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Law Schools going ONLINE 2020/2021

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From the University of Alberta 3 minutes ago. The Faculty of Law is yet to make a specific announcement yet, but I assume one will follow in the next couple weeks now that the university has made an announcement 

 

FALL TERM 2020: MOSTLY ONLINE AND REMOTE INSTRUCTION, WITH SOME IN-PERSON LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

Every fall, we welcome thousands of students to the University of Alberta and September 2020 will be no different. What will be different is the mix of learning experiences that we offer to suit the various needs of our students. While some students may be close to campus, we also recognize that not all of our students may be able to return to campus in September. Our goal is to create robust, high-quality learning opportunities for all.

In September 2020, the majority of our classes will be delivered remotely and online. However, where possible, we are committed to providing small group in-person learning and experiential learning such as labs and clinical instruction, especially in those programs where in-person instruction is essential. In cases where students cannot join activities in-person, we commit that alternate arrangements will be made so that progress in programs can continue.

A quality learning environment is a safe learning environment. Yesterday, we spoke with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health which has given us a much better perspective on conditions and restrictions that will likely remain in the fall. That meeting helped to inform our decision to continue with delivering the majority of instruction online, with a mix of other learning opportunities where possible. Throughout our planning, we will continue to work with the Ministry of Advanced Education and the CMO to ensure that we are meeting public health and safety guidelines. As the fall term progresses, we must be prepared to be flexible.

This decision allows our community to deal with some of our current uncertainty. Students and instructors can now move forward with planning and decision making knowing the direction we’ve set.

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11 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

People who live at home and have parents with serious co-morbidities are always at risk of bringing home viruses to those people, and COVID-19 isn't realistically speaking any more viral than many of those diseases or any more likely to kill them. The reason COVID-19 is serious is because of how quickly it spread through our population and the risk of overwhelming the healthcare system.

Assuming that risk is adequately managed, COVID-19 is, at worst, marginally worse than a particularly bad flu season. Leading models suggest the death toll in the USA will be about 50,000 more than the higher-end estimates of the 2017-18 US flu season, and much of that is due to the fact that the USA poorly reacted to the initial outbreaks. It's likely that 

To be honest, people with co-morbidities are probably safer at this point than they were during the 2017-18 flu season, because of all the extra precautions being taken. 

TL;DR: if people are stressed out about bringing home this virus to their parents with serious co-morbidities, they likely should be stressed out all the time for the rest of their parent's lives. 

I understand that with a vaccine this is just as bad as the flu, but the main point: there isn't a vaccine. Also, the fact that deaths will "only" be 50,000 more than the 2017-2018 flu season is after all the social distancing, travel restrictions, etc. I also don't think current models are nearly as accurate as people think due to low information symmetry (between recorded cases and actual cases). If everyone was being tested frequently, then the numbers would have a lot more weight in comparing the virus to others. 

And trust me, as someone with a father over the age of 80, I'm worried about him all the time - I just don't need one more thing to worry about. I want to meet everyone in person and have classes somewhere outside of my house, but not if it's even slightly more likely that my father will die from pneumonia, organ failure, septic shock, etc. without me beside him. I think that's a fair opinion, even if slightly irrational

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, dak said:

I understand that with a vaccine this is just as bad as the flu, but the main point: there isn't a vaccine. Also, the fact that deaths will "only" be 50,000 more than the 2017-2018 flu season is after all the social distancing, travel restrictions, etc. I also don't think current models are nearly as accurate as people think due to low information symmetry (between recorded cases and actual cases). If everyone was being tested frequently, then the numbers would have a lot more weight in comparing the virus to others. 

Well no, with a vaccine this is likely much less bad than a particularly bad flu season. Without a vaccine, but with the current measures, this is only marginally worse than a bad flu season.

I disagree re: models. Models account for information asymmetry, and I don't think there's any evidence that models are under-correcting for said asymmetry. If anything, models are likely to overcorrect for asymmetry because initial data suggested that we had a much higher delta between recorded and actual cases, while more recent data has suggested that data was likely inaccurate. Same deal with death rates and other factors that push models to predict more deaths. 

I also think you're really underestimating the information asymmetry of other diseases. Essentially the entire world and healthcare community is focused on identifying COVID-19 cases and treating them. That's not true of other diseases – nobody was freaking out about the 2009 H1N1 pandemic or the 2017-18 flu season, so there was no concerted effort to identify all cases. That's why the 2009 H1N1 pandemic may have infected more people, as a proportion of global population, than the Spanish Flu, but nobody cares or really looked into it. 

All of which is to say, this really shouldn't be causing people much more stress than daily life (except for the fact that mental health suffers in isolation). If you're a healthy adult, you'll likely be fine. If you're a health child, you'll probably be fine. If you have co-morbidities, you are only marginally more at risk than you are from many other events that have occurred in your lifetime. 

Hell, early data shows Canada recorded net-fewer deaths during January, February, and March than past years, suggesting that COVID-19 related-sutdowns caused fewer other deaths, including deaths from traffic accidents and seasonal flus, than COVID-19 caused.

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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3 hours ago, meandtheboys said:

Just got this from UBC:

 

what?? if you haven't experienced racing for a library bathroom stall with a SNAIL, have you even gone to Allard?

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2 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Well no, with a vaccine this is likely much less bad than a particularly bad flu season. Without a vaccine, but with the current measures, this is only marginally worse than a bad flu season.

Sorry, I wasn't clear in my last post - we're kind of saying the same thing: if we had a vaccine this would be nothing compared to a bad flu season. My point is that since we don't have a vaccine, the situations aren't comparable, especially since environmental factors are different. Also, there (fortunately) isn't a control group with no social distancing, travel restrictions, etc. (even though the US nearly did this 🙄)

 

2 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I disagree re: models. Models account for information asymmetry, and I don't think there's any evidence that models are under-correcting for said asymmetry. If anything, models are likely to overcorrect for asymmetry because initial data suggested that we had a much higher delta between recorded and actual cases, while more recent data has suggested that data was likely inaccurate. Same deal with death rates and other factors that push models to predict more deaths. 

I also think you're really underestimating the information asymmetry of other diseases. Essentially the entire world and healthcare community is focused on identifying COVID-19 cases and treating them. That's not true of other diseases – nobody was freaking out about the 2009 H1N1 pandemic or the 2017-18 flu season, so there was no concerted effort to identify all cases. That's why the 2009 H1N1 pandemic may have infected more people, as a proportion of global population, than the Spanish Flu, but nobody cares or really looked into it. 

The models are getting a lot better, and the outlook is hopeful (in relative terms). Regardless of the outlook, there's no reason to risk passing the virus along if it can be avoided, and social distancing is a part of that. (And avoiding a class of eager 1L's spitting bars to prove that they're the alpha of the cohort may even be more important).

One big reason why people cared less about H1N1 was because it didn't harm those who survived the virus nearly as much as COVID affects its survivors. I should add that the higher initial delta and precautionary measures very likely put us in our current position. Even though it might have been "wrong" per se, the consequence of a high delta was ultimately beneficial. Also there were only 400-ish deaths (delta won't bring that up to above 5000 I don't think), and there was a vaccine in under a year made available to the public. 

2 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

All of which is to say, this really shouldn't be causing people much more stress than daily life (except for the fact that mental health suffers in isolation). If you're a healthy adult, you'll likely be fine. If you're a health child, you'll probably be fine. If you have co-morbidities, you are only marginally more at risk than you are from many other events that have occurred in your lifetime. 

The whole point is that this isn't about us (who I assume are both healthy-ish), it's about the people that are higher risk - I think where you're missing the point is that while the probability margin increase is small, the consequence is incredibly high. 

3 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Hell, early data shows Canada recorded net-fewer deaths during January, February, and March than past years, suggesting that COVID-19 related-sutdowns caused fewer other deaths, including deaths from traffic accidents and seasonal flus, than COVID-19 caused.

Isn't this an argument FOR distance studies instead of having in-person classes? Imagine the lives we could save if everyone stayed at home AND there was no virus! I'm kidding, but this is likely due to the whole population being extremely health conscious and not making stupid decisions. This silver lining shouldn't be attributed to COVID being "good", but to people being careless when they aren't confronted with their own mortality every day. 

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7 minutes ago, dak said:

The models are getting a lot better, and the outlook is hopeful (in relative terms). Regardless of the outlook, there's no reason to risk passing the virus along if it can be avoided, and social distancing is a part of that. (And avoiding a class of eager 1L's spitting bars to prove that they're the alpha of the cohort may even be more important).

There are plenty of reasons to risk passing the virus along, even if it can be avoided. 

We could have saved nearly 100,000 lives in 2017-18 by shutting down the US economy, going into lockdown, and social distancing. In Canada, we could save nearly 2,000 lives per year by banning cars, and an additional 3,000 by banning alcohol. We could have saved up to half a billion people in 2009 by shutting everything down when H1N1 started to spread. 

Essentially every action in life is about weighing the benefits and risks of certain activities. It's absurd to argue that no avoidable risk should be taken. 

The overall risk to society of reopening some schools with strict enforcement of best practices and other modifications is incredibly low. The chance of contracting COVID-19 while keeping six feet apart from others, wearing masks and goggles, and frequently washing your hands is vanishingly small. Because of that, you only need to show a small benefit in order to justify reopening with such modifications. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

There are plenty of reasons to risk passing the virus along, even if it can be avoided. 

We could have saved nearly 100,000 lives in 2017-18 by shutting down the US economy, going into lockdown, and social distancing. In Canada, we could save nearly 2,000 lives per year by banning cars, and an additional 3,000 by banning alcohol. We could have saved up to half a billion people in 2009 by shutting everything down when H1N1 started to spread. 

Essentially every action in life is about weighing the benefits and risks of certain activities. It's absurd to argue that no avoidable risk should be taken. 

The overall risk to society of reopening some schools with strict enforcement of best practices and other modifications is incredibly low. The chance of contracting COVID-19 while keeping six feet apart from others, wearing masks and goggles, and frequently washing your hands is vanishingly small. Because of that, you only need to show a small benefit in order to justify reopening with such modifications. 

I was thinking about my posts yesterday, and I've probably come to agree with this - but with one obvious caveat of all big undergrad courses going online, because those few 300+ people classrooms at most of the big universities are going to have to be used instead of the usual rooms to permit adequate distancing. A seminar room won't be used but instead a 50 person classroom gets used, and the 50 person classes meet in the even larger rooms (since they usually step in some degree of relative size as you go lower in the course level). Like your POLI 101s and 102s will probably be online for a long time. And quite honestly, they probably should be anyways so people can take electives a little easier from home instead of having to stay on campus for longer or watch them at their own convenience.

Edited by BeltOfScotch
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The President of the University of Windsor just emailed us stating that all courses will be delivered online for the Fall 2020 semester. Decisions about what will happen during the Winter 2021 semester will take place during the Fall 2020 semester.

 

Fuck, this sucks lol...

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13 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

The chance of contracting COVID-19 while keeping six feet apart from others, wearing masks and goggles, and frequently washing your hands is vanishingly small. Because of that, you only need to show a small benefit in order to justify reopening with such modifications. 

Now I'm really looking forward to the meet and greet where everyone looks like minions. What's the rule for matching your mask/goggles/gloves to your suit? Should it match the tie clip and pocket square? Groundbreaking stuff

All jokes aside - yes, there are risks in daily life, and people put each other at risk everyday in a variety of ways, but if the risk can be lowered with little negative impact, then why not? If even one person at the school gets COVID and brings it home because of a meet and greet, I think it's safe to say the marginal benefit of meeting your peers in a full hazmat suit vs online has instantly vanished. But we might have to agree to disagree on this one

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Also,  online law classes seem much more reasonable than online chem/engineering/bio labs... the priority for physical space will likely go to other faculties first, even though I'd like to think law students are paramount. 

I should add that I don't want to study at home while my Greek/Italian family yells about some menial daily task I didn't do properly, but I'm trying to think of it as conditioning for my attention span and concentration abilities 😌

 

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5 minutes ago, dak said:

Also,  online law classes seem much more reasonable than online chem/engineering/bio labs... the priority for physical space will likely go to other faculties first, even though I'd like to think law students are paramount. 

I should add that I don't want to study at home while my Greek/Italian family yells about some menial daily task I didn't do properly, but I'm trying to think of it as conditioning for my attention span and concentration abilities 😌

 

Honestly, I'd probably still move out. Things may be back to a certain "normal" by then. If you find your family has a negative impact on your ability to study/your emotional well being, you'd be well advised to find a place to yourself at this point in your life.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Honestly, I'd probably still move out. Things may be back to a certain "normal" by then. If you find your family has a negative impact on your ability to study/your emotional well being, you'd be well advised to find a place to yourself at this point in your life.

I was mostly joking re: them disrupting my studying. I'm still not settled on where I'm going, but I moved away for my undergrad and loved it, but also love my family very much. I have family members who are 80+ so I want to see them frequently while they are still lucid and able-bodied.

I have a stash of earplugs for when they get too bappity boopy though, and I'm professionally trained in tuning things out, I swear.

Edited by dak
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Posted (edited)

Ryerson is the first University in Toronto to confirm most classes will be on line next semester.

 

 

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Edited by Luckycharm

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UBC summer is fully online- for September it will be mostly online, with some classes of maximum of 20 people in large classrooms

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Posted (edited)

Western's dean just announced upper year classes will be online for Fall term, but it sounds like they're planning for 1Ls to be at least partially in person

Edited by lewcifer
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7 minutes ago, lewcifer said:

Western's dean just announced upper year classes will be online for Fall term, but it sounds like they're planning for 1Ls to be at least partially in person

Winter likely online as well from the same email.

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4 hours ago, Draken said:

Winter likely online as well from the same email.

Sounded to me like Winter IS online with some exceptions?

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2 hours ago, boat said:

Sounded to me like Winter IS online with some exceptions?

That was my understanding as well, but I'm not certain whether or not it meant "if social distancing is in place = online" or "we expect social distancing, so it will be online". Either way, I think that the course selection process in July will provide more details. Since some classes sound like they'll be online, I'm expecting (hoping?) that during course selection there will be a note identifying which classes are in person. I don't want to take ONE in person class and need to make a 2ish hour commute each way for it, nor pay rent.

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15 minutes ago, TobyFlenderson said:

That was my understanding as well, but I'm not certain whether or not it meant "if social distancing is in place = online" or "we expect social distancing, so it will be online". Either way, I think that the course selection process in July will provide more details. Since some classes sound like they'll be online, I'm expecting (hoping?) that during course selection there will be a note identifying which classes are in person. I don't want to take ONE in person class and need to make a 2ish hour commute each way for it, nor pay rent.

I’m in the same boat. I anticipate I will be cancelling my lease and never setting foot in the law building again. Sucks.

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Have any schools confirmed there will be online options for the full year, even if classes return to in-person in January?

It would be nice to let students solidify where they will be living for the year before classes start. Looking for accommodations in December while balancing exams, papers and the holidays sounds like the makings of a catastrophic Christmas!

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