Friday, March 20, 2020

A Covid-19 Advisory and a Message to Students

Another day of Corona virus pandemonium (Coronavirus, Covid-19). In spite of the many warnings by medical professionals and government officials it seems the student population has largely ignored advisories to self isolate and halt the spread of the virus. Recently, many television news outlets featured video clips of spring break students assembled on Florida’s beaches. Many of our younger generation are determined to party and object to the thought of social isolation (is there an ISO spec for this?). It might be difficult to criticize students for their spring break enthusiasm the day after (the permitted) election primary in Florida. Students are questioning the double standard of logic imposed by government officials. By now we should recognize the double standard concept can extend beyond political boundaries and propagate a real public health emergency (political viruses aside).

By nature, students are social creatures. Colleges and universities are tasked with imparting both knowledge and social skills. The appearance of a pandemic on the scale of Covid-19 could be unprecedented and we might take a different approach in communicating a “party in place” message to the student community.

As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday, our Korean friends have excelled in their efforts to contain Covid-19. A tour of Military service is compulsory in Korean society. It’s likely that student participation in the Korean Armed Forces has instilled a greater sense of discipline among their youth. This social discipline may be responsible for Koreans’ success in more effectively containing Covid-19. How might we communicate this discipline to our students in the US?

A popular music video I found on YouTube might be inadvertently useful in communicating the concept of “party in place” (see the video link below).  An industrial site was chosen for the video shoot.  While not an optimal party setting, it provides an example of how we might socialize with minimal personal contact. It’s interesting to note that there are less than ten performers in the group. Some are wearing protective face masks, others are not, but all maintain a distance of at least six feet among them. As they move about the factory setting and emerge outdoors the discipline of their spacing and formation is maintained. Note the formation found at video/frame time index 2:27.

While you might be critical of this example, (after all it's not a military drill) it seems to fit the current specification for social gatherings (someone needs to create an ISO/MiSO spec for this). Placing limitations on student gatherings has always been problematic. If you've ever told an American how to party you might be in big trouble.  It's our nature. Unnecessary examples: Don't mess with Texas, Don't mess with the US.  Our country began with a great party in Boston Harbor.  Given the Covid-19 epidemic, there's a real public health threat to consider.  Clear the deck, party inside and be safe.  

Students: Covid-19 can be life threatening to yourself and others (really). Be responsible and act accordingly.

I hope you find this blog post useful. Besides, MiSO's has a really cool party video. Be safe everyone.  Have a great week end.

Thanks MiSo. We love you!

Regards to all,
Thomas D. Jay

Semiconductor Industry Consultant
Thomas D. Jay YouTube Channel

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References and acknowledgements:

[1] YouTube: MiSO music video.

1 comment :

Your comments are welcome. I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions. Many thanks for your readership. - Thomas D. Jay