(from the Washington Post and New York Times) As of March 9, 2020, more than 580 schools across the U.S. have closed in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus. China, Italy, Japan and South Korea have closed all of their schools, leaving more than 290 million children out of the classroom, according to the United Nations. Thirteen other countries, including the United States, have closed some schools. While children do not appear to be at high risk for contracting the disease or developing complications, some argue that closing schools has worked to contain pandemics in the past. Others argue there is not sufficient data to warrant such disruption.
More from the Washington Post and the New York Times
(from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Infectious disease expert Dr. Abdu Sharkawy, based in Toronto, has urged people to stay calm in the face of quickly changing news regarding COVID-19. In a viral Facebook post, originally shared on March 5, he said he is not scared of COVID-19 but concerned about its implications on societal connections across the globe. "We have to maintain some degree of functionality in our everyday life," he said. "You can't stop living, you can't stop using public transit, you can't stop travelling entirely, because the global economy and our everyday lives depend on being able to maintain those things at least at some level." He recommends people rely on balanced and credible sources to stay calm.
More from CBC
Due to recommendations to practice "social distancing" and not gather in large groups, some colleges are cancelling on-campus admissions events to woo admitted students. Some are using PlatformQ Education to host online sessions instead. Admissions of Chinese students is drawing special attention, due to the impact of their enrollment on institutional budgets. Some colleges that admit students from China are not changing admissions policies, but offering them online learning opportunities in the event they will be unable to travel by the fall. Others are allowing international students to defer a year. The Institute of International Education has conducted a survey about how colleges are handling recruitment in China specifically. Most colleges have seen limited effects on their current Chinese student enrollments and have been offering support to students on campus.
More from Inside Higher Ed
Colleges and universities around the country are moving classes online, holding exams remotely and cancelling or adjusting large-scale events. Johns Hopkins University will hold its Division III basketball games in an empty arena, following Maryland's first confirmed cases last week. Colleges have also canceled many study abroad programs and suspended university-sponsored travel abroad, even into the summer. Most campuses that have canceled classes have not closed dorms or dining halls, however, as some students cannot travel home at the present time.
More from Inside Higher Ed
The business impact of the spread of COVID-19 may take one of three possible scenarios, according to McKinsey & Company: quick recovery, global slowdown or global pandemic and recession. This depends on a number of unknown factors: how effective public health responses outside of China are, if the virus is seasonal or not, fatality ratio and change in behaviors. In the best case, the crisis should subside by Q2 and worst case by Q3 or beyond, argues McKinsey. The Brookings Institution has outlined seven possible scenarios regarding changes in the world economy.
More from McKinsey & Company and the Brookings Institution
On a lighter note, students in Wuhan, China, whose schools have been closed since early February, have found a clever way to shut down the app that was developed to deliver homework assignments during the closure. They knew that if the app, called DingTalk, got enough one-star reviews, it would get kicked out of the App Store. Its ratings fell from 4.9 to 1.4 stars overnight.
More from the Morning Brew
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