Now that COVID-19 cases have been reported in 28 states, I think we can say that efforts to confine it have failed. We have our first case here in Minnesota, a person returning from a trip on a cruise ship (Why do people do those cruises anymore, anyway? It’s like jumping into big bottle of culture medium and getting stirred around for a few weeks.) My university has sent out information to all faculty about what to do if cases arise — we’re referred to this Safe Campus website for updated info. Ironically, the email about this also says, “Our Emergency Management team—made up of individuals from across campus—is meeting weekly”. Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? If someone on the team is infected, the whole damn lot of them will go down.
My wife is off in Colorado, and as it turns out went through the Denver airport at the same as an infected but asymptomatic traveler from Italy was walking among the oblivious herd. She’s coming back in about two weeks through the same mob of disease-ridden cattle. We old, frail people have been advised to avoid all social contact, which sounds like a fine idea to me — I’m a denizen of the internet, that’s where I do all my socializing — but I have a job that involves talking with lots of people all the time. Fortunately, I don’t touch students…but I do get piles of papers handed to me. Maybe this will motivate me to adopt all electronic submissions.
We’re also advised that, instead of crude handshakes, we should adopt the Vulcan greeting. I can do that. I’m all for it.
However, this recommendation rarely comes with the necessary warning: do not, I repeat, DO NOT ever greet someone with a Vulcan mind-meld. This is right out, even if it would be a great teaching technique.
I was planning on going out for a nice walk in town today, but I think I’ve just talked myself into sitting at home alone.