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Aerial Norwich Campus View in early spring

SPECIAL EDITION: Thinking about COVID-19? So is Norwich faculty.

Everyone is adapting to new realities as we learn to work remotely, educate students and serve people in need and this transition has stimulated intellectual curiosities. Norwich has a series of interdisciplinary essays featuring faculty members’ perspectives on the coronavirus to help us all think through the consequences our nation is facing.

Skilled actors working onstage render ‘liveness’ even through digital channels, across miles, professor says

In the United States and large parts of the world, theatre has disappeared. Here at Norwich, theatre projects in the works for more than a year were shut down before finishing rehearsals. It was dispiriting and even disorienting to see our work evaporate, but, rather than dwell on what is lost, we should also consider what remains of theatre.

Fight against COVID-19, unlike a war, transcends politics, religion, race and ideology, professor argues

Military historians have a tendency to see everything through the lens of war. The public does too: The War on Poverty. The War on Drugs. The War on Terror.

But I would say this of our present struggle with COVID-19: It’s not a war. A fight, yes. One of the biggest fights ever. But not a war.

Social isolation-sparked rush online creates perfect environment for infodemic, professor argues

There are two infectious pandemics at work around the globe. One is a biological virus and the other is disinformation that sows fear, distrust, falsehoods, and errors. They are similar in many ways. Both are spread through human interaction and both are having a tremendous impact on health, the economy, and security. One is understood to be “viral” in the literal sense, where the other has information that can be classified as spreading disinformation, misinformation or rumors in a “viral” fashion via social media.

Microbes must balance reproducing quickly in hosts and keeping hosts healthy enough to remain social

One challenge of studying the ecology and evolution of infectious disease is that the times when the topics I’m most passionate about capture the public attention are often times that are also difficult.  The past few weeks, this sentiment has become particularly unmistakable. In some ways, it has been exciting to see such interest in microbiology and ecology (because that’s what the spread of a disease is — population growth and ecology!) on social media, in the news, and among my friends and relatives.

Reponse by president, Congress offers case study in U.S. constitutional structures

Watching the response to COVID-19 has provided a fascinating case study in constitutional structures. Every day we get new information as federal and state governments respond to the evolving crisis. The Constitution sets up two basic divisions of power — a horizontal division and vertical division. The horizontal division of power consists of the most basic system of shared powers we are all familiar with — the legislative, executive and judicial branches at the federal level. The Constitution also sets up a sharing of power between the federal government and state governments.

Norwich University’s Regimental Band, clad in its blue Corps of Cadets dress uniforms, takes the stage at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on March 12, 2020. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

Long-awaited bicentennial concert is Carnegie Hall’s last act before coronavirus shutdown

Norwich University’s Regimental Band played on at Carnegie Hall, becoming the last act standing before New York’s concert halls and theaters closed to stave off the novel coronavirus.

The band performed its bicentennial concert March 12 in the 599-seat underground Zankel Hall for a crowd of about 150 people, including parents and friends of the musicians and alumni, Col. Todd Edwards, assistant commandant of Norwich’s Corps of Cadets and the Regimental Band’s director, said.

Social lockdown period may allow society time, space to create new pandemic-free normal

Water and wastewater infrastructure are considered “lifeline critical infrastructure” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Therefore, it is fortunate that a technical brief from the World Health Organization provided reassurance that current mechanisms of filtration and disinfection are capable of inactivating COVID-19 and that current evidence indicates low risk to drinking water supplies. It was also noted that COVID-19 does not transmit through the sewage system, with or without treatment, based on the evidence to date. However, this important sector is facing some substantial challenges.

Countries can make destinies by addressing challenges linked to geographic and historical realities, professor says

As the novel coronavirus spreads around the world, it has become clear that some states are better prepared for pandemics than others. Some success stories are truly surprising, and so are some failures. There is one thing that most well-prepared countries have in common: they used to occupy security border regions during the Cold War — the 20th century global rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union that made war more likely among their allies. Some of these countries continue to be in the most volatile regions of the world — this, more than any other factor, has forced them to be well-organized in the face of such massive national challenges.

Even a fatality rate of 1% would leave everyone touched with tragedy, mathematics professor says

I was not worried about the previous outbreaks such as SARS or H1N1. However, I’ve watched with interest and horror since COVID-19 started spreading in the Wuhan province of China a few months ago. What grabbed my attention is its ability to spread via people not showing symptoms and its long incubation period, enabling it to hide and spread throughout a community without being detected until it’s too late. Still, I assumed that by the time it reached the U.S., that we would be fully prepared with personal protective equipment such as masks, as well as testing equipment, to prevent COVID-19 from hiding and spreading “in the shadows.” Unfortunately, for whatever reason, those assumptions were not correct.

 

Exclusionary policies that limit or deny vital resources intensify as political and public ethics quandaries

It’s undeniable that when discussing the topic of immigration in the U.S., even at the best of times, opinions are strongly held. Compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, that puts into question access to all types of goods and resources for every person within the U.S., and divisive lines related to citizenry are further intensified.

 

Student bloggers write about transitioning to e-learning, missing routine

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic turned the world upside-down, mostly emptying campus,  distancing classmates and sending learning online. As they transitioned, Norwich student bloggers used the “In Their Words” webpage to document challenges logistical and emotional and offer advice and encouragement.

On March 20, when Norwich extended spring break to monitor the pandemic and keep students safe and healthy, blogger Isabella Anemikos, a freshman nursing major from Milton, Vermont, wrote that she’d yearned to resume campus life but understood why she couldn’t.

Stakes have been raised immeasurably for hospitals, newly minted nursing graduates

In 1933, Dr. John Gifford of what is now the Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, Vermont, nicked his finger while performing surgery on a patient with a streptococcal infection. Gifford contracted the then-deadly disease and died several weeks later despite treatment from the best specialists and staff at the Deaconess Hospital in Boston (now called the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center).

“That which has been is that which shall be, and that which has been done is that which shall be done. There is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

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