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Does anyone want to speculate about whether Fall 2021 classes will be in person?

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I'm hoping that classes are in-person since I'm excited at the prospect of moving to Victoria for the JD Fall 2021 start and it would be great to meet all my classmates in person (if possible) right from the beginning. The latest news with vaccinations imply that by September anyone who wants one will be able to get it, so in theory in person classes should be relatively safe by that time, but of course who knows how things will actually play out. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or either way - whether classes are in person or online - when will the faculty let students know so we have enough time to prepare to move, find accommodations, etc? 

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In r/UBC people are pretty certain that fall semester will be in-person at least to some extent. I think law especially will want to bring people in-person as much as possible. And I certainly hope so!!!

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I would guess that they'd have to make the decision a couple of months before September (maybe June??? big question marks LOL) , but I think there's a lot of things it would be dependent on that no one can really predict. I swear I saw this question somewhere else on the site but I can't remember which forum it was in. I, like you, am also hoping that classes are in person. Fingers crossed!!! 

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I think we'll be surprised at how fast the vaccination timeline will move. In addition, restrictions are implemented based on how high the R (reproduction number is), so we should see restrictions gradually ease into the summer. 

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I'm gonna say there's a 66% chance that Fall 2021 will be in person. 

The upcoming UVic summer term is actually partly in-person for undergrads if I recall correct. That's a good step towards making Fall in-person if all goes well.

Edited by Mihael
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10 hours ago, Mihael said:

The upcoming UVic summer term is actually partly in-person for undergrads if I recall correct.

This is correct. FWIW; the law faculty itself has not yet sent out anything about summer term. However, I would not expect them to be more restrictive than the rest of the school, so I guess we will be in-person for the summer unless things get worse in the next couple of months - which is still very, very possible.

That said, using summer to predict fall is probably shaky. The idea of in-person over the summer specifically relies on the fact that summer classes, which are generally smaller and fewer than fall-winter, can easily be "distanced" in oversized lecture halls. Since that won't be possible in the fall, in-person will have to depend on lowered transmission rates and successful vaccination (which obviously overlap). 

I do think that's viable, so the TL;DR is that 66% seems like a pretty good estimate.

-GM

PS I am 90% sure that the Victoria area has the lowest Covid infection rate of any urban area in Canada. But the flip-side is that lower existing infections = higher vulnerability to spread due to lack of prior immunity. If the UK variant starts really spreading among all the old people here, we would go from a Covid success to a massive disaster very, very quickly.

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Updates for anyone wondering about this:

Almost all of the courses in the upcoming summer will be in-person.

UVic President + Law Dean have sent out emails that they are planning for in-person fall classes.

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