Thursday, March 12, 2020

Michigan colleges and universities suspend in-person classes after state of emergency declared over coronavirus

I expressed my concern at the end of Fukushima nine years later.
I'm sure I'll be writing about the recovery from the triple disaster, particularly the nuclear plant meltdown, for years to come, especially next year, the 10th anniversary.  That is, if coronavirus doesn't get me first.  Given my age and diabetes, that's a small but real possibility, especially since the first cases in Michigan were announced yesterday.  One of them is in the county where I live.  Yikes!
It didn't take long for the discovery of coronavirus in Michigan to affect me and my students and colleagues, as the college where I teach suspended face-to-face classes for the rest of this week and all of next week, after which classes will resume online for the rest of the semester.  That was after other public colleges and universities announced similar measures earlier in the day.  Watch WOOD-TV report Michigan universities call off classes, go online over coronavirus fears.

A slew of colleges, including Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University, are going online.
As I am typing this, Michigan still only has two confirmed cases, although more than 20 tests await results, so the number could rise later today.

The first Michigan public university to announce suspension of classes was Michigan State University, which WXYZ reported in Michigan State University switching to virtual instruction amid coronavirus outbreak.

Michigan State University is moving to online-only classes effective at noon on March 11.
As I've observed before, WOOD-TV excels in analysis, producing thoughtful and informative pieces, while WXYZ has livelier coverage that features better interviews with people on the street.  These two clips show that distinction in coverage, although not as well as other pairs of videos I've embedded here.  That's why I like to use both television stations; I think both kinds of coverage help viewers understand different aspects of a story.

Enough media criticism.  The result for me is that I'm now working from home, which I'm not relishing, as it will involve extra work to convert my courses into an online format.  On the other hand, the announcement came as a relief.  I could sleep in this morning and not have to worry about either my students or me catching the disease in class and bringing it home.  I can now concentrate on minimizing my direct contact with the outside while performing the minimum number of errands.

That written, I'm going to wash my hands before I leave the house for one of those errands.  I hope my readers follow my example.


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