Just Thursday, I was alerted that my school would be closing for the next four weeks. Two of those weeks are regular school weeks that we’ll conduct e-learning and two weeks are the already-scheduled spring break. Looking into the distance, that’s four straight weeks of being closed in with my immediate family and operating day to day while watching the news and the world become occluded by virus and news.
I decided I would keep a daily journal post on my thoughts, experiences, and ideas. Teaching from afar is going to be a new challenge that none of us has really faced. I’m a little nervous that students will see this as a holiday and not stay serious about their work. Just yesterday, on our last student day before closure, one of my students said to a classmate, “This is the apocalypse! It’s the end of the earth!” I then said, “It’s not the end of the earth, but perhaps humanity. Those animals and other earthly creatures are doing just fine.” We then launched into a discussion that exposed how humans consider themselves all supreme when it comes to earthly habitation rights.
While breaking up the daily patterns we all count on to mark our days and experiences, we will have opportunities to learn about and study just about everything regarding humanity and how it interacts, both within Homo Sapiens and with Planet Earth. Students can study in live time how operational systems are strained; banking and financial institutions dive; small businesses shutter with the threat of permanent closure; scientists drive forward to deliver the right messages and research potential cures; and students strive to just make it through the day intact while closed in with their families. It’s a challenge of astronomical proportions, but what learning chances abound!
In terms of my day today, I slept late (probably not good to do every day, so say scientists who know best). I finally rose and ate lunch and then watched some television, eventually dozing off for another 90 minutes (also not likely the best). I then wrote a few checks and have been watching news to see what has changed and what hasn’t changed.
I am most intrigued at how our American public adapts to this time of social distancing and separation. Americans are not ones who like to be told what to do and especially don’t like to be told that they can’t go where they want when they want. This attitude concerns me. In the front of my mind, I realize that for this kind of global shutdown to happen, this COVID19 has to pose some sort of grave danger beyond the calm that all seem to deliver everything. Obviously, we don’t want people to riot, panic, and for order to disintegrate. I hope people will take these warnings seriously and allow this virus to be controlled and eradicated.
The brightest part of my day was found keeping up with my social feeds and finding out that my friend and college mate Dr. David Boulware of the University of Minnesota and his team are conducting a trial just approved late this week to treat those exposed to COVID19 and lead them to the healing they must get. Boulware is an infectious disease expert. I also found out that he and the University of Minnesota started a GoFundMe to raise money for the study while they await National Institute of Health (NIH) funding to come through. Currently, Boulware is funding the entire study out of pocket. After studying his posts, I feel confident that this study has an excellent chance to confirm a prophylactic treatment that will help millions of people.
Thanks for reading tonight and I hope you’ll return again and read daily as we all think through and live through this shift in our existence.
Here’s the link for the U of Minnesota GoFundMe