Rapidly gaining-in-popularity political scientist has a vivid imagination:
Imagine if instead of living in some fantasy world in which 20-year-old kids practice social distancing for a virus they perceive themselves personally immune from, unis & colleges spent the spring/summer intensely building up their IT/remote learning infrastructures?! https://t.co/UZ4vWSb8R2— Rachel "The Doc" Bitecofer 📈🔭🍌 (@RachelBitecofer) September 8, 2020
This would be a fantasy. Young people not enrolled in college have their own interests and make their own lifestyle choices. So do residential college students, who have decided both to obtain a degree and to make the most out of their situation, which is to congregate with perhaps hundreds of fellow students. Add to this the reality that most young individuals, as with most young individuals throughout history, have a sense, however unrealistic, of their own invulnerability.
Colleges and universities, in inevitable pursuit of profit, failed (as Bitecofer notes) to build up their information technology and/or remote learning infrastructure. But their failure was not primarily yours.
Most objective individuals, including public officials, knew President Trump was lying when as of mid-May he had said fifteen (15) times that the novel coronavirus would, as he usually put it, "go away." It was likely that whatever the dampening effect the arrival of warm weather would have on SARS-Cov-2, the air conditioning which would predominate in the summer would push numbers upward.
Then, of course, would come the fall and with it, the arrival of cooler weather and more viruses, yanking the infection rate higher.
Many governors, especially of the Democratic variety, took the pandemic seriously. But no chief executive said what needed to be said. Their constituents could have been told something like
Summer is coming. If we want schools and colleges to open this fall, we have only one choice. That is to bite the bullet in the summer. Parties, gatherings at beaches- lakes, rivers, the ocean, and elsewhere- athletic events, indoor dining, and all the other things we like to do in the warm weather must be curtailed. Severely. It won't be easy but the alternative is no in-person education in September. And that goes for both children, students who commute to an institution of higher education, and the young adults we parents send off to college.
There was not done for varied reasons. One has been virtually, if not totally ignored, but will not be in my next post.