Faculty Home Work
When institutions started sending students and professors home due to COVID-19, more than a few academics opined on social media that this would be a boon for research productivity: the idea, presumably, was that isolation breeds creativity. A significant share of these posts mentioned Isaac Newton, who discovered calculus while “social distancing” during the Great Plague of London, starting in 1665.
Newton -- then still a student at the University of Cambridge and not yet a sir -- also watched apples fall from “that tree” on the grounds of his family estate during the plague, as a recent Washington Postessay explains. The period has since been called Newton’s annus mirabilis, or “year of wonders,” even if nearby London itself was draped in death.
The retorts came almost as quickly as these views were voiced. No, this spring will not be a time for groundbreaking insights and increased productivity, and institutions should not expect either, academics argued. Many also pointed out that Newton was not a professor during his isolation, let alone one thrusting all his courses online for the first time. Nor was he a parent, simultaneously acting as daycare provider or teacher to children displaced by widespread pre- and K-12 school closures.... continued
Orange County has 30 new cases of coronavirus; total number up to 125 -- Orange County has 125 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Monday, March 23, up from the 95 reported on Sunday, marking the biggest one-day jump in the numbers thus far. The number of cases nearly doubled over the weekend in Orange County. And, about 600 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Southern California, with that number expected to grow quickly as more testing is done. Jeong Park in the Orange County Register -- 3/24/20
California now says it needs 50,000 more hospital beds to meet coronavirus surge -- New modeling shows California needs 50,000 additional hospital beds to meet the incoming surge of coronavirus patients, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday. It’s a dramatic jump from the 20,000 extra beds Newsom said the state needed just two days ago, and reflects what the governor describes as dynamic modeling that’s constantly changing as new numbers about coronavirus infections pour in. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times$ Thomas Fuller, Tim Arango and Jo Becker in the New York Times$ -- 3/24/20
Coronavirus: Social distancing measures could last two or three months, Newsom warns -- Tough social distancing measures to stamp out the coronavirus’ spread may need to last two or three months in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested on Monday, in a drastic contrast with President Trump, who just minutes earlier had predicted the U.S. economy could reopen for business in weeks, not months. Casey Tolan, Fiona Kelliher, Paul Rogers and Kerry Crowley in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/24/20
Trump says he may soon push businesses to reopen, defying the advice of coronavirus experts -- President Trump, under growing pressure to rescue an economy in free fall, said Monday that he may soon loosen federal guidelines for social distancing and encourage shuttered businesses to reopen — defying public health experts, who have warned that doing so risks accelerating the spread of the novel coronavirus or even allowing it to rebound. Philip Rucker, Jeff Stein, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker in the Washington Post$ -- 3/24/20