Eduvation Blog

Turkeys Come Home to Roost

Good morning, and TGIF! 

We’ve survived 2 weeks since (Canadian) Thanksgiving – but of course, that also means we’re starting to see the results of all that socializing in COVID19 case counts. Around the world, countries are hitting new daily records and hospitals are starting to get overwhelmed in some places.

Yesterday there weren’t many announcements to note coming out of higher ed in Canada, the US, or the English-speaking world. (Maybe my internet was down?)

So instead let’s focus on 5 key concepts about the pandemic, and then I’ll take off for the weekend…


State of the Pandemic

Europe: France has extended 9pm curfews to 46 regions and about 70% of the country’s population, starting tonight. The Czech Republic has ordered most shops closed. Belgium anticipates another lockdown next week.

America: US hospitalizations have hit a 2-month high, and deaths are at record levels in 6 states – leading even Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to urge people to stay home. In the town of LaCrosse WI, thousands of students returned to 3 colleges and packed downtown bars in September; sure enough, COVID19 raced through the student-age population like wildfire, then spread to the community, and ultimately hit the nursing homes with deadly effect.(Meanwhile, judges have been striking down stay-at-home orders and restrictions on crowds in restaurants and bars.)

“Completely, completely, completely predictable. Everything we’ve known about this virus since January, everything we’ve known about 20-year-olds for the last 3,000 years — it’s predictable.”Paraic Kenny, Cancer Geneticist, Kabara Cancer Research Institute, LaCrosse WI

 Canada: Here in Canada, we’ve set a new record with 2,786 new cases yesterday, thanks to new records in BC and Alberta. Manitoba reports its “deadliest day” of the pandemic, and has imposed new social distancing requirements on schools in Winnipeg and northern Manitoba, with more remote learning options and fewer extracurriculars. There are now 6 Toronto hospitals with COVID19 outbreaks. “Many of the cases that we are seeing now are the result of spread over Thanksgiving when families gathered together.”

Speaking of turkeys coming home to roost…

Bypassing Quarantine in Calgary

as of Nov 2, international travellers arriving in Calgary can opt for COVID19 testing (a rapid test at the airport and a second test 6 days later) instead of quarantine. Premier Jason Kenney is impatient to “get the economy firing again on all cylinders.” (Sigh.) The problem, of course, is that most tests still deliver some false negatives early in the infection, but while a carrier could already be infectious. (See COVID 101 below). Eliminating the quarantine requirement won’t persuade most of us to get back on a plane anytime soon. (As for me, I’m thinking sometime in 2024. Maybe!)

Darwin Award Candidates

And speaking of impatience, a Quebecker has assembled 543 signatures on a petition urging the federal government to join the UK “human challenge trials,” which deliberately infect healthy volunteers with COVID19 to test unproven vaccines. Not only do these people forget that a percent or two will likely die in the process, but even more may experience the many non-fatal but potentially lifelong disabilities COVID19 is already causing (see COVID 101 below).

Today I share 5 key concepts that everyone should understand about this disease and the course of the pandemic (but clearly far too many don’t) – in pictures! The Novel Coronavirus causes far worse things than death. A second wave is inevitable. We’re always 2 weeks behind. Your social circle is way bigger than you think it is. And the real return to a semblance of normal will likely be in 2024.  Check it out here.


An Invitation

Join me at SEMM Forum Online

Marketing, recruitment and enrolment professionals should consider attending the 2020 SEMM Forum, being held virtually this year Nov 17-19. I’ll be presenting on “Post-secondary Post-COVID,” and moderating a presidents’ panel on “After the Plague: Has PSE Changed for Real this Time?” But there will also be plenty of sessions by other experts and practitioners, on challenging topics like student engagement, success, and enrolment during these turbulent times. What’s working in 2020? How do we prepare for 2021? I’m looking forward to finding out!  Plus – you, gentle reader, qualify for a 30% discount using this registration code: EDUV30 (until Oct 31).  SEMM Forum


Discover KPU’s Campuses

Kwantlen Polytechnic U released a series of 5 campus tour videos this week. To pick just one, Hannah does a nice job introducing us to the Langley campus, from brewery and greenhouses to golf course and wetlands, with a cheerful and occasionally funny approach. (Of course, the recurrent refrain “keep in mind all of these facilities are closed right now,” has got to be frustrating for everybody.)  Hannah also skips through the Surrey Campus in a separate video (how are there 6 of her at once?). Amanda also seems to have fun touring us through the Tech Campus in Cloverdale (“Ooo, buttons!”), and Richmond Campus.


Have a great weekend. Be safe and stay well!

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