UBC shut down all campuses.
March 13th, 2020.
If you are wondering. UBC is the University I attend. Well, I attend the Okanagan campus. UBC stands for “University of British Columbia”.
I am starting a blog with a daily track of what I did while we are self-quarantined during the outbreak of this pandemic.
I feel that something historic is happening here.
I thought that maybe in 20 years I will look back at this and be interested in the developments of what was happening and how we responded.
Hopefully, it amounts to something.
If it doesn’t, that’s fine too.
I Thought This Would Happen, I Guess — What Am I Supposed to Say
When I first heard that my friends in Slovakia have their universities shut down for two weeks, I thought to myself, the situation must be bad.
But. It wasn’t.
From what I remember, there were less than a dozen cases in the country. Yet, still, they shut down their universities.
Then I heard that Stanford, Yale, Harvard are shutting down campuses.
Then Ontario, the Netherlands, Kyiv, Australia, and New York City shut down campuses.
I was very interested in why UBC is not shutting down.
The reasoning from an email from the President of UBC was because there was no case of the virus among staff or faculty. However, I thought this was not satisfactory.
The reasoning to close down the University, importantly, was to “flatten-the-curve”.
We were meant to “self-isolate” to prevent further spread of the virus and to help hospitals prioritize those that were first exposed to the virus.
Today, the President released a statement stating that as of March 16th all classes will go online until the end of the semester.
I am happy to see this.
Nicholas Christakis mentioned a study in an interview with Sam Harris on the Making Sense podcast, that claimed that cities during an outbreak of Influenza in 1917 that were pro-active to social distancing (versus reactionary) resulted in fewer deaths per capita.
Hence, there is a strong argument to shut down campuses before an outbreak rather than after one.
The Death Toll
The death toll is not significant. In many ways, the scarier issue is what happens when the hospitals are overwhelmed by the virus.
Italy is currently experiencing that.
I do not want to imagine what that would feel like here with us.
My thoughts are with the people affected by this virus all over the world.
Let’s hope that our politicians and health experts are able to cooperate efficiently to prevent the further spread of this virus.
Until then, self-isolate and remain calm and reasonable!
Before you go…
I’d love if you’d share the article on Facebook/TWITTER if you want your friends to benefit from it in some way at all.
I write to keep you thinking and to keep me thankful and reflective. Cheers and until next time,