Thinking about COVID-19 and the response the US as a whole has taken, I think politics have played too important a part. Decisions should be based on the best evidence presented and not on “will this get me elected or re-elected?” But we see this kind of response from the local levels all the way up. Each town, locale and even university has to think of the bottom dollar and how this will impact the long term. Working in the Emergency Operations Center for Clemson University has given me some insight that perhaps others will never see. The due diligence with each and every decision regarding teaching and the students is exhausting. No decision is made lightly.
Clemson University has taken extraordinary steps to account for and, help if possible, every student enrolled and all the employees associated with CU. The details that have been taken care of are incredible. I say employees associated because CU is worried about their contractor and outside entities as much as those they directly employ. The care and time spent making sure the messaging is right and available down to how we will feed those students who are left on campus, the process is daunting.
The collaboration and cooperation I have seen over the last month is really what Clemson is about. Different groups, different responsibilities, completely different mindsets all came together to get the job done and it is still ongoing. The question lingering now is how long this will go on. Events and activities are being cancelled or re-imagined through the summer. Will this continue into the fall? We don’t know right now, but if it does, Clemson will be ready. Every contingency has been thought of and batted around for solutions.
I do wish the governors of all the states could come to an agreement to work together. I don’t think it does a lot of good to close one state and others are spreading the disease in a neighboring state, perhaps China did it best, closed everything! The US is slowly catching on that it’s real and we have to deal with it. I hope we do.