The University of Miami just announced new anti-COVID policies for the start of the Spring Semester. Among them:
- First, classes will start on time Tuesday, January 18, 2022. However, we will pivot to remote instruction for the first two weeks of the spring semester, with in-person instruction resuming on January 31. All orientation activities will be held remotely as scheduled. Students in clinical rotations will be permitted to continue as scheduled, subject to requirements of their host sites.
- Only staff who have been on campus directly supporting students and faculty should return to on-site work next week as planned, while those who are now working remotely will be expected back in person on January 31.
- Proof of a negative COVID test within 48 to 72 hours of arrival on campus will be required for returning students, and residential students will test again upon arrival. If you feel unwell, delay your return to campus until you are better, and we strongly encourage those traveling to have a negative test before making their way to Miami.
This is smart in two ways. First, it means our classes will not contribute to the spread of the new variant while it is most prevalent in the population. Second, it creates a two-week period for students who caught something at home or in transit to figure it out and, in most cases, get over it.
I gather a lot of universities around the country are doing something similar. The longer this goes on, of course, the more it will have a permanent effect on higher education in general and law teaching in particular.
I am not a fan of Xmas music. Indeed, one of the few benefits of being in never-ending quarantine has been that I have not set foot in a single shop playing an endless loop of carols or, worse, muzak carols. (Negative props to ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ and its ilk, none of which improves with repetition either.)
But I liked this one. And I don’t think it’s just because it has pedant appeal:
Thanks to Wendy G. for sending it my way!
Walter Reed Army Hospital may have developed a general vaccine that will work against both past and future variants of COVID-19, indeed against the whole family of spike-protein-using coronaviruses.
If this pans out, it’s a game-changer. Except, I suspect, for the 3% of the population that is immunosuppressed (most commonly due to anti-rejection meds for transplants or to various chemotherapies), but even they benefit if everyone around them is vaxxed.
Some help is on the way for the immunosuppressed too in the form of a new monoclonal antibody COVID-prevention treatment that lasts up to six months and is about 70% effective.
From Monmouth University polling via Kevin Drum:
Speaks for itself, with however the minor caveat that people sometimes tell pollsters what they want to be the case rather than admit some truths.
Maybe I’m an optimist, but I think this trick that a music prof a the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga tried on his students would not work on law students:
on the second page of the three-page syllabus he included the location and combination to a locker, inside of which was a $50 cash prize.
“Free to the first who claims; locker one hundred forty-seven; combination fifteen, twenty-five, thirty-five,” read the passage in the syllabus. But when the semester ended on Dec. 8, students went home and the cash was unclaimed.
I think law students are socialized to read the fine print. On the other hand, I also think this can wear off. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a significant fraction of law professors might not read all the details, if only because we know that fine print often isn’t binding.
I was reading a long and complicated contract that I was thinking of signing (details are NDA’d, so don’t ask), and I came upon this piece of contemporary drafting:
Whenever the context of this Agreement permits, the masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter genders, and reference to singular or plural shall be interchangeable with the other.
My first thought was this showed that the times are indeed changing.
My second thought was that if I was a contract drafter (in some evil alternate universe; I’m much better at litigation!) I’d want to put this into my standard forms.
And my third thought was that if I was reviewing a contract for something important and it didn’t have a clause like this, I’d ask when the form was last updated. Stale forms can be dangerous…