Day 4: Balance

There are 94 confirmed cases in Virginia — nearly double the number on Monday. The VA Department of Health is including death and hospitalization statistics in its daily report for the first time. Nationwide, there are over 11,000 active cases, with 4,000 in New York alone.

COVID-19 In Virginia
COVID-19 Cases in Virginia on March 19, 2020. From the Virginia Department of Health: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/

Find balance. Breathe.

Remember that “social isolation” really means “physical isolation.” We are profoundly social creatures, and our ability cultivate connection despite physical distance will be key to getting through this thing.

Today was mainly spent working on my class. Doing so made me miss being in the physical classroom, but also reminded me that I’ve been doing the hybrid-asynchronous thing for a long time, and that this particular class is extremely capable of making this shift and thriving. Here’s what I came up with in terms of an introduction to the syllabus for 20th-Century Russia, Pandemic Edition:

Greetings all! So much has changed since we parted two weeks ago. I hope this finds you all well and safely hunkered down. We will be resuming our exploration of Soviet history next week, but obviously circumstances are fluid, and no one can predict exactly how this pandemic will unfold. As your instructor, I am committed to helping you get as much out of the course in its new format as possible. At the same time, my primary concern is your well-being and safety in these challenging times.  We will proceed accordingly. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or concerns at any time. I will send out an announcement soon outlining more details of my provisional plan and soliciting input on where we go from here. Meanwhile, please read through this revised syllabus so you will be ready for the resumption of coursework next Tuesday.

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