No Easy Answers

Very sad, and I’m really feeling for the parents who have sent their kids back, and are worrying even more now. This kid had a hidden disease that was triggered by catching Covid — none of us can know if our kids might have a similarly rare hidden condition.

[Editing to note — I misunderstood what the writer was trying to say — the kid didn’t have a hidden disease. The condition that killed him was a rare complication of Covid and other viral illnesses. But I think the basic point still stands — none of us can predict which of our kids might have that rare reaction.]

No easy answers here; I see my 8th grader struggling to keep motivated with her classes without the energy of her classmates and teachers to boost her. I know it’s super-hard for some students to learn remotely.

I admit, at this point, I don’t know what the right point is to reopen colleges and universities, or when I’d be comfortable sending my own kids to in-person classes. (We’re still 5 years away from needing to answer that.) There have always been students catching contagious diseases on campus, some of them fatal; I’m not saying we should hold out for complete safety.

But I think one thing is clear; I’d feel a lot happier about it if my kid were vaccinated before going back. Given that vaccines should be arriving soon, I think I’d opt for remote for this academic year entirely.

For UIC’s spring semester, the entire English department is planning to still be remote, and my own classes will be remote and asynchronous. It’s not ideal, but I think it’s the right choice for now.

Nineteen-year-old North Carolina university student in “tremendous shape” dies from COVID-19

On Monday, a 19-year-old college student at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, died from neurological complications after contracting COVID-19. Chad Dorrill, described as being in “tremendous shape” by his uncle, contracted the virus after his return to Boone for fall classes. After developing flu-like symptoms, Dorrill returned home, where he tested positive on September 7.

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