Update May 9, 2020: Apparently the media reported this incorrectly and therefore so did EssaySnark; Cal State Fullerton wants to be in-person, however they've told their faculty to prepare for fall as if they were going to be online. Looks like there was some PR spin going on!!!!!
Update April 21, 2020: The first U.S. college has announced it will be online-only for Fall: California State Fullerton cancels in-person fall classes (LA Times) . However, at the same time, Purdue University has stated that they will open for on-campus instruction . EssaySnark believes that Purdue will end up backpedaling from that sooner or later. We stand by the prediction made in this post that was originally published on 4/2/20: Most U.S. business schools will not have students in classrooms in Fall 2020.
We’re covering coronavirus predictions today and possible impact to society. If you are feeling fragile, if you’re not sure you can handle all the uncertainty — which is a legit reaction!! — then please skip today’s post. We’re going to talk about some possibilities for our future that may trigger anxiety.
PLEASE TALK TO SOMEONE if you’re feeling really stressed out right now. The Crisis Text Line is available: text HOME to 741741 for free support.
If you missed our post from yesterday, you’ll need to go read that first: Coronavirus and the world: What’s going to happen? (With science.)
And, obviously, a major caveat: EssaySnark does not know what’s going to happen with higher ed or society at large.
There are too many moving parts to say for sure.
The economy seems to be changing by the day. One day, we get reason for hope based on some action from the government or news that some country seems to have gotten ahead of the virus. Another day, we get three times as much bad news, and the stock market plummets again.
But, if all that we laid out in that prior post is true about how vaccines work and what viruses do and how herd immunity is necessary for large-scale back-to-work directives being issued and the social order being restored to something like it used to be…
Then that means that in order for universities to resume on-campus instruction with live bodies in a classroom, we either:
1. Need a vaccine to be available, AND for all students to show proof of having received that vaccination, and/or
2. Need some way for folks to get tested that they had the virus at some point in the past and can be thus deemed to be protected from getting it again, and from spreading it.
And, that’s a big, big question.
Or the other possibility is:
3. Our hospitals increase capacity, and as a society, we decide we’re going to live with a certain — higher — number of deaths in our communities than any of us have ever experienced in our lifetimes. (Unless you’ve lived in a war-torn country before.)
That third option is likely going to happen eventually, or it will have to if our society is going to resume some semblance of “normal” functioning anytime in the next year. (Note the quotes around “normal.”)
Let’s review the facts.
The current coronavirus tests only tell you that you currently are infected. They do not (as of this writing in early April 2020) prove that you ever had it before. That will require a different test, which we understand is being actively pursued in development right now, but it does not currently exist.
And, we don’t have clinical trials to prove yet that once someone has been infected, whether they got sick or were only an asymptomatic carrier, that that person can never get it again, and most important, that they can never transmit it to anyone else.
The novel coronavirus is, as you are well aware, novel. There have been coronaviruses in existence for a long time that have infected other animals in the world, and other viruses that infected people are also somewhat similar to SARS-CoV-2 (the official name for novel coronavirus that causes covid-19). That means that the scientists are scrambling to learn all that they can about it, but this research does not happen overnight.
Here’s the deal, Brave Supplicant:
Coronavirus: Round 2 decisions