Friday, April 24, 11:53 AM

April 24, 2020

Good morning everyone, hope you are all safe and healthy. Just a few things for today as we head into the weekend.

The Islamic Holy month of Ramadan began April 23 and ends May 24. Academic Affairs sent out a reminder and more information about this Thursday at 4:28 pm with a link to the Student Academic and Religious Accommodations Request. The email notes that having observant students in varying time zones presents some new challenges for them this year. I have also attached a flyer, created by one of our students last year, that provides some information about practices associated with the holiday.

More information on the temporary university policy shift on multi-year NTT faculty contracts was shared by me in an email to all faculty yesterday at 6:52 pm Thursday evening. I go into more detail on the university-wide decision I mentioned briefly in last Thursday’s update to renew all multi-year FTNTT contracts that came up this year on a year-to-year basis.

There will be a call for applications for the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities position next week. Look for more details then.

Your incredible efforts are making a real difference for our students. Fr. Steve received a letter of appreciation from a student’s family and I would like to share an excerpt with you: “As excited as (our daughter) was to go to Seattle and begin her college years, like many first year students our daughter…struggled with being so far from home. We all cried that September afternoon in Redhawk Center when we said goodbye. Even a month later she was tearing up at the end of Family Weekend.  Then she went on the New Student Retreat. We heard about new friends. By Winter quarter she had a ‘favorite’ professor. When we met her at the airport March 14 her tears were for leaving her new community and her friends that are ‘like family’. You all are doing a wonderful job – please know how grateful we are. Happy Easter.”

Granted, that letter was about the on-campus experience, but who we are has not changed. It is because of who we are as individuals and a community that I believe we can provide the best possible virtual experience across the time we need to do that in this pre-stability period, however long that may be.               


The term “physical distancing” seems to have replaced the term “social distancing”. No article reference here, but I increasingly see “physical distancing” used and appreciate the distinction. You’ll see below that Mike has switched too, good enough for me.

Mike Myint Update. Short and sweet today, with a link to an interesting infographic about detection rates and the importance of more testing capabilities prior to changes in physical distancing measures.

I am a bit of an infographic nerd. This modelling is definitely on the high end of early case recognition, but as we find earlier cases back in January from CA showing earlier spread in the US than we had suspected, this type of "iceberg" visualization shows why preparation before an outbreak is so important as recognition is not easy, especially for novel agents. Usually we estimate recognized cases (clinically) as 1 case with10 sub-clinical cases and 100 pre-clinical cases. This modelling shows 10,000 in NYC by March 1. Sounding like a broken record, but models like this again highlights the importance of broad testing as a pre-requisite for decreasing physical distancing measures. The only reason we have to model this is that we don't have broadly available testing either March 1st or even April 23rd.


Hidden Outbreaks Spread Through U.S. Cities Far Earlier Than Americans Knew, Estimates Say