Different Takes: Universities Need To Take Control Of Pandemic; Help College Kids Think Through Returning To Campuses
Editorial pages focus on the issues universities and parents face as college students return to campuses and other health topics, as well.
The Washington Post:
The Virus Isn't Going Away. That's Why Campuses Need To Reopen.
Communities across the country are watching closely, in these late-summer weeks, as universities decide whether to welcome students back to campus — or to reverse their reopening decisions based on the current state of the covid-19 pandemic. At Northeastern University, we announced in May our intention to reopen, after consulting with epidemiologists, biologists and network scientists on our faculty. Their work convinced us that bringing students back to the university would be crucial — not because the covid-19 virus isn’t a serious, highly transmissible threat, but because it is. The pandemic, we realized, is going to be endemic: an ongoing threat to manage, not a brief blip in history, cleanly wiped out by a miracle vaccine. The science will take time. But the world cannot. (Joseph E. Aoun, 8/18)
Students Heading Back To College Face A Return To COVID-19 Risk Factors. Here's What To Do.
With no national consensus on how to approach teaching classes at colleges and universities, some schools started remotely as early as last week, while others sent tens of thousands of students back to in-person classes. What immediately followed were images of students across the country filling house parties, clubs, bars and sidewalks without social distancing or masking. (Suzan Song, 8/19)
School Reopening Is A Disaster In The Making
It’s pretty easy to imagine what a responsible plan to reopen schools might look like. Districts would find out what all the people involved — the educators, the parents, the students — considered prudent. They would attempt in-person teaching only where the pandemic was more or less under control. They would take consistent safety measures, closely track infections and pull back if things didn’t go well. I know a lot of educators. These are professionals, utterly dedicated to their students. Judging from our conversations — and given the lack of good data, there’s not much else to go on — the U.S. is in no way going about this responsibly, and the consequences will be disastrous. (Cathy O'Neil, 8/18)
The New York Times:
Learning To Live With The Coronavirus
As some parts of America gingerly begin to open up after months of near total lockdown, people have questions. Will it be safe to take a train? A plane? Visit the hair salon? An indoor restaurant? There are many knowable parameters in the equation: your health; the prevalence of cases where you live; the safety precautions being taken any place you want to visit. But the final answer may depend on your individual risk tolerance for exposure to infectious disease. Most Americans alive today have never before had to make that self-assessment. (Elisabeth Rosenthal, 8/19)
The New York Times:
The N.F.L. Is Playing With The Coronavirus
Along with millions of other football fans across America and the globe, tens of thousands of Kansas Citians like me feverishly want the National Football League to have a full season this year, despite Covid-19. But as the league’s teams began training camp this week in preparation for the start of the season after Labor Day, I spent several days asking myself, other fans and league health officials if the risks are worth it. “We thought about this very long and very hard,” Dr. Allen Sills, the N.F.L.’s chief medical officer and a high-ranking member of the White House coronavirus task force, told me. “What can we do to mitigate risk around our sport and around our clubs?” (Aaron Randle, 8/19)
Is It Safe For Children To Come Home Once The School Day Is Over?
As schools in many parts of the U.S. reopen this week, the debate continues to swirl about whether it is safe to send our kids back for in-person education in our K-12 schools. While the danger of COVID-19 to children remains an unsettled issue, an equally important question risks being overlooked: Is it safe for children to come home once the school day is over? (Dennis Clements, 8/18)
Detroit Free Press:
U-M Faculty, Staff Don't Want Face-To-Face Instruction
University of Michigan faculty and staff members don't want to risk having students sitting in classrooms — even socially distanced. They don't think it's safe to have students living together, especially crammed into student apartments across Ann Arbor. They worry about Friday night parties and students bringing in COVID-19 from wherever across the country they've been living for the past several months. University of Michigan football players want to slam into each other. They want to drip sweat while untangling from the pile that forms on an off-tackle dash by a running back. They want to celebrate with each other after a 75-yard touchdown catch by a fleet-footed wide receiver. (David Jesse, 8/19)