Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,970
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: University openings in the fall of 2020

I don't mean to be smug or want people to think I take any of this lightly, but I'm fascinated with what the fall might bring, especially if schools and colleges reopen in some kind of 'normal' fashion. 


I think because I'm totally on the sidelines in this, no one in my immediate life currently in school, it is more of interest to me, than an close to home fear or concern. But I'm really anxious to see how this is done in various places, what works, what maybe doesn't. 


I see how this has run through some places, like nursing homes, prisons, and meat packing plants, where people are really close together, and wonder what we/they are learning from that, that can apply to putting kids back in close proximity in schools at all levels. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,850
Registered: ‎04-23-2010

Re: University openings in the fall of 2020

@busymom22 wrote:

My son's school most likely is going back in the Fall and I am not worried.  Look at the CDC chart of deaths versus ages and the risk is miniscule.  Much lower than things like meningitis or even regular flu. 


We've reached a point where Covid seems to be the only disease that matters.  Now the standard is zero deaths from Covid or we stay locked down.  Previously it was all about "flattening the curve" to not overburden the hospital systems.


Until there is a vaccine we've reached a point where personal choice of risk comes into play.  

Where is that standard being applied?


“The soul is healed by being with children.”
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎08-18-2011

Re: University openings in the fall of 2020

Each student and their family will have to decide what is most important to them.  Colleges and universities have been offering distance learning programs for almost the last 30 years and some are experts at it.  If academic content and learning new knowledge is priority, and the student can learn well with this format, then distance learning is the less risky alternative.  If socialization, being physically with other kids is most important, or if they can only learn with personal physical interactions with others, then they might risk their lives to be on campus.


For the universities there are huge issues.  What are the legal liabilities for sending a kid back home in a body bag because they got the virus there?  Can parents sue the university in case of their child's death while there?  How much risk are they willing to take?  Exactly what campus arrangements, on campus housing configurations, and activities increase the likelihood of getting the virus?  How will testing and tracking be handled? When students get sick, are there enough hospital beds, staff, PPE, equipment, etc. to handle an outbreak on campus?  If not, why was this not anticipated?  What are the financial implications for the institution for distance learning only?  A modified version?  One semester only before or after the anticipated second wave? Some other alternatives? 


We will wait and see how these institutions deal with these and many other issues.