Friday, April 3, 9:46 AM

April 3, 2020

Good morning everyone, I hope “Prep week” has gone well for you. Remember that you have the resources of CDLI and the Center for Faculty Development as you continue to work on your courses for Monday. Also, keep checking in with each other as we’re all learning different tricks and tips for our classes.

The university has created virtual “Student Support Centers”.  There are separate sites for current students and future students and they are now featured on the main university web page. They are the best sources for all internal Seattle U information for students, take a look.

Look to include some regular synchronous/live contacts with students in your classes across the quarter, even if they are more “asynchronous” overall. I mentioned the encouragement from CDLI to lean toward synchronous/live approaches. At the same time, I know a few classes were already planned to be entirely asynchronous this quarter. Even if you have an asynchronous class completely prepared, please look to include some synchronous/live component to connect with students and connect students with each other. I know some students will have problems with live components due to time zone and technology issues (it works well but not perfectly), so be flexible in how to reach out to them, but as I mentioned in yesterday’s update we want to remain as connected with and supportive of our students as possible. It matters for them and for us.

When you host Zoom meetings, you can control audio and video from other participants. When you are hosting a Zoom meeting, there is a “Manage Participants” button at the bottom of the Zoom screen. After you click on it, the list of participants comes up on the right side, above Chat if that is open. When you go to a participant’s name, a “more” button appears. Click on that and you will get the option to turn off their video and audio feeds. This is a way to manage unwanted class/meeting interruptions. More info here.

Meeting chats are saved differently depending on how you record a Zoom meeting. If you record the meeting “in the cloud” then only the messages sent to everyone are recorded. If you save the Zoom meeting “locally” then all the private chats you wrote and received are also included. More info here.

The university has updated travel restrictions to include New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to be consistent with new CDC guidance.  More info here.


Governor Inslee extended the Stay Home – Stay Safe order through May 4More information is here. This extension was expected, but he also enhanced some restrictions. An earlier development they mention in that article that impacts campus and the new Center for Science and Innovation is a halt on “non-essential” construction projects. I understand that project was ahead of schedule when construction was halted; the length of the construction shutdown and what they do to catch up afterwards will determine if it stays on schedule.

Mike Myint update: Today he demonstrates the value of the humanities in tackling this pandemic with a history lesson. Liberal arts for all pre-med majors? Yes, we do that.

Learning from History - Lessons from the 1918 Pandemic

The linked article (from National Geographic at bottom) has a very interesting comparison for how different cities reacted to the 1918 influenza pandemic. Social distancing and the effects on spread of a deadly pandemic is reviewed in this nice concise article on the interventions and the death rates of various cities.

The upshot of this article is that cities who started social distancing earlier and kept longer, had fewer deaths. Note that the graph shows relative death rates per 100,000 residents so they are comparable from city to city. Seattle's experience, which I have studied in the past started social distancing (and masking) earlier and lasted longer than most other West-coast cities, specifically San Francisco. The city fared better and likely efforts by mayor Uli Hansen and other leaders saved thousands of lives.

A deadly influenza kept Seattle indoors and in masks in 1918

Another interesting article by MIT/Fed Reserve recently published comparing cities in the 1918 pandemic from both a reduction in death as well as how their economies fared afterwards. It shows that those cities that put earlier and longer interventions in place, did better in subsequent years after the 1918 pandemic. Most interesting was comparing Minneapolis and St. Paul, two cities across a river that had different approaches to the pandemic and different outcomes.

I love the title of the paper referenced in the NY times. "Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu". The full article is Cities That Went All In on Social Distancing in 1918 Emerged Stronger for It.

Of course, one can't overlay as the 1918 was influenza with known seasonality, and the Covid-19 is a novel coronavirus. In 1918, summer mostly ended this pandemic in the Northern Hemisphere. It remains to be seen if there will be seasonality with this virus as it spans the globe. Regardless we can learn a lot from the lessons of the past so as not to relive the worst aspects of the 1918 Spanish Flu.


How some cities ‘flattened the curve’ during the 1918 flu pandemic