the task. Without co-authors, he couldn't do any of his research.

Also, hoarders serve the same purpose as ticket scalpers: they take a good that's inefficiently allocated and get it where it creates the most value. People hate both the same and so laws against it aren't informed by economic efficiency as much as by a sense of fairness. Doesn't really matter when it comes to concert tickets, but inefficiency in responding to a virus outbreak is not helpful.

The guy's weasel justification for his actions that he was "performing a public service" by helping to correct market inefficiencies was the thing about his actions that most stuck in my craw.  He effectively stripped dozens of rural communities of their local supplies of hand sanitizer, so that he could sell them at a markup to places where people were willing and able to pay much more for them.  So that's what maximizing market efficiency is all about?  Stripping one community of its resources--which it's going to need just as much as any other community in this emergency--in the interests of maximizing profits?  So insuring that it's possible for speculators to make the highest profits is the highest social good?

So the needs of less-affluent rural communities like the one I live in just don't count?  What's really important is where can the supplies we need be sold at the greatest markup?  By that metric we're always going to be the losers.

I suppose next you'll be telling us that if we don't like being a loser community we should all just move elsewhere.  Watch out with that, though--we have a major toilet paper factory here.  If we all leave, then the toilet paper situation is going to get worse!  Then again, I suppose increasing the scarcity will just create that much more scope for improving "market efficiency," by creating still more opportunities for those who are sufficiently clever, lucky, and ruthless to make a killing.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on April 01, 2020, 02:03:15 PM
We have a fundamental problem here in answering the question: Who owns what?

The lamentable rural communities do not own the needed stuff, not even the toilet paper. The speculator, and s/he is taking a risk, now owns the stuff because s/he was quick! That act of raising price is indeed a service for now we know we need more of the stuff and more will be produced if that price is allowed to rise!

I can quite understand the objection to this logic in an epidemic, a public bad in other jargon. But to have had any chance of handling allocation any differently we'd have to have had a nimble government which acted BEFORE our speculator friends. Comparing governments across the globe, only two were nimble enough to carry this out properly. The rest were caught asleep at the wheel, our government particularly deeply. I would not expect anything else from government.

[Governor Cuomo laments competition between the states and FEMA for supplies, rather hoping that FEMA should do it itself and then allocate to the places with most need. His, I guess. Nothing but self interest there, too. And arithmetically, FEMA acting as purchase agent would have to buy what the states + FEMA would have bought separately. Same affect on price!]

The best, absolute best thing one could do - earlier, but it's not too late now - is to allow price to rise, and watch output rise. The alternative is squabbling over who gets the TOO FEW masks and respirators, you, the others, or me. Let's squabble over more masks.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on April 01, 2020, 02:46:07 PM
Or we could just nationalize the production and get the supplies at cost. I don't particularly relish a higher tax burden so that we can pay out higher profit margins for producers of masks and ventilators.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on April 01, 2020, 03:12:18 PM
The guy's weasel justification for his actions that he was "performing a public service" by helping to correct market inefficiencies was the thing about his actions that most stuck in my craw.  He effectively stripped dozens of rural communities of their local supplies of hand sanitizer, so that he could sell them at a markup to places where people were willing and able to pay much more for them.  So that's what maximizing market efficiency is all about?  Stripping one community of its resources--which it's going to need just as much as any other community in this emergency--in the interests of maximizing profits?  So insuring that it's possible for speculators to make the highest profits is the highest social good?
The hoarders would sell most of their supplies to hospitals, including the ones in rural communities. When it comes to willingness and ability to pay, institutions always end up getting things over individual consumers. Supplies that would otherwise have been bought by people keeping it at home "just in case."

If every American household had just one box of masks at home (50 to a box), that'd be 7.5bn masks. For comparison, states are placing orders in the single-digit millions: this would meet New York's demand about 1,000 fold. But at $10 a box, people don't think there's any harm in buying some and they're not hoarding if they only get one. It's 1 x 150 million households that makes it an issue.

Quote
I suppose next you'll be telling us that if we don't like being a loser community we should all just move elsewhere.  Watch out with that, though--we have a major toilet paper factory here.  If we all leave, then the toilet paper situation is going to get worse! 

If the price of toilet paper had doubled, people wouldn't have bought 10 packs "just in case." And the people who ran out of toilet paper a week into this would surely have been happy to pay extra to not use paper towels, newspapers, or take showers instead.

Or we could just nationalize the production and get the supplies at cost. I don't particularly relish a higher tax burden so that we can pay out higher profit margins for producers of masks and ventilators.
Planet Money had a great episode on ventilator manufacturing. They talked to a company that makes a piston, which is one of 700 (I think it was) parts that go into a ventilator. They increased their production, but this involved reaching out to 80 suppliers of their own to get more of the parts they need -- spread out over multiple countries. And all those companies have to get to their suppliers to meet the increased demand. It's not as simple as changing an assembly line switch. There is just no way the government could nationalize suppliers around the world and the worst case outcome is that foreign suppliers might not want to deal with the government as a buyer. Especially if they aren't getting paid market prices or worse fear they'll be stiffed by the government in the future (hard to sue the US for non-payment if you're a foreign manufacturer).

We also see this with testing: as machines became available, shortages started popping up elsewhere. Including small things, like the little swabs that get stuck up people's noses.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on April 01, 2020, 03:29:27 PM

The guy's weasel justification for his actions that he was "performing a public service" by helping to correct market inefficiencies was the thing about his actions that most stuck in my craw.  He effectively stripped dozens of rural communities of their local supplies of hand sanitizer, so that he could sell them at a markup to places where people were willing and able to pay much more for them.  So that's what maximizing market efficiency is all about?  Stripping one community of its resources--which it's going to need just as much as any other community in this emergency--in the interests of maximizing profits?  So insuring that it's possible for speculators to make the highest profits is the highest social good?


Here's the way to stop hoarding or scalping at the local level.

Suppose the store is selling hand sanitizer. They put 10 bottles on the shelf each hour. When all 10 are sold, they adjust the price for the next hour:

If Joe Hoarder wants to coner the market, he lines up to buy all 10 as soon as they appear. When he goes to pay, someone else can line up for the next hour. But even if they don't right away, Joe's next 10 in the next hour will cose 10% more. Each hour that he rushes to buy as soon as they appear he reduces his profit margin. At some point, in a matter of days or maybe even hours, it doesn't make sense for him to buy at the ridiculous price.  This means that over time the price will settle at what makes it sell at a reasonable rate. If the store chooses the right number to put out given their supply, there will always be more people can buy at the next hour.

Same thing works for concert tickets and so on.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on April 01, 2020, 03:39:07 PM
The government could unquestionably become more involved than it has. See this interview with Max Brooks from NPR:

What is supposed to happen is the federal government has to activate the Defense Production Act immediately. Now, what Defense Production Act does is it allows the federal government to step in and aggressively force the private sector to produce what we need. And what is so critical in this is timing. Because you can't simply build factories from scratch; what you can do is identify a supply chain in order to make it work.

For example, if New York needs rubber gloves, New York cannot simply build rubber glove factories overnight. However, there might be a rubber glove factory in Ohio that could produce it, but they might not have the latex. So therefore, the Defense Production Act allows the federal government to go to the condom factory in Missouri and say, "Listen, you have barrels of latex we need. We are requisitioning those. We are giving them to the rubber glove factory in Ohio. And then we are transporting the finished rubber gloves to New York." That's how it is supposed to work.

President Trump is spinning some sort of tale about, I don't know, the federal government — black helicopters coming in and taking over factories. That's not how it works at all. What happens is the federal government has the network to identify where the production chain is and how to help the private sector work through this, because the private sector doesn't know.

And as an example, I have a World War II rifle made by the Smith Corona typewriter company. Smith Corona worked with the federal government to then partner up with the Winchester company, to then share resources and to share tools and talent to then produce the rifles that we needed. That's how it works. It's not some sort of KGB coming in and taking over everything. It is guidance and streamlining. And only the federal government has the experience to know how to do that.

I can tell you that the military has a vast transportation network here in the United States that is ready to go. We don't have to put truck drivers or private individuals at risk, because the military is already trained to do this. And I've watched them do this. The military spent years working out the legal framework of how to transport goods from one place to another around this country, because it's not like Afghanistan, where the army builds a road and then they own the road. The army has had to go through a tremendous amount of training and adaptation to work within state and local governments to make sure everything is done legally and safe without infringing on our rights. And they have done this. The Army's logistics corps can deliver anything that we need anywhere in this country within a matter of hours or days.

When it comes to sheer massive might, getting stuff done, getting stuff produced and getting stuff moved from Point A to Point B, there is no greater organ in the world than the United States military. We did it in World War II. We've done it all over the world. We can do this now. This is the thing the military is good at, and we need to let them do that.

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/24/820601571/all-of-this-panic-could-have-been-prevented-author-max-brooks-on-covid-19?fbclid=IwAR224J1dUaSYNI_Ah3sIE8l7E2mAkox_zRe6Ly3_vyNO0EjSFf8VahwB_ys
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on April 01, 2020, 03:52:17 PM
The government could do all kinds 'o great things. Yet, the US government has brought us the CDC and the FDA which prevented testing.

The animal government is what is.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on April 01, 2020, 05:49:00 PM
What is supposed to happen is the federal government has to activate the Defense Production Act immediately. Now, what Defense Production Act does is it allows the federal government to step in and aggressively force the private sector to produce what we need. And what is so critical in this is timing. Because you can't simply build factories from scratch; what you can do is identify a supply chain in order to make it work.
Testing centers are starting to run out of the components used to do COVID testing. Are you going to force Swiss companies to sell to the US? Or Chinese and Indian suppliers? The DPA can force US companies to manufacture or sell to the US government. But that's not going to help a whole lot when the bottleneck simply starts shifting to outside the US.

Quote
President Trump is spinning some sort of tale about, I don't know, the federal government — black helicopters coming in and taking over factories. That's not how it works at all. What happens is the federal government has the network to identify where the production chain is and how to help the private sector work through this, because the private sector doesn't know.
But the private sector does know this. When GM stepped in to help, they didn't start retooling their factories. They helped by doing what you're asking the government to do: they activated the contacts throughout their supply chains. That means people in over 100 countries. The US government wouldn't possibly have any of these relationships in place and couldn't encourage a factory in Mexico to do anything.

Quote
And as an example, I have a World War II rifle made by the Smith Corona typewriter company. Smith Corona worked with the federal government to then partner up with the Winchester company, to then share resources and to share tools and talent to then produce the rifles that we needed. That's how it works.
That's feasible on a timeline of multiple years. But the peak of COVID cases is expected to be in two weeks. It takes 30 days to get a cargo ship from China to the US. Companies are getting retired cargo planes out of the dessert to get them flight ready again. This is already a bottleneck and increasing capacity in the US won't do anything to fix that.

Quote
When it comes to sheer massive might, getting stuff done, getting stuff produced and getting stuff moved from Point A to Point B, there is no greater organ in the world than the United States military. We did it in World War II. We've done it all over the world. We can do this now. This is the thing the military is good at, and we need to let them do that.
The largest military cargo plane, a C-5M, can transport 36 pallets (15 foot long) and 128 tons of cargo. A single super freighter transports over 20,000 TEU (each one 20 feet long). And Costco alone just bought 11 of those ships, in addition to their existing fleet and in addition to the 10,000 or so other ships out there.

I think you're vastly underestimating the scale of global trade. And given that costs of shipping have gone up roughly 10-fold already, non-essential stuff is already not getting shipped anymore. That's the next shoe to drop if shipping doesn't start getting underway again soon.


Edit: I do admire your confidence in government though, particularly with the current administration. Especially since the same government (well, Treasury) wants Social Security recipients to file an income tax return to receive stimulus checks, because they don't have their mailing address on file and something is seemingly preventing them from getting these data from the Social Security Administration. But yeah, they'll totally figure out global supply chain logistics overnight. At least it's better than the states, whose unemployment insurance software couldn't handle an additional payment of "up to $600/month" (and up to the past wage), because it's a decade old at this point and might just break. In case you're curious why UI benefits are going up by a flat $600 and why some people might get a small raise if they get laid off. (Not actually a big deal, but tells you something about the software they use, no?)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on April 01, 2020, 08:26:00 PM
I think it's clear that our current government is not going to do any of these things and indeed is not capable of any of these things. So you don't have to "admire my confidence in government." I have  no confidence that these things will happen. Many things like this were in the pandemic plan, and many people whose job it was to bring them to fruition have worked for the government at one time or another. But fewer of them have been retained, and it's evident that none of them have been ordered to do anything like this right now. So all the planning has been effectively useless. Or to quote Max Brooks from the same article:

"I can tell you that the federal government has multiple layers of disaster preparedness who are always training, always planning, always preparing, regardless of how much their budget gets cut. I have toured the CDC, and I've seen all their plans. I have witnessed what was called a "vibrant response." This is the homeland nuclear attack scenario, which was a coordination of FEMA, the Army, the National Guard, state and local officials, all working together in a massive war game to prepare us for a nuke. I have also witnessed what was called a "hurricane rehearsal of concept drill," where not only did the same players come in, but also bringing in our allies from Canada and Mexico. So I have seen that we have countless dedicated professionals who think about this constantly and they're ready to go. And they have not been activated."

But we're not talking about what is happening, are we?  We're talking about what we think should be happening.  So I've now described what I think should be happening.  For others to declare, "Well, that's not happening!" is beside the point — the fact that it's not happening is exactly the problem. I see no will to do much to solve the problem, in this or any other way, among those who have the power.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on April 01, 2020, 09:27:40 PM
It gets worse and worse:

FDA Prevents Import of Masks

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2020/04/fda-prevents-import-of-masks.html
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on April 03, 2020, 03:44:12 PM
But it gets better, too:

New York Considering Loosening Requirements for Funeral Directors as Bodies Pile Up

https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/04/03/new-york-considers-loosening-requirements-for-funeral-directors-as-bodies-pile-up-1271316 (https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/04/03/new-york-considers-loosening-requirements-for-funeral-directors-as-bodies-pile-up-1271316)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on April 03, 2020, 06:21:38 PM
DC's Metro rail and bus service will have new service hours until further notice:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/metro-to-now-close-at-9-p-m-until-further-notice/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/metro-to-now-close-at-9-p-m-until-further-notice/)
I saw a photo of Metro Center Station in the print "Washington Post" Metro section today--it was lightest number of people I'd ever seen in the station.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on April 03, 2020, 08:31:21 PM
Well, here we have it:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-03/germany-and-france-blame-americans-for-playing-dirty-over-masks (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-03/germany-and-france-blame-americans-for-playing-dirty-over-masks)

The US can't compete on price at home on account that would be price gouging, but it can compete abroad, on account that's legal.

So. we sell to other countries and other countries sell to us the same product. Cross exporting. Could save transport costs by abolishing the anti-price gouging regulations in the individual states.

All such articles claim that paying cash is the decisive consideration. No, it's a question of price.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 09, 2020, 07:17:31 AM
Zero vegetable oil in the supermarket. Soy milk has disappeared again. And the warehouse membership club I belong to only has sugar-added peanut butter, not the just-peanuts-and-salt brand I eat.   
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on April 09, 2020, 07:42:39 AM
Two days ago our local grocery store appeared to be short only on cleaning supplies and paper products.  There was some off-brand TP available, which was an improvement.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apostrophe on April 09, 2020, 07:52:32 AM
Zero vegetable oil in the supermarket. Soy milk has disappeared again. And the warehouse membership club I belong to only has sugar-added peanut butter, not the just-peanuts-and-salt brand I eat.

This annoys me so much when it happens. Have you ever tried making your own? I'm considering it, having had success with cashew butter in the past.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Thursday's_Child on April 09, 2020, 08:42:16 AM
Zero vegetable oil in the supermarket. Soy milk has disappeared again. And the warehouse membership club I belong to only has sugar-added peanut butter, not the just-peanuts-and-salt brand I eat.

This annoys me so much when it happens. Have you ever tried making your own? I'm considering it, having had success with cashew butter in the past.

Full disclosure:  I've never tried to make nut butters.  However, the instructions for the grinder I have said it would do anything except peanuts.  Something about them becoming so dense when ground up that they would clog the works.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: namazu on April 09, 2020, 08:47:13 AM
Full disclosure:  I've never tried to make nut butters.  However, the instructions for the grinder I have said it would do anything except peanuts.  Something about them becoming so dense when ground up that they would clog the works.
The ziplock-bag-and-hammer trick works OK in a pinch if you're not looking for something totally homogenized/creamy and don't need vast quantities at once.  (Also great for relieving lock-down-related stress!)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apostrophe on April 09, 2020, 08:47:50 AM
You can make peanut butter in a food processor according to what I've read online.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on April 09, 2020, 11:18:06 AM
Full disclosure:  I've never tried to make nut butters.  However, the instructions for the grinder I have said it would do anything except peanuts.  Something about them becoming so dense when ground up that they would clog the works.
The ziplock-bag-and-hammer trick works OK in a pinch if you're not looking for something totally homogenized/creamy and don't need vast quantities at once.  (Also great for relieving lock-down-related stress!)

Wow, who ever thought that The Fora would turn into a prepper discussion forum?

Spork, do you live near a natural foods store?  They usually have the kind of peanut butter you want.   I have not bee to one recently but I suspect that they are less likely to have empty shelves from panic buying.  You might also try a online grocery store.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: namazu on April 09, 2020, 12:57:49 PM
Full disclosure:  I've never tried to make nut butters.  However, the instructions for the grinder I have said it would do anything except peanuts.  Something about them becoming so dense when ground up that they would clog the works.
The ziplock-bag-and-hammer trick works OK in a pinch if you're not looking for something totally homogenized/creamy and don't need vast quantities at once.  (Also great for relieving lock-down-related stress!)

Wow, who ever thought that The Fora would turn into a prepper discussion forum?

Spork, do you live near a natural foods store?  They usually have the kind of peanut butter you want.   I have not bee to one recently but I suspect that they are less likely to have empty shelves from panic buying.  You might also try a online grocery store.
Wait, weren't you the one suggesting I make my own almond milk? :D  EDIT: No, that was alto_stratus.  :)

I was actually able to get just-peanut-butter delivered to my doorstep from a local, expensive natural foods store that takes online orders.  But I do remember making peanut butter with a hammer and ziplock when I was a kid.  I vaguely recall that Mr. Rogers may have done it on his show...
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: alto_stratus on April 09, 2020, 03:31:52 PM
Amazon has some shelf-stable soy milk in stock. I ordered some in case the shortages on milk get worse. I need my coffee and cereal.

I was looking up make-it-yourself masks, and darn it all if they aren't recommending people put coffee filters in masks. I checked Amazon - sold out! No, people - I need my coffee! Luckily, Staples still had some filters, but I had to buy a 6-month supply.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on April 09, 2020, 05:38:53 PM
Amazon has some shelf-stable soy milk in stock. I ordered some in case the shortages on milk get worse. I need my coffee and cereal.

I was looking up make-it-yourself masks, and darn it all if they aren't recommending people put coffee filters in masks. I checked Amazon - sold out! No, people - I need my coffee! Luckily, Staples still had some filters, but I had to buy a 6-month supply.

I think all the alternative milks are shelf-stable. The reason you see them in the dairy case is that they sell better there. But I'm not sure.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: alto_stratus on April 10, 2020, 07:02:08 PM
They even have shelf-stable cow milk, which I prefer to soy milk (although I find the flavor inferior to refrigerated milk), but it was sold out or ridiculously priced.  Apparently at $10 a quart, I go vegan.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on April 11, 2020, 02:15:33 AM
They even have shelf-stable cow milk, which I prefer to soy milk (although I find the flavor inferior to refrigerated milk), but it was sold out or ridiculously priced.  Apparently at $10 a quart, I go vegan.

The shelf-stable cow milk is the packaging, not that they do anything special to the milk. Overseas most milk is sold that way. Cold supply chains to keep milk fresh are really expensive to maintain.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on April 11, 2020, 05:27:54 AM
They even have shelf-stable cow milk, which I prefer to soy milk (although I find the flavor inferior to refrigerated milk), but it was sold out or ridiculously priced.  Apparently at $10 a quart, I go vegan.

The shelf-stable cow milk is the packaging, not that they do anything special to the milk. Overseas most milk is sold that way. Cold supply chains to keep milk fresh are really expensive to maintain.

Actually I believe that's incorrect. It used to be called UHT (Ultra High Temperature) milk. It had a funny taste. When I had milk in France, same milk, same funny taste.

Any chemists or biologists able to enlighten?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on April 11, 2020, 05:45:56 AM
My supermarket has regular farm milk but no organic milk. I think I still saw some organic milk in my health store. I am surprised that organic milk is hard to get though. The cows must still be producing milk. I saw something about farmers just destroying large quantities of milk, but didn't follow it up.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 11, 2020, 06:56:58 AM
My supermarket has regular farm milk but no organic milk. I think I still saw some organic milk in my health store. I am surprised that organic milk is hard to get though. The cows must still be producing milk. I saw something about farmers just destroying large quantities of milk, but didn't follow it up.

Because many of the commercial customers who buy in bulk -- like restaurants and restaurant suppliers -- have shut down.

Another example of the fragility of hyper-efficient complex systems (borrowing from Bak–Tang–Wiesenfeld and Taleb).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on April 11, 2020, 08:25:56 AM
It looks to me like the hyper-efficient complex system is holding up really well. It wouldn't make sense to have thousands of ICU beds year-round for a once in a century pandemic, when we seem to be able to bring up capacity rather quickly, for example. Yes, everyone is overtaxed, but that's not inherently a problem in a crisis: we're not expecting this to go on for months. Temporarily having a low stock of toilet paper or having to buy conventional instead of organic milk doesn't seem like a huge burden in the middle of a global pandemic.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 11, 2020, 09:12:51 AM
Quote
My supermarket has regular farm milk but no organic milk. I think I still saw some organic milk in my health store. I am surprised that organic milk is hard to get though. The cows must still be producing milk. I saw something about farmers just destroying large quantities of milk, but didn't follow it up.

Because many of the commercial customers who buy in bulk -- like restaurants and restaurant suppliers -- have shut down.

Another example of the fragility of hyper-efficient complex systems (borrowing from Bak–Tang–Wiesenfeld and Taleb).

Don't forget - Schools are closed!  No milk for the youngins! 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on April 11, 2020, 10:23:46 AM
we're not expecting this to go on for months.

Why not? Do you think there will be enough testing of people in 2 months so that people can be declared safe, or to be carrying COVID-19 antibodies, so they are allowed out? Seems very unlikely, and testing is far from 100% accurate. As soon as quarantine is lifted, more people will start dying.

There's also the fact that pandemics typically come in waves, and we have just experienced the first wave.

Some people think that there will be a good vaccine available this year, but that seems wildly optimistic.

So I'm expecting this to last and last. The more quarantining we do, the longer it will last.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 11, 2020, 11:29:20 AM
It looks to me like the hyper-efficient complex system is holding up really well. It wouldn't make sense to have thousands of ICU beds year-round for a once in a century pandemic, when we seem to be able to bring up capacity rather quickly, for example. Yes, everyone is overtaxed, but that's not inherently a problem in a crisis: we're not expecting this to go on for months. Temporarily having a low stock of toilet paper or having to buy conventional instead of organic milk doesn't seem like a huge burden in the middle of a global pandemic.

I would agree with you if the food system in the USA wasn't based on taxpayer subsidies and externalities like CO2 production and water contamination.

Meanwhile, let's plow that food under! https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/11/business/coronavirus-destroying-food.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/11/business/coronavirus-destroying-food.html)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: sprout on April 11, 2020, 11:35:25 AM
They even have shelf-stable cow milk, which I prefer to soy milk (although I find the flavor inferior to refrigerated milk), but it was sold out or ridiculously priced.  Apparently at $10 a quart, I go vegan.

The shelf-stable cow milk is the packaging, not that they do anything special to the milk. Overseas most milk is sold that way. Cold supply chains to keep milk fresh are really expensive to maintain.



Actually I believe that's incorrect. It used to be called UHT (Ultra High Temperature) milk. It had a funny taste. When I had milk in France, same milk, same funny taste.

Any chemists or biologists able to enlighten?

It's a different type of pasteurization - the Ultra High Temperature pasteurization that marshwiggle mentioned.  Higher temperature, shorter time period.  UHT kills more bacteria than the pasteurization we use for milk in the US, so the milk is shelf-stable until opened.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on April 11, 2020, 11:42:38 AM
They even have shelf-stable cow milk, which I prefer to soy milk (although I find the flavor inferior to refrigerated milk), but it was sold out or ridiculously priced.  Apparently at $10 a quart, I go vegan.

The shelf-stable cow milk is the packaging, not that they do anything special to the milk. Overseas most milk is sold that way. Cold supply chains to keep milk fresh are really expensive to maintain.



Actually I believe that's incorrect. It used to be called UHT (Ultra High Temperature) milk. It had a funny taste. When I had milk in France, same milk, same funny taste.

Any chemists or biologists able to enlighten?

It's a different type of pasteurization - the Ultra High Temperature pasteurization that marshwiggle mentioned.  Higher temperature, shorter time period.  UHT kills more bacteria than the pasteurization we use for milk in the US, so the milk is shelf-stable until opened.

Thanks for the clarification. Why does that make it taste different? Does the higher temperature allow some different chemical reactions?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: alto_stratus on April 12, 2020, 08:27:44 AM
I found something a food scientist posted about UHT and the milk flavor:
"The UHT process slightly cooks the milk solids, giving it a slightly cooked flavor that you are calling ‘artificial.’ The high temp process allows some milk proteins to denature and unfold, exposing normally buried sulfhydryl groups to the outer surface, and give some tasters ‘slight hints of sulfur notes’ upon tasting. It also give the milk a slightly tan or off-white color due to the browned milk solids."


Looks like it's similar with soymilk and nut milks - whether it requires refrigeration depends on how it's processed and packaged: "How the soy milk was processed affects its shelf life too. Shelf stable soy milk will keep much longer at room temperature. Sealed soy milk doesn’t require refrigeration at all. On the other hand, chilled soy milk or soy milk that’s been sold refrigerated has to be kept chilled to extend its shelf life."

"Refrigerated almond milk needs to sit in the fridge at all times. If you’re not sure if the nut milk you bought is shelf-stable or not, think about where it was in the store. If it was in the refrigerated section, it definitely requires storing at low temperatures. As usual, make sure that it’s always sealed when not in use."

(from canitgobad.net)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mythbuster on April 12, 2020, 08:39:22 AM
Sprout and Alto_strauss have it right. There are many sets of conditions that achieve pasteurization. UHT is the highest temp and therefore kills the most bacteria. But, it also denatures the proteins the most, which can alter flavor. We use different temperature conditions on milk for drinking than milk for ice cream because we are concerned about different bacterial contaminants.
   It's also why there is always an argument about raw milk products and especially raw milk cheeses. Raw milk is not pasteurized at all. Which allows the natural milk Flora to contribute to the cheese flavor. The USDA/ FDA does not allow raw milk cheeses, but they are legal in Europe.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on April 12, 2020, 09:38:15 AM
we're not expecting this to go on for months.

Why not? Do you think there will be enough testing of people in 2 months so that people can be declared safe, or to be carrying COVID-19 antibodies, so they are allowed out? Seems very unlikely, and testing is far from 100% accurate. As soon as quarantine is lifted, more people will start dying.

There's also the fact that pandemics typically come in waves, and we have just experienced the first wave.

Some people think that there will be a good vaccine available this year, but that seems wildly optimistic.

So I'm expecting this to last and last. The more quarantining we do, the longer it will last.

With the caveat, that I have no idea what will actually happen, the idea is that if current measures could get cases way down, then it becomes possible to put more resources into testing and contact tracing. As long as you have a ton of really sick people in hospitals and PPE supplies and resources are short, it doesn't make sense to even be trying to test everyone with mild symptoms. You also might have to have shutdowns again if cases started rising, but the hope would be that with good testing and containment, you wouldn't have to shut everything everywhere down. I don't think we should expect things to go back to "normal" but it seems like it is certainly possible for have gradual and limited reopening without having uncontained spread.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on April 12, 2020, 09:59:43 AM
we're not expecting this to go on for months.

Why not? Do you think there will be enough testing of people in 2 months so that people can be declared safe, or to be carrying COVID-19 antibodies, so they are allowed out? Seems very unlikely, and testing is far from 100% accurate. As soon as quarantine is lifted, more people will start dying.
An ambiguous use of "this:" I was referring to the shortages of ICU beds and toilet paper. It wouldn't make sense to maintain year-round ICU capacity for a once in a century pandemic. Rather, all levels of government need to have plans for how to provide additional capacity quickly in an emergency. If that means setting up tents in central park or beds in convention centers, that's working as intended and not a policy failure.

I do suspect that we'll see an easing of restrictions no later than mid-May, and earlier in parts of Europe. Particularly the re-opening of non-essential businesses. As long as people adhere to social distancing, having a flower shop open next to the grocery store isn't actually a threat to public health. Restaurants could re-open with stricter capacity limits and distancing. Same for dry cleaners and hair salons (maybe with guidance to wear masks).

That'll lead to more infections than a world in which we don't do any of these things. But it'll also greatly reduce the harm to people's livelihoods and mental health. And it may not lead to so many additional infections as to overwhelm the health care system, which is really the primary concern.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on April 13, 2020, 05:22:53 AM
So far there have been reports of some places in China lifting some restrictions on travel, but it's hard to know how much to trust reports from there.

So far it seems that nowhere in the West has a clear plan for how to lift restrictions.

This discussion in the NYT magazine was useful.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/magazine/coronavirus-economy-debate.html
Zeke Emmanuel is not optimistic about any restrictions being lifted even by mid-June. Peter Singer talks about restrictions lasting a year to 18 months.

I have seen several reports of people who have had the virus getting reinfected -- it seems possible that some people who recover do not develop or retain antibodies. (Though that seems to go against the conventional knowledge of what happens with viruses.)

The surest thing is our uncertainty. We have very little idea how to get out of this situation.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on April 13, 2020, 06:22:36 AM


I have seen several reports of people who have had the virus getting reinfected -- it seems possible that some people who recover do not develop or retain antibodies. (Though that seems to go against the conventional knowledge of what happens with viruses.)


Important clarification. There is absolutely zero evidence of "reinfection." There have been some people who have at one point tested negative for the virus and then at a later point tested positive. Those people haven't shown renewed symptoms and there haven't been any reports of them passing the virus to anyone else. It might be helpful if someone with enough background in virus detection could weigh in about the mechanics of this, but the virology and public health people I follow on Twitter seem to all think that the likely explanation for this is the testing.

I think this is the kind of thing that happens when non-experts like us start following things in a field very closely. When I think about the kind of mistakes I see made in public discussions of my own field, it often involves a lack of broader context in which to understand something. My favorite example of this years ago was a book written by a psychologist who argued that Abraham Lincoln was gay. Why? Well, he slept in the same bed with a friend for several years and then later wrote that friend affectionate letters. The problem is that it was quite common for young, unmarried men without a lot of means to share a bed in the 19th century. Beds were expensive and people were used to crowded accommodations. The letters do seem rather affectionate by contemporary standards, but 19th century personal letters between men were often pretty affectionate. Could Lincoln have slept with men? Of course, he could have. You can't prove a negative and I'm sure plenty of people did sleep with men, there's just no particular reason to think Lincoln did or didn't.

I think this is  the same thing in terms of the need for larger context. If you study viruses and immune response you know that viruses behave in certain ways and our immune systems do certain things to respond. Is it possible that somehow this particular virus is totally different? Of course, anything's possible. But, the people who know what they are talking about seem to think that it is extremely likely this is just about the sensitivity of the test, not people getting reinfected.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on April 13, 2020, 06:44:50 AM
The Harvard epidemiologist I follow on twitter posted this, commenting it was very worrisome.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3078840/coronavirus-low-antibody-levels-raise-questions-about
It is a preliminary report though, so no need to panic.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on April 13, 2020, 06:58:21 AM
The Harvard epidemiologist I follow on twitter posted this, commenting it was very worrisome.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3078840/coronavirus-low-antibody-levels-raise-questions-about
It is a preliminary report though, so no need to panic.

Was it Eric Feigl-Ding? He's not an infectious disease epidemiologist. My very strong impression is that he is somebody who has really latched on to this to get attention. He's posted a number of things that have been widely debunked. This seems like no exception

https://twitter.com/florian_krammer/status/1248043917939036162
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on April 13, 2020, 07:20:47 AM
The Harvard epidemiologist I follow on twitter posted this, commenting it was very worrisome.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3078840/coronavirus-low-antibody-levels-raise-questions-about
It is a preliminary report though, so no need to panic.

Was it Eric Feigl-Ding? He's not an infectious disease epidemiologist. My very strong impression is that he is somebody who has really latched on to this to get attention. He's posted a number of things that have been widely debunked. This seems like no exception

https://twitter.com/florian_krammer/status/1248043917939036162

Thanks. Good to know.  (Yes, it was.)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on April 13, 2020, 07:26:21 AM
The Harvard epidemiologist I follow on twitter posted this, commenting it was very worrisome.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3078840/coronavirus-low-antibody-levels-raise-questions-about
It is a preliminary report though, so no need to panic.

Was it Eric Feigl-Ding? He's not an infectious disease epidemiologist. My very strong impression is that he is somebody who has really latched on to this to get attention. He's posted a number of things that have been widely debunked. This seems like no exception

https://twitter.com/florian_krammer/status/1248043917939036162

Thanks. Good to know.  (Yes, it was.)

It does make it hard to get reliable information. Most of us know people in our own field who are good at getting attention, might have done good work in one area, but often cast themselves as experts on things outside of their area, and make basic and fundamental mistakes.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: EquineUlcers on April 13, 2020, 07:39:41 AM
As always, there is a huge amount of misinformation around.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on April 14, 2020, 06:07:16 AM
We just got an email late yesterday:  all summer instruction is officially shifted to non-campus.  People can move their scheduled F2F classes to an online format (asynchronous), OR "virtual lecture" (synchronous scheduled real-time lectures).  Classes already scheduled as online (which is all I teach in summer) remain unchanged.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on April 14, 2020, 10:57:17 AM
I got an email from admin about planning for summer courses to hybrid.

At least I admire the optimism, even if that strikes me as... wildly optimistic.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on April 14, 2020, 11:31:06 AM
I got an email from admin about planning for summer courses to hybrid.

At least I admire the optimism, even if that strikes me as... wildly optimistic.

Also wildly inefficient.  Preparing for hybrid is different from preparing for fully online.  Fully online for summer at most institutions seems almost certain.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 14, 2020, 12:03:14 PM
Maymester and Summer I were declared online only several weeks ago.  The decision for Summer II (starting after July 4), will be made on or before May 15.  Im not sure when they will be deciding about the Fall term. I am sure that they will delay the decision as long as possible.  I wonder if they will even decide if they can make the decision in weekly or monthly increments... Say Online August and September, back in class on Oct. 1 or whatever.  IF they are not able to be face to face by Nov 1, then I hope that we just finish the term online, given the issues of Thanksgiving and such.

BUT, We are officially online through July 4 and wont decide the July to August 15 window until May 15. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on April 14, 2020, 12:43:21 PM
Maymester and Summer I were declared online only several weeks ago.  The decision for Summer II (starting after July 4), will be made on or before May 15.  Im not sure when they will be deciding about the Fall term. I am sure that they will delay the decision as long as possible. I wonder if they will even decide if they can make the decision in weekly or monthly increments... Say Online August and September, back in class on Oct. 1 or whatever. 

Only if they hate lab instructors with a burning white-hot passion. THESE THINGS CAN'T BE CHANGED ON THE FLY!!!! 
(Not necessarily for you; for those who might consider such an idea sane.)

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on April 14, 2020, 12:48:05 PM
Well, at least some of you are getting some heads up about summer.  My school seems to be in some serious denial about this.  One colleague thinks all will go back to normal in the summer which for us begins right after Memorial Day.  The same guy told me 2 weeks ago that we should be able to have a normal graduation.  The last official CV19 related update is dated March 31st.  Not only faculty need to make plans but the students also have to know if they need to move back into town or be ready to commute versus staying at home and doing everything online. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: namazu on April 14, 2020, 12:54:40 PM
The uni here is all-online for the summer term.

Not sure whether contingency plans are being put in place for fall (yet).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pgher on April 14, 2020, 07:38:53 PM
Apologies if this has been discussed: Boston U. Plans for Possibility of Delayed Fall Term (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/12/boston-university-plans-possibility-delayed-fall-term). I hope other institutions are making similar contingency plans, even if not publicly.

I mentioned on another thread wondering what to do with my two kids. One will be a freshman this fall--at least, I hope so! But I'm working on contingency plans for both kids.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on April 15, 2020, 07:02:52 PM
Today, Gov. Hogan issued an exec. order that Marylanders must wear masks or face coverings in stores and on public transportation:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/coronavirus-updates-dc-maryland-virginia-april-15/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/coronavirus-updates-dc-maryland-virginia-april-15/)
A few counties had required masks before the Governor's order.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 16, 2020, 03:19:35 AM
It looks to me like the hyper-efficient complex system is holding up really well. It wouldn't make sense to have thousands of ICU beds year-round for a once in a century pandemic, when we seem to be able to bring up capacity rather quickly, for example. Yes, everyone is overtaxed, but that's not inherently a problem in a crisis: we're not expecting this to go on for months. Temporarily having a low stock of toilet paper or having to buy conventional instead of organic milk doesn't seem like a huge burden in the middle of a global pandemic.

I would agree with you if the food system in the USA wasn't based on taxpayer subsidies and externalities like CO2 production and water contamination.

Meanwhile, let's plow that food under! https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/11/business/coronavirus-destroying-food.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/11/business/coronavirus-destroying-food.html)

I think our hyper-efficient complex food system is actually too fragile to cope with this kind of disruption. It relies on subsidies, exploitative labor conditions, and environmentally unsustainable practices. On Sunday the country lost 5 percent of its pig meat production capacity when a single plant closed -- the current epicenter for Covid-19 in South Dakota: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/us/coronavirus-south-dakota-meat-plant-refugees.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/us/coronavirus-south-dakota-meat-plant-refugees.html).

My plan is to stock up on canned and frozen vegetables for the fall, when the second wave of infection hits.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on April 16, 2020, 09:50:35 AM
Something I've been thinking of, and a situation that probably affects a fair number of us here:

Say we do go back to F2F in the fall*, and there is a second/subsequent wave of the virus.  I already have an ADA accommodation limiting me to 2 days on campus (orthopedic issues), but I also have other issues that put me in the "vulnerable" category (age, diabetes, and ongoing blood abnormalities).  Between our foot-dragging Admin and "Golly, I don't want to tell anybody what to do" governor, I don't relish the idea of exposing myself to a second round of germs until we'd get officially shut down again.

I'm wondering if ADA would apply in this situation (and, while my doctor would happily order me to self-isolate for the duration, my HR department is a @&*%show--it took 3 months to get my original no-brainer accommodation, so I dread the though of having to go through that all again). My school absolutely refuses to consider fully online teaching for any faculty; otherwise, I'd be all over it already. I don't want to just take sick leave or disability, when there's no real reason for it:  I can teach just fine, if I don't have to come to campus and get exposed to the virus, if it comes to that.

-----
*I'm being optimistic/naive/crazy here, I know. There are strong rumblings of another, emergency RIF coming, and/or ongoing rumors that my campus may get shut down, based on ongoing poor enrollment and on state budget cuts related to the virus.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on April 16, 2020, 10:31:09 AM
Something I've been thinking of, and a situation that probably affects a fair number of us here:

Say we do go back to F2F in the fall*, and there is a second/subsequent wave of the virus.  I already have an ADA accommodation limiting me to 2 days on campus (orthopedic issues), but I also have other issues that put me in the "vulnerable" category (age, diabetes, and ongoing blood abnormalities).  Between our foot-dragging Admin and "Golly, I don't want to tell anybody what to do" governor, I don't relish the idea of exposing myself to a second round of germs until we'd get officially shut down again.

I'm wondering if ADA would apply in this situation (and, while my doctor would happily order me to self-isolate for the duration, my HR department is a @&*%show--it took 3 months to get my original no-brainer accommodation, so I dread the though of having to go through that all again). My school absolutely refuses to consider fully online teaching for any faculty; otherwise, I'd be all over it already. I don't want to just take sick leave or disability, when there's no real reason for it:  I can teach just fine, if I don't have to come to campus and get exposed to the virus, if it comes to that.

-----
*I'm being optimistic/naive/crazy here, I know. There are strong rumblings of another, emergency RIF coming, and/or ongoing rumors that my campus may get shut down, based on ongoing poor enrollment and on state budget cuts related to the virus.

With the caveat that it way too early to know what is going to happen, it seems possible that like other things schools might not be fully open or fully shut in the fall. One possibility could be lots of online classes to cut down on crowded classrooms and provide options for faculty and students at increased risk.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 16, 2020, 10:38:57 AM
We are fully online for summer and just received an email informing us that we 'may' be online in the fall.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: arcturus on April 16, 2020, 11:00:49 AM
AmLitHist - I don't know if this would be covered by ADA, but it is certainly worth arguing that a *planned* online course is likely to be better for both students and instructor than one put together at the last minute. Thus, in the interest of the students, you would like to change the mode of delivery for your fall classes now, so that everyone has some certainty in their planning. Further, the fact that you might be teaching all online classes for the fall semester does not mean that you are online only (or "fully online") for the academic year.  Furthermore, in my department at an R1 state flagship school, the online courses fill before the f2f, so your enrollment might increase under this scenario as well. This all assumes that students on campus can register for online versions of classes without extra hurdles, or costs, of course.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Vkw10 on April 16, 2020, 05:40:31 PM
We received an email today about new method of submitting remote work agreements for approval, when the original 30-day agreements expire. Employees may now submit forms to work remotely until June 30. For a university that normally requires presidential approval for temporary remote work, encouraging two month remote work extensions is amazing. It's also a bit disheartening to many who are finding that 100% work at home can be stressful.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on April 16, 2020, 06:43:44 PM
We have a choice and most of the academics and professional staff in my school are working from home. As head of school, I’m coming in daily to fly the flag - and honestly I prefer that to working at home. I was thinking of moving to 3 days in the office, 2 days working from home but Australia is now making noises about relaxing restrictions in about 4 weeks so I probably won’t bother.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on April 17, 2020, 08:39:13 AM
One social benefit of working from home is that staff don't have to clean your office and cafeterias can close (or operate with less staff). Lots of people don't have discretion about whether and where to work... but they may better off working even at some risk if they don't otherwise get paid.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on April 17, 2020, 06:53:06 PM
Major announcements regarding schools in MD and DC earlier today:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/coronavirus-updates-new-covid-19-cases-continue-climb-dc-makes-school-announcement/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/coronavirus-updates-new-covid-19-cases-continue-climb-dc-makes-school-announcement/)
DC joins VA to continue online classes for the remainder of the school year.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on April 17, 2020, 11:26:28 PM
One social benefit of working from home is that staff don't have to clean your office and cafeterias can close (or operate with less staff). Lots of people don't have discretion about whether and where to work... but they may better off working even at some risk if they don't otherwise get paid.

Our retail outlets are private and we’re being encouraged to support them through this crisis.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 20, 2020, 08:36:08 AM
This morning the shelves at the nearby low-end "save more" supermarket were about half empty -- fresh produce, meat, canned goods, everything. The company's supply chains are getting worse, not better. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on April 20, 2020, 09:05:04 AM
This morning the shelves at the nearby low-end "save more" supermarket were about half empty -- fresh produce, meat, canned goods, everything. The company's supply chains are getting worse, not better.

I've been concerned about this for awhile.  I received many fewer, basic items I requested for my last curbside grocery pick-up than the previous one.  Large grocery store.

Consider all of the restaurant produce, meat, eggs, etc. not now being used by restaurants.  I understand some of this food has been channeled to food banks.  Is there any left after that to send to grocery stores?

Some farmer buried onions because "people don't make onion rings at home" like restaurants do. 
US Ag Secretary said "there is not a supply problem, there is a demand problem."  And what is the solution?

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 20, 2020, 09:24:51 AM
Dairy farmers are dumping milk and produce farmers are plowing under fields. 
Why not make cheese and butter?  Some of the production lines are set to make industrial sized cheeses and it is expensive to retool the lines to make consumer sized packages, and I wonder if the grocery stores have need for additional stores of milk and cheese or ice cream or butter...
The farmer in Florida that plowed under his tomatoes and dumped the squash and zukini (however you spell it... and as I dont really like it, Im not going to look it up!) noted that the tomatoes were too far along to redistribute to grocery stores - that they would be spoiled by the time they hit the shelves.  He did, however, donate A  LOT to closer food pantries. 

It is hard to retool these kinds of productions quickly.

The other shoe to drop:
Did you buy a Christmas tree last year?  Was it more expensive than you remembered them being in earlier years?  Well, the trees from last year were primarily planted after the 2008/2009 financial crisis when the tree growers had less money, so they planted fewer trees.  Similarly, there could be repercussions as farmers try to decide what or whether to plant this season. 
Our meat supply is primarily industrial.  We dont have 'mom and pop' pig farms. They are huge factory farms and the meat processing plants are likewise industrial.  When they are unable to operate, then the chain backs up.  If you can not process pigs into beacon, or chicks into chicken sandwiches, then what?  Already there is news that the chicken factories are destroying eggs to reduce the chicks that can go to the raising barns as there isnt room for new chickens when the older ones are still here.
Processors that are operating are having to do different cuts to deal with the differences in consumer tastes and restaurant tastes/needs.

Anyway, I see that it may be time to purchase pork and chicken if you can find it and have room to freeze some, assuming that you want to eat pork or chicken soon.  Fresh veggies are going to be hit and miss, I think.  GIven that the farmers are plowing under fields, you would expect to see a huge drop in prices for fresh veggies, but frankly, I m not aware of that.  (I dont venture to the store anymore, though, as there is nothing I need that Im willing to die for just now, so IF you are seeing greatly reduced prices, Id be interested to hear it).  IF farmers are reluctant to replant, then in another 3 months, prices of veggies may well be much higher and harder to find, not just for retail, but for restaurants as well (if they are open for dine in customers).

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Puget on April 20, 2020, 09:53:03 AM
Supply chain problems must be hitting different areas at different times. After about a month with many missing staples (though still plenty of food overall), when I went to the store late last week everything was pretty well stocked-- they even had a limited supply of TP! e.g., stores went from no eggs at all about a month ago, to store-brand regular eggs only with a 2-dozen limit about 2 weeks ago, to now having the free-range eggs back in stock with no limits.

Those worried about the supply chain where they live, or just wanting to support local small farmers, should look into whether there are CSA farm shares available in their area. I've been getting one for years, and it seem more important now than ever. (Also starting my own garden, which I've been wanting for a long time and finally have the yard for- world's shortest supply chain).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on April 20, 2020, 01:19:38 PM
Supply chain problems must be hitting different areas at different times. After about a month with many missing staples (though still plenty of food overall), when I went to the store late last week everything was pretty well stocked-- they even had a limited supply of TP! e.g., stores went from no eggs at all about a month ago, to store-brand regular eggs only with a 2-dozen limit about 2 weeks ago, to now having the free-range eggs back in stock with no limits.

Those worried about the supply chain where they live, or just wanting to support local small farmers, should look into whether there are CSA farm shares available in their area. I've been getting one for years, and it seem more important now than ever. (Also starting my own garden, which I've been wanting for a long time and finally have the yard for- world's shortest supply chain).

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-seeds-americans-grow-food/

Some seed companies said they've temporarily stopped taking new orders after seeing an overwhelming surge in demand. The increase in orders is "just unbelievable," said George Ball, chairman of Burpee Seeds, a 144-year-old seed company in Pennsylvania. The company closed to new orders last week because it needed time to catch up, although it plans to start accepting them again on Wednesday.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Puget on April 20, 2020, 01:44:33 PM
Supply chain problems must be hitting different areas at different times. After about a month with many missing staples (though still plenty of food overall), when I went to the store late last week everything was pretty well stocked-- they even had a limited supply of TP! e.g., stores went from no eggs at all about a month ago, to store-brand regular eggs only with a 2-dozen limit about 2 weeks ago, to now having the free-range eggs back in stock with no limits.

Those worried about the supply chain where they live, or just wanting to support local small farmers, should look into whether there are CSA farm shares available in their area. I've been getting one for years, and it seem more important now than ever. (Also starting my own garden, which I've been wanting for a long time and finally have the yard for- world's shortest supply chain).

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-seeds-americans-grow-food/

Some seed companies said they've temporarily stopped taking new orders after seeing an overwhelming surge in demand. The increase in orders is "just unbelievable," said George Ball, chairman of Burpee Seeds, a 144-year-old seed company in Pennsylvania. The company closed to new orders last week because it needed time to catch up, although it plans to start accepting them again on Wednesday.

I've heard this too-- in my case it's just that I'm finally out of an apartment and into my own house with a yard. I wonder how successful some of the brand new gardeners will be and if they will stick with it after this summer?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on April 20, 2020, 08:48:09 PM
My ex-daughter-in-law has been lecturing, teaching, and preaching about composting, and sustainment agriculture in the small university city in which I reside for the past 8 or so years. She has had quite a few projects and numerous subscribers going along with her. God bless her pea-pickin' heart!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 21, 2020, 05:07:30 PM
Pork Industry problems (as I predicted above)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/us-pork-farmers-panic-as-virus-ruins-hopes-for-great-year/ar-BB12X24K?li=BBnbfcL

ALSO
Octoberfest Cancelled!


https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/germanys-oktoberfest-scrapped-over-virus-in-blow-to-beer-industry/ar-BB12Yc7e

Possible beer shortage all next year!!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 22, 2020, 12:05:29 PM
another article on the bad news for pig producers:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2020/04/21/coronavirus-meatpacking-slowdown-force-iowa-pork-producers-euthanize-pigs-covid-19/5164368002/


With the processing plants shut down, producers may need to euthanize pigs (either piglets or market ready pigs).
Even IF China wanted to import the pork, there is not enough processing power to do so.

NOT in the article... When you are stressing the population of the herd by packing them closer together, you are opening the door for the animals to get sick and develop some other disease!  The fear is that the overpopulated herds in factory farms, that are making no revenue as they are unable to sell their pigs and must feed more and more of them will catch some bird flu or something else and wipe out the herds waiting for market. 

Also, with the states in budget crisis as well, will they be able to keep their health and safety inspections going at full force? 

IS a 'perfect storm' of events forming yet another catastrophe?
 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on April 22, 2020, 12:19:13 PM
IS a 'perfect storm' of events forming yet another catastrophe?

A bacon shortage?!  A life without bacon is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hibush on April 22, 2020, 01:03:19 PM

NOT in the article... When you are stressing the population of the herd by packing them closer together, you are opening the door for the animals to get sick and develop some other disease!  The fear is that the overpopulated herds in factory farms, that are making no revenue as they are unable to sell their pigs and must feed more and more of them will catch some bird flu or something else and wipe out the herds waiting for market. 
People will have to pay more for pork if the herds are at lower populations. That said, ham was $1.49/lb last time I went to the store. So there is probably some upside pricing potential.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 22, 2020, 01:28:57 PM
Quote
People will have to pay more for pork if the herds are at lower populations. That said, ham was $1.49/lb last time I went to the store. So there is probably some upside pricing potential.

Yes, but not just for a few weeks.  You can not process what is not started.  So if the pork factories kill the piglets, then there wont be piggies going to market whenever piggies go to market. (I dont know what the 'production time' is from birth to market is for a pig).

So Today there is less pork because the processors are shutting down.  Later there wont be pigs TO process.  So prices will be heading up.

Switching to other agricultural interests discussed in some of those articles, NOW is the time that farmers would be planting corn and other grains that would be used to feed the pigs.  Prices for those crops are also near their bottom.  IF you were a farmer, would you plant if the prices were low NOW and there are fewer pigs going to need the seed?
OR If you are using the grain for ethanol, with oil at $11 a barrel (42 gallons in a barrel), and with so few people driving anywhere at the moment, WILL there be need to make alcohol (for driving)?   
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 22, 2020, 04:24:24 PM
Ethanol regulations are a taxpayer-funded subsidy for corn farmers.

The whole U.S. agricultural system is a pile of sand.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on April 22, 2020, 04:27:39 PM
Absolutely, and it has led to starvation among some very poor [those who eat corn, but do not grow it] in the rest of the world.

Thus,  I wouldn't use "sand", rather a different word with the same first letter.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 22, 2020, 04:49:16 PM
All the food shortage talk here has been in terms of meat shortages. It's pretty hard for me to get exercised about that kind of first-world problem.

(I know there's spillover, and that other sectors are bound to be affected. It's just the framing of a meat shortage as "FOOD SHORTAGES!1!1!" I take issue with.)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 22, 2020, 04:55:23 PM
Quote
All the food shortage talk here has been in terms of meat shortages. It's pretty hard for me to get exercised about that kind of first-world problem.

(I know there's spillover, and that other sectors are bound to be affected. It just the framing of a meat shortage as "FOOD SHORTAGES!1!1!" I take issue with.)

Then you have missed parts of the discussion.
I included discussion of the farmers plowing under fields and the decision about whether to replant. I believe that I mentioned the Christmas Tree Shortage of 2019 caused by the 2008/9 financial issues hitting the growers at planting time.
The point is that agricultural prices are at lows.  Revenues are zero for a lot of farmers and ranchers.  Where will the money to replant come from, and will the planting cut backs lead to food shortages in the future?
It is one thing  to see empty shelves in the grocery store because of panic buying, and quite another to see empty shelves because there is nothing to stock them with!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 22, 2020, 06:29:45 PM

Then you have missed parts of the discussion.


My point was that it's not part of the discussion here (where I am, not in this thread!) at all. All I'm seeing are articles about food shortages that tell me about troubles in the meat-packing industry. No other foodstuffs are making it into the discussion.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Aster on April 23, 2020, 01:16:03 AM
Yeast is in critical shortage. The suppliers of the stuff simply cannot keep up with sudden, massive demand.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on April 23, 2020, 04:49:40 AM
Yeast is in critical shortage. The suppliers of the stuff simply cannot keep up with sudden, massive demand.

And so is flour of course, although maybe not so much.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on April 23, 2020, 05:36:10 AM
Yeast is in critical shortage. The suppliers of the stuff simply cannot keep up with sudden, massive demand.

My understanding is that there is plenty of yeast, but in commercial quantities, and that producers are having trouble downsizing for consumer use.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Puget on April 23, 2020, 06:56:14 AM
Yeast is in critical shortage. The suppliers of the stuff simply cannot keep up with sudden, massive demand.

My understanding is that there is plenty of yeast, but in commercial quantities, and that producers are having trouble downsizing for consumer use.

Right-- people aren't actually eating more (I don't think), they are just cooking and eating (and using the bathroom) at home instead of out. The supply chain is having trouble adjusting to this.

As someone who's been making all my own bread in my bread machine for the past 10+ years (same bread machine remarkably!) I find all this newfound interest in bread making both amusing and charming. Maybe this will finally end the gluten-free craze (for those who are not actually gluten intolerant/celiac)?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on April 23, 2020, 08:44:43 AM
Yeast is in critical shortage. The suppliers of the stuff simply cannot keep up with sudden, massive demand.

My understanding is that there is plenty of yeast, but in commercial quantities, and that producers are having trouble downsizing for consumer use.

Same with toilet paper. Unless you want to buy a pallet of those giant commercial-sized rolls.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on April 23, 2020, 09:36:58 AM
Earlier today I went on one of my periodic scavenger hunts to find cleaning supplies for work.  At the local Wal-Mart the cleaning supply section just keeps looker barer and barer.  Now even supplies of things like Fabreze that are really more perfume than anything else are thinning out.  Are people trying to use those in lieu of the bleach and such that they can't find?

I found better stocks of cleaning supplies at local dollar stores.  Either I had the good fortune to arrive right after a shipment, or people are overlooking those stores in the ongoing rush to Wal-Mart.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 23, 2020, 12:21:18 PM
Yeast is in critical shortage. The suppliers of the stuff simply cannot keep up with sudden, massive demand.

You can also catch wild yeast and make a sourdough starter. It just takes longer.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: FishProf on April 23, 2020, 12:37:02 PM
Is it legal to trap-bait the wild yeast?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 23, 2020, 01:08:53 PM
Ive been watching "Mountain Men" on Sunday nights.  I wonder what size trap one would use to trap the allusive and willy 'Wild Yeast'?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on April 23, 2020, 01:23:05 PM
I've heard wild yeast can be dangerous when cornered or defending its young.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on April 23, 2020, 01:41:21 PM
Be careful if you use a butterfly net as wild yeast often rises high enough to escape the net.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 23, 2020, 03:18:47 PM
Who has enough cash to get through the coronavirus crisis? (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/23/opinion/emergency-savings-coronavirus.html)

I have enough savings to cover two years of expenses, which includes mortgage, utilities, and food but not medical care (I'm lucky to have a full-time job that comes with health insurance benefits).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on April 23, 2020, 03:28:10 PM
I hope to have a net wealth of zero at the time of death. This raises a delicate question of timing... . :-)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on April 23, 2020, 04:23:18 PM
This whole genre of articles about people having no savings isn't internally consistent. Something is going wrong with these surveys. From the article:

Quote
Fewer than half of American adults — just 47 percent — say that they have enough emergency funds to cover three months of expenses, according to a survey conducted this month by the Pew Research Center.

Okay, so 53% have less than three months of expenses saved. But also: 40% of Americans can't cover a $400 emergency expense (https://money.cnn.com/2018/05/22/pf/emergency-expenses-household-finances/index.html)

This implies that 13% of Americans have savings somewhere between $400 and 3 months of expenses. That strikes me as exceptionally implausible. That's a really big range of savings and it can't be that so few people fall into that range.

Then it turns out we're not considering retirement savings as savings... why not? If you lose your job, you can make withdrawals with no penalty. If you have a Roth IRA, you can withdraw contributions with no penalty at any time. You can borrow against your 401(k). This is much more "I don't want to withdraw my savings" than I cannot. That makes me wonder what else people don't think of as savings. Maybe they have a brokerage account and a 529 plan, but that money is earmarked for something else. Well... that's not how savings work.

But more importantly: why do they assume you have to cover 3 months of expenses from savings? Someone who lost their job due to COVID would receive unemployment insurance, which is now up to $8,400/month in California (including the $600/week increase). The argument to give a basic income to a single mother who makes only $110,000 per year because she'd hit the limit of unemployment insurance is just insane. The median household income is just over $50,000. Those people pay taxes, too, and asking them to pay to subsidize someone earning $110k is just insulting.


Edit: ah, yes. The survey asked only about cash funds specifically set aside for emergencies. That's just a nonsensical question. By that metric, I guess I also don't have emergency savings for 3 months -- or even one month. That's what a brokerage account is for. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/04/21/about-half-of-lower-income-americans-report-household-job-or-wage-loss-due-to-covid-19/

Quote
For example, while 58% of upper-income adults who don’t have rainy day funds say they could cover their expenses for three months by tapping into other resources, only 34% of middle-income adults and 16% of lower-income adults without emergency funds say they could do the same.

If you spend $100k/year, 3 months is $25,000. In a savings account earning no interest vs. stocks earning an average of 7%. After 20 years, that emergency fund cost you $100,000. I question the financial literacy of high-income households that do keep that much in cash.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on April 23, 2020, 04:24:49 PM
I hope to have a net wealth of zero at the time of death. This raises a delicate question of timing... . :-)

I hope to have a net wealth of -$100,000 by the time of death. I will be applying for credit cards at the appropriate time.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 23, 2020, 04:28:49 PM
Quote
I hope to have a net wealth of zero at the time of death. This raises a delicate question of timing... . :-)

That is laudable.  (too) Many believe that "If I die in Debt, I win". 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 23, 2020, 04:36:55 PM
Quote
Then it turns out we're not considering retirement savings as savings... why not? If you lose your job, you can make withdrawals with no penalty. If you have a Roth IRA, you can withdraw contributions with no penalty at any time. You can borrow against your 401(k). This is much more "I don't want to withdraw my savings" than I cannot. That makes me wonder what else people don't think of as savings. Maybe they have a brokerage account and a 529 plan, but that money is earmarked for something else. Well... that's not how savings work.
"If you lose your job, you can make withdrawals with no penalty."
Im not sure what you are referring to here.  Im not aware of the opportunity to make withdrawals with no penalty. I know that you can 'roll over' (from your current retirement account) to an IRA or another retirement plan. However, you do not have access to the money without taxes and penalties.  What am I missing/what are you referring to?


"You can borrow against your 401(k)."
Usually you can borrow from a 401K from your employer, but the loan comes due when you separate.  If you are laid off, Im not sure if the clock starts on the repayment, but Im pretty sure that borrowing from your terminating employer is NOT going to work.  (Usually, 401k loans are repaid from future earnings at a fixed amount for a given time period.  IF you earn nothing from the employer, then no loan will be made).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on April 23, 2020, 04:49:16 PM
I hope to have a net wealth of zero at the time of death. This raises a delicate question of timing... . :-)

When you are getting close, take up skydiving.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on April 23, 2020, 04:52:27 PM
Yeast is in critical shortage. The suppliers of the stuff simply cannot keep up with sudden, massive demand.

You can also catch wild yeast and make a sourdough starter. It just takes longer.

Shhhh. Be vewwwwy quiet. I'm hunting weast.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on April 23, 2020, 05:15:51 PM
I hope to have a net wealth of zero at the time of death. This raises a delicate question of timing... . :-)

I hope to have a net wealth of -$100,000 by the time of death. I will be applying for credit cards at the appropriate time.

Careful: If you live in  Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin, one should get a divorce before death if one likes one's spouse, or not, if one doesn't! [These are community property states.] :-)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 23, 2020, 05:18:22 PM
Related to the savings post... I saw that Discover today cut a lot of credit limits for people that may have income issues related to CV19.... SO those that were counting on credit cards as their 'emergency fund' are in just about as bad a shape as those that 'invested' their emergency fund in the stock market prior to March of this year!  It just aint there anymore!!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on April 23, 2020, 05:24:34 PM
Quote
Then it turns out we're not considering retirement savings as savings... why not? If you lose your job, you can make withdrawals with no penalty. If you have a Roth IRA, you can withdraw contributions with no penalty at any time. You can borrow against your 401(k). This is much more "I don't want to withdraw my savings" than I cannot. That makes me wonder what else people don't think of as savings. Maybe they have a brokerage account and a 529 plan, but that money is earmarked for something else. Well... that's not how savings work.
"If you lose your job, you can make withdrawals with no penalty."
Im not sure what you are referring to here.  Im not aware of the opportunity to make withdrawals with no penalty. I know that you can 'roll over' (from your current retirement account) to an IRA or another retirement plan. However, you do not have access to the money without taxes and penalties.  What am I missing/what are you referring to?


"You can borrow against your 401(k)."
Usually you can borrow from a 401K from your employer, but the loan comes due when you separate.  If you are laid off, Im not sure if the clock starts on the repayment, but Im pretty sure that borrowing from your terminating employer is NOT going to work.  (Usually, 401k loans are repaid from future earnings at a fixed amount for a given time period.  IF you earn nothing from the employer, then no loan will be made).
The CARES Act waived penalties for up to $100,000 of withdrawals from 401(k) and IRA plans this year: https://www.thestreet.com/retirement/cares-act-impact-on-retirement-plans

If you lose your job, you can roll over your 401(k) into an IRA and make a withdrawal from there.

In normal times, you can still make hardship withdrawals, but you may be stuck paying a 10% tax penalty (though there may also be no penalty). One more reason to use Roth 401(k)s and Roth IRA over their traditional counterparts, where that's not an issue for withdrawing contributions.  :)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 23, 2020, 05:30:08 PM
Thanks, I think that I was thinking 'penalties' = Taxes + 10% penalty
I suppose I didnt read the original as carefully as usual.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on April 23, 2020, 05:30:41 PM
And, no, we may not be able to easily borrow as individuals, but the government is doing that for us, giving cash to many people in the present.

This should not appear sinful. Speaking with St. Augustine: Please, God, make me good, but not just yet. :-)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Aster on April 23, 2020, 05:36:59 PM
I have some spoiled grapes and a bag of sugar. Now I can make prison wine.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on April 24, 2020, 07:35:07 AM
I can believe that a large proportion of Americans would have real trouble coming up with $400 in an emergency.  Many people have so little income that they really do live hand-to-mouth.  And there are a lot of workers with better incomes who seem compelled to spend every penny they have as it comes in.  I was speaking to a local food pantry volunteer after a series of layoffs some years back, and she saw an immediate bump in food pantry visits.  She said "Come on, guys!  You were laid off last week and you're already here?"  These were workers who had just recently been making pretty fair money.

On a possibly related note--a staff member here claims that on a recent Wal-Mart visit she saw a number of customers besieging the jewelry counter.  She also says that she saw children with armloads of toys.  Stimulus money in action? 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 24, 2020, 08:03:18 AM
Is it legal to trap-bait the wild yeast?

Well, they're in season now, so it's ok, but there is a limit of 100 grams per person.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 24, 2020, 08:05:31 AM
I've heard wild yeast can be dangerous when cornered or defending its young.

Always approach with caution.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 24, 2020, 08:07:57 AM
Ive been watching "Mountain Men" on Sunday nights.  I wonder what size trap one would use to trap the allusive and willy 'Wild Yeast'?

Can size #2, or a wide-mouth Mason jar.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 24, 2020, 08:14:46 AM
Be careful if you use a butterfly net as wild yeast often rises high enough to escape the net.

Mason jar to the rescue!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 24, 2020, 08:27:21 AM
I have some spoiled grapes and a bag of sugar. Now I can make prison wine.

Pruno!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on April 24, 2020, 11:51:56 AM
I was speaking to a local food pantry volunteer after a series of layoffs some years back, and she saw an immediate bump in food pantry visits.  She said "Come on, guys!  You were laid off last week and you're already here?"  These were workers who had just recently been making pretty fair money.
People going to a food pantry doesn't necessarily imply that they can't afford to buy groceries. They may just be looking for all ways to cut back on spending. If you can get $50/month worth of groceries for free, that's money you don't have to cut elsewhere.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on April 24, 2020, 02:10:39 PM
I have some spoiled grapes and a bag of sugar. Now I can make prison wine.

Pruno!

All you need now is a homemade shiv and some cigarettes to bribe the screws.  3 hots and a cot.  And if you can get yourself put on the isolation unit, you'll be safe from the virus as well. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 24, 2020, 02:25:51 PM
Quote
you'll be safe from the virus as well.

Somehow I dont know how safe from the virus one would be.  Some state's hotspot is the prison.  After seeing the Diamond Princess in Japan and the Grand Princess off California, and something recently about the spread of it from an  AC unit, I think that you are better off hungry at home  ... .(though really.... Really, IF you were stuck eating what you HAD to eat in your house, how long would it last.... Seriously, I have a can of Spam that I have had for a while. How long would it take to get to actually eat the last scrap of food in your house?)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 24, 2020, 03:06:03 PM
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/farmers-are-starting-to-destroy-their-pigs-after-factories-close/ar-BB136Shz

And so it begins!
pigs for fertilizer, I suppose. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 24, 2020, 04:03:16 PM
How long would it take to get to actually eat the last scrap of food in your house?)

Geeze. I have to guess at least 4-6 months, and considerably longer with light rationing and all the wild edibles here (especially if I started gathering and preserving them now, since there's a ton of stuff out already).

It's easy for me to shrug off my hoarding-survivalist-instinct, though, because all the kelp and seaweed here could feed an army year-round, no problem.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on April 24, 2020, 07:01:11 PM
Today, Gov. Hogan announced the reopening plans for Maryland:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/maryland-gov-larry-hogan-coronavirus-recovery-plan/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/maryland-gov-larry-hogan-coronavirus-recovery-plan/)
Schools aren't included in the plan.

Also today, Gov. Northam announced the plan for VA:
https://wtop.com/virginia/2020/04/northam-shares-rough-blueprint-to-reopening-virginia/ (https://wtop.com/virginia/2020/04/northam-shares-rough-blueprint-to-reopening-virginia/)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on April 25, 2020, 05:28:43 AM
And for Virginia higher ed:

https://www.virginiabusiness.com/article/fall-semester-on-the-minds-of-virginias-colleges-and-universities/
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on April 25, 2020, 08:33:29 AM
Today, Gov. Hogan announced the reopening plans for Maryland:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/maryland-gov-larry-hogan-coronavirus-recovery-plan/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/04/maryland-gov-larry-hogan-coronavirus-recovery-plan/)
Schools aren't included in the plan.

Also today, Gov. Northam announced the plan for VA:
https://wtop.com/virginia/2020/04/northam-shares-rough-blueprint-to-reopening-virginia/ (https://wtop.com/virginia/2020/04/northam-shares-rough-blueprint-to-reopening-virginia/)

I am sort of convinced that the lack of discussion about things like schools, daycare, summer activities for kids, reflects this American idea that childcare just isn't a public concern. Figuring out how to deal with these things is obviously complicated, but don't they need to be part of the plan. Countries in Europe like Germany and Denmark are moving towards reopening preschools as an early part of their plans. The idea here seems to be to just sort of pretend that people can work from home effectively with kids around.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on April 26, 2020, 08:28:17 AM
This morning the shelves at the nearby low-end "save more" supermarket were about half empty -- fresh produce, meat, canned goods, everything. The company's supply chains are getting worse, not better.

I've been concerned about this for awhile.  I received many fewer, basic items I requested for my last curbside grocery pick-up than the previous one.  Large grocery store.

Positive news:  received almost all items requested for latest, relatively large grocery pick up.  After Puget reported improvement, I was hopeful.  Pleased and thankful.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on April 26, 2020, 12:18:24 PM
Uh..disinfectant, no bleach, not too harsh, not lethal..Eureka, HYDROGEN PEROXIDE!!!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on April 27, 2020, 05:12:36 AM
Scored TP!  Went to Walgreen's to pick up prescriptions and asked masked clerk about TP.  He said he'd heard that Publix had some, so instead of going to another grocery, I headed to Publix where I, for the first time in my entire life, bought one six pack of Charmin...only stuff they had.

I felt a bit like Russians must have felt back in the old days.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on April 27, 2020, 11:12:58 PM
My sister was also complaining about having to buy Charmin. I don’t live in the US so don’t know the problem with it.

Here in Oz the local independent grocer was full of tp - including packs of 18.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on April 28, 2020, 06:16:07 AM
My sister was also complaining about having to buy Charmin. I don’t live in the US so don’t know the problem with it.

Here in Oz the local independent grocer was full of tp - including packs of 18.

First, I hate the name.  Second, I hated the old ads with Mr. Wipple caught squeezing the Charmin.  Third, I hate the current ads about how it's sooooo strong but soooooo soft.  Fourth, I hate how overpriced it is. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: fast_and_bulbous on April 28, 2020, 06:18:52 AM
My sister was also complaining about having to buy Charmin. I don’t live in the US so don’t know the problem with it.

Here in Oz the local independent grocer was full of tp - including packs of 18.

First, I hate the name.  Second, I hated the old ads with Mr. Wipple caught squeezing the Charmin.  Third, I hate the current ads about how it's sooooo strong but soooooo soft.  Fourth, I hate how overpriced it is. 

Admit it: It's really about the dingleberries.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on April 28, 2020, 06:33:28 AM
My sister was also complaining about having to buy Charmin. I don’t live in the US so don’t know the problem with it.

Here in Oz the local independent grocer was full of tp - including packs of 18.

First, I hate the name.  Second, I hated the old ads with Mr. Wipple caught squeezing the Charmin.  Third, I hate the current ads about how it's sooooo strong but soooooo soft.  Fourth, I hate how overpriced it is.

Nothing is as terrible as that ad campaign based around those bears who spend all their time talking about how they need the right brand of toilet paper to keep their butts clean.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on April 28, 2020, 06:38:23 AM
My sister was also complaining about having to buy Charmin. I don’t live in the US so don’t know the problem with it.

Here in Oz the local independent grocer was full of tp - including packs of 18.

First, I hate the name.  Second, I hated the old ads with Mr. Wipple caught squeezing the Charmin.  Third, I hate the current ads about how it's sooooo strong but soooooo soft.  Fourth, I hate how overpriced it is.

Nothing is as terrible as that ad campaign based around those bears who spend all their time talking about how they need the right brand of toilet paper to keep their butts clean.

Well, it kind of has the same problem as "feminine products"; showing things "in action" is problematic, as is describing their benefits in that context.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on April 28, 2020, 07:24:09 AM
Since we're on the subject of TP, our main regional employer, the tissue mill, has said that since there is such a boom in demand they will recall some of the hundreds of workers they laid off last year when they shut half the mill down.  It's an ill wind that blows no one good, I guess.

BTW, they make Charmin.  They make ALL the major brands.  Not all of any of them, but some of each of them.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on April 28, 2020, 07:24:59 AM
My sister was also complaining about having to buy Charmin. I don’t live in the US so don’t know the problem with it.

Here in Oz the local independent grocer was full of tp - including packs of 18.

First, I hate the name.  Second, I hated the old ads with Mr. Wipple caught squeezing the Charmin.  Third, I hate the current ads about how it's sooooo strong but soooooo soft.  Fourth, I hate how overpriced it is.

Nothing is as terrible as that ad campaign based around those bears who spend all their time talking about how they need the right brand of toilet paper to keep their butts clean.

Well, it kind of has the same problem as "feminine products"; showing things "in action" is problematic, as is describing their benefits in that context.

Right, I really don't think of myself as particularly prudish about such things, but the idea of this family where the main topic of conversation seems to be who has toilet paper stuck to their butt is really off-putting.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on April 28, 2020, 07:27:50 AM
Since we're on the subject of TP, our main regional employer, the tissue mill, has said that since there is such a boom in demand they will recall some of the hundreds of workers they laid off last year when they shut half the mill down.  It's an ill wind that blows no one good, I guess.

BTW, they make Charmin.  They make ALL the major brands.  Not all of any of them, but some of each of them.

Are people actually using more TP now? (If so, why?) I would have thought that many households won't be buying any more TP for a year now they have stockpiled.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on April 28, 2020, 07:41:50 AM
Nothing is as terrible as that ad campaign based around those bears who spend all their time talking about how they need the right brand of toilet paper to keep their butts clean.

Well, it kind of has the same problem as "feminine products"; showing things "in action" is problematic, as is describing their benefits in that context.

Right, I really don't think of myself as particularly prudish about such things, but the idea of this family where the main topic of conversation seems to be who has toilet paper stuck to their butt is really off-putting.

Sure, but the interesting question is whether there are certain products that should be prevented from advertising in certain media (such as television) because of the nature of their use. (Should Viagra ads be on TV? How "informative" should they be allowed to be? Imagine a group of people discussing THAT product's virtues. The mind boggles....)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on April 28, 2020, 08:23:30 AM
My sister was also complaining about having to buy Charmin. I don’t live in the US so don’t know the problem with it.

Here in Oz the local independent grocer was full of tp - including packs of 18.

First, I hate the name.  Second, I hated the old ads with Mr. Wipple caught squeezing the Charmin.  Third, I hate the current ads about how it's sooooo strong but soooooo soft.  Fourth, I hate how overpriced it is.

Nothing is as terrible as that ad campaign based around those bears who spend all their time talking about how they need the right brand of toilet paper to keep their butts clean.

Well, it kind of has the same problem as "feminine products"; showing things "in action" is problematic, as is describing their benefits in that context.

With blue liquid...
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on April 28, 2020, 09:01:27 AM
Since we're on the subject of TP, our main regional employer, the tissue mill, has said that since there is such a boom in demand they will recall some of the hundreds of workers they laid off last year when they shut half the mill down.  It's an ill wind that blows no one good, I guess.

BTW, they make Charmin.  They make ALL the major brands.  Not all of any of them, but some of each of them.

Are people actually using more TP now? (If so, why?) I would have thought that many households won't be buying any more TP for a year now they have stockpiled.

I'd expect the same thing, but apparently the corporation's trend-analyzers foresee an elevated demand for some months yet.  Of course these are home tissue paper rolls that are made at our plant, and home use (as opposed to commercial use--i.e., the big rolls found in public restrooms) doubtless has indeed gone way up as people are spending so much time at home.  It will take time for that trend to reverse as the economy re-starts.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 28, 2020, 09:46:00 AM
Since we're on the subject of TP, our main regional employer, the tissue mill, has said that since there is such a boom in demand they will recall some of the hundreds of workers they laid off last year when they shut half the mill down.  It's an ill wind that blows no one good, I guess.

BTW, they make Charmin.  They make ALL the major brands.  Not all of any of them, but some of each of them.

Are people actually using more TP now? (If so, why?) I would have thought that many households won't be buying any more TP for a year now they have stockpiled.

I don't think it's a 'using' more tp kind of thing. I think it's due to lag time. The people who couldn't stock up since tp was out weeks ago are now stocking up. :)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 28, 2020, 10:02:34 AM
My sister was also complaining about having to buy Charmin. I don’t live in the US so don’t know the problem with it.

Here in Oz the local independent grocer was full of tp - including packs of 18.

First, I hate the name.  Second, I hated the old ads with Mr. Wipple caught squeezing the Charmin.  Third, I hate the current ads about how it's sooooo strong but soooooo soft.  Fourth, I hate how overpriced it is.

Nothing is as terrible as that ad campaign based around those bears who spend all their time talking about how they need the right brand of toilet paper to keep their butts clean.

Well, it kind of has the same problem as "feminine products"; showing things "in action" is problematic, as is describing their benefits in that context.

<rant>
Natural part of life for most women. I don't recall seeing a commercial describing menstrual blood flow 'in action.' Actually, I think we need to desensitize people to the 'God-forbid-they-show-period-stuff-so-we-have-to-acknowledge-that-it-exists' mentality. Unfortunately, there are cultures (in the U.S. and other parts of the world) that have shamed women about natural body functions and still do. Some men I know don't really understand it either, but I'm not sure if that's due to the people I have engaged with socially, age, culture or the geographical region in which I live, probably a combination and I'm sure there are some other lurking variables.

The point is, if we can show bears rubbing their behinds, while commenting on how few dingleberries they have, etc., then we can show a simulation of periods because women need to know that a pad, or other menstrual 'device', is going to do the job, just like people want to know if tp will keep their a$$es clean. Consider how many other health-related commercials there are- can't go?- constipation?, have erectile disfunction?- need nasal irrigation?- going deaf?- need a hearing aid?- or how about those adult diapers?

</rant>
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on April 28, 2020, 10:06:23 AM
The fluid is blue, so somehow that makes it more... realistic?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on April 28, 2020, 10:12:32 AM
Quote
Are people actually using more TP now? (If so, why?) I would have thought that many households won't be buying any more TP for a year now they have stockpiled.

I suspect that as we 'shelter in place' that we ARE using more (at home).  We are unlikely using more in total, but Im sure that my employer has easily saved 'a shit ton' of their paper budget by being closed (and remaining closed) at least through May 15 for staff and at least July 1 for students. 

I on the other hand, have had no choice but to use my own facilities as I dont go to work or venture out.  I can not even 'make a refund' at a local eatery or grocery store or walmart (the source of the raw material).

IF there are still stock outs in the TP shelves, then there may be a 'fool me once, shame on you;  fool me twice, shame on me' mentality.  Alternatively it could be a Scarlet O'hara moment, "As God is my witness, I will never be short of TP again!"
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 28, 2020, 10:27:52 AM
The fluid is blue, so somehow that makes it more... realistic?
Not more realistic. I suspect it is to mollify the people who are upset by it.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on April 28, 2020, 10:33:08 AM
The fluid is blue, so somehow that makes it more... realistic?
Not more realistic. I suspect it is to mollify the people who are upset by it.

If I had anything bright blue oozing from my body, I would be really upset.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 28, 2020, 10:40:48 AM
The fluid is blue, so somehow that makes it more... realistic?
Not more realistic. I suspect it is to mollify the people who are upset by it.

If I had anything bright blue oozing from my body, I would be really upset.

:) Me too. As a human, I have not experienced this. Perhaps other alien life forms have blue menses. Octopi have blue blood, but I'm pretty sure they don't menstruate. Then again, I am not a biologist.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 28, 2020, 11:14:39 AM
The fluid is blue, so somehow that makes it more... realistic?
Not more realistic. I suspect it is to mollify the people who are upset by it.

If I had anything bright blue oozing from my body, I would be really upset.

:) Me too. As a human, I have not experienced this. Perhaps other alien life forms have blue menses. Octopi have blue blood, but I'm pretty sure they don't menstruate. Then again, I am not a biologist.

Down with the Paper Industrial Complex! Use a menstrual cup.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 28, 2020, 11:14:46 AM
Quote
Are people actually using more TP now? (If so, why?) I would have thought that many households won't be buying any more TP for a year now they have stockpiled.

I suspect that as we 'shelter in place' that we ARE using more (at home).  We are unlikely using more in total, but Im sure that my employer has easily saved 'a shit ton' of their paper budget by being closed (and remaining closed) at least through May 15 for staff and at least July 1 for students. 

I on the other hand, have had no choice but to use my own facilities as I dont go to work or venture out.  I can not even 'make a refund' at a local eatery or grocery store or walmart (the source of the raw material).

IF there are still stock outs in the TP shelves, then there may be a 'fool me once, shame on you;  fool me twice, shame on me' mentality.  Alternatively it could be a Scarlet O'hara moment, "As God is my witness, I will never be short of TP again!"

That, and the TP supply is split between commercial and personal use products, which are different (and not sold or supplied the same way, either). The demand for the latter has sharply increased, while the demand for the former has sharply declined, so while there may be plenty of TP in theory, there's not enough of the right kind. Presumably the hoarding doesn't help, but there's gonna be a shortage anyway.

So I expect the mill is stepping up its production of personal TP.


The paper towel shortage, however, I find a little more puzzling.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: saffie on April 28, 2020, 12:30:35 PM
The paper towel shortage, however, I find a little more puzzling.

Stores were running out of disposable Clorox wipes, so maybe more cleaning and wiping down of surfaces using a bottle of cleaner and paper towels? I also wondered about the increased hand washing prompting people to use disposable paper towels instead of reusing a cloth towel.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on April 28, 2020, 12:54:39 PM
The fluid in those commercials is blue precisely because blue is not the color of any bodily secretion. That is also why washing machine liquid detergent is blue. Imagine if detergent were red or brown — a little smear of it on a white towel — no. Having studied this stuff, I mean academically, I don't buy that if commercials don't show realistic red-streaking-with-brown fluid on sanitary pads, they are body-shaming women. The fact is that we are biologically wired to find certain combinations of colors and substances repulsive, because they signal biological contamination. We are wired to regard those signs as risky, as regards ingesting them or getting them on our hands, and to keep away from them. This includes a slimy texture on meat; all kinds of viscous, stringy liquids; signs of blood; clots; and the like. If this list seems unappetizing or off-putting, that is precisely the response nature programmed. As the saying is, "Disgust is intuitive microbiology." The fact that women menstruate does not make them unclean, but the actual substances are designed to be unappealing, and giving a realistic display on TV is not going to sell products. In fact I imagine even the fact of this post seems pretty tasteless.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on April 28, 2020, 01:14:57 PM
The things I learn on the Preparing for Coronavirus thread....
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on April 28, 2020, 02:17:17 PM
The paper towel shortage, however, I find a little more puzzling.

Stores were running out of disposable Clorox wipes, so maybe more cleaning and wiping down of surfaces using a bottle of cleaner and paper towels? I also wondered about the increased hand washing prompting people to use disposable paper towels instead of reusing a cloth towel.

That all sounds plausible.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on April 28, 2020, 02:22:07 PM
The fluid in those commercials is blue precisely because blue is not the color of any bodily secretion. That is also why washing machine liquid detergent is blue. Imagine if detergent were red or brown — a little smear of it on a white towel — no. Having studied this stuff, I mean academically, I don't buy that if commercials don't show realistic red-streaking-with-brown fluid on sanitary pads, they are body-shaming women. The fact is that we are biologically wired to find certain combinations of colors and substances repulsive, because they signal biological contamination. We are wired to regard those signs as risky, as regards ingesting them or getting them on our hands, and to keep away from them. This includes a slimy texture on meat; all kinds of viscous, stringy liquids; signs of blood; clots; and the like. If this list seems unappetizing or off-putting, that is precisely the response nature programmed. As the saying is, "Disgust is intuitive microbiology." The fact that women menstruate does not make them unclean, but the actual substances are designed to be unappealing, and giving a realistic display on TV is not going to sell products. In fact I imagine even the fact of this post seems pretty tasteless.

How much cultural variation is there in the signaling of biological contamination? In my dissertation research days, it was common for people to eat chunks of congealed pig blood. And I've been to a few East Asian wedding banquets, where "slimy" seems to be a culinary theme.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 28, 2020, 02:35:51 PM
The fluid is blue, so somehow that makes it more... realistic?
Not more realistic. I suspect it is to mollify the people who are upset by it.

If I had anything bright blue oozing from my body, I would be really upset.

:) Me too. As a human, I have not experienced this. Perhaps other alien life forms have blue menses. Octopi have blue blood, but I'm pretty sure they don't menstruate. Then again, I am not a biologist.

Down with the Paper Industrial Complex! Use a menstrual cup.
Or you could make your own pads to replace the 'paper' ones.

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Reusable-Menstrual-Pads (https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Reusable-Menstrual-Pads)


Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 28, 2020, 02:43:32 PM
The fluid in those commercials is blue precisely because blue is not the color of any bodily secretion. That is also why washing machine liquid detergent is blue. Imagine if detergent were red or brown — a little smear of it on a white towel — no. Having studied this stuff, I mean academically, I don't buy that if commercials don't show realistic red-streaking-with-brown fluid on sanitary pads, they are body-shaming women. The fact is that we are biologically wired to find certain combinations of colors and substances repulsive, because they signal biological contamination. We are wired to regard those signs as risky, as regards ingesting them or getting them on our hands, and to keep away from them. This includes a slimy texture on meat; all kinds of viscous, stringy liquids; signs of blood; clots; and the like. If this list seems unappetizing or off-putting, that is precisely the response nature programmed. As the saying is, "Disgust is intuitive microbiology." The fact that women menstruate does not make them unclean, but the actual substances are designed to be unappealing, and giving a realistic display on TV is not going to sell products. In fact I imagine even the fact of this post seems pretty tasteless.

Good points. I suppose any of the other 'warm' colors wouldn't work either (orange or yellow). Purple?

I don't think the commercials are necessarily focused at body-shaming women by using blue coloring to simulate a period (Ooo, like in a Big Brotherish way- nah, well, I hope not).

I think that certain cross-sections of the world population do shame women (go to Temple? No! You're Unclean!) and that it has become ingrained as a negative aspect of beimg female in certain cultures, despite the intended biological purpose.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 28, 2020, 02:45:31 PM
The things I learn on the Preparing for Coronavirus thread....

:) I find it all interesting. I suppose I'm just slowly losing the precarious grip on reality that I have and have found solace in virtual socialization. Sorry if I'm starting trouble.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on April 28, 2020, 03:44:47 PM
I'm surprised to hear about the congealed pig blood. I guess a number of cultures eat blood. It's when the blood seems as if it's human blood that it's most alarming, I suspect.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on April 28, 2020, 06:27:16 PM
I'm surprised to hear about the congealed pig blood. I guess a number of cultures eat blood. It's when the blood seems as if it's human blood that it's most alarming, I suspect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czernina

Duck blood soup, good stuff.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on May 07, 2020, 10:17:19 AM
No brand-name TP available locally, but there is off-brand consistently available now.  Bleach is also now in fair supply in some places.  One had a note saying "Only one thing of bleach to a customer."  I guess they figured that using high-toned words like "container" or "jug" would confuse people.

Still no hand sanitizer to be seen anywhere.  But we were able to order it for our workplace.  It should be here today.  Still no disinfecting spray available from our supplier, and they say they won't have masks until next month.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: sprout on May 07, 2020, 11:07:21 AM
One had a note saying "Only one thing of bleach to a customer."  I guess they figured that using high-toned words like "container" or "jug" would confuse people.

Sounds to me like someone spent way too much time trying to decide what term to use and just gave up!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on May 07, 2020, 11:26:27 AM
One had a note saying "Only one thing of bleach to a customer."  I guess they figured that using high-toned words like "container" or "jug" would confuse people.

Sounds to me like someone spent way too much time trying to decide what term to use and just gave up!

At least they didn't write "sorry for the inconvence."  If there is one word they should teach retail workers how to spell, it's "inconvenience."  I have tons of respect for retail workers but I have seen that word spelled wrong on signs more times than spelled correctly.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on May 07, 2020, 11:26:53 AM
I dont know... I think that there would be Hell To Pay!  IF Granny found Bleach in her Jug!

Jugs are for Roomatiz medicine.  (corn squeezins) 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on May 07, 2020, 12:56:20 PM
One had a note saying "Only one thing of bleach to a customer."  I guess they figured that using high-toned words like "container" or "jug" would confuse people.

Sounds to me like someone spent way too much time trying to decide what term to use and just gave up!

At least they didn't write "sorry for the inconvence."  If there is one word they should teach retail workers how to spell, it's "inconvenience."  I have tons of respect for retail workers but I have seen that word spelled wrong on signs more times than spelled correctly.

My pet peeve is when businesses say something to the effect of "sorry for the inconvenience." Be positive!

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on May 07, 2020, 01:52:01 PM
What I find more annoying and offensive is "For your convenience, a $30 charge will be applied for any check returned for insufficient funds".   Convenience?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on May 07, 2020, 01:56:54 PM
Stores have been out of wheat flour for at least two weeks now.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 07, 2020, 02:07:10 PM
Now that my grades are about done and most of my teaching responsibilities fulfilled, I plan to go to the food store! We've had groceries delivered for the past few weeks and I tend to have a large pantry anyway, so we've managed.

I have also noticed on websites that stores are rationing meat, tp, bleach and cleaners. Looks like we have flour though. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: the_geneticist on May 13, 2020, 09:32:58 AM
Most of the smaller stores are well-stocked.  The big box stores (Walmart, Costco, etc) are out of ALL THE THINGS - bottled water, toilet paper, wipes, bleach, etc. 
The only things that are typically out of stock are garlic and yeast.  Apparently there is a national garlic shortage.  The US crop was mostly lost due to bad weather and China isn't exporting much.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on May 13, 2020, 11:41:46 AM
Apparently there is a national garlic shortage.  The US crop was mostly lost due to bad weather and China isn't exporting much.

Funny you should mention garlic.  The only place I could find nonChina granulated garlic in the last few years was Costco, their Kirkland brand (in a huge container, of course).  McCormick had some California granulated garlic for a few years then China, again.

Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, based in USA, was purchased by China's WTH Group, Ltd. in 2013.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on May 13, 2020, 02:21:46 PM
To stay in shape with the gym shut down I got some Indian clubs.  They were quite the rage in 1890 and a nice change to my normal exercise routine.  Some of you may have noticed that exercise weights were the first things to disappear from stores and on the used market.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on May 13, 2020, 03:13:15 PM
To stay in shape with the gym shut down I got some Indian clubs.  They were quite the rage in 1890 and a nice change to my normal exercise routine.  Some of you may have noticed that exercise weights were the first things to disappear from stores and on the used market.

In related news about shopping trends, from The New York Times: "One of the few apparel companies that has been doing well, at least online, is Lululemon, thanks to its generous selection of the sweatpants and leggings that serve as particularly good work clothes when your office is in the basement."

I give kudos to whoever wrote that and got it past an editor.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 13, 2020, 03:29:59 PM
To stay in shape with the gym shut down I got some Indian clubs.  They were quite the rage in 1890 and a nice change to my normal exercise routine.  Some of you may have noticed that exercise weights were the first things to disappear from stores and on the used market.

Are you also wearing a woolen exercise onesie, Teddy Roosevelt style?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on May 13, 2020, 04:05:26 PM
To stay in shape with the gym shut down I got some Indian clubs.  They were quite the rage in 1890 and a nice change to my normal exercise routine.  Some of you may have noticed that exercise weights were the first things to disappear from stores and on the used market.

Are you also wearing a woolen exercise onesie, Teddy Roosevelt style?

No, but that is a great suggestion.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on May 13, 2020, 05:48:31 PM
The "stay home" order will be relaxed in Maryland on Friday:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/maryland-coronavirus-update-may-13/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/maryland-coronavirus-update-may-13/)
A bit of good news for the day!

For the region at large, here's a more detailed article:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/virginia-maryland-suburbs-aligned-with-dc-in-covid-response/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/virginia-maryland-suburbs-aligned-with-dc-in-covid-response/)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Vkw10 on May 13, 2020, 06:05:48 PM
We had an online faculty/staff recognition event today. About 30 minutes before the start, Dr. FastTrack sent a frantic note to department's chat, asking if it was okay to wear t-shirt or if collared shirts were recommended. Ms. Savvy replied that collars, combed hair, and shaved faces were recommended if one intended to have video on, but otherwise a professional photo could be uploaded to Zoom.

I laughed myself into a coughing fit. After the event, the department chat was flooded with comments about administrators with long hair, cats walking across desks, and starship backgrounds. First time I've ever enjoyed such a ceremony.

Next time a pandemic appears to be starting, I'll recommend VPs and Provosts get a crew cut.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on May 15, 2020, 10:28:26 AM
We reopen to the public on Monday.  I've spent the last week and a half trying to get sneeze guards to protect the staff at the circulation desk.  We finally got them installed.  I can rest easier now.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on May 15, 2020, 01:28:34 PM
We reopen to the public on Monday.  I've spent the last week and a half trying to get sneeze guards to protect the staff at the circulation desk.  We finally got them installed.  I can rest easier now.
That's great news! Please let us keep us posted how it goes.  :)

Earlier today I got an e-mail blast from mk Solutions about its sneeze guard products:
https://www.mksneezeguard.com/en/ (https://www.mksneezeguard.com/en/)
Its products are made for libraries. Hope the above link is useful to fellow librarians here!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on May 16, 2020, 09:11:13 AM
Ramen! What is it with Ramen? Big and small stores alike cannot keep Ramen in stock. Oh, sure the just below a buck ramen is kinda stocked. But the 20 cent flavors are gone almost as soon as they hit the shelves. Maybe there is a widespread marketing scheme or a secluded people, not yet studied., that require few nutrients.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on May 16, 2020, 04:50:37 PM
Yesterday, parts of Maryland reopened under Phase 1. Here's a sampling of local businesses managing their reopening:
https://wtop.com/maryland/2020/05/md-businesses-open-to-limited-customers-as-coronavirus-restrictions-are-relaxed/ (https://wtop.com/maryland/2020/05/md-businesses-open-to-limited-customers-as-coronavirus-restrictions-are-relaxed/)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on May 16, 2020, 05:07:38 PM

[. . . ]

Next time a pandemic appears to be starting, I'll recommend VPs and Provosts get a crew cut.

I've been cutting my own hair with electric clippers for over three decades now. As my wife says, "You've been waiting for this moment your whole life."
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Thursday's_Child on May 17, 2020, 07:42:05 AM
I'm in one of those re-opening states.  Yesterday at a popular big box store:
- about half of the shoppers and most of the employees were wearing masks;
- about 1/3 of the masked were wearing them incorrectly - nose exposed was the most common error;
- I saw no strong correlation between any particular factor (age, sex, race, size of group) and being either masked or non-masked;
- inability to remain 6 ft. from others (who were not in your group) was rampant, especially among the non-masked;
- cheerful cries of greeting to those you'd missed - followed by hand-shaking and other distancing violations - was only seen twice in the (maybe) ten minutes it took me to grab some essentials and check out.

I glumly predict a spike in cases starting very soon.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on May 17, 2020, 09:17:08 AM
I haven't been out and don't plan on going out, generally (and our 'open status' is now on hold, which is also fine with me)...but I'm not surprised.

In March I was thinking we might hear an "all clear" by, say, September.

Now, I'm thinking December, maybe even next March.

I've worked with infectious disease specialists. They're the most sober, least excitable folks I know.

They have no investment in playing the "hoax" game, or spreading false rumors to get power, or any of that stuff.

If they say you need to do something, or not do it, you need to listen and follow instructions.

I wish people would stop channeling their inner rebellious, three-year-old selves, and grow up.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 17, 2020, 11:07:12 AM
If you have any advice on convincing people to not run around like a bunch of nimrods down here, then I'd love to hear it. There are faculty who have been quite vocal about not wearing masks, their civil liberties, etc. I predict that these faculty will probably do an about face if and when they and family members become ill.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on May 17, 2020, 11:19:26 AM
All faculty here have been directed to submit, through their departments, a plan for the fall semester that includes explanations of how we are going to:


All full- and part-time faculty members have been given three days to submit this information.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on May 17, 2020, 11:40:45 AM
All faculty here have been directed to submit, through their departments, a plan for the fall semester that includes explanations of how we are going to:

  • Maintain 6' separation between all students and the instructor in classrooms with a seating capacity of, for example, 35 students, in courses that already have 35 students registered.
  • Teach all courses on campus and online, simultaneously, to accommodate students who become ill or who have pre-existing health conditions.
  • Run all courses 100% online if the campus needs to be emptied out after the semester begins.

All full- and part-time faculty members have been given three days to submit this information.

Doesn't that mean that basically you teach the course online and meet during classtime with a few students for a tutorial. Indeed, you might just tell those students that they can do their onine work during class. If you do give a lecture of sorts in class, you record it and make it available to all students (after of course, the appropriate university service has done closed captioning of the video your lecture for the hearing impaired students who might be in your class).

If you don't want to massively increase your prep time, you will probably have to cut back some aspects of the course. Assigning papers to the students seems like a good thing to cut.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 17, 2020, 11:53:26 AM
All faculty here have been directed to submit, through their departments, a plan for the fall semester that includes explanations of how we are going to:

  • Maintain 6' separation between all students and the instructor in classrooms with a seating capacity of, for example, 35 students, in courses that already have 35 students registered.
  • Teach all courses on campus and online, simultaneously, to accommodate students who become ill or who have pre-existing health conditions.
  • Run all courses 100% online if the campus needs to be emptied out after the semester begins.

All full- and part-time faculty members have been given three days to submit this information.

Ugh, this makes me feel a lot better about my own school. I have some reservations about our plans, but at least they aren't just putting all the onus on instructors. Our plan is that faculty who do not want/should not teach will teach online. They are trying to make sure there are enough fully online courses for students who also shouldn't be on campus. Other classes are going to be hybrid in some form mostly to allow for enough space in the rooms.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on May 17, 2020, 12:20:49 PM
All faculty here have been directed to submit, through their departments, a plan for the fall semester that includes explanations of how we are going to:

  • Maintain 6' separation between all students and the instructor in classrooms with a seating capacity of, for example, 35 students, in courses that already have 35 students registered.
  • Teach all courses on campus and online, simultaneously, to accommodate students who become ill or who have pre-existing health conditions.
  • Run all courses 100% online if the campus needs to be emptied out after the semester begins.

All full- and part-time faculty members have been given three days to submit this information.

Is there stuff about labs that you didn't include, or have those been entirely overlooked in this. (For instance, as I've discussed elsewhere, the ludicrous idea of trying to "[teach all labs] on campus and online, simultaneously", as would be implied by the instructions above.)

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Bonnie on May 17, 2020, 12:38:05 PM
All faculty here have been directed to submit, through their departments, a plan for the fall semester that includes explanations of how we are going to:

  • Maintain 6' separation between all students and the instructor in classrooms with a seating capacity of, for example, 35 students, in courses that already have 35 students registered.
  • Teach all courses on campus and online, simultaneously, to accommodate students who become ill or who have pre-existing health conditions.
  • Run all courses 100% online if the campus needs to be emptied out after the semester begins.


All full- and part-time faculty members have been given three days to submit this information.

It's not often someone can write something that makes me grateful for the admin I have, but this almost has me sending them gift cards and flowers as thank you. Faculty cannot be made to do this alone, though plans particularly on #2 and #3 should not be made without faculty input. The first demand of faculty in your post is just silly. Am I supposed to develop a magic spell to make my classroom larger without making it larger?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: the_geneticist on May 17, 2020, 01:15:05 PM
All faculty here have been directed to submit, through their departments, a plan for the fall semester that includes explanations of how we are going to:

  • Maintain 6' separation between all students and the instructor in classrooms with a seating capacity of, for example, 35 students, in courses that already have 35 students registered.
  • Teach all courses on campus and online, simultaneously, to accommodate students who become ill or who have pre-existing health conditions.
  • Run all courses 100% online if the campus needs to be emptied out after the semester begins.

All full- and part-time faculty members have been given three days to submit this information.

Is there stuff about labs that you didn't include, or have those been entirely overlooked in this. (For instance, as I've discussed elsewhere, the ludicrous idea of trying to "[teach all labs] on campus and online, simultaneously", as would be implied by the instructions above.)

How will we do this?

Fantasy answer: "Magic!  Portable hole!  Teach in parallel universes!  Shrink my students so they are so tiny their sneezes only travel 6" instead of 6'!"
Real answer: I will be teaching online.  There is no safe way to do this.

I swear the realities of space and time don't even cross the minds of lots of administrators.  They probably think they can just assign you a bigger classroom (as if no one else is already using it) OR assign you to teach in 3-4 rooms all at the same time.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on May 17, 2020, 02:22:37 PM

[. . . ]

Doesn't that mean that basically you teach the course online and meet during classtime with a few students for a tutorial. Indeed, you might just tell those students that they can do their onine work during class. If you do give a lecture of sorts in class, you record it and make it available to all students (after of course, the appropriate university service has done closed captioning of the video your lecture for the hearing impaired students who might be in your class).

If you don't want to massively increase your prep time, you will probably have to cut back some aspects of the course. Assigning papers to the students seems like a good thing to cut.


[. . .]

Is there stuff about labs that you didn't include, or have those been entirely overlooked in this. (For instance, as I've discussed elsewhere, the ludicrous idea of trying to "[teach all labs] on campus and online, simultaneously", as would be implied by the instructions above.)


Yes, it's ludicrous. Yes, it means online instruction. In reality the "plan" is just a facade. Returning and new students will be told "Back to normal, campus is open!" so that they show up and pay room and board. They'll be living on campus while taking courses online. Otherwise the university suffers a major financial hit from no housing and meal plan revenue.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: rac on May 17, 2020, 04:48:47 PM
New here, though I was a frequent reader of the chronicle fora in the past. It appears that my university is moving ahead with simultaneous face to face and online teaching for small and medium sized classes, with different accommodations for large lecture classes, combined with a change in the academic calendar (things are still very fuzzy and ill-defined - there has been just one presentation by the higher admin to the faculty).
Are there faculty here that simply do not feel comfortable doing f2f teaching in the fall? From the little of what I can tell, the admin will likely allow faculty over (a so far undefined) age cutoff and faculty with health issues to teach online. I may (or may not!) qualify for accommodations (it's less simple than just stating that I have high blood pressure, say), but my spouse won't. What options should we ask for? Online teaching? Unpaid leave while keeping benefits (health insurance!)? Simply meet with students in individually or in small groups outside early in the semester and then move online and hope for the best (we are tenured)?
The reasons I feel currently uncomfortable are 3 concerns: 1) Apart from mortality, we do not currently have many statistics on medium or long term health issues, but a lot of reports about strokes, damage to different organs like the lungs, heart, kidneys, very long recoveries on a (large or small?) subset of patients. 2) I think it is a pipe-dream to rely on the low-risk young student population to social distance and wear masks when not under supervision (I have seen many reports, including in my university town, of large student parties violating the governor's restrictions). Our admin during the meeting said we'd simply have to trust the students to do the right thing. 3) We are middle-aged (mid-to late forties), and if something happened to one of us (say, a stroke, or a condition that alters our life expectancy or ability to produce income), it would be devastating to our still young kids. With no family in the US, even a prolonged serious illness/hospitalization of both of us at the same time (not that unlikely with covid) could have a serious impact.
The admin thinks all will be safe and well with testing and tracing, keeping a 6 foot distance and masks. We have our doubts.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on May 17, 2020, 05:12:54 PM
Rac, welcome. I think what you can ask for depends on what you're prepared to do. I am in a medium-high-risk group and I have a lot of savings, so I will be going to the wall in refusing to teach in person. Through some adroit strategizing, I've managed to make it so that I have only one in-person class scheduled next year, and I'm petitioning to take that online too. At our place, they let people teach online who have a fairly narrow set of characteristics (e..g active cases of cancer), and anyone else who wants to has to make a request. I think they thought few people would request to teach online, but in fact I know a lot of people who have. The word is not yet in on who gets permission. If they refuse me permission, I am going to simply refuse to teach the class, and propose that I be furloughed. I have tenure and I am approaching retirement age — if they fired me, I'd be able to get by, though I'd prefer to keep teaching for a while if possible. I know refusing is a luxury that many don't have. I think that if many people are refused permission, the union will probably take up the matter. At the moment we are waiting to see whether permission to teach online is granted to many or only to a few.

In your case, I'd try all positive strategies to stay out of the classroom — horsetrade with others, or offer to teach courses others avoid as long as you can teach them online, or whatever strategies you can think up. If none of that works, and you can afford it, you could offer to be furloughed. If they absolutely make you teach in-person, you could try your own strategies to keep safe. I know in California, some are insisting on teaching outdoors. You could teach in a large room with many windows, and leave all the windows open. Or whatever.

I do notice that in the flurry of trying to make everything else happen, keeping professors safe is way down on administrators' priority lists. So as in so much else, it's up to us.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on May 18, 2020, 06:23:35 AM
I went to my doctor on Friday for a meds check, and without me bringing it up, he said, "You will NOT be going back on campus this fall." Well, we'll see.  I know Admin is going to push me to either teach on campus (if we in fact are back F2F in fall) OR they'll force me to take FMLA time and burn my semester's worth of sick leave pay and miss a semester's worth of teaching.  I don't want to take the semester off, and there's no good reason for me to do so, presuming I stay well.

There are three large rooms in my building; each can comfortably hold 25 students (our class caps).  One is designated for ASL, the other for Communications, and the third--a computer lab--for English.  I could space 10 students in our computer lab.  However, I wasn't assigned to it for fall; a senior colleague usually gets dibs for his dev ed classes in there.  Other than that, we teach in oversized (but not by much) janitorial closets.  In the best of times, winter means very close quarters in those rooms, between the small space, the 25 students, and the added bulk of backpacks, coats, etc.  (I couldn't do it, if I were a student:  I get claustrophobic as it is when I teach in those rooms and frequently step out in the hall while they're writing, in discussion groups, etc.)

There rooms in other buildings on campus are similarly sized, with the exception of a couple of lecture halls here and there.  However, those are already taken as "dedicated" to other disciplines.  Realistically, with my existing ADA accommodation for ortho problems, they know they can't require me to hike 1/4 mile between buildings in the 15 minutes between classes with my walker and supplies--let alone do in August and September heat, and later rain/cold/snow.  I'd throw a fit, and they know it.

I hope they let me teach my 2 F2F classes online, which would give me a full online schedule (verboten by both policy and the union contract). I'll get the ADA accommodation, if necessary, because I'm at risk.  Push come to shove, if they insist I be on campus, I want that computer lab for both my classes, and I'll include it in my accommodation order.    It makes sense for my Comp II, which works fabulously well in that room, but less so for my lit class.  We'll see.

I just want things SETTLED, sooner rather than waiting until August 1 or later, which is what I suspect will happen. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 18, 2020, 07:01:36 AM
I went to my doctor on Friday for a meds check, and without me bringing it up, he said, "You will NOT be going back on campus this fall." Well, we'll see.  I know Admin is going to push me to either teach on campus (if we in fact are back F2F in fall) OR they'll force me to take FMLA time and burn my semester's worth of sick leave pay and miss a semester's worth of teaching.  I don't want to take the semester off, and there's no good reason for me to do so, presuming I stay well.

There are three large rooms in my building; each can comfortably hold 25 students (our class caps).  One is designated for ASL, the other for Communications, and the third--a computer lab--for English.  I could space 10 students in our computer lab.  However, I wasn't assigned to it for fall; a senior colleague usually gets dibs for his dev ed classes in there.  Other than that, we teach in oversized (but not by much) janitorial closets.  In the best of times, winter means very close quarters in those rooms, between the small space, the 25 students, and the added bulk of backpacks, coats, etc.  (I couldn't do it, if I were a student:  I get claustrophobic as it is when I teach in those rooms and frequently step out in the hall while they're writing, in discussion groups, etc.)

There rooms in other buildings on campus are similarly sized, with the exception of a couple of lecture halls here and there.  However, those are already taken as "dedicated" to other disciplines.  Realistically, with my existing ADA accommodation for ortho problems, they know they can't require me to hike 1/4 mile between buildings in the 15 minutes between classes with my walker and supplies--let alone do in August and September heat, and later rain/cold/snow.  I'd throw a fit, and they know it.

I hope they let me teach my 2 F2F classes online, which would give me a full online schedule (verboten by both policy and the union contract). I'll get the ADA accommodation, if necessary, because I'm at risk.  Push come to shove, if they insist I be on campus, I want that computer lab for both my classes, and I'll include it in my accommodation order.    It makes sense for my Comp II, which works fabulously well in that room, but less so for my lit class.  We'll see.

I just want things SETTLED, sooner rather than waiting until August 1 or later, which is what I suspect will happen.

It is really disheartening to hear that faculty are being pressured at some places to teach in person. I was very pleased to see that our admin has at least said that nobody is going to be forced to teach in person who doesn't want to. Thus far, you can just opt out, no need for explanations or medical notes or any of that.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: polly_mer on May 18, 2020, 07:58:19 AM
I was very pleased to see that our admin has at least said that nobody is going to be forced to teach in person who doesn't want to. Thus far, you can just opt out, no need for explanations or medical notes or any of that.

That sounds like an administration that wants easy faculty volunteer in before officially announcing a term that is mostly online.


Anyone else read https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/05/18/its-not-so-much-when-colleges-reopen-its-also-how and/or the associated 20-page document?

Say, AmLitHist gets those heavily in-demand rooms she wants and the schedule is rejiggered so that everyone who wants those rooms gets those rooms.

Who is doing all the between-class cleanings?  Part of our recent training was how to host an on-site meeting including all the pre-meeting and post-meeting cleaning with video.  The strong message was don't have a meeting unless there's no other way to advance a mission-critical project.  That mindset doesn't work for classes.

How are they paying for all the extra work and supplies associated with cleaning etc.?  Supplies around here are still in very short supply with online suppliers having messages like "out of stock.  no estimated date for back in stock".

Can everyone really be trusted to follow all the new rules?  I'm watching newscasts this morning and the answer for the general public is clearly no.

Are institutions going to have fast enough turnaround to matter for testing and will they do the crucial third step of isolation of everyone found positive and all their contacts?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on May 18, 2020, 08:08:20 AM
I do notice that in the flurry of trying to make everything else happen, keeping professors safe is way down on administrators' priority lists. So as in so much else, it's up to us.

+1

Even IF a college could do "frequent testing" of all -- daily, weekly, monthly, twice a semester -- what if people don't want to be tested?

There are various tests and their accuracy is not assured at this time.  NY's governor had the more invasive nasal swab test live during his daily presser over the weekend. I wouldn't want to have to do that one frequently.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Morden on May 18, 2020, 08:12:15 AM
Our uni has announced we're going "alternate delivery" for fall (although they also announced that the final decision will be made June 30--I don't know what changes they expect between now and then). For most disciplines, that means online delivery for fall. I don't know how they are going to manage labs or practicum placement.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: writingprof on May 18, 2020, 08:35:26 AM
All faculty here have been directed to submit, through their departments, a plan for the fall semester that includes explanations of how we are going to:

  • Maintain 6' separation between all students and the instructor in classrooms with a seating capacity of, for example, 35 students, in courses that already have 35 students registered.
  • Teach all courses on campus and online, simultaneously, to accommodate students who become ill or who have pre-existing health conditions.
  • Run all courses 100% online if the campus needs to be emptied out after the semester begins.

All full- and part-time faculty members have been given three days to submit this information.

See, I actually prefer this. The preposterous turnaround time indicates that no one expects good work. "Faculty members have been given two months to submit this information" would be far more burdensome, as it would suggest that one is to spend one's whole summer doing this bull&%$# for real.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: polly_mer on May 18, 2020, 09:19:43 AM
All faculty here have been directed to submit, through their departments, a plan for the fall semester that includes explanations of how we are going to:

  • Maintain 6' separation between all students and the instructor in classrooms with a seating capacity of, for example, 35 students, in courses that already have 35 students registered.
  • Teach all courses on campus and online, simultaneously, to accommodate students who become ill or who have pre-existing health conditions.
  • Run all courses 100% online if the campus needs to be emptied out after the semester begins.

All full- and part-time faculty members have been given three days to submit this information.

See, I actually prefer this. The preposterous turnaround time indicates that no one expects good work. "Faculty members have been given two months to submit this information" would be far more burdensome, as it would suggest that one is to spend one's whole summer doing this bull&%$# for real.

How happy are faculty going to be with the results of assembling all the sent information?  Probably not very. 

This is a CYA move (Look!  We solicited and used your input!), not a coherent plan by an institute that wants to survive.  This is very much a case of hoping for the best and planning for blame when the feces hit the propeller.

Sometimes, shared governance claims are bad cover for weak administration.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on May 18, 2020, 09:55:47 AM
On the broader scale (which doesn't name scholastic situations per se; it would be interesting to elicit these from the author)*

   https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/18/opinions/coronavirus-recession-economy-public-health-trump-sachs/index.html

In some ways, not so new, in others, it puts a few things together more specifically.

M.


*Transparency: I worked for this person a very long time ago in a galaxy far away.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 18, 2020, 10:14:47 AM
I was very pleased to see that our admin has at least said that nobody is going to be forced to teach in person who doesn't want to. Thus far, you can just opt out, no need for explanations or medical notes or any of that.

That sounds like an administration that wants easy faculty volunteer in before officially announcing a term that is mostly online.




Hmm, I don't really think so. They've said pretty clearly that their current plan is to have classes in person, mostly hybrid. They've determined a modified room capacity, as well and are busy tweaking schedules to try to ensure students will have the option of fully online and in person, mostly hybrid formats. Most of the faculty in my department have opted for the hybrid option, it seems.

Of course, who knows if in person classes are really going to be possible, but I don't see any reason to think the administration is not legitimately planning for it.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on May 18, 2020, 10:49:52 AM
We have now reopened at work.  I won't go into a lot of detail.  Suffice it to say that it has been hectic.  We've been doing lots of tweaking and readjusting in response to the developing situation.  This was not unexpected.  As they say in military circles, "No plan survives first contact with the enemy."

Waiting on library patrons when every computer workstation must be wiped down after each use, and you have to let patrons tell you what items they want so you can fetch them and keep them out of the stacks, and you have to try to be aware of where everybody is at any given time for social distancing reasons, is labor intensive.  I don't know how many times I've masked/unmasked as I've moved back and forth from my office.  I can only imagine what it would look like if a college campus tried something like this.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: ciao_yall on May 18, 2020, 10:50:51 AM
Our plan for now is to have all online, unless exceptions are needed for face-to-face.

I'm wondering if one exception can be a low-enrolled class where students can sit far enough apart? If I am teaching in the Fall (another conversation), my classes do not lend themselves to an online format. It can be done, and nobody will die, but it just isn't the same.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Penna on May 19, 2020, 06:31:15 AM

Are there faculty here that simply do not feel comfortable doing f2f teaching in the fall?


Yes, and I share the concerns you articulated in the rest of your post.  At my institution, a plan for offering modified, hybrid forms of in-person instruction for most classes is being developed, and faculty have already been advised that "anxiety" about the risks will not be considered an acceptable reason for requesting permission to teach online-only.  They haven't announced the specific requirements for receiving permission yet, except to say that the policy for granting those permissions is currently being developed by "HR and Legal."  So I'm assuming only those faculty who are at least 65 or who can document something like diabetes, heart disease, etc. will be granted permission.

I am in my 50s and am in good health overall, but I am still very concerned about the risks for both myself and my spouse (who does have a health condition that may put him at higher risk for severe outcomes should he get the virus from me).  And even with a policy that will limit in-person instructional time to rotating smaller groups of students (through utilizing hybrid "live-streaming" with some students in class and others watching remotely, and/or approaches which incorporate asynchronous online components mixed with subsets of students attending in person, thus keeping the max number of students per f2f meeting at about 10 to 15), this still sounds ill-advised to me. 

For example, in the draft reopening plan being circulated, there is no mention of a campus-wide mask policy.  I find this very concerning since even if individual faculty members plan to require masks for their own classes, of course the air and surfaces in each classroom will still be affected on a daily basis by the previous class/classes that will have met in that same space.  And the classrooms in many buildings on our campus are small and not well ventilated (windows that don't open).  From what I've been reading about what is known so far about transmission of the virus, keeping 6 feet apart does not eliminate the risks of being in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces for a prolonged period of time (such as an hour-long class meeting), even if the group size is relatively small.  And of course students will be constantly mingling with other students in different classes, as well as with people off-campus.

Some of our faculty seem (at least outwardly) to be fine with the plans that are developing, but I also know I'm not the only one who is feeling uneasy about what we are apparently being asked to do.  Of course, there are also some faculty who are speculating that all of the "return to campus" planning is really just a marketing attempt and that in practice, we'll all end up being fully online anyway, whether that change is necessitated by the start of the term or soon after.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 19, 2020, 07:36:57 AM

Are there faculty here that simply do not feel comfortable doing f2f teaching in the fall?


Yes, and I share the concerns you articulated in the rest of your post.  At my institution, a plan for offering modified, hybrid forms of in-person instruction for most classes is being developed, and faculty have already been advised that "anxiety" about the risks will not be considered an acceptable reason for requesting permission to teach online-only.  They haven't announced the specific requirements for receiving permission yet, except to say that the policy for granting those permissions is currently being developed by "HR and Legal."  So I'm assuming only those faculty who are at least 65 or who can document something like diabetes, heart disease, etc. will be granted permission.



I'm curious about if there's a big divide in policies between different kinds of institutions around this. The pretty clear messaging where I teach is that faculty can choose methods of instruction,  we need to have both enough in person and online classes for students who want both, and that faculty who don't want to teach in person don't have to.

I teach at a big institution with a lot of commuter students. I'm curious if those of you who are reporting less flexible polices for faculty teach at smaller, largely residential colleges? We have a smattering of older students, but also lots of students who live at home so I think they are anticipating large numbers of students who aren't going to want to attend in person classes. There are also presumably lots of students who are fine with taking online classes even if they don't need to for health concerns. The assumption seems to be that faculty and student preferences can be matched easily enough. Just based on what I've seen, I think about 2/3rds of faculty have opted for hybrid.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 19, 2020, 07:56:11 AM


For example, in the draft reopening plan being circulated, there is no mention of a campus-wide mask policy.

I hadn't really thought about teaching with a mask. I guess it would work? I'd be a little worried about it making it hard to understand me and the students?

Of course, I'd do it.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Penna on May 19, 2020, 08:15:31 AM

I teach at a big institution with a lot of commuter students. I'm curious if those of you who are reporting less flexible polices for faculty teach at smaller, largely residential colleges?

Yes, I am at a relatively small institution that has a significant portion of residential students (though we also have a sizable number of commuter students as well).

And of course the financial pressures are huge--if we don't have enough residential students enroll, there is the danger that the numbers just would not work and we would not survive as an institution (or at least many here believe that is a very real possibility).  I have heard from some contacts that other institutions are planning for having some students live on campus (though in smaller numbers overall) while taking mainly online classes (with exceptions for applied/lab classes).  I don't know if that approach has been given consideration by our admins, but of course it is risky as well when the financial margins have always been fairly tight, even before the pandemic.

Regarding wearing masks:  yes, I imagine it might create some issues, but I've been wearing a mask in public spaces for my essential errands for a few weeks now, and I haven't had trouble being understood or understanding others wearing masks in those cases.  It would be an issue for hearing-impaired students who rely on lip-reading, of course, but I have heard that you can buy masks made for that circumstance (ones with clear windows so that your mouth can be seen).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on May 19, 2020, 10:22:32 AM

Are there faculty here that simply do not feel comfortable doing f2f teaching in the fall?


[. . .]

I am in my 50s and am in good health overall, but I am still very concerned about the risks for both myself and my spouse (who does have a health condition that may put him at higher risk for severe outcomes should he get the virus from me).  And even with a policy that will limit in-person instructional time to rotating smaller groups of students (through utilizing hybrid "live-streaming" with some students in class and others watching remotely, and/or approaches which incorporate asynchronous online components mixed with subsets of students attending in person, thus keeping the max number of students per f2f meeting at about 10 to 15), this still sounds ill-advised to me. 

For example, in the draft reopening plan being circulated, there is no mention of a campus-wide mask policy.  I find this very concerning since even if individual faculty members plan to require masks for their own classes, of course the air and surfaces in each classroom will still be affected on a daily basis by the previous class/classes that will have met in that same space.  And the classrooms in many buildings on our campus are small and not well ventilated (windows that don't open).  From what I've been reading about what is known so far about transmission of the virus, keeping 6 feet apart does not eliminate the risks of being in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces for a prolonged period of time (such as an hour-long class meeting), even if the group size is relatively small.  And of course students will be constantly mingling with other students in different classes, as well as with people off-campus.

Some of our faculty seem (at least outwardly) to be fine with the plans that are developing, but I also know I'm not the only one who is feeling uneasy about what we are apparently being asked to do.  Of course, there are also some faculty who are speculating that all of the "return to campus" planning is really just a marketing attempt and that in practice, we'll all end up being fully online anyway, whether that change is necessitated by the start of the term or soon after.

Reverse situation for my wife and I; I'm the one with the chronic health condition. I know of at least one faculty member who has requested that she teach completely online in the fall for medical reasons. The administration at present seems open to this because we don't have classrooms large enough to accommodate social distancing and at minimum all courses will need to be hybrid. I want to reduce my in-classroom time by half so that I usually only have to go to campus once a week.

The situation for the fall semester depends to a large degree on what the governor decides is acceptable, but most likely we will have a mandatory mask policy for academic buildings and there is a good chance that all dorm rooms will be allowed a maximum of two occupants. We don't have the ability to go to singles.

The primary driver here is still revenue. Fall course registration and deposits look good, but the numbers are soft. Getting some students on campus, even if they end up taking courses online from their dorm rooms, is financially better than no students on campus at all.

We should be reconfiguring the semester into a block schedule so that not all students need to be on campus taking five courses for the entire semester, but as usual it doesn't seem like anyone is looking at that. Probably because of the fear that it would cut into dorm and meal plan revenue.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 19, 2020, 10:41:23 AM
I'm not especially concerned for myself (I mean, I obviously want to avoid getting it, but there are no special worries on my end), but my partner has an autoimmune disorder which puts her in a high-risk category, so I'm definitely not risking anything.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: the_geneticist on May 19, 2020, 10:50:18 AM
I don't feel comfortable doing it because I don't think that any of the proposed "safety measures" will be used properly if at all (cleaning all surfaces, having hand-sanitizer available, etc.).  Are we really expecting that the large teaching spaces can be cleaned EVERY HOUR with only 10 minutes between classes?  We can't even get the soap dispensers and paper towels kept full in the high-use bathrooms.  I highly doubt that campus will pay to have a dedicated cleaning team wiping down the door handles and scrubbing the classrooms.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on May 19, 2020, 11:03:48 AM
I don't feel comfortable doing it because I don't think that any of the proposed "safety measures" will be used properly if at all (cleaning all surfaces, having hand-sanitizer available, etc.).  Are we really expecting that the large teaching spaces can be cleaned EVERY HOUR with only 10 minutes between classes?  We can't even get the soap dispensers and paper towels kept full in the high-use bathrooms.  I highly doubt that campus will pay to have a dedicated cleaning team wiping down the door handles and scrubbing the classrooms.

Maybe they supposed that the faculty would take care of wiping down the rooms as part of class prep.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on May 19, 2020, 11:04:39 AM
I don't feel comfortable doing it because I don't think that any of the proposed "safety measures" will be used properly if at all (cleaning all surfaces, having hand-sanitizer available, etc.).  Are we really expecting that the large teaching spaces can be cleaned EVERY HOUR with only 10 minutes between classes?  We can't even get the soap dispensers and paper towels kept full in the high-use bathrooms.  I highly doubt that campus will pay to have a dedicated cleaning team wiping down the door handles and scrubbing the classrooms.

+1000

With labs, I can't even imagine trying to disinfect every bench, every chair, every piece of equipment, and so on. Even overnight would be a big challenge; during the 10 minutes between labs is pure fantasy.
I would never make any suggestion of being able to do this effectively, no matter how much custodial support was available.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on May 19, 2020, 11:09:04 AM
I don't feel comfortable doing it because I don't think that any of the proposed "safety measures" will be used properly if at all (cleaning all surfaces, having hand-sanitizer available, etc.).  Are we really expecting that the large teaching spaces can be cleaned EVERY HOUR with only 10 minutes between classes?  We can't even get the soap dispensers and paper towels kept full in the high-use bathrooms.  I highly doubt that campus will pay to have a dedicated cleaning team wiping down the door handles and scrubbing the classrooms.

Yes to all of this and so many more problems.  Will we be able to hand out papers to students in the classroom?  If a student appears sick will we have to tell them to leave the room and  report them immediately?  Will we encourage a snitch culture among the students?   If someone needs to take 3 weeks off to recover do we tell them to drop out or just let them make up all of their work?

I really wish I could be just furloughed for the next year.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: wwwdotcom on May 19, 2020, 11:16:09 AM
Wiping down surfaces may not be the primary concern since this study published last week suggests that the virus can stay in the air for minutes after someone simply talks.  How can we possibly ask a room of 50 students to not say a word?

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/05/12/2006874117?mod=article_inline
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on May 19, 2020, 11:34:59 AM
I don't feel comfortable doing it because I don't think that any of the proposed "safety measures" will be used properly if at all (cleaning all surfaces, having hand-sanitizer available, etc.).  Are we really expecting that the large teaching spaces can be cleaned EVERY HOUR with only 10 minutes between classes?  We can't even get the soap dispensers and paper towels kept full in the high-use bathrooms.  I highly doubt that campus will pay to have a dedicated cleaning team wiping down the door handles and scrubbing the classrooms.

Yes to all of this and so many more problems.  Will we be able to hand out papers to students in the classroom?  If a student appears sick will we have to tell them to leave the room and  report them immediately?  Will we encourage a snitch culture among the students?   If someone needs to take 3 weeks off to recover do we tell them to drop out or just let them make up all of their work?

I really wish I could be just furloughed for the next year.

My cynical view: many institutions will follow the letter of the law rather than the spirit, because it gives them cover when things go south, which they almost certainly will. I posted this in another thread on March 8:

I think the panic response will kick in at some universities in the second week of classes after spring break. Infected but asymptomatic students will have returned to campus and since the serial interval between Covid-19 cases is estimated at 4-5 days, signs that contagion has spread will appear in week 2. Guess what? 99.99% of the time this will actually be from the usual germs students return to campus with -- mild respiratory infections, 24-48 hour GI tract infections, etc. But as soon as a few students display symptoms like fever, cough, etc., parents are going to yank Zachary and Madison back home. With class attendance steadily dropping, administrators will close the campus "out of an abundance of caution."

Other than a few places like U. of South Carolina, which is starting classes early in August, eliminating a four-day October weekend, and ending the semester at Thanksgiving, most schools will muddle along hoping for the best until active, symptomatic infections start showing up on campus. Then campuses will close again. Rinse and repeat.

Supposedly we have been directed by state government to incorporate the concept of "quarantine in place" into our fall plan, meaning that certain dorms will be designated as quarantine sites for the infected. Yeah, that's going to work really well.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 19, 2020, 12:19:24 PM


Other than a few places like U. of South Carolina, which is starting classes early in August, eliminating a four-day October weekend, and ending the semester at Thanksgiving, most schools will muddle along hoping for the best until active, symptomatic infections start showing up on campus. Then campuses will close again. Rinse and repeat.


Look, the question is really whether it is possible to keep campuses from being places that contribute substantially to outbreaks. It would be extremely foolish for any school to open up and then shut down just because they had a few cases on campus. There will be cases in the community, so there will be cases on campuses. The question is whether schools can find ways to limit the spread of those cases and make campuses not particularly dangerous places.

If not, they shouldn't open, but I think we all need to learn to think in less absolute terms about risks and value.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Penna on May 19, 2020, 12:20:51 PM
I don't feel comfortable doing it because I don't think that any of the proposed "safety measures" will be used properly if at all (cleaning all surfaces, having hand-sanitizer available, etc.).
^Yes, this is pretty much where I am.  And if there's not going to be a campus-wide mask requirement, that's only going to add to my concerns.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on May 19, 2020, 12:34:37 PM
Look, the question is really whether it is possible to keep campuses from being places that contribute substantially to outbreaks. It would be extremely foolish for any school to open up and then shut down just because they had a few cases on campus. There will be cases in the community, so there will be cases on campuses. The question is whether schools can find ways to limit the spread of those cases and make campuses not particularly dangerous places.

If not, they shouldn't open, but I think we all need to learn to think in less absolute terms about risks and value.

But if people are already suing over "losses" due to courses going online, how much more explosive could it get if an outbreak happened on a campus? And if a student died because of the outbreak??? There are serious liability possibilities here.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on May 19, 2020, 12:43:48 PM
Here is a surprisingly detailed description of what is known about the transmission of the virus, by an epidemiologist at Dartmouth. It addresses the kinds of worries raised in this thread. Note the title: The risks. Know them. Avoid them.

https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them (https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them)

This is extraordinarily helpful for one's own desired behavioral changes, and perhaps, chimerically, to educate some administrators.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on May 19, 2020, 01:11:33 PM
How can we possibly ask a room of 50 students to not say a word?


Tell the class that it's time for an in-class discussion.  Should do the trick.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Larimar on May 19, 2020, 01:16:17 PM
How can we possibly ask a room of 50 students to not say a word?


Tell the class that it's time for an in-class discussion.  Should do the trick.


Good one. In my classes it would probably work.


Larimar
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: polly_mer on May 19, 2020, 01:37:04 PM
Here is a surprisingly detailed description of what is known about the transmission of the virus, by an epidemiologist at Dartmouth. It addresses the kinds of worries raised in this thread. Note the title: The risks. Know them. Avoid them.

https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them (https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them)

This is extraordinarily helpful for one's own desired behavioral changes, and perhaps, chimerically, to educate some administrators.

I thought of this article as well when I saw Caracal's assertion "we all need to learn to think in less absolute terms about risks and value."

I'd be more confident that people could do nuance if I hadn't spent so much time trying to convince people to do the actual research on what assumptions went into the easy math equations that are circulating in various places for various purposes.

I remember one discussion on the old CHE fora on probability that included an assertion like: by returning the defective item, he is keeping his kids as safe as possible.  This assertion appeared right after we had done the math on how driving in the car for a few miles to make the return was more risky than just using the defective item, based on the information we had on the relative risks.

Feelings tend to win over data, especially for people who seldom really use data for anything.  Doing the calculations for math answers is not at all the same as being able to evaluate the science that set up the equations and the entered numbers.  Doing the math is also not the same as having some sort of official criteria that use terms like "acceptable casualties" on what the risk/benefit trade-off is.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on May 19, 2020, 02:01:49 PM

I remember one discussion on the old CHE fora on probability that included an assertion like: by returning the defective item, he is keeping his kids as safe as possible.  This assertion appeared right after we had done the math on how driving in the car for a few miles to make the return was more risky than just using the defective item, based on the information we had on the relative risks.


I don't think I've heard of such a thing, but it wouldn't surprise me if there's a cognitive bias to weigh risk according to our ability to mitigate it, rather than its probability. So, in the example above, the risk of car travel is basically unavoidable, and something we encounter daily, but the risk of the "defective product" is very specific, and can be mitigated by replacing the product. So even if the latter is only 1/10 as likely, I'd bet most people would feel vastly safer exchanging the product, even though the trip to the store increased their risk by a mathematically greater amount.

This applies in the covid situation by all of the people who are anxious to reopen as much as possible even though they are  concerned about the risk. Wearing masks, distancing, etc. are concrete* whereas considering things like in the article about the length of time in a room with people are more abstract.

*And more or less binary; i.e. it's easy to verify who is doing them.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 19, 2020, 04:45:29 PM
Here is a surprisingly detailed description of what is known about the transmission of the virus, by an epidemiologist at Dartmouth. It addresses the kinds of worries raised in this thread. Note the title: The risks. Know them. Avoid them.

https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them (https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them)

This is extraordinarily helpful for one's own desired behavioral changes, and perhaps, chimerically, to educate some administrators.

I thought of this article as well when I saw Caracal's assertion "we all need to learn to think in less absolute terms about risks and value."

I'd be more confident that people could do nuance if I hadn't spent so much time trying to convince people to do the actual research on what assumptions went into the easy math equations that are circulating in various places for various purposes.



People tend to do nuance better than experts often think they do, at least if you give them the tools to do it. On the other side, not trusting people to make distinctions tends to backfire. People are not going to be staying at home till there is a vaccine, so you really want to communicate what has less risk and what has more. To be clear, I'm not sure if in person classes are a good idea unless cases end up being way down by the fall, which doesn't seem all that likely.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: polly_mer on May 19, 2020, 04:59:06 PM
Ah, Caracal, you haven't taught statistics or tried to convince enough bureaucrats of the actual risks/benefits based on actual knowledge instead of what they are sure is true to support the decisions they've already made.

Highly educated people are often the worst in this respect because they refuse to believe that what they know just ain't so.

I can't give sufficient tools to individuals who have refused to invest their energies into the necessary math, science, and related areas to understand the nuances.

People will die because they continue to not care about the nuances until it's too late.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Bonnie on May 19, 2020, 05:19:48 PM
We can't even get the soap dispensers and paper towels kept full in the high-use bathrooms.

Amen. I hate being assigned a room in one of our main classroom buildings for an afternoon class. Meets for 2.5 hours and there is NEVER toilet paper/soap/paper towel in bathroom at break.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on May 20, 2020, 04:27:43 AM
I have not seen (and may have overlooked) any discussion on this thread about students with disabilities and how their safety will be ensured, while their academic experience will not be impaired.  The note about the mask with a visual window was intriguing, but many students with a hearing impairment are accompanied by a signer and other students may have an assigned scribe.  How are colleges considering  students with disabilities?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on May 20, 2020, 05:18:30 AM
How are colleges considering  students with disabilities?

How many are there and how much money do they have to spend on tuition and other college fees?  That will shape whether IDEA and ADA are implemented robustly or meekly by colleges.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on May 20, 2020, 09:47:34 AM
I have not seen (and may have overlooked) any discussion on this thread about students with disabilities and how their safety will be ensured, while their academic experience will not be impaired.  The note about the mask with a visual window was intriguing, but many students with a hearing impairment are accompanied by a signer and other students may have an assigned scribe.  How are colleges considering  students with disabilities?

Also, the hearing impaired may not use a signer but they do need to make use of lip reading to supplement what they can get out of their hearing aids.   That all goes away if the teacher wears a mask.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: the_geneticist on May 20, 2020, 10:00:45 AM
I have not seen (and may have overlooked) any discussion on this thread about students with disabilities and how their safety will be ensured, while their academic experience will not be impaired.  The note about the mask with a visual window was intriguing, but many students with a hearing impairment are accompanied by a signer and other students may have an assigned scribe.  How are colleges considering  students with disabilities?

Also, the hearing impaired may not use a signer but they do need to make use of lip reading to supplement what they can get out of their hearing aids.   That all goes away if the teacher wears a mask.

A bigger concern is making sure any videos have proper captions.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on May 20, 2020, 10:19:56 AM
I have not seen (and may have overlooked) any discussion on this thread about students with disabilities and how their safety will be ensured, while their academic experience will not be impaired.  The note about the mask with a visual window was intriguing, but many students with a hearing impairment are accompanied by a signer and other students may have an assigned scribe.  How are colleges considering  students with disabilities?

Also, the hearing impaired may not use a signer but they do need to make use of lip reading to supplement what they can get out of their hearing aids.   That all goes away if the teacher wears a mask.

A bigger concern is making sure any videos have proper captions.

Possible unforeseen benefit of the new normal: all the students who were previously granted test-taking accommodations because their parents fed them Adderall to boost their standardized exam scores find out that they don't get special treatment with open-book essay exams for which the due dates are known from day one of the semester.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Penna on May 20, 2020, 11:16:23 AM
I have not seen (and may have overlooked) any discussion on this thread about students with disabilities and how their safety will be ensured, while their academic experience will not be impaired.  The note about the mask with a visual window was intriguing, but many students with a hearing impairment are accompanied by a signer and other students may have an assigned scribe.  How are colleges considering  students with disabilities?

Also, the hearing impaired may not use a signer but they do need to make use of lip reading to supplement what they can get out of their hearing aids.   That all goes away if the teacher wears a mask.

There are alternative masks on the market that address this issue (ex:  https://www.theclearmask.com/product  ; DIY version:  https://www.hsdc.org/accessible-deaf-friendly-face-mask/), but of course institutions would need to be able to provide them to instructors who would need them in a timely fashion.

But yes, as nebo noted, there are a host of other potential issues in terms of accessibility.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Penna on May 20, 2020, 11:18:10 AM
(oops, double posting error)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on May 28, 2020, 10:36:50 AM
Maybe what schools really need as they plan for the fall is a catchy plan of action.  Behold the "Ragin' Cajun Resiliency Plan!"


https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/education/2020/05/27/university-louisiana-lafayette-fall-reopening-plan/5265432002/

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on May 28, 2020, 01:57:14 PM
Thanks, apl68.  Resiliency is nice but doesn't solve all the problems.

Various universities now plan to start the fall semester early and/or end the semester by Thanksgiving.  As if this schedule change solves so many potential huge problems.  The chaotic "planning" underway at some U's is almost comical.

Anyone impressed with their U's admin at this point in the planning?


Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on May 28, 2020, 02:39:04 PM
Thanks, apl68.  Resiliency is nice but doesn't solve all the problems.

Various universities now plan to start the fall semester early and/or end the semester by Thanksgiving.  As if this schedule change solves so many potential huge problems.  The chaotic "planning" underway at some U's is almost comical.

Anyone impressed with their U's admin at this point in the planning?

I'd give mine a B- or a C+.  They plan on being open but are allowing for considerable flexibility for both students and faculty who have personal issues to consider.  From the emails I'm getting, there appear to be plans in place for a reasonable amount of faculty support.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on May 28, 2020, 06:39:32 PM
Maryland will complete Phase 1 reopening on Friday:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/maryland-coronavirus-update-may-27/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/maryland-coronavirus-update-may-27/)
Here's another article focusing on 3 counties with modifications:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/maryland-counties-phase-one-reopening/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/maryland-counties-phase-one-reopening/)

Over in VA, the Commonwealth will start Phase 2 next month:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/northam-at-least-a-week-until-phase-ii-for-va-new-testing-sites-announced/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/05/northam-at-least-a-week-until-phase-ii-for-va-new-testing-sites-announced/)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on May 28, 2020, 07:10:29 PM
Mamselle just posted this in the teaching section, thanks.  Interesting recommendations from 14 college presidents in Massachusetts.

https://patch.com/massachusetts/boston/how-ma-colleges-universities-plan-reopen

"It leans on the fact that the majority of people on college campuses are under 30, a group that is at 'significantly lower risk of of hospitalization or death of COVID-19.' The report acknowledges there are also vulnerable people on campus, but college presidents are highly confident they can put in a plan in place to provide additional safety measures for them."

Reading through the report, it aligns with higher ed discussions in other states.  I remain skeptical and unimpressed.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on May 28, 2020, 10:15:11 PM
Thanks, apl68.  Resiliency is nice but doesn't solve all the problems.

Various universities now plan to start the fall semester early and/or end the semester by Thanksgiving.  As if this schedule change solves so many potential huge problems.  The chaotic "planning" underway at some U's is almost comical.

Anyone impressed with their U's admin at this point in the planning?

I'd give mine a B- or a C+.  They plan on being open but are allowing for considerable flexibility for both students and faculty who have personal issues to consider.  From the emails I'm getting, there appear to be plans in place for a reasonable amount of faculty support.

B+. We stayed open and provided online lectures with some face to face pracs. Decisions were sensible and generally well communicated; teaching practices changed with minimal paperwork. My frustration now is that comms haven’t improved now that things are calmer. If they had my grade would be A- 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 29, 2020, 04:03:46 AM
Thanks, apl68.  Resiliency is nice but doesn't solve all the problems.

Various universities now plan to start the fall semester early and/or end the semester by Thanksgiving.  As if this schedule change solves so many potential huge problems.  The chaotic "planning" underway at some U's is almost comical.

Anyone impressed with their U's admin at this point in the planning?

I'd give mine a B- or a C+.  They plan on being open but are allowing for considerable flexibility for both students and faculty who have personal issues to consider.  From the emails I'm getting, there appear to be plans in place for a reasonable amount of faculty support.

B+, Faculty could choose to move classes online if they want. They've developed reasonable plans to deal with crowding. Carping about the administration is a favorite faculty pastime,  but they are dealing with an incredibly complicated and impossible to predict situation.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on May 29, 2020, 04:48:39 AM
Local CC just announced going online in fall, except for courses such as welding.  Rural area with few "reported" cases.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 29, 2020, 05:49:28 AM
Local CC just announced going online in fall, except for courses such as welding.  Rural area with few "reported" cases.

In the broad sense, reported cases are a big underestimate, but if there are small numbers of reported cases and no or few deaths, there probably isn't much COVID around. There really isn't some clear national picture with this. Some rural areas have had alarming rises in numbers, but other rural areas and mostly rural states  have low rates of both cases and transmission. Montana, Hawaii, Alaska, the Dakotas, Vermont are in pretty good shape for example.

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/mrc-gida/2020-05-21-COVID19-Report-23.pdf
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on May 29, 2020, 08:13:22 AM
We've received permission from our library Board of Trustees to open our stacks to patron browsing this coming week.  Patrons will still have to practice social distancing in the stacks, we're still going to encourage use of masks and hand sanitizer, and we will still limit public computer usage to about 1/3 capacity.  Fortunately we have a large enough building to practice social distancing in.  A neighboring library with a much smaller facility is only allowing four patrons in the building at a time total.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: theblackbox on May 29, 2020, 09:46:07 AM
Thanks, apl68.  Resiliency is nice but doesn't solve all the problems.

Various universities now plan to start the fall semester early and/or end the semester by Thanksgiving.  As if this schedule change solves so many potential huge problems.  The chaotic "planning" underway at some U's is almost comical.

Anyone impressed with their U's admin at this point in the planning?
I'm part of the planning at mine, and I think there's a lot of really good discussion and innovative ideas that have been proposed... most of which are not going to happen because decision-making in a time of uncertainty means people are scared to lead with anything truly different. I do understand the hesitation and risk of charting a truly new path, but it is nonetheless frustrating. If I'm grading as others have here, I'd say C+/B- currently.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on May 29, 2020, 10:06:06 AM
We're supposed to have answers by June 19, at which time the schedule will be somewhat set.  The existing schedule, made up back in the winter as if everything were normal, has been open to students since mid-March.  Latest word is that all F2F sections with 0 enrolled will be TC'd (temporarily closed), those with enrollment will remain open.  Naturally, both of my F2F sections have minimal enrollment, so they'll stay open.  Goody (sarcasm).

We've also gone from unbounded optimism in the town hall meeting two weeks ago ("We're expecting good enrollment for fall" at our CC, and "it looks like we'll be spared in the state budget when we offset it with the federal money") to a notice from our union yesterday that another RIF seems possible or even likely before fall.  What's the saying?  "Well, that certainly turned bad quickly"?

I also heard the report this morning saying that a study shows 10% of diabetics studied went from being fine to dead from the virus within 7 days.  Excellent; guess whose diabetes control has gone all to hell during lockdown?  (That would be me.)

I've been doing a pretty good job of keeping a positive attitude throughout, but I'm about ready to throw in the towel today.  This is what happens when a control freak (me) has to deal with uncertainty for an extended period.  (The news out of Minneapolis isn't helping my mood here in Ferguson, either.)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on May 29, 2020, 10:16:25 AM
Does your diabetes at least put you in a category that allows you to opt out of F2F classroom contact?

Or am I forgetting--do you teach completely online as it is?

In any case....all good thoughts for the social situation, as well as the health worries.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on May 29, 2020, 10:27:54 AM
Does your diabetes at least put you in a category that allows you to opt out of F2F classroom contact?

Or am I forgetting--do you teach completely online as it is?

In any case....all good thoughts for the social situation, as well as the health worries.

M.

It had better; my doctor has already said, point blank, "You are NOT going back on campus this fall."  Unfortunately, our Admin and the union contract both demand "at least 3-6 credit hours of classroom teaching."  I'll have to go through the whole ADA accommodation process to try to get an exemption--not a guarantee that they'll grant it, in which case I'll file a grievance, etc.  But there's no indication that the College is going to willingly offer this option to anyone, even with proof of at-risk status, short of going the formal ADA route.  (And that worked SO well last time for me--I started the process in July and only got the accommodation in mid-October when my union head threatened to file suit in Federal court.)

It will all be fine.  Really.  I just keep telling myself that.  And it will--I just dread the process from here to there. Thanks for the sympathy. I know I'm not the only one dealing with these worries.  Good thoughts to others in the same/similar boat.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 29, 2020, 10:52:55 AM
Does your diabetes at least put you in a category that allows you to opt out of F2F classroom contact?

Or am I forgetting--do you teach completely online as it is?

In any case....all good thoughts for the social situation, as well as the health worries.

M.

It had better; my doctor has already said, point blank, "You are NOT going back on campus this fall."  Unfortunately, our Admin and the union contract both demand "at least 3-6 credit hours of classroom teaching."  I'll have to go through the whole ADA accommodation process to try to get an exemption--not a guarantee that they'll grant it, in which case I'll file a grievance, etc.  But there's no indication that the College is going to willingly offer this option to anyone, even with proof of at-risk status, short of going the formal ADA route.  (And that worked SO well last time for me--I started the process in July and only got the accommodation in mid-October when my union head threatened to file suit in Federal court.)

It will all be fine.  Really.  I just keep telling myself that.  And it will--I just dread the process from here to there. Thanks for the sympathy. I know I'm not the only one dealing with these worries.  Good thoughts to others in the same/similar boat.

Ugh, that's mystifying to me, particularly at a CC. There are going to be plenty of students who either are medically vulnerable or who live with someone who is. Why not just let faculty opt for online teaching if they are at greater risk with the assumption that there's going to be a need for more online classes anyway? That's what my school is doing.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on May 29, 2020, 11:08:21 AM
Thanks, apl68.  Resiliency is nice but doesn't solve all the problems.

Various universities now plan to start the fall semester early and/or end the semester by Thanksgiving.  As if this schedule change solves so many potential huge problems.  The chaotic "planning" underway at some U's is almost comical.

Anyone impressed with their U's admin at this point in the planning?
I'm part of the planning at mine, and I think there's a lot of really good discussion and innovative ideas that have been proposed... most of which are not going to happen because decision-making in a time of uncertainty means people are scared to lead with anything truly different. I do understand the hesitation and risk of charting a truly new path, but it is nonetheless frustrating. If I'm grading as others have here, I'd say C+/B- currently.

At times I've felt like pulling my hair out over simply trying to plan an alternative summer reading program for the Plague Year!  I ask relevant staff members to give me feedback on what we need to do. They're afraid to do so until I can give them info that I don't have yet.  Multiply that times a hundred or so, and you've got what college administrations have to deal with this year.  How can any of us decision makers possibly turn in "A" grade decisions in a situation like that?

I liken it to trying to untangle a snarled fishing tackle box.  You just have to start pulling at stuff to see what comes loose first, and start working out some actual organization when enough stuff comes loose to organize.  And try not to get your fingers hooked while you're at it.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 29, 2020, 11:36:44 AM
Shrug. They haven't done such a terrible job here so far, although there's no question that we haven't really been given the resources we need to properly convert to online instruction. Most of the real questions concern the coming fall and winter, and how they'll manage the projected declines in enrollment and courses which require some face-to-face component, or labs. There's plenty of time left for them to really drop the ball, but for now they've done well enough managing the crisis.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: the_geneticist on May 29, 2020, 11:45:24 AM
Thanks, apl68.  Resiliency is nice but doesn't solve all the problems.

Various universities now plan to start the fall semester early and/or end the semester by Thanksgiving.  As if this schedule change solves so many potential huge problems.  The chaotic "planning" underway at some U's is almost comical.

Anyone impressed with their U's admin at this point in the planning?

Nope.  I'd give mine a D.  Why not an F? - because it could be worse.
Chaotic planning?  I wish.  More like "Chaotic freaking out and forming committees/focus groups" to continue to chaos.
They are waffling about "needing to make decisions" but refusing to make any.  Decisions in Spring were all made last minute, poorly communicated, and full of contradictions.  Classes are listed as having physical meetings spaces for Fall even though the state hasn't permitted higher ed to re-open.  They are asking department chairs to draft detailed reports of how each and every class will be following the state guidelines while in the physical classrooms.  And the recommendation from the faculty senate is that we cannot require anyone (faculty or student) to attend classes in person.  All classes have to have a "remote option".
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on May 29, 2020, 11:52:57 AM
There's an op-ed in the Chronicle of Higher Ed titled "Colleges Aren't Reopening in the Fall: Don't be misled by presidents who say otherwise." By Robert Kelchen, assoc prof in higher ed, Seton Hall.  May 18.

He says:  "Most high-school seniors considering college strongly prefer classes in person, so colleges that make early announcements that the fall semester will be online run the risk of losing students to competitors."

Reflecting on the March move to online, he predicts:  "A similar game of follow-the-leader" will likely occur in late June/early July when presidents of a few prestigious colleges write op-eds in national papers announcing decisions to be fully online in September for public health reasons.

"...announcements by elite colleges will provide others with the political cover they need to make the necessary choice."

There's more.  A worthy read.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: bio-nonymous on May 29, 2020, 12:10:24 PM
There's an op-ed in the Chronicle of Higher Ed titled "Colleges Aren't Reopening in the Fall: Don't be misled by presidents who say otherwise." By Robert Kelchen, assoc prof in higher ed, Seton Hall.  May 18.

He says:  "Most high-school seniors considering college strongly prefer classes in person, so colleges that make early announcements that the fall semester will be online run the risk of losing students to competitors."

Reflecting on the March move to online, he predicts:  "A similar game of follow-the-leader" will likely occur in late June/early July when presidents of a few prestigious colleges write op-eds in national papers announcing decisions to be fully online in September for public health reasons.

"...announcements by elite colleges will provide others with the political cover they need to make the necessary choice."

There's more.  A worthy read.

Thanks Cheerful, that's how I see it as well. They are likely saying, "We will open as normal for fall" to ensure enrollments and then many will likely shift the goalpost as the opening comes nearer. We have already gotten the word we are starting 2 weeks early and finishing the semester before Thanksgiving--plus the semester will be split into two 8 week units (just in case).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on May 29, 2020, 12:21:10 PM
There's an op-ed in the Chronicle of Higher Ed titled "Colleges Aren't Reopening in the Fall: Don't be misled by presidents who say otherwise." By Robert Kelchen, assoc prof in higher ed, Seton Hall.  May 18.

He says:  "Most high-school seniors considering college strongly prefer classes in person, so colleges that make early announcements that the fall semester will be online run the risk of losing students to competitors."

Reflecting on the March move to online, he predicts:  "A similar game of follow-the-leader" will likely occur in late June/early July when presidents of a few prestigious colleges write op-eds in national papers announcing decisions to be fully online in September for public health reasons.

"...announcements by elite colleges will provide others with the political cover they need to make the necessary choice."

There's more.  A worthy read.

I think of this kind of thing as naive cynicism. The truth is that nobody really knows what things will look like in the country in September, much less in any particular place. Could his scenario happen? Sure, but I don't have any great confidence in it or anything else. As a general rule right now, I think it is a good idea to distrust anybody who seems very sure about what is going to happen.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 29, 2020, 03:01:58 PM
Thanks, apl68.  Resiliency is nice but doesn't solve all the problems.

Various universities now plan to start the fall semester early and/or end the semester by Thanksgiving.  As if this schedule change solves so many potential huge problems.  The chaotic "planning" underway at some U's is almost comical.

Anyone impressed with their U's admin at this point in the planning?

I give mine a current grade of NA for No record that the administration has attended or participated in planning effort. No decisions have been made or, if they have been made, no one is communicating them to us. I can only assume by other items of news that have been sent praising our facilities staff (who do indeed need to be praised and given a raise) that the intent is that we are back in person in some manner in the fall, but who knows?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 29, 2020, 05:08:23 PM
I heard today that admins are looking into a hybrid plan. All lectures and labs will be half online and half ftf. There is even talk of the College purchasing gloves and masks for students to wear. I hope they include faculty.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on May 29, 2020, 06:25:09 PM
That's great patrons can come back into the library, apl68!

DC began reopening today:
https://wtop.com/local/2020/05/both-businesses-and-customers-conflicted-as-dc-reopens/ (https://wtop.com/local/2020/05/both-businesses-and-customers-conflicted-as-dc-reopens/)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on May 29, 2020, 06:33:33 PM
The retirement home where my 86-year old mother lives has been locked down for about two months now. No Covid-19 cases among residents or staff, unlike other retirement homes in the area. I am wondering whether it will be safe for me to visit once visitors are allowed. I don't want to be an asymptomatic carrier.

My university might have approved my request to limit my presence on campus in the fall semester to one day a week. This will mean my undergraduate courses will have a hybrid design that will at minimum reduce by 50% the number of students I'm exposed to each week. I know there are some other faculty members who are requesting a fully online teaching schedule because of age and/or underlying health conditions. I suspect university administrators are for now amenable to some faculty reducing their on-campus teaching because of the expected social distancing-induced shortage of classroom space.

Regardless of official pronouncements now about what will happen in the fall, I'm designing my courses as 100% online. I don't see campus remaining open for the entire semester if the university sticks to its usual academic calender/class schedule.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on June 04, 2020, 09:18:08 AM
A staff member with a daughter still in college (in-state SLAC) said that their school is going to try the short semester option.  They will not come back from Thanksgiving Break until the new semester in January.  The last two classes of the fall term will be fully online.

They're also going to mandate masks, hand sanitizer, etc. on campus.  And are seriously limiting gatherings outside of classes.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on June 06, 2020, 06:54:30 PM
Yesterday, parts of Maryland entered Phase 2:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-coronavirus-update-june-3/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-coronavirus-update-june-3/)
I saw that self-service drinks (hot and cold) were available at the local gas station.

Also, I went back to work at the library yesterday. We'll be starting curbside service at select branches on Monday.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Vkw10 on June 07, 2020, 08:49:48 AM
Face masks are mandatory on campus in any area where we can't maintain six foot distance beginning June 8. If employees don't comply, supervisors are to use progressive discipline system to enforce.

We're struggling to get disinfectants, hand sanitizer, and masks for essential employees who are on campus now. Essential employees are concerned that our contracted janitorial service isn't using masks and gloves, even when cleaning the few buildings that have remained open.

Face-to-face classes resume in July. Expectation seems to be that vast majority of employees will go back to normal on-site work schedule. University says there will be a process for accommodating high risk employees who have specific reasons for not coming onsite.

I hear there's a betting pool for when we'll have an outbreak on campus.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: paultuttle on June 08, 2020, 05:42:47 AM
Face masks are mandatory on campus in any area where we can't maintain six foot distance beginning June 8. If employees don't comply, supervisors are to use progressive discipline system to enforce.

We're struggling to get disinfectants, hand sanitizer, and masks for essential employees who are on campus now. Essential employees are concerned that our contracted janitorial service isn't using masks and gloves, even when cleaning the few buildings that have remained open.

Face-to-face classes resume in July. Expectation seems to be that vast majority of employees will go back to normal on-site work schedule. University says there will be a process for accommodating high risk employees who have specific reasons for not coming onsite.

I hear there's a betting pool for when we'll have an outbreak on campus.

I would bet--both appropriately and additionally--that there's more money on "sooner" than on "later."
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on June 08, 2020, 07:30:11 AM
Yesterday, parts of Maryland entered Phase 2:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-coronavirus-update-june-3/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-coronavirus-update-june-3/)
I saw that self-service drinks (hot and cold) were available at the local gas station.

Also, I went back to work at the library yesterday. We'll be starting curbside service at select branches on Monday.

Hope that goes well!  I've guess you've got a quarantine protocol for returned materials.

How about summer reading?  That's turning into a real challenge this year.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on June 08, 2020, 07:39:28 AM
Yesterday, parts of Maryland entered Phase 2:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-coronavirus-update-june-3/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-coronavirus-update-june-3/)
I saw that self-service drinks (hot and cold) were available at the local gas station.

Also, I went back to work at the library yesterday. We'll be starting curbside service at select branches on Monday.

Hope that goes well!  I've guess you've got a quarantine protocol for returned materials.


At our local library, which is starting curbside pickup next week, they're implementing 72 hour quarantine for returned materials.

 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mythbuster on June 08, 2020, 08:42:03 AM
Our admins seem to be waiting for it all to go away. Nothing has changed since the original shutdown back in March. There has been no word on research labs, and all summer classes are remote/online. They did form several task forces but in negotiations this week our BOT negotiator would not sign on to a written statement that we would follow CDC guidelines. This even though the larger system has made a statement about following said guidelines. So that's rather depressing.
    Some folks have been coming in to do some light research, but officially we are all still waiting for magical "guidance".
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on June 11, 2020, 06:14:47 PM
Starting Friday, restaurants can resume indoor dining at reduced capacity in MD:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-coronavirus-update-june-10/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-coronavirus-update-june-10/)
A companion article:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-counties-phase-two-reopening-june-11/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/maryland-counties-phase-two-reopening-june-11/)

Northern VA and Richmond enter Phase 2:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/virginia-coronavirus-update-phase-two/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/virginia-coronavirus-update-phase-two/)
There's a section on the upcoming school year.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on June 11, 2020, 10:30:36 PM
Looks like furloughs and salary cuts are going to happen over the summer and into the fall.  They already announced pausing uni contributions to our TIAA-CREF plans.  If this keeps up, I expect they will ask me to pay to teach my classes.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on June 12, 2020, 04:53:15 AM
Looks like furloughs and salary cuts are going to happen over the summer and into the fall.  They already announced pausing uni contributions to our TIAA-CREF plans.  If this keeps up, I expect they will ask me to pay to teach my classes.

Is it legal to pause contributions?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on June 12, 2020, 06:20:28 AM
Looks like furloughs and salary cuts are going to happen over the summer and into the fall.  They already announced pausing uni contributions to our TIAA-CREF plans.  If this keeps up, I expect they will ask me to pay to teach my classes.

Is it legal to pause contributions?

I think unless there's a union contract, yes. Things like pensions and retirement benefits aren't mandatory. I suppose there could be state laws regulating some of this, but generally I think it isn't considered any differently than salary.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on June 13, 2020, 06:52:55 AM
Looks like furloughs and salary cuts are going to happen over the summer and into the fall.  They already announced pausing uni contributions to our TIAA-CREF plans.  If this keeps up, I expect they will ask me to pay to teach my classes.

Is it legal to pause contributions?

I think unless there's a union contract, yes. Things like pensions and retirement benefits aren't mandatory. I suppose there could be state laws regulating some of this, but generally I think it isn't considered any differently than salary.

Yikes.  My CC had a pretty good union.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on June 13, 2020, 05:27:16 PM
Hope that goes well!  I've guess you've got a quarantine protocol for returned materials.

How about summer reading?  That's turning into a real challenge this year.
Sorry I didn't see your post earlier! Our summer reading program is online with gift cards from local businesses as prizes. We've been using Beanstack for the past few years.

One of the 1st floor conference rooms is being used to quarantine returned materials. The 72 hour quarantine is the common practice for public libraries. Patrons can drop off their materials in the oversized bin (from the exterior book drop) in front of the library and it will be emptied throughout the day. The bin will be rolled back inside at the end of the day.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on June 13, 2020, 06:11:48 PM
Fine, they can go ahead and cut my pay and benefits.  Then I will just cut my efforts and start calling in sick more often.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on June 14, 2020, 07:04:38 AM
Fine, they can go ahead and cut my pay and benefits.  Then I will just cut my efforts and start calling in sick more often.

I'm right there with you, Anselm.  And if they refuse to let at-risk folks like me teach fully online, that's fine:  go ahead and keep me on the F2F schedule for 2 classes on TR.  I'll call in sick every day--I have the hours to use, and they can't demand a doctor's note unless I miss 3 consecutive calendar days, per board policy and the union contract.  And if it would come to that, I can get the doctor's note, too.  (By the way, these are both classes that I've successfully taught online for years.)

If it does come to this, the college will end up double-paying for the instruction:  my FT salary/time off, plus getting subs all semester. They couldn't hire an adjunct if the class were already assigned to me as part of my load (which it currently is). Not in my students' best interests, probably, but if push come to shove, I've got to look out for myself if nobody else is going to do it.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on June 14, 2020, 07:29:21 AM
Quote
And if they refuse to let at-risk folks like me teach fully online, that's fine:  go ahead and keep me on the F2F schedule for 2 classes on TR.

I recommend (and am in the beginning processes myself) of completing the forms for an ADA (Americans with disabilities act) accommodation.  Your employer will have the paperwork.  Get your doctor's notes ready now and begin the process.  Dont do anything that may provide THEM with the ability to fire you.  Put THEM on the defensive by asking for an ADA accommodation NOW (Before the start of the term).  They may well try to fight it, but it may be hard to do when most places I know did not return from Spring Break, and went to 100% online education.  If you think that you meet the requirements to be high risk, then get the paperwork together. 

Remember, though, that simply being afraid of CV19 is not sufficient. 

It seems to me that the rationalle that I am hearing from universities to reopen are financial.  They need students on campus to pay the bills (debt obligations) associated with parking garages, dorms,  and such.  IF we are 100% online then no students live on campus or pay the parking fees.  Also, the bigger worry is that parents and students think that online is inferior and dont see the need to pay full fees for a substitute product.  The administration stance at my employer is clear:  "We can not all be online. "

Still, if you have issues that place you in particular danger, then document them and put the ball in their court to make them deny your accommodation (which they CAN DO!   I just think that it would be difficult since the accommodation you seek was something that they already did in the Spring!!).
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on June 14, 2020, 09:15:22 AM
For people who teach F2F, I'd recommend bringing a box of surgical masks for the students. Or better yet, asking the department to buy them. It's tempting to think that some students are refusing to wear masks as a political statement. But the more likely reason is just that they're forgetful or unprepared. If most students wear a mask, or an instructor asks them to, it takes a special level of anti-social behavior to actively refuse... in which case they'll get the social punishment from their classmates. Passively not doing something, on the other hand, is our default: there are millions of things we don't do, many of which would benefit us or others, and many of which we want to do and yet still don't.

If I were in a classroom (we're fully online for the Fall), I'd pick up a stash of KN95 masks. They're the Chinese equivalent to N95 and you can get them for around $1.60 a piece on Alibaba. Down to $1 if you order 1,000 of them in bulk, and under 50 cents if you order 10,000... which is a really small expense for a university. While surgical masks primarily protect others, N95 masks protect you.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on June 14, 2020, 09:29:49 AM


If I were in a classroom (we're fully online for the Fall), I'd pick up a stash of KN95 masks. They're the Chinese equivalent to N95 and you can get them for around $1.60 a piece on Alibaba. Down to $1 if you order 1,000 of them in bulk, and under 50 cents if you order 10,000... which is a really small expense for a university. While surgical masks primarily protect others, N95 masks protect you.

https://www.propublica.org/article/federal-agencies-have-spent-millions-on-kn95-masks-often-without-knowing-who-made-them

So, maybe not...They also aren't necessarily very easy to use in a general setting. To really work well, they are supposed to be fitted. People with facial hair apparently can't wear them sometimes. They also can cause breathing problems if people have certain conditions. I've read some arguments that face shields might actually be a much easier and better solution. The idea seemed pretty weird at first, but it actually could work a lot better. I'm fairly worried about whether I could teach in a mask. I don't mind putting one on for five minutes when I walk into a store, but I start getting really hot and uncomfortable if I wear it for very long, or if I'm moving around or talking.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on June 14, 2020, 09:48:12 AM
You get used to it....medical personnel do it all the time.

(Just watch CSI, or some old Quincy, MD re-runs...you'll get the hang of it.....)

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pigou on June 14, 2020, 10:31:50 AM


If I were in a classroom (we're fully online for the Fall), I'd pick up a stash of KN95 masks. They're the Chinese equivalent to N95 and you can get them for around $1.60 a piece on Alibaba. Down to $1 if you order 1,000 of them in bulk, and under 50 cents if you order 10,000... which is a really small expense for a university. While surgical masks primarily protect others, N95 masks protect you.

https://www.propublica.org/article/federal-agencies-have-spent-millions-on-kn95-masks-often-without-knowing-who-made-them

So, maybe not...They also aren't necessarily very easy to use in a general setting. To really work well, they are supposed to be fitted. People with facial hair apparently can't wear them sometimes. They also can cause breathing problems if people have certain conditions. I've read some arguments that face shields might actually be a much easier and better solution. The idea seemed pretty weird at first, but it actually could work a lot better. I'm fairly worried about whether I could teach in a mask. I don't mind putting one on for five minutes when I walk into a store, but I start getting really hot and uncomfortable if I wear it for very long, or if I'm moving around or talking.

It's like with every order: buy from established parties, e.g. manufacturers of medical supplies that have been around for years. Don't buy from a sketchy retailer that popped up 3 months ago. Doesn't guarantee that you don't end up with a counterfeit product, but it almost surely will be more effective than a surgical mask, and even more so than a cloth mask or no mask at all. If someone places orders on behalf of a university, they now have 2 months to hop on a plane and check out the factory in person. In fact, they really had 6 months since we knew this was going to be an issue.

I've shaved my facial hair at the beginning of the pandemic. That's a pretty easy problem to solve. But also: the exposure risk from being in a classroom is massively lower than the exposure people face who use N95 masks in clinical settings, so "close enough" is already going to get us most of the way there. And while breathing problems may make it harder for some people to wear masks, we're now talking about a really, really small share of the population. A university can easily make special accommodations for the 1-in-100 faculty who legitimately can't wear a proper N95 mask. But they really ought to figure things out for the 99-in-100 who can do so.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on June 14, 2020, 10:47:18 AM
My understanding is that my campus will 'encourage' but definitely not require masks.  How much support will you get if a student doesnt want to wear a mask?  It only takes one carrier to get you sick!  he bigger you make the issue (to ensure you stay healthy, mind you) the more push back some idiot/asshole/arrogant student/carrier will make .  IF you recall the video of the confrontation at a Costco not long ago, the non mask wearer didnt need to wear a mask because "I woke up in a free country". 
As my administration is not going to require masks, I do not see them backing me up should I try to require them in my classroom. 
The more militant I become, like calling in sick or avoiding going to class to expose myself, the more I fear that the administration would push back to say that I was not doing my job as expected or that I was defiant and ignoring their authority to make me go to a room with unmasked students. 

it is not a good situation.  There will be no heros from this. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Stockmann on June 17, 2020, 12:33:10 PM
My employer, or at least my department, is allowing instructors of normally f2f courses to choose whether we'll teach f2f or hybrid next term. I've signed up for hybrid, but it's clear as mud what that will mean in practice. Officially we'll return to campus next term, though given local conditions that's dubious. We simply don't have the classroom space, etc that would be needed to effectively socially distance, and our classrooms, etc are generally poorly ventilated, and the only chance of having sufficiently widespread compliance with wearing facemasks would be to have security deny access to campus, and to any individual buildings, to anyone not wearing one. If we do return to campus I predict a Beijing scenario - outbreaks making us go back online in the middle of the term. Again, socially distancing on my campus seems logistically unlikely, plus many of our students commute using public transportation and we have a high number of elderly instructors, so it would be a recipe for disaster.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on June 18, 2020, 08:08:20 AM
This coming week our local riding club is holding its annual rodeo.  It's one of the biggest local events each year--and promises to be even bigger this year, because many rodeos in bigger locations have been cancelled this season.  We're going to have a LOT of visitors from all over the U.S.  It's a good opportunity for the local economy, and heaven knows we could use that, but will very likely lead to a local surge of COVID 19. 

In addition, we have a certain staff member who...well, let's just say she likes to ride a cowboy.  She's going to be VERY involved in all sorts of ways with the rodeo and the rodeo crowd the whole week it's in town, and is likely to become a vector.  The rest of the staff are worried about the rodeo in general and this fellow worker in particular.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on June 18, 2020, 08:57:55 AM
Quote
And if they refuse to let at-risk folks like me teach fully online, that's fine:  go ahead and keep me on the F2F schedule for 2 classes on TR.

I recommend (and am in the beginning processes myself) of completing the forms for an ADA (Americans with disabilities act) accommodation.

Clean, I've already attempted this (started 3 weeks ago). They aren't accepting any applications, as they haven't yet said whether we'll be back F2F or if we'll be online.  We should know that by tomorrow, if they hold to their originally-stated date to reveal the information.  And I don't just think I'm high-risk; my internist has already ordered me not to be in a classroom until there's an effective vaccine widely available and in use, because of my risk factors.

I'm well familiar with the ADA process, and also with what a complete PitA it is at my  place (which I why I tried to start it early for COVID).  I already have an accommodation related to some orthopedic issues, and it took a full three months to get that processed last summer/fall even though the actual accommodation/need for it was a no-brainer.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on June 18, 2020, 10:01:12 AM
Quote
And if they refuse to let at-risk folks like me teach fully online, that's fine:  go ahead and keep me on the F2F schedule for 2 classes on TR.

I recommend (and am in the beginning processes myself) of completing the forms for an ADA (Americans with disabilities act) accommodation.

Clean, I've already attempted this (started 3 weeks ago). They aren't accepting any applications, as they haven't yet said whether we'll be back F2F or if we'll be online.  We should know that by tomorrow, if they hold to their originally-stated date to reveal the information.  And I don't just think I'm high-risk; my internist has already ordered me not to be in a classroom until there's an effective vaccine widely available and in use, because of my risk factors.

I'm well familiar with the ADA process, and also with what a complete PitA it is at my  place (which I why I tried to start it early for COVID).  I already have an accommodation related to some orthopedic issues, and it took a full three months to get that processed last summer/fall even though the actual accommodation/need for it was a no-brainer.

I'm hearing rumors that my employer is going to tell faculty that they have to choose either 100% online or 100% on campus for the fall semester if they think they are in a high-risk group, even though on-campus instruction will in reality be hybrid with an altered classroom schedule due to social distancing requirements. I see this as a way for the university to minimize its legal liability if someone at high risk gets infected.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on June 18, 2020, 12:08:30 PM
Just heard some news from my Dean; I'll hold off sharing it here since it's pretty easy to figure out where I work.  One important thing, though, is that tomorrow's "updated schedule will be available to all" has now been pushed back to (as she put it) "hopefully" July 1, which with the 4th holiday upcoming means it'll probably be closer to July 10 before plans are public.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on June 18, 2020, 01:41:18 PM
Just heard some news from my Dean; I'll hold off sharing it here since it's pretty easy to figure out where I work.  One important thing, though, is that tomorrow's "updated schedule will be available to all" has now been pushed back to (as she put it) "hopefully" July 1, which with the 4th holiday upcoming means it'll probably be closer to July 10 before plans are public.

Interesting, thanks, sounds like possibly good news for you and colleagues?  Wishing you all the best, AmLitHist.  A shame that people like you, clean, and many others have been put through so much stress when things could have been handled much better.

With July just around the corner, I'll get out the popcorn and watch how leadership of colleges and u's continue to strategize and manage ("spin") the seemingly inevitable necessity of doing almost fully online in fall in most places.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on June 19, 2020, 06:34:48 PM
DC will enter Phase 2 on Monday:
https://wtop.com/dc/2020/06/dc-phase-two-coronavirus-reopening-begins-monday/ (https://wtop.com/dc/2020/06/dc-phase-two-coronavirus-reopening-begins-monday/)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on June 20, 2020, 07:16:27 AM
This coming week our local riding club is holding its annual rodeo.  It's one of the biggest local events each year--and promises to be even bigger this year, because many rodeos in bigger locations have been cancelled this season.  We're going to have a LOT of visitors from all over the U.S.  It's a good opportunity for the local economy, and heaven knows we could use that, but will very likely lead to a local surge of COVID 19. 

In addition, we have a certain staff member who...well, let's just say she likes to ride a cowboy.  She's going to be VERY involved in all sorts of ways with the rodeo and the rodeo crowd the whole week it's in town, and is likely to become a vector.  The rest of the staff are worried about the rodeo in general and this fellow worker in particular.

Amused by your succinct way of describing your colleagues ummm.....engaging but worrisome behavior.

Can you require temp checks for all staff as a universal screening protocol? Or require quarantine for those seen unmasked in public settings?

I realize that puts you in an uncomfortable position of healthcare oversight, but I agree with you: I'd be worried about this person's disregard for basic health issues re: the rest of the staff, too.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on June 20, 2020, 09:25:08 AM
Quote
In addition, we have a certain staff member who...well, let's just say she likes to ride a cowboy.

If she rides a cowboy while wearing a mask (and 'glove') would that be ok? 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on June 21, 2020, 05:02:04 AM
Quote
In addition, we have a certain staff member who...well, let's just say she likes to ride a cowboy.

If she rides a cowboy while wearing a mask (and 'glove') would that be ok?

Perhaps with a riding crop?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on June 21, 2020, 06:14:30 PM
Quote
In addition, we have a certain staff member who...well, let's just say she likes to ride a cowboy.

If she rides a cowboy while wearing a mask (and 'glove') would that be ok?
That person would not be called Professor Tawdry, would she? If so, be advised that the girl  can't help it.

But seriously folks, I am seeing that food, cleaning supplies, etc.are reaching stores in good fashion. The plans are well in place for battling or at least staving off Coved 19 effects. The Lord only knows how many organizations and individuals worldwide are working on treatment and cure. What I do see  now is a reluctance on the part of many to continue what are generally agreed upon behaviors as we open economies. The President, politics aside, from my armchair view is very frustrated by this. So we all have to buckle down and do it, DAMN IT. If we don't do that now there is absolutely no guarantee that conditions brought on by the virus won't get much, much, worse!



Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on June 23, 2020, 01:45:38 PM
On June 28th, Metro will reopen 18 rail stations that had closed because of low ridership:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/metro-coronavirus-update-june-22/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/metro-coronavirus-update-june-22/)
Masks are still required on the Metro system.

Virginia moves to Phase 3 on July 1st:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/virginia-coronavirus-phase-three-update/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/virginia-coronavirus-phase-three-update/)
Northern VA and Richmond are included in the plan.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: PhilRunner on June 24, 2020, 03:33:44 AM
My mid-sized university is opening in the fall, and we've discovered that they have no testing plan for students, faculty, or staff. None what so ever.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on June 24, 2020, 04:29:50 AM
My mid-sized university is opening in the fall, and we've discovered that they have no testing plan for students, faculty, or staff. None what so ever.

WTF
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on June 24, 2020, 05:40:32 AM
No place I teach at has mentioned any testing plans either. How many places have the resources to do that? Not many.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on June 24, 2020, 06:02:45 AM
No place I teach at has mentioned any testing plans either. How many places have the resources to do that? Not many.

Given that the places eager to get everyone on campus are doing it because they can't afford the loss of revenue, it's not a big surpise that they don't plan to spend significant money on testing, etc.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Puget on June 24, 2020, 06:25:23 AM
No place I teach at has mentioned any testing plans either. How many places have the resources to do that? Not many.

We will be testing everyone several times a month (we've been assured this are anterior nasal swabs only, because no one wants the posterior ones a second time)-- for research universities with labs that do PCR, it is apparently possible to get FDA permission to do the testing in-house, which slashes the price considerably.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on June 24, 2020, 07:34:16 AM
One of our staff tried to go in for an eye appointment before work.  They scanned her forehead and told her that she was running a temperature and could not come inside.  She insists that it's because she had to drive there in a vehicle with no air conditioning.  But she's going to go ahead and stay home, and monitor herself for symptoms.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on June 24, 2020, 08:11:07 AM
To continue my thoughts, perhaps folks should not look too harshly on people not wearing masks inside stores and other "tight spaces"? Masks cost money and, due to the COVED CRUNCH, a lot of people are hard pressed to allot even tens of dollars for exposure protections for their families, and themselves. By the way, how much are masks going for in your neighborhood? Coronavirus 19 testing ?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on June 24, 2020, 08:18:21 AM
Quote
o continue my thoughts, perhaps folks should not look too harshly on people not wearing masks inside stores and other "tight spaces"?

scarfs, bandannas, home made by folding a wash cloth and a rubber band (as demonstrated by the Surgeon General)... 

No, it is NOT a money issue
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Cheerful on June 24, 2020, 09:30:10 AM
No place I teach at has mentioned any testing plans either. How many places have the resources to do that? Not many.

We will be testing everyone several times a month (we've been assured this are anterior nasal swabs only, because no one wants the posterior ones a second time)-- for research universities with labs that do PCR, it is apparently possible to get FDA permission to do the testing in-house, which slashes the price considerably.

Get tested today.  Go to grocery store or travel the next day, contract virus.  Asymptomatic.  Return to campus.  Not tested again for a week.  Then what? 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on June 24, 2020, 09:37:24 AM
No place I teach at has mentioned any testing plans either. How many places have the resources to do that? Not many.

We will be testing everyone several times a month (we've been assured this are anterior nasal swabs only, because no one wants the posterior ones a second time)-- for research universities with labs that do PCR, it is apparently possible to get FDA permission to do the testing in-house, which slashes the price considerably.

Get tested today.  Go to grocery store or travel the next day, contract virus.  Asymptomatic.  Return to campus.  Not tested again for a week.  Then what?

It's all about lowering the probabilities of passing on the virus, which testing should do.

If it was making it impossible to pass on the virus, they would tell you to stay home.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Puget on June 24, 2020, 10:01:29 AM
No place I teach at has mentioned any testing plans either. How many places have the resources to do that? Not many.

We will be testing everyone several times a month (we've been assured this are anterior nasal swabs only, because no one wants the posterior ones a second time)-- for research universities with labs that do PCR, it is apparently possible to get FDA permission to do the testing in-house, which slashes the price considerably.

Get tested today.  Go to grocery store or travel the next day, contract virus.  Asymptomatic.  Return to campus.  Not tested again for a week.  Then what?

It's all about lowering the probabilities of passing on the virus, which testing should do.

If it was making it impossible to pass on the virus, they would tell you to stay home.

Correct-- there is no perfect solution, it as all about reducing transmission risk, and testing is just one piece of that along with reducing density and keeping larger classes online, social distancing, masks, frequent hand washing, frequent cleaning of surfaces, and daily self-reporting of symptoms. Faculty can also request to teach entirely online if they are higher risk or have higher risk family members. All in all, I think they are being fairly prudent about how we do this.

Our students are very conscientious about taking care of the community in general-- I trust them more than a lot of "adults" who seem to think they have a right to put other people at risk. I recognize that not every student population is like that.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on June 24, 2020, 10:16:48 AM
No place I teach at has mentioned any testing plans either. How many places have the resources to do that? Not many.

Given that the places eager to get everyone on campus are doing it because they can't afford the loss of revenue, it's not a big surpise that they don't plan to spend significant money on testing, etc.

The governor's office here required that all universities in the state include testing regimens in the re-opening plans they had to submit. I think those plans are being reviewed now and the governor is expected to give a thumbs up or thumbs down sometime in July. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Anselm on June 24, 2020, 10:37:33 AM
My mid-sized university is opening in the fall, and we've discovered that they have no testing plan for students, faculty, or staff. None what so ever.

Someone (not an employee) should write a letter to the local newspaper.  Maybe public shame can get them to do the right thing.

My own school started doing temperature checks at the door for the small number of people who needed to come to campus for hands on work.   So far they have said nothing about nasal swabs.  They have announced that they are proceeding with taking applications from "students and student-athletes" which I guess is their way of saying we will have sports in the fall and winter.  I also take note of how the athletes are put in a separate category which is no surprise to me.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: the_geneticist on June 24, 2020, 11:10:45 AM
My mid-sized university is opening in the fall, and we've discovered that they have no testing plan for students, faculty, or staff. None what so ever.

My university is planning testing.  What's not clear is is we even have the capability to do so.  You have to have a Bio-Safety Level 3 lab to process the samples (because SARS-CoV-2 is a human pathogen), a disposal plan for the used samples, and a plan for how to protect patient privacy.  It's not a trivial plan.  Most places simply don't have the infrastructure (e.g. an autoclave that you are allowed to put human biomedical samples in).
The qPCR is not hard to do, but you have to do it carefully, precisely and accurately every single time.  And the "medical grade" reagents cost about 10X more than the standard "research grade".
It would be easier to use a proven antibody test, but most folks are not willing to have a blood draw forced on them.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Stockmann on June 24, 2020, 12:57:54 PM
Quote
My own school started doing temperature checks at the door for the small number of people who needed to come to campus for hands on work.   So far they have said nothing about nasal swabs.

Same here.
The thing about opening colleges and universities is that, while there is growing empirical evidence that outbreaks in schools are comparatively easy to prevent because children seem to be less contagious than adults, that wouldn't apply, at least definitely to the same degree, when your youngest students are in their late teens. Classroom teaching, particularly large lectures, would seem to be the most ideal conditions for contagion, second only to indoors choir practice.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on June 24, 2020, 01:01:42 PM
Quote
My own school started doing temperature checks at the door for the small number of people who needed to come to campus for hands on work.   So far they have said nothing about nasal swabs.

Same here.
The thing about opening colleges and universities is that, while there is growing empirical evidence that outbreaks in schools are comparatively easy to prevent because children seem to be less contagious than adults, that wouldn't apply, at least definitely to the same degree, when your youngest students are in their late teens. Classroom teaching, particularly large lectures, would seem to be the most ideal conditions for contagion, second only to indoors choir practice.

My money is on hallways, washrooms, etc., especially between classes, and in residences in the morning before classes. I can't imagine any serious amount of compliance with distancing in those places, at least not beyond a few days.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Stockmann on June 24, 2020, 02:22:27 PM
But contact is brief in such places. If people are stuck together for an hour or more in a poorly ventilated classroom, the potential accumulated viral load would surely be much higher.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on June 24, 2020, 04:38:50 PM
Quote
My own school started doing temperature checks at the door for the small number of people who needed to come to campus for hands on work.   So far they have said nothing about nasal swabs.

Same here.
The thing about opening colleges and universities is that, while there is growing empirical evidence that outbreaks in schools are comparatively easy to prevent because children seem to be less contagious than adults, that wouldn't apply, at least definitely to the same degree, when your youngest students are in their late teens. Classroom teaching, particularly large lectures, would seem to be the most ideal conditions for contagion, second only to indoors choir practice.

My money is on hallways, washrooms, etc., especially between classes, and in residences in the morning before classes. I can't imagine any serious amount of compliance with distancing in those places, at least not beyond a few days.

Yeah, Stockmann is right. Anywhere where people don't spend much time is pretty low risk. The most ideal places for contagion are pretty clearly prisons, meatpacking plants and nursing homes. A decently ventilated classroom still could potentially be a risk of course.

Really, the most important thing determining that risk is likely to be what is happening outside of the college. If there's just a lot of transmission going on, the risk of classes is going to be too high no matter what measures you take.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Vkw10 on June 24, 2020, 09:02:39 PM
The student center ballroom is being converted to a computer lab. Since many classes will have A-B schedules, university anticipates students needing a place to work between classes. The ballroom lab will take some pressure off library and other open labs.

The library is always full during week, so I dread seeing it in the fall. I foresee myself going in Friday evening or Saturday morning, when it’s less crowded.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on June 24, 2020, 09:24:52 PM
Early mornings are safest, since no-one's been inside breathing and the ventilation system has had all night to clear the air, if it's going to be able to do that.

Also, request items you need the day before, so you don't have to stay there waiting, just pick them up and go.

Reduce time and interactive exposure in all the ways you can think of.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on June 25, 2020, 06:09:37 AM
We got the official word (though not the actual updated schedule) for our campus yesterday.

Classes that were scheduled F2F will be converted to either hybrid (mainly ones that need on-campus time and work, such as art and lab sciences) or Live Virtual Lectures (LVL, a/k/a synchronous video classes) via Blackboard Collaborate.

Among the constraints admin was working with:
  --At least one class period (90 minutes) between class meetings in any given room, so housekeeping can sanitize
  --Classes not across the hall from each other at the same time, to avoid large crowds in the halls between/after classes
  --No more than 150 students on campus at any given time (we average 4000-5000 students in recent semesters on our campus)
  --Physically measuring rooms and inventorying furniture and fixtures to allow social distancing
  --Reduced class caps (we're usually capped at 25 on most; I'd imagine those will drop to 10 or maybe 12)

Thank the deities I'm not a chair anymore:  I was really good at schedule building, but I wouldn't want to be the one working on this.  And I completely get why it's taken this long to announce plans. Although I've been somewhat antsy and complained about it here a bit, I've tried to keep a lid on it:  ideally, if it were up to me, we'd be 100% online and asynchronous, but I know that's just not realistic, especially for new students in the fall.  Our CC population comes in with extensive readiness deficits, and we'd eliminate opportunities for a good chunk of them if we announced we weren't having any high-touch F2F availability.  (As it is, some of the dev ed classes will be F2F along with the lab-heavy classes.)

So, the good news, in order of how happy each makes me:
  1.  I don't have to go another 10 rounds with our HR nimrods to get some kind of accommodation.
  2.  I don't have to be on campus, at all, until January (if then).
  3.  I can continue to do what I do best:  teach online.

I'm not wild about the LVL part, but I'm not going to argue; I guess this old dog can learn a new trick.  My previous F2F Comp II class should make (it's at 9 now); I kind of hope the F2F Early American lit doesn't, just because I'm leery of how it's going to work in a synchronous format (I've taught it many times fully online/asynchronously). 

Overall, very good news, and I can live with it pretty happily.  I hope others here are getting/will soon get similar decisions.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: downer on June 25, 2020, 06:24:18 AM
Does seem like a good result, AmLitHist.

It does seem about time that faculty knew what to plan for regarding fall classes.

Given today's news about the record high for US cases, I suspect that the plans for "hybrid" classes may have very minimal classroom components.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on June 25, 2020, 06:41:03 AM
What precautions are being taken for the maintenance workers who are sanitizing the campus, I wonder.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on June 25, 2020, 07:02:14 AM
https://www.chronicle.com/article/At-One-Flagship-Coronavirus/249054?fbclid=IwAR3Z4wB_myTNv_mKwhuljPfkVmJM1riKzuvs7dNnMdPApsqJtZz9lX37lbE
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on June 25, 2020, 07:03:12 AM

I'm not wild about the LVL part, but I'm not going to argue; I guess this old dog can learn a new trick.  My previous F2F Comp II class should make (it's at 9 now); I kind of hope the F2F Early American lit doesn't, just because I'm leery of how it's going to work in a synchronous format (I've taught it many times fully online/asynchronously). 


This sounds odd; if the class has been taught "fully" online in the past, why wouldn't they just have the existing online format in the Fall, instead of a FrankenF2F version?

FrankenF2F makes sense for things which have never been online before, since they presumably haven't had the same effort put in to completely adapt them. But courses that have already adapted should already be, in principle, as good as F2F.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on June 25, 2020, 07:05:53 AM
https://www.chronicle.com/article/At-One-Flagship-Coronavirus/249054?fbclid=IwAR3Z4wB_myTNv_mKwhuljPfkVmJM1riKzuvs7dNnMdPApsqJtZz9lX37lbE

From the article:
Quote
Such an outbreak underscores a harsh reality for colleges as they plan for the fall semester: They can do only so much to control student behavior, especially when students leave the campus.

I may need to go to an opthalmologist to get treated for that blinding flash of the obvious.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on June 25, 2020, 07:23:19 AM

I'm not wild about the LVL part, but I'm not going to argue; I guess this old dog can learn a new trick.  My previous F2F Comp II class should make (it's at 9 now); I kind of hope the F2F Early American lit doesn't, just because I'm leery of how it's going to work in a synchronous format (I've taught it many times fully online/asynchronously). 


This sounds odd; if the class has been taught "fully" online in the past, why wouldn't they just have the existing online format in the Fall, instead of a FrankenF2F version?

FrankenF2F makes sense for things which have never been online before, since they presumably haven't had the same effort put in to completely adapt them. But courses that have already adapted should already be, in principle, as good as F2F.

Just because a class has been taught fully online in the past doesn't mean that all the students are going to do well in an online format or that the instructor is going to be good at teaching it online. That's the logic gap in this argument you keep making.

In AmListHit's case, since you have taught the class online before and want to teach it online again, it does seem a bit strange to force you into a different format.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on June 25, 2020, 08:03:36 AM

My own school started doing temperature checks at the door for the small number of people who needed to come to campus for hands on work.

Evidently temperature checks have a good deal of potential for false positives.  Our staff member above went home, cooled off, and turned out not to be feverish after all.  She still missed an appointment that she'd had scheduled for some time due to the false positive.  I've heard that some doctors' offices are trying to let people cool off for a bit before doing the temperature check, to avoid penalizing those who just came in from a hot trip to see them.  One more wrinkle to consider.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: marshwiggle on June 25, 2020, 08:44:02 AM

I'm not wild about the LVL part, but I'm not going to argue; I guess this old dog can learn a new trick.  My previous F2F Comp II class should make (it's at 9 now); I kind of hope the F2F Early American lit doesn't, just because I'm leery of how it's going to work in a synchronous format (I've taught it many times fully online/asynchronously). 


This sounds odd; if the class has been taught "fully" online in the past, why wouldn't they just have the existing online format in the Fall, instead of a FrankenF2F version?

FrankenF2F makes sense for things which have never been online before, since they presumably haven't had the same effort put in to completely adapt them. But courses that have already adapted should already be, in principle, as good as F2F.

Just because a class has been taught fully online in the past doesn't mean that all the students are going to do well in an online format or that the instructor is going to be good at teaching it online. That's the logic gap in this argument you keep making.

ANY of the scenarios I've seen for hybrid (or whatever they may be called) courses are much more cumbersome than EITHER F2F or online, so it is at best an unproven assumption that these can be "almost" like F2F. (Especially if students are supposed to be able to hop back and forth whenever they want.)

Given the choice between that and a properly-designed online course, which has already been running and has had the kinks worked out, I would be surprised if any more than a tiny fraction of students would be worse off in the fully online course.

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on June 25, 2020, 09:51:54 AM

I'm not wild about the LVL part, but I'm not going to argue; I guess this old dog can learn a new trick.  My previous F2F Comp II class should make (it's at 9 now); I kind of hope the F2F Early American lit doesn't, just because I'm leery of how it's going to work in a synchronous format (I've taught it many times fully online/asynchronously). 


This sounds odd; if the class has been taught "fully" online in the past, why wouldn't they just have the existing online format in the Fall, instead of a FrankenF2F version?

FrankenF2F makes sense for things which have never been online before, since they presumably haven't had the same effort put in to completely adapt them. But courses that have already adapted should already be, in principle, as good as F2F.

Just because a class has been taught fully online in the past doesn't mean that all the students are going to do well in an online format or that the instructor is going to be good at teaching it online. That's the logic gap in this argument you keep making.

ANY of the scenarios I've seen for hybrid (or whatever they may be called) courses are much more cumbersome than EITHER F2F or online, so it is at best an unproven assumption that these can be "almost" like F2F. (Especially if students are supposed to be able to hop back and forth whenever they want.)

Given the choice between that and a properly-designed online course, which has already been running and has had the kinks worked out, I would be surprised if any more than a tiny fraction of students would be worse off in the fully online course.

Depends on all the details. I don't have a bunch of online courses just hanging up in the closet ready to be taken out, however, so its all a bit irrelevant. If I do end up doing hybrid courses I don't think they will be almost like f2f. I think they will allow for classes to take place, in part, in a format I believe in, and have experience teaching. The truth is that pretty much whatever I do next semester is going to be an adaptation of face to face classes. I'm not going to try to redesign three classes in the midst of a pandemic for a format I don't want to teach them in going forward.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: AmLitHist on June 25, 2020, 10:30:24 AM
I agreed to teach the lit class when it appeared, out of the blue, on the F2F schedule we all chose from in the spring.  (We always do a round robin to pick our classes:  first in seniority picks four classes for load, then on down the line, and once everyone has load we go back and choose OL sections.  I'm low-man on the seniority list.)  The American lit was sitting there all alone, and while I've done it online at various schools over the years, and for a long stretch every summer online here, I couldn't pass up the chance to teach it, even F2F. Our students rarely take lit classes as their humanities elective for the Gen Studies transfer AA; besides, I'm the resident Americanist in the dept., and everyone especially hates Early American, so I jumped at it.  Any pay for teaching something that isn't Comp I or II or dev ed is a bonus.

The beauty for me of teaching it online--almost always in the summer, with lots of students from other unis taking it--is that I'm able to really pile on the reading, and even at that, nearly everyone who enrolls ends up with B's or better in a very rigorous class.  Along the way, most of them realize they really DO like Anne Bradstreet and Hawthorne and Thoreau and Emerson and Dickinson and Wigglesworth and Edward Taylor and many others. 

The reason I kind of hope it doesn't make is that I know our own students are loathe to read, so I'm going to have to cut way back on the load. Further, when they don't read in a Comp class, I can work around that, but in a lit, it makes for a lot of dead air and a very long class session if they haven't done the reading.  Adding the LVL to that......yeah.  Not looking forward to it, but if it makes, I'll give it a go.

And I really do think there's good reason to have made this simply an asynchronous online section.  I might argue for that, as the dust settles by mid-July.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on June 25, 2020, 01:24:36 PM
Early American?

Yum!!!

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on June 25, 2020, 01:48:21 PM
Great to hear that students somewhere are still getting a good dose of early American lit--and often liking it!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: science.expat on June 25, 2020, 10:54:20 PM

My own school started doing temperature checks at the door for the small number of people who needed to come to campus for hands on work.

Evidently temperature checks have a good deal of potential for false positives.  Our staff member above went home, cooled off, and turned out not to be feverish after all.  She still missed an appointment that she'd had scheduled for some time due to the false positive.  I've heard that some doctors' offices are trying to let people cool off for a bit before doing the temperature check, to avoid penalizing those who just came in from a hot trip to see them.  One more wrinkle to consider.

I had the opposite. I went to get Covid tested and they took my temp 3 times before finally recording 35.9 C. (Normal is 37 C) It’s actually an on going issue since when I am feverish it’s hard getting health professionals to recognise it because I’m rarely very much above ‘normal’.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on June 26, 2020, 07:12:17 AM
Quote
o continue my thoughts, perhaps folks should not look too harshly on people not wearing masks inside stores and other "tight spaces"?

scarfs, bandannas, home made by folding a wash cloth and a rubber band (as demonstrated by the Surgeon General)... 

No, it is NOT a money issue
[/quote

But, how much are masks costing in your areas? How much is Coved 19 testing costing  in your viciinties?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Puget on June 26, 2020, 07:38:38 AM

My own school started doing temperature checks at the door for the small number of people who needed to come to campus for hands on work.

Evidently temperature checks have a good deal of potential for false positives.  Our staff member above went home, cooled off, and turned out not to be feverish after all.  She still missed an appointment that she'd had scheduled for some time due to the false positive.  I've heard that some doctors' offices are trying to let people cool off for a bit before doing the temperature check, to avoid penalizing those who just came in from a hot trip to see them.  One more wrinkle to consider.

I had the opposite. I went to get Covid tested and they took my temp 3 times before finally recording 35.9 C. (Normal is 37 C) It’s actually an on going issue since when I am feverish it’s hard getting health professionals to recognise it because I’m rarely very much above ‘normal’.

It turns out "normal" body temperature isn't actually "normal" anymore:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/time-to-redefine-normal-body-temperature-2020031319173
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: clean on June 26, 2020, 07:44:22 AM
Quote
But, how much are masks costing in your areas? How much is Coved 19 testing costing  in your viciinties?

I dont know what places are selling masks for.  It does not matter.  As I understand the rules, a 'mask' is not required, but a 'face covering' is.  AS I indicated above, a 'face covering' can be a bandanna, a cut t-shirt and rubber bands.

I dont know IF testing has a cost.  I know that you can call the county and get approval and schedule a test without leaving your car.  You drive up, open a window and they stick something in your nose.  I do not believe that the patient bears a cost, but I do not know.

IF the republicans had not whipped "ObamaCare" then we would all be required to have health insurance and insurers would be bitching about having to pay for tests.

So I return the question:
Are you required to wear a Mask in your area?  What defines "mask"?
What do you see that the official item costs where you are?
Are tests not provided by your local public health agency?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on June 26, 2020, 10:20:12 AM

My own school started doing temperature checks at the door for the small number of people who needed to come to campus for hands on work.

Evidently temperature checks have a good deal of potential for false positives.  Our staff member above went home, cooled off, and turned out not to be feverish after all.  She still missed an appointment that she'd had scheduled for some time due to the false positive.  I've heard that some doctors' offices are trying to let people cool off for a bit before doing the temperature check, to avoid penalizing those who just came in from a hot trip to see them.  One more wrinkle to consider.

I had the opposite. I went to get Covid tested and they took my temp 3 times before finally recording 35.9 C. (Normal is 37 C) It’s actually an on going issue since when I am feverish it’s hard getting health professionals to recognise it because I’m rarely very much above ‘normal’.

It turns out "normal" body temperature isn't actually "normal" anymore:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/time-to-redefine-normal-body-temperature-2020031319173

All I know is that when I went to the doctor today (ear cleaning), I registered 98.4 F.  They were okay with it, and so was I.

The ear cleaning felt a bit like they were trying to do a virus swab through my ear.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on June 26, 2020, 06:48:39 PM
I generally find Scott Galloway to be a mostly annoying gadfly, but this time, I think he's onn to something.  American optimism has most uni's saying it's business as usual come fall.  As if the virus is listening.

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-colleges-reopening-this-fall-are-putting-elderly-faculty-danger-2020-6
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on June 27, 2020, 04:50:37 AM
Are you required to wear a Mask in your area?  What defines "mask"?       YES.  Seems to be cloth face covering
What do you see that the official item costs where you are?      Not sure how you define "official item"?
Are tests not provided by your local public health agency?        Only if you're already half dead and jump through so many   hoops that you're completely dead by the time you get the test. 
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on June 30, 2020, 07:23:15 PM
Late development--Gov. Northam of VA announced a limit on bars in restaurants:
https://wtop.com/virginia/2020/06/in-late-reversal-northam-moves-to-keep-limits-on-bars/ (https://wtop.com/virginia/2020/06/in-late-reversal-northam-moves-to-keep-limits-on-bars/)

In Delaware, beach bars will close on Friday:
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/delaware-beach-bars-to-close-again-friday-phase-two-to-continue-indefinitely/ (https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/06/delaware-beach-bars-to-close-again-friday-phase-two-to-continue-indefinitely/)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on July 04, 2020, 04:08:45 AM
When K-12 schools re-open:

https://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2020/04/how-schools-work-practical-guide-for.html (https://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2020/04/how-schools-work-practical-guide-for.html)
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Caracal on July 04, 2020, 04:47:17 AM
When K-12 schools re-open:

https://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2020/04/how-schools-work-practical-guide-for.html (https://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2020/04/how-schools-work-practical-guide-for.html)

He's right about young children and physical distancing. Even if it was possible, I don't think it would be desirable. The good news is that the evidence we have suggests that young children are the ones who are least likely to get infected, even if they are exposed. This has oddly just dropped out of some of the conversations around this, even as the science has become clearer. That doesn't mean there won't be cases and even clusters among young kids, but it means they aren't going to contribute much, or at all, too spread.

Some of the other stuff seems sort of beside the point. Sure, teenagers might not social distance after school, but if there is no school are they just going to stay at home and have no contact?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on July 04, 2020, 06:17:57 AM
When K-12 schools re-open:

https://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2020/04/how-schools-work-practical-guide-for.html (https://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2020/04/how-schools-work-practical-guide-for.html)

Also in WP today.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: hmaria1609 on July 04, 2020, 02:08:41 PM
From WTOP Radio online: the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) is at odds with the DC Public Schools system about reopening:
https://wtop.com/dc/2020/07/dc-public-schools-teachers-at-odds-over-return-to-work-order/ (https://wtop.com/dc/2020/07/dc-public-schools-teachers-at-odds-over-return-to-work-order/)
There's a brief blurb about Maryland and VA schools at the end of the article.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on July 05, 2020, 03:39:12 PM
If someone wants to suggest a better place for this, I'll be glad to move it; it's a site with a long, well-developed discussion about the goals, strategies, and methods for leading discussion groups.

   http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/leadership/group-facilitation/group-discussions/main

Since the online staging for this is harder for many, it seems appropriate...as I say, if there's a better thread, I'll move it.

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: nebo113 on July 06, 2020, 04:40:02 AM
https://www.npr.org/2020/07/05/887471299/a-nightmare-georgia-tech-faculty-push-back-against-in-person-reopening-plans

In the land of cult member Kemp, in obeisance to he who fat shames Abrams.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on July 06, 2020, 08:16:14 AM
Last week's delivery of hand sanitizer and disposable gloves to the library came without the gloves.  Our wholesaler ran out again!  So they are now on back order.  I broke out a small batch of them that I'd found a couple of months ago and had been saving for such a need.  Today I'll see whether I can find some more locally.  I've usually had good luck finding them in small batches.

At least we've still got an abundance of bleach.  And "lunch lady" aprons to protect the staff's clothes while they're using the bleach water.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: spork on July 07, 2020, 01:27:56 PM
My university made a statement on the likely SARS-CoV-2 testing regimen in the fall semester. The implicit message is "we're not testing everyone on a regular basis because it would cost too much."
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on July 08, 2020, 07:23:33 AM
The cleaning supplies aisles at our local stores still consist largely of bare shelves.  I did find some basic items like pine cleaner and hand soap refills for the library--but not a whole lot.  The producers of these items have been ramping up production for months now, and they're still hard to come by!  Evidently use is still outstripping supply. 

I wonder how much of this use of sanitizer products is being well targeted?  I know people who fill rooms with choking clouds of cleaning spray whenever another person passes through.  And compulsively wipe down surfaces that haven't really been exposed to anything dangerous.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: FishProf on July 08, 2020, 07:34:35 AM
I had the hardest time getting MrsFishProf to understand that I couldn't get Kitchen bleach spray from [Box store], not because [Box store] was out, but because everyone was out.

MFP:  OK, get some from [Other lareg retailer].
Me:  They don;t have any.
MFP: I'll get some from the dollar store.
ME: They won't have any either.  No one has it.
MFP:  No, I've gotten it from the dollar store before.

(Note: Except for medical visits, MFP hasn't left the house/yard in 2020)




Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on July 08, 2020, 07:46:21 AM
It's not that the stores aren't still getting these supplies, it's that shipments that once lasted days or a whole week are selling out within hours of arrival.  When people see a particular item available, they text all their friends and family, and they swoop down on it like buzzards on a gut pile.  This makes finding supplies in any given visit to a store very hit-or-miss.  I've got a circuit of local stores that I visit.  Chances are I'll find something in the circuit.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: FishProf on July 08, 2020, 07:48:52 AM
Not really different from what I said.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: secundem_artem on July 08, 2020, 08:55:19 AM
It's not that the stores aren't still getting these supplies, it's that shipments that once lasted days or a whole week are selling out within hours of arrival.  When people see a particular item available, they text all their friends and family, and they swoop down on it like buzzards on a gut pile.  This makes finding supplies in any given visit to a store very hit-or-miss.  I've got a circuit of local stores that I visit.  Chances are I'll find something in the circuit.

If I ever start an alt-country rock band, that's going to be the title of our debut album.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: FishProf on July 08, 2020, 08:57:11 AM
It's not that the stores aren't still getting these supplies, it's that shipments that once lasted days or a whole week are selling out within hours of arrival.  When people see a particular item available, they text all their friends and family, and they swoop down on it like buzzards on a gut pile.  This makes finding supplies in any given visit to a store very hit-or-miss.  I've got a circuit of local stores that I visit.  Chances are I'll find something in the circuit.

If I ever start an alt-country rock band, that's going to be the title of our debut album.

Kickstarter project?
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Wahoo Redux on July 08, 2020, 06:25:04 PM
Just bought a "pro" hair-clipper with attachments on Amazon.

Going to cut my own '80s rock-star length hair.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: mamselle on July 08, 2020, 11:48:12 PM
Going for a Boris Johnson Roman bowl cut?

Or something more Jimmy Dean ducktailed?

M.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on July 09, 2020, 01:12:03 PM
Speaking of new shipments of cleaning supplies disappearing instantly...

Today a staff member was on hand at a local discount store when their shipment arrived.  She got two cans of Lysol.  Another customer got two.  A third customer took ALL of the rest!  Whether this third customer was stockpiling for herself or buying for a syndicate of friends and family is unknown.

The shipment's sanitary wipes were apparently also gone within minutes.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: dismalist on July 09, 2020, 01:32:20 PM
Most stuff still exists: What's going on is that the stockpiles are moving from stores to people's homes!

Those who hoard could put their hoards up on e-bay and we could bid for it.

Or, if money is not to matter anymore, because prices can't be raised, I'll put in a hoard of cognac. Now, that's a liquid asset. :-)

The cause of all this nonsense? Mass hysteria.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on July 09, 2020, 08:33:58 PM
I do not think we are ready for this suggestion yet but entrepreneurs could be ramping up on it and be ready to go when restrictions on certain types of businesses are lifted. The result would be thousands of part time business concessions. What am I writing about?  Restroom attendants! I would not want to do it, but there are a great number of men and women who have and who know how to safely work such a post and the services and goods that could be offered. Is restroom (or powder room) cleanliness, security, and proper supply important. CERTAINLY!

In days past larger entertainment facilities, bars, venues, discos, had people working as such. They were not used each evening or at all open hours; however, the money received in an hours time could mount up. Goods could be purchased and services given (with the expectation of a "tip"). Sometimes visitors might be given a word or look of approval (or disaproval). Priceless!

When I was out and about more than I am today, l'd generally tip a dollar or two for the help I  received or, sometimes, just because there was someone attending. Today, that could be a FIVE!
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Hegemony on July 09, 2020, 09:00:47 PM
The key would be making sure that restroom attendants do not have an active infection of the virus. (And I'm not sure how you'd make sure of that.) Otherwise, having them there would just be to increase the chances of everyone else being infected.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on July 09, 2020, 09:15:27 PM
The key would be making sure that restroom attendants do not have an active infection of the virus. (And I'm not sure how you'd make sure of that.) Otherwise, having them there would just be to increase the chances of everyone else being infected.
Being healthy and properly safeguarded and safeguarding would be, and would have been in the past, a part of the requirements of the job and the responsibility of facility management and owners.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 09, 2020, 10:09:11 PM
Speaking of new shipments of cleaning supplies disappearing instantly...

Today a staff member was on hand at a local discount store when their shipment arrived.  She got two cans of Lysol.  Another customer got two.  A third customer took ALL of the rest!  Whether this third customer was stockpiling for herself or buying for a syndicate of friends and family is unknown.

The shipment's sanitary wipes were apparently also gone within minutes.

Annoying. I've had trouble finding spray and wipes. I managed to purchase some concentrated Lysol and I may have to make my own wipes using paper towels.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: Economizer on July 10, 2020, 06:20:09 AM
Perhaps the recent surge in the number of new Caronavirus cases in many areas of the U.S. has awakened or reawakened sanitation concerns, putting store ordering, shipping, and manufacturing beind again? Ask a clerk/stocker when new shipments are expected. Their "hand held" technologies allow them to research such. I tried a "store to store", 30 mile search for Lysol spray disinfectant last week [different than cleaner].

Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: apl68 on July 10, 2020, 07:38:58 AM
Perhaps the recent surge in the number of new Caronavirus cases in many areas of the U.S. has awakened or reawakened sanitation concerns, putting store ordering, shipping, and manufacturing beind again? Ask a clerk/stocker when new shipments are expected. Their "hand held" technologies allow them to research such. I tried a "store to store", 30 mile search for Lysol spray disinfectant last week [different than cleaner].

I think the hand held technologies are one of the main reasons why shipments are gone so quickly.  They facilitate the instant spread of insider info about new shipments.  Those who get this info and are in a position to respond quickly and ruthlessly have the advantage.  Just another example of the ways in which all kinds of playing fields are becoming less level due to technology.
Title: Re: Preparing for Coronavirus?
Post by: pgher on July 10, 2020, 12:39:40 PM
I do not think we are ready for this suggestion yet but entrepreneurs could be ramping up on it and be ready to go when restrictions on certain types of businesses are lifted. The result would be thousands of part time business concessions. What am I writing about?  Restroom attendants! I would not want to do it, but there are a great number of men and women who have and who know how to safely work such a post and the services and goods that could be offered. Is restroom (or powder room) cleanliness, security, and proper supply important. CERTAINLY!

In days past larger entertainment facilities, bars, venues, discos, had people working as such. They were not used each evening or at all open hours; however, the money received in an hours time could mount up. Goods could be purchased and services given (with the expectation of a "tip"). Sometimes visitors might be given a word or look of approval (or disaproval). Priceless!

When I was out and about more than I am today, l'd generally tip a dollar or two for the help I  received or, sometimes, just because there was someone attending. Today, that could be a FIVE!

Who carries cash any more? I do, but my kids don't. At a conference I help organize, this is an issue raised by international attendees--often, the only reason they need US currency is to tip the bartender.

In other news, I stopped by my pharmacy today to get a prescription. From the drive-thru, only ONE of the roughly 8 employees I could see was wearing a mask. WTF?