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Back in the Classroom in the Spring?

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As I write this, I am in quarantine and thinking that it would be great if Trump’s lies about COVID were true—that it is but a strenuous flu. In an interesting coincidence, I have been planning this essay for a while—but today seems a fortuitous day to write on this subject. When the United States finally got around to acknowledging the pandemic (China does deserve criticism here as well) my university switched to virtual classes. This was a challenge for some and an easy transition for others. When the fall semester arrived, most classes were scheduled to be either online or remote (remote means that professors talk at a mostly empty Zoom meeting rather than talking at a mostly empty classroom). I am teaching remotely this semester, which has gone mostly well. As this is being written the current plan is that all classes that were taught in person in Spring 2020 (pre-pandemic) must be taught in person in Spring 2021. While there was wishful thinking that the pandemic would fade away and there is some realistic hope of a vaccine, the pandemic is currently setting new records in the United States. Based on the 1918 flu (our best analogy) this was to be expected. There is also the fact that the late fall tends to see an increase in illness even in normal times. Trump and his supporters have also contributed to the pandemic. The Trump administration’s response to COVID has been to delay, deny, dither, and lie. While it is true that Trump is not responsible for the virus, he is responsible for the federal response. While it is not always clear whether his supporters are more accomplices or victims, Trump’s rallies have, according to a study, led to over 700 COVID-19 deaths. His current plan involves firing Dr. Fauci—something his supporters cheer. If Biden is elected, then we can expect a vastly better response to COVID-19. As Trump himself has said, Joe will listen to the scientists. But even with a Biden victory COVID will remain a serious problem for the indefinite. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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