Life in the time of pandemic – part 1

Context

March 22, 2020 – around 11 am EDT. 1

We are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We get constant updates from the news, from social media, hell, from search engines, about the state of the country, and the world, as humanity tries to figure out how to deal with the situation. If you look at the numbers, at the maps, this thing is scary. (Click to enlarges images in gallery)

My Thoughts

I, like many people, have many thoughts about this pandemic. I’ve been trying to come up with a coherent way to capture them over the past several days, and have decided that if I am going to capture the snapshot of my reaction at this time, for whatever anthropologists scour blogs for individual accounts, I can’t be all prose about it.

My thoughts mostly seem random, but I’ll try to add at least a little structure:

Administrative Response

  • Our president is an idiot who is sacrificing safety for the people in an effort to appear as though he is/was/and always will be right. He denied the virus was a problem until he simply couldn’t any more, at which point his tune changed to “we always took it seriously, and have been preparing for it for ages.”

  • I’m frustrated that he (and others in his administration) refer to it as the “Chinese virus” – the first tracked cases may have happened in China, but calling it such is xenophobic, racist, and creating misinformation.
    • Friend of friend said she didn’t have to worry about Covid-19 because “there isn’t a Chinese population where I live.”
  • Our administration insisted on creating its own tests to identify the novel coronavirus rather than utilize already established tests from the World Health Organization.
  • I’ve watched a few of the daily(ish) reports from the White House, but can’t sit through them all the way, because, invariably, Trump says something that pisses me off so much, I have to turn it off.
    • e.g. When a reporter asked what Trump would say to Americans who may be scared over the coronavirus, the president replied “I’d tell them you’re a bad reporter.” Because, how dare someone ask him a question that implies something is wrong at a press conference where Trump is speaking about how they are handling what’s wrong.

University Response

I watched as the University where I work slowly shut down. At some point before we closed, the library branches had tape over chairs, and every other public computer turned off to encourage social distancing.

  • 3/2 – Quarantines on folks returning from certain countries
  • 3/6 – New guidelines and equipment to support clean/ sanitary physical locations;¬†General guidelines like wash hands, cover cough sent out
  • 3/9 – UF Admin recommend face-to-face courses move to electronic delivery, effective immediately, where possible
  • 3-11 – Courses required to be held remotely from March 16 – at least March 30; Students encouraged to attend from home
  • 3/12 – LIBRARIES: provide resources for transition to online, libraries remain open, additional sanitary stations set up; Overdue fines waived
  • 3/13 – Guidelines for employees with children impacted by K-12 school closures; All training hosted by HR required to transition to online
  • 3/16 – Prohibit non-essential university travel, and no visitors to be hosted on campus; encourage social distancing; Cancelling/postponing/moving large events online through March 30
  • 3/17 – Spring term will remain online only; Summer A and C courses online only; Employees who can work remotely are encouraged to do so
  • 3/19 – Spring Commencement rescheduled; LIBRARIES: All branches close at 6 pm, until further notice
  • 3/20 – Information about meal plans and housing refunds, and financial aid; campus gyms close; LIBRARIES: all staff who can work remotely will, with extended rotation for necessary services to support distance learners

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED


  1. This post took me days to start, but then I had so much to say, it has also taken more than a day to write. I’ve determined I need to post the portions I have so far, and make this “part 1.” Keep an eye out for part 2 in the next few days 2.
  2. Hopefully.
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