More on Colleges and Covid

U.S. counties with large colleges or universities with remote instruction (n = 22) experienced a 17.9% decrease in incidence and university counties with in-person instruction (n = 79) experienced a 56% increase in incidence, comparing the 21-day periods before and after classes started. Counties without large colleges or universities (n = 3,009) experienced a 6% decrease in incidence during similar time frames.


Leidner AJ, Barry V, Bowen VB, et al. Opening of Large Institutions of Higher Education and County-Level COVID-19 Incidence — United States, July 6–September 17, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:14–19. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7001a4external icon

That’s it. That’s the post.

The Pandemic Will Not End Soon – a Case Study in Finger Pointing and Blame Games

Some vaccine experts, though, said they are not surprised by the speed of vaccine distribution so far. “It had to go this way,” Paul Offit, a professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told STAT. “We had to trip and fall and stumble and figure this out.”

Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, said some of the gap between doses administered and delivered is likely due to a program run by CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate those in nursing homes. States participating in the program have to set aside 50% of their doses, which Hannan said could account for a share of the difference between doses shipped and doses administered nationally.

“I don’t think it’s bad,” she said of the pace of distribution so far. “I think it was always going to be like this. And I think that this is actually the easy part.”

Frustration over vaccine rollout builds, as new variant reported in U.S. for first time — https://www.statnews.com/2020/12/29/public-health-experts-grow-frustrated-with-pace-of-covid-19-vaccine-rollout/?utm_campaign=rss

We are definitely so screwed.

College Presidents Fail to Protect Students from Covid-19 – College Clusterfuck Update 11.22.20

In fact, university Presidents — leaders, let us remember — did not mobilize to protect students from Covid. Frankly, I never thought they did, because I do try to pay attention to these things, but to prove it to myself, I went through 33 pages of headlines for the Coronavirus tag in the Chronicle of Higher Education, all the way back to the first entry on February 24 (“Coronavirus-Themed Party at Albany Draws Criticism“)…

As it turns out, protecting students from Covid was never a top priority for University Presidents. The American Council on Education (“a membership organization that mobilizes [ha] the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice”) has published periodic surveys on what University Presidents consider pressing issues.

College Presidents Fail to Mobilize to Protect Students from Covid-19https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/11/university-administrators-fail-to-mobilize-protect-students-covid-19.html

The author of this article doesn’t attempt to hide his bias or contempt for the so-called leaders of our colleges and universities. I’ve made no attempt to hide my disdain either (sharp eyed readers will note my title above deletes two words from the original article title). The college clusterfuck has been one of my recurring themes:

Colleges’ Opening Fueled 3,000 COVID Cases a Day (College Clusterfuck Update)

“I slept on the floor, and woke up to ants crawling on my bed.”

College Clusterfuck 2.0 – “It’s a Dystopian Hell” – Updated

College Town Clusterfuck

The full article contains some pretty sorrid stuff. Enjoy!

Online education will become the standard operating model for higher education. Thousands of colleges and universities will go belly up. Professor Galloway at NYU says it’s simple math. See Galloway’s comments here: Post Pandemic Changes in Consumer Behavior

Covid-19 Data and Rapid Testing

Rapid Covid-19 tests are being deployed by the millions across the nation. The federal government is sending these tests, which can provide results in minutes, to states for educators, students, nursing home patients, first responders, and other sites. That’s a good thing. But in a rush to get individual test results, we’re making a dangerous public health mistake: We’re losing critical data about Covid-19.

For months, the U.S. has struggled to get accurate information about Covid-19 cases and testing about different demographic groups. As rapid tests surge — and are performed at sites that don’t follow specific Covid-19 data reporting processes — even more information will be lost.

The hidden public health hazard of rapid Covid-19 tests — https://www.statnews.com/2020/11/05/rapid-covid-19-tests-hidden-public-health-hazard/?utm_campaign=rss

The Sturgis Motorcycle Event and the Death of Common Sense

South Dakota, which had the most attendees, saw coronavirus cases surge within weeks of the rally’s Aug. 16 close, with the seven-day rolling average going from 84 on Aug. 6 to 214 on Aug. 27. The numbers remained elevated into October: The first day of the month, the seven-day rolling average was 434. The state is second in the nation in cases per capita behind North Dakota, with numbers high enough for the Harvard Global Health Institute to recommend stay-at-home orders.

How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest — https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/10/17/sturgis-rally-spread/

Don’t Blame the Kids…(a lot of them went back to college)

During August 2–September 5, 2020, weekly COVID-19 cases among persons aged 18–22 years increased 55% nationally. Increases were greatest in the Northeast (144%) and Midwest (123%). Increases in cases were not solely attributable to increased testing.

Citation: Salvatore PP, Sula E, Coyle JP, et al. Recent Increase in COVID-19 Cases Reported Among Adults Aged 18–22 Years — United States, May 31–September 5, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 29 September 2020. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6939e4external icon

Colleges’ Opening Fueled 3,000 COVID Cases a Day (College Clusterfuck Update)

The study, done jointly by researchers at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Indiana University, the University of Washington and Davidson College, tracked cellphone data and matched it to reopening schedules at 1,400 schools, along with county infection rates.

Colleges’ Opening Fueled 3,000 COVID Cases a Day, Researchers Say — https://khn.org/news/colleges-opening-fueled-3000-covid-cases-a-day-researchers-say/

Quote for Today – 09.19.20

Higher education committed suicide with its dual racketeering model. First was the college loan racket, in which schools colluded with the federal government to jam too many “customers” through the pipeline who didn’t belong there, and who buried themselves under a lifetime debt obligation they could never escape. The second was the intellectual racket of creating sham fields of study that contaminated all the other “humanities” with poisonous bullshit theory, and eventually even invaded the STEM disciplines. Covid-19 screwed the pooch on all that, scotching the four-year party-hearty in-residence part of the deal. For now, who needs an online class in Contemporary Sexual Transgression ($2000-a-credit) when you can just click on Porn-hub for free? Hundreds of colleges and universities will be going out of business in the years ahead.

James Howard Kunstler — https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/things-going-by/#more-‘

Meanwhile in Oklahoma – 09.17.20

Oklahoma ranks No. 5 in the U.S. for new COVID-19 cases and test positivity, according to the latest White House Coronavirus Task Force weekly report released Wednesday afternoon. The state’s rate of new weekly cases was 142 per 100,000 people, nearly doubling the U.S. average of 74 per 100,000 people. Its test positivity rate was at 10%, which is more than double the national average of 4.8%.

Oklahoma ranks No. 5 in new COVID-19 cases and test positivity in latest White House report — https://tulsaworld.com/news/state-and-regional/oklahoma-ranks-no-5-in-new-covid-19-cases-and-test-positivity-in-latest-white/article_ad2cdb24-f82d-11ea-bf1c-eb13a26cabba.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1

A majority of young adults in the U.S. live with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression

In July, 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents, up from 47% in February, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data. The number living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February. The number and share of young adults living with their parents grew across the board for all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents, as well as in all four main census regions. Growth was sharpest for the youngest adults (ages 18 to 24) and for White young adults.

A majority of young adults in the U.S. live with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression — https://pewrsr.ch/351SVs1

And to think the number of young people living with their parents was based upon data from July. This percentage will go higher since a lot of kids are moving back home from college earlier than expected.

The problem with college during the coronavirus pandemic is not just what’s happening on campuses and in college towns. It’s also that colleges may end up spreading the virus to dozens of other communities. In recent weeks, as students have returned to campus, thousands have become infected. And some colleges have responded by sending students home, including those known to have the virus.

Last week, after hundreds of students came down with the virus, the State University of New York at Oneonta ended in-person classes and sent students home. Colorado College, North Carolina State, James Madison (in Virginia) and Chico State (in California) have taken similar steps. At Illinois State, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, administrators have encouraged some students who have tested positive to leave campus, so they don’t infect other students, and return home.

These decisions to scatter students — rather than quarantine them on campus — have led to widespread criticism. “It’s the worst thing you could do,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s leading infectious-disease expert, said on NBC. “When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection.” – Zach Morin, a University of Georgia student, told WXIA, a local television station, “Once it is open and people are there and spreading it, it doesn’t make sense to send it across the nation.” Susan Dynarski, a University of Michigan economist, wrote on Twitter that “unloading students onto home communities” was “deeply unethical.”

There are no easy answers for colleges, because creating on-campus quarantines brings its own challenges. At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, one student who tested positive — Brianna Hayes — said that no employee checked on her during her week in isolation. “Feverish and exhausted from the virus, she made four trips up and down staircases to move her bedding and other belongings to her isolation room,” The Times’s Natasha Singer writes, in a story about campus quarantines.

Still, many experts say that the colleges that chose to reopen their campuses despite the risks, often for financial reasons, have a moral responsibility to do better. “Universities are not taking responsibility for the risks they are creating,” Sarah Cobey, an epidemiologist at the University of Chicago, said.

Last spring, the meatpacking industry became a vector for spreading the disease, when it quickly reopened and caused hundreds of new infections. This fall, higher education may end up being a similar vector.

David Leonhardt – The New York Times The Morning newsletter email 09.09.20

Clusterfuck.