Cornell understands the equilibrium

They are reopening campus for the coming semester and here is one reason why:

…the finding from Cornell researchers that holding the semester online potentially could result in more infections and more hospitalizations among students and staff members than holding the semester in person would.

study by Cornell researchers concluded that with nominal parameters, an in-person semester would result in 3.6 percent of the campus population (1,254 people) becoming infected, and 0.047 percent (16 people) requiring hospitalization. An online semester, they concluded, would result in about 7,200 infections and more than 60 hospitalizations.

Do note it is critical to the argument that the returning students actually are tested on a regular basis, which of course is very hard to enforce on-line.


Leading to the question how the university will help out before the semester starts. “The demand, in light of the surge — it’s overwhelmed the system,” said Marcia Katz, associate dean for clinical affairs at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. “The lines are incredibly long. . . . There is availability for testing, there’s just limitations in terms of how many people can be tested at one time.”

On a call with reporters Wednesday, Brett Giroir, the administration’s testing czar, said the Department of Health and Human Services would help at least three states — Florida, Louisiana and Texas — with surge testing to identify people under age 35 who are spreading the virus and might not be having symptoms."

I predict that one or more Cornell students will get Covid-19 AND sue the college.

Is how high were the Cornell researchers' GRE scores?

marxists in academia have been knitting
will Gandhi get wreckoned/canceled next?

protestors topple statues to get you to think

thinks protestors topple statues because they are marxists

Why don't they topple MLK statues?

you would have to ask the statue wreckoners.
cornpops don't swim in that pool

when you ask the wreckoners about MLK
ask them why they wreckoned the elk statue in portland

Having dealt with paid consultants in the legal field, I can attest that most are biased in a subtle way; what are the chances that a consultant for a 'brick-and-mortar' school will find that an online MOOC is better than going to campus? Very small. So they will construct a model where testing is the linchpin. But you can require online students to take Covid-19 tests as a precondition to taking a course, no? So the testing point is suspect and likely an artificial construct to make the model work for the client.

Bonus trivia: higher education is signaling. You can't network online as well as in person. Solve for the equilibrium. Parents rightly will not pay $100k a year for junior to actually learn something online as opposed to joining Skull-and-Bones (aka The Order, Order 322 or The Brotherhood of Death) and networking.

Bonus trivia: higher education is signaling.

You can't network online as well as in person. Solve for the equilibrium. Parents rightly will not pay $100k a year for junior to actually learn something online as opposed to joining Skull-and-Bones (aka The Order, Order 322 or The Brotherhood of Death) and networking.

I've quoted that first sentence separately because the rest of the paragraph contradicts it. You say "higher education is signaling", and then you go on to describe specific tangible benefits of higher education.

Those benefits are unrelated to the acquisition of knowledge, but they're definitely not signaling.

How is being a member of a club/cult not signaling? It shows alumni of the organization that you passed their hazing/vetting process & they should prefer you over non club members.

You could describe being a club member as signaling. I think that description is imperfect, but not unreasonable.

But the connections you make to individual people are not signaling; they're resources you gain during your time in college.

A related counter example

Could anyone who uses the term here define "signalling" for me? Seems to me that it can include any information potentially communicated. If so, then is it possible to distinguish between learning and signalling? What's the difference between "I graduates with honors", "I learned the secret handshake", "I learned how to approximate well-behaved ODEs", or "I learned how to design a widget" or even "I learned the Hane makikomi throw"?

The relevant question is "if (the other person / whoever you're talking to) doesn't know about your credential, do you get any benefit from having earned it?"

If you took a class in how to solve differential equations, and you need to solve one now, then the class may benefit you regardless of whether anyone else knows you took it. That is a non-signaling benefit.

If the entire benefit of a credential is that somebody else knows you have it, then it's pure signaling.

I think Ray Lopez is lumping networking & signaling in the same bucket. Perhaps he considers networking to be signaling.

"they're resources you gain during your time in college."

+1, And that's the other side of the argument. I tend to lean that way.

The signalling argument, is essentially, I don't need to go to college, to learn the information that I need for my job. But the employer realizes that if the employee can be conscientious enough to graduate and smart enough to pass the classes, then she can easily learn the requisite job skills. There are people that could learn those skills easily enough who didn't go to college and it wouldn't cost anymore to train them than a college grad, but it's expensive for the employer to sort that person out from the potential employee pool.

However, the networking concept is different. If I don't have the network, I don't have the abilities of someone that does. It is knowledge that was gained at school that may well offer immediate benefits to the employer.

The network is someone hires you because they know you were at that college. Whether you know anything or not, or have any connected skills is immaterial.

Not that different.

+1, good point. I guess we have to differentiate between a Network, and a fellow alumni (or fellow Greek).

I've known engineers (vendor reps) who were light on skills but had a great network and they were valuable trouble shooters. Not for the skills of the actual problem, but for the skills of determining where the problem lay and having the guy who could fix the issue on speed dial.

That's the value added side of Networking.

"I've known engineers (vendor reps) who were light on skills but had a great network and they were valuable trouble shooters. Not for the skills of the actual problem, but for the skills of determining where the problem lay and having the guy who could fix the issue on speed dial."

Yes, I have gradually learned that this is the Chinese (or maybe Asian?) approach to things: when faced with a challenging problem to solve, they run to their friends and ask can someone help me with this?

That approach strikes Americans as odd, or even cheating.

But what I've come to appreciate is that approach is also a force multiplier: the individual can call upon the knowledge and skills of the person in the group who is the expert at X, and the person who is the best at Y, and the person who just did some work on Z. All of that knowledge of X, Y, and Z is at the disposal of all members of the group.

Whereas under the American approach, I'm limited to my own skills and knowledge.

I realized that no matter how smart or hard-working I am, I cannot compete with the collective skills of the group. So I joined a professional association of expatriate Chinese working in the US (even though I'm not Chinese; they -- perhaps learning from American ideals and rejecting xenophobia -- allow non-Chinese to join their association). It's been one of the best professional groups that I've been in, combining American openness and diversity with the Chinese group approach.

"Whether you know anything or not, or have any connected skills is immaterial."

I don't think that's right. Network is often people you know and that you know they are qualified. For college - 'I know so ad so from this class, and he sure knew the material'. What you're describing is nepotism.

Ask Jared and Ivanka how they got their jobs. It wasn't for their unique insight into geopolitics and conflict resolution skills.

You responded to a debate on networking with a case of nepotism.

The comparison isn't Jared - although God knows Trump would be better off without him. It is everyone else in his cabinet.

When W came to office he had a huge network of people who knew his father. He was able to get some of the best credentialed guys around to work for him and he could talk to a lot more.

Trump is an outsider. He had none of that. So it has taken him a long time to get a team together - and most of the time they have been working to undermine him. A soft coup to go with the harder coup attempt in the Russian Collusion nonsense.

I am sure they were all equally credentialed. But a credential doesn't mean you are competent or good at your job. At least a network means you know something about a man's character before you give him a job.

Collusion happened. Luckily for Trump that’s not a crime.

That is a good insight that the plan needs a certain level of testing, and many people who "adopt" the plan will actually do far less.

This is some genuine bullshit a la Frankfurter. They don’t actually care. If there are kids coming back to Ithaca that won’t comply with a voluntary testing program, I’m sure they’ll come up with creative ways to undermine all the coercive measures Cornell feels entitled to implement for on campus classes.

This strikes me as an exercise to let Cornell virtue signal but also rake in tuition dollars. I suppose we’ll find out. They’re made there prediction. Let’s see if those GRE scores are all they’re cracked up to be. I bet they end up with more than 16 faculty members hospitalized.

The impossible precision of the results is one giveaway. Of course, this is just of one many examples of using "science" to make decisions and beat the unwashed over the head for their uninformed opinions. And Cornell needs the money - maybe Kung Flu fear will lead to de factor defunding of higher education.

Really? We all know that it is not flu at this point. We also all know that with 50,000 new cases in a single day, it will not go away any time soon in the US either.

If you consider three items:

The fatal mistakes by NE Governors sending infected people in nursing homes, which accounts for 40%+ of the deaths
The antibody tests and PSU analysis which indicate that infection/exposure was much more widespread than actual cases (up to 80x higher)
The new cases seem to be concentrated in younger people who suffer mild symptoms and generally recover quickly

Bingo, you are in bad flu season territory.

if you got out of your basement and had actual friends,

then you’d probably eventually know a healthy young person that struggled alarmingly with severe even life threatening symptoms and long term lingering effects,

you might also realize that the vast majority of senior citizens in long term care have been fully locked down and locked in for three months with no sign of relief,

and after that you’d stop making the annoying and childish claim about the flu

I know more young people who have died from the flu than have even had a Covid infection. Since we are talking about anecdotes.

I'm having difficulty in getting repair parts for critical food service equipment. The stock of parts and equipment has rolled over and there are things missing. So far not critical, mostly because the manufacturing shutdowns have been relatively short.

Cornell is making a calculation. Do they add value on net. Yes. Are there risks? Yes, but considering the population, small. With these procedures we can function.

Everyone is making those very calculations, with a close eye on the local risks.

That's interesting. I literally do not know a single person, young or old, who as died from the flu or even had anything worse than a few days of misery from the flu. And that's over decades. I am sure a few seniors in my social circle have died from pneumonia that I was not aware of, across those decades. But none in my family.

Meanwhile, in the last three months, I can count several sudden deaths of seniors from Covid I am aware of in my extended social circle, and can count a dozen severe cases among healthy non-seniors, including hospitalizations, and children who literally stopped breathing at some point.

I am not sure what the supplies part of your post means, or has to do with the reply.

“On this blog about behavioral science I shall make the argument that because I know someone who died of the flu that this is all made up. “

"Really? We all know that it is not flu at this point. "

Yes, and you sound like the autistic guy that keeps pointing that out.

The fact that the term is racist garbage seems to be the sort of thing few people bother to point out any longer.

"Doubling down on an idiotic term" didn't specify any racism as an objection, he specifically objected to the use of the word "flu".

You can tell because it's right there in the quote. It's word number 10, if that helps.

Students won't be a problem for them. They are likely to live. It is Staff. They are more likely to be in the older age categories. So I wonder how that has factored into their calculations?

They must assume that some staff will refuse to come back - and they may have a legal case under Federal law. So there are legal costs. They must assume some will come back and die. So the interesting question is whether an older professor falling off the perch is a nett loss to the university. I mean, they are expensive. And can be replaced by some TAs from India.

Will their insurance cover their wrongful death suits?

The Fairfax County public school teachers organization announced yesterday that it was too dangerous for them to return to the classroom before a vaccine was readily available. They don’t think online works, and state they are unqualified to teach that way.

I infer they are proposing indefinite paid vacation.

Yep... I suggested that there are lots of relatively young teachers that would jump at the chance to get a full-time gig in Fairfax county public schools (or any relatively decent school district whose teachers are refusing in person teaching)... might be time to go "Reagan meets air traffic controllers" on teachers.

They are currently on unpaid vacation, so we will see.

I wonder what the length and amount of disability pay is. Of course, Virginia is run by morons, so that may not be an impediment.

"They are currently on unpaid vacation, so we will see."

How so? Most teachers are paid all 12 months. In the systems I'm aware of it's optional whether you draw 10 or 12 months worth of pay checks, but most teachers default to 12 months for obvious reasons.

Since that 16 seems to be everybody, I will bet they end up with more than 16 students hospitalized too (in the broad meaning - this is not about 16 students hooked up to ventilators in ICU).

On the upside, this year might be the best chance for a mediocre student to get admitted into an Ivy League colleague that they've always dreamed of. For an 18 year old the odds of serious disease are minor enough that it might be worth it.

Those dorms won't amortize themselves,

Anders Ericsson has died. He was the cognitive psychologist who studied how those who are very good at something (playing the violin, playing basketball, etc,) got to be that way. His finding, that being very good at something wasn't natural-born talent but the quantity and quality one devotes to practice. Quality of practice he called “deliberate practice,” which entails immediate feedback, clear goals, and focus on technique. At the academy, a professor can spoon-feed his students with lectures but that won't a very good college graduate make (in whatever subject or field). It takes both quantity of study and quality of study, the latter I would describe as a deep-dive into the subject or field. Sure, it's possible that one could do that online but not likely. Back during graduation season David Brooks commented that most students complete college without ever developing critical thinking skills (including presumably students at Cornell). How can that be? It takes more than quantity of study to develop critical thinking skills (although quantity is part of it), it takes quality of study. Professors who are skilled at teaching and not simply lecturing can help with quality of study, something that's not possible online because, as Ericsson concluded, it takes immediate feedback, clear goals, and focus on technique.

It is interesting that Ray does not consider that higher education is only suitable for people with higher IQs. As college has expanded to include half the population, we discover that more means worse - colleges have to dumb down to the level of people who can *never* think critically because they are not bright enough.

The professorate is likely to be irrelevant to that.

The professorate knows those tuition dollars balance accounts.

A most implausible conclusion: has any replication of his work succeeded?

does cornell understand the academic equilibrium
mebbe students aren't taught critical thinking skills because critical thinking skills get wreckoned by marxist academics
who knows marxist cults?
quillette knows marxist cults

What's the value of an MBA? Many full-time employees in business earn MBA degrees online. At many places the value of the online degree is a raise and enhanced opportunity for a promotion. But does the online MBA degree make the recipient better at what he does?

A lot of masters programs are like that. It used to be for a teacher to become principal, a masters was essential. Now it written into so many contracts that they get a nice raise for it, there are kindergarten teachers who will never be principal with a master just to get a 10k bump in salary.

+1, it's pretty typical for teachers to get Masters just for a pay bump. As far as I know, there isn't any tangible benefit for the students. However, if does give the better teachers tangible goals and focus. Furthermore, it gives the talented teachers an option to bypass the typical Union pay scale which is based purely on year in grade.

So, I think it's useful, but tends to a form of signalling.

About 60% of public school teachers have a postgrad degree if some kind. I would guess the vast majority are in Ed, rather than a subject matter like Math or German or History. I’d assess the Ed degrees to be or little (perhaps actually negative) value to the students.

Yes, so think about the other 40% of teachers....

Giant companies like EY give out online MBAs for free to their employees. I personally think the actual content is near worthless, the network opportunities near nil, and the only real signal is that they were willing to grind through drudgery to accomplish their goal which is worth something.

MBAs have some value but are probably a bit overrated. The value of taking MBA courses is that they provide good generalist coverage of topics such as accounting, marketing leadership (aka how not to piss off or alienate subordinates when you become a supervisor). These are things most companies don't have the time or internal subject matter expertise to train people in themselves.

Where I think it is overrated is that the MBA curriculum seems to have been designed to train future CEOs and CFOs of major corporations but most MBA graduates wind up as Excel and Powerpoint jockies or sales people in Big Finance or Big Consulting. A lot of people could do better with a more focused certificate program designed around the field they actually want to break into.

Ithaca is probably a safer place to be that the places the students come from. The number of new cases there is falling like the rest of NY and is now so low that tracking and tracing is a realistic option.

Plus a lot of Cornell students are from hard hit areas like Greater NYC, which is likely somewhat closer to herd immunity than the rest of the country.

Liberty University stayed open through the entire spring and developed no cases. The fact that neither Tyler nor anyone else can muster the slightest curiosity about that school's experience suggests that all the hand-wringing about colleges reopening is largely just theater.

Maybe because they didn't test kids who got sick?

If you post was not misleading, what you say would be shocking. But Liberty's own website says that only a small percentage of students stayed on campus and so it is not surprising that there were no reported cases of covid 19. Here is part of the quote:
"When COVID-19 restrictions were ordered for Virginia, the university ... announced plans to move all residential classes online and keep campus open following Spring Break in order to provide safe and reliable accommodations for the small percentage of students who chose to return. Many of those students did not have another safe place to live, did not otherwise have access to high-speed internet to continue their education, did not want to potentially endanger elderly relatives, or were international students without a choice to travel to their home countries."

This policy was not unique to right-wing universities.

The fall semester starts in a couple of months. Everything is bigger in Texas.

Fighting effectivelly a pandemics demands decisive action. Now, when the Laotian celebrates its amazing victory against the same pandemics that brought our country, America, to its knees, we should remember that, without General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachit's correct leadership and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's brorherly guidance and assistance, there would be no new Laos.

I had assumed that Thiago was 'James' rather than 'John'.

1) I am John Preston, from Cleveland, Ohio. I was named after my maternal grandfather, John Callaghan Davenport.
2) I speak a little Portuguese and Spanish and can assure you Thiago/Tiago/Jaime/Diego/Diogo/Santiago/Santhiago, etc. are the Portuguese language equivalents to James. This being so, King James (of King James Version fame) is usually called Rei (King) Jaime in Brazil, but Harry Potter saga fictional character James Potter is exclusively called Tiago Potter in the same country.

Okay fine, this could be viewed as an excellent solution to an education problem.

But couldn't it also be headlined "America's elite receive special health care in a Pandemic?"

Because I think you are telling me implicitly that kids at the local junior college are going to have a lower survival rate.

The more I think about it, the more this "equilibrium" seems like a real dystopia.

Not only would Cornell students get more testing than 2nd or 3rd tier college students, they'd get more testing than 60-somethings like me. This despite them being at much lower risk than 60-somethings like me.

Yet again, "late stage capitalism" is hard to pin down as joke or .. really sick joke.

If you’re a Boomer you should be at home.

I'm a better isolator than most, but it's not about me, it's about the aggregate behavior.

Thanks to spiking COVID-19 cases, U.S. gasoline consumption in the second week of April amounted to just 49 percent of volumes during the same period in 2019.

Since hitting that low point, the year-on-year gap in U.S. gasoline demand has steadily shrunk and is now more than halfway back from pre-pandemic levels, IHS Markit’s Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) reported Wednesday. The latest OPIS survey finds that demand was 22 percent lower during the second week of June against the corresponding period last year, IHS Markit noted in a written statement emailed to Rigzone.

Either we need to dial back total social interaction, or we need to seriously increase testing.

"with nominal parameters": I know what parameters are but what do they mean by "nominal"?

Yeah, I do not know what they mean by that and it's an annoying use of a jargon-y word that has different meanings in different contexts.

My guess is that they mean "within the usual range, where things work well", IIRC it was in Wolfe's _The Right Stuff_ where he quotes NASA controllers and astronauts talking about systems or even missions being "nominal".

However, Cornell is not engaged in a space mission. So are they using aerospace jargon, and if not then what are they saying? Crappy communications there, Cornell.

I think their basic decision is sound. This blather in the comments about Cornell wanting to extract money from the students ignores the most important fact: AFAICT at every (traditional in-person) college that has shared its results, the students very strongly prefer to return to campus and do not want to sit at home and take online classes. I have no doubt that Cornell students have let the university know their preferences.

Yet the CDC recommends Against testing students.

I wonder how that happened.

What’s more senile and imbecilic?

The Boomer POTUS who thinks he can wave a wand to slow down or increase testing, or the magical thinking Boomer that really believes that’s how the world works?


This study seems to rest on two extremely questionable assumptions: 1) that a large chunk of 9,000 students would return to Ithaca even if the semester is online and 2) just monitoring the students who choose to return to Ithaca would be impossible because students would lie about where they’re residing.

Even then it doesn’t seem to take into account potential infections they could cause in the town of Ithaca (like my office building itself provides everyone with PPE and monitors people, but it’s probably still safer for most people to work from home because having lots of people walking around buildings in the city center all day is more likely to create infections in the broader area).

So this seems flimsy.

They have signed expensive leases that landlords are unwilling to release them from.

I've seen the reopening plans for two colleges this week.

The first, a small college in Maine, plans to test everyone on campus twice a week for the entire semester.

The second, a small University in Houston, has an elaborate plan, which includes a COVID Court. I assume they are already expecting issues with student compliance.

Both are providing options for remote attendance for most courses, delayed admissions, and lots of logistical impedimenta to business as usual on campus, and much reduced public access to campus. Box lunches three times a day for the semester? Outdoor classes - in Maine, in Houston?

A small school with a remote campus might have some hope of managing this, but for a larger campus, say a state flagship located in a major city, they are just going through the motions. What you might call bio-security theatre.

Probably be some permanent Assistant Dean for Bio-Security jobs opening up though.

The aging professoriate is part of the equation. I'm surprised how many of my colleagues are over 70 and have no particular intent to retire anytime soon.

It is working as designed.

Tenure is incompatible with the lack of a retirement age.

Things that are incompatible will eventually incompat.

There's a huge amount of dead wood in the academy.

And whole departments of rotting wood leeching poisons into the campus groundwater.

Wish I could reply directly to comments, but can’t for some reason. Anyways, there’s a few additional things I find interesting about this study. First it creates a false choice. If they are worried people will come back to Ithaca, they can still require testing. I don’t see why they can’t take actions to reduce the risks associated with online only. Second, and I admit to not reading all of what was at higher ed, I’d like to know what option was safer for faculty. Seems like that wasn’t the object of this study.

Finally, they give us projected infections. They give us projected hospitalizations. Why not give us the projected body count? I suppose doing so would put too fine a point on things. I’d just like to conclude that according to some articles in reputable Chinese magazines, which were subsequently censored, every single university in Wuhan lost multiple faculty members.

This is a bit of hyperbole on my part, I confess, but should we really be increasing the chances that people like Sydney Shoemaker end up on a vent just so some entitled undergrads can play beer pong? No.

Do you suppose that any school which owns its own dormitories will not be influenced the lack of revenue if the students don't show up.

Get them in the door, and in late October and early November send them home after you've collected the dorm fees.

Schools are more than lecture halls.

1254 students would be infected? Sounds to me like Cornell has a model so precise that I wonder why the CDC doesn't use it.

If the number had been 1250 people would be calling bullshit because it’s an even number.

I think America should adopt the Laotian model of dealing with pandemics. Thanks to General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachit's correct leadership and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's brorherly guidance (and assistance) Laos has succeded in defeating the coronavirus pandemics. As a Russian who has spent two weeks in Laos last year, I am impressed by the accomplishments of the Laotian people. Long live the Lao People's Democratic Republic, long live the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, long live the union of laborers, peasants, soldiers and progressive sectors of the intelligentsia, long live the Laotian-Vietnamese eternal friendship.

Yes, there's a problem with staff being concerned about their own health. But the number one problem is what happens when there's an outbreak among students on campus. Esp. if a few get very sick and need hospitalization.

It will inevitably occur eventually on nearly every campus. No school will make it through a year without some flavor of this. There will be double digit outbreaks, and then protocols will be triggered, dorm lockdowns implemented, and classes and activities will be canceled.

And when that memo goes out to parents - two dozen classmates are sick, three kids in the hospital, and all students (or some significant subset) are locked in their dorm rooms for two weeks - all hell will break loose.

By fall? Nope. After 6 months of the ebbs and flows of this thing, with good indications of the consequences for various age groups, no. Parents will send their kids after doing the risk calculation. Parents like you won't. Which is just fine.

What proportion of these students have plans for doing something very dangerous and risky this summer? A wilderness hike, boating adventure, something away from people but safe? Maybe get bitten by ticks, run into a bear or mountain lion, or a storm.

In my world there are 5 things at work that can kill me, one or two in my spare time. This is one more.

1. Those college decisions will need to be made within a couple weeks.

2. I fully understand that risk assessment. Me and my family routinely participate in a variety of "risk sports" that can maim or kill us.

3. The question I raised was no would parents send their kids. Yes, many will decide to bite the bullet as a risk worth taking. The question I raised was what happens when the inevitable infection outbreak and lockdown occurs. That will be the test.

I would hate to be in the communications/public affairs office of any university. It is almost a certain that any university with a significant on campus populatin will become a hot spot for Covid-19. Thus, universities need to have their emergency and communication plans ready when it happens.

What hapens on a campus when disease spread through the dorms, the staff, the greek system, and the athletes. How will the university answer the question of why they are staying open and keeping students on campus.

Maybe that's an advantage. Get all the younger people infected as quickly as possible, so they stop being asymptomatic spreaders to the rest of the population.

The asymptomatic are supposedly not able to spread it.

I don't disagree with Cornell, but will note that it's a travesty that Ivy Leaguers get on-campus testing and the rest of us unwashed get "Wear a mask or we're never re-opening the library." Money talks.

People seem to find this implausible, but I don't.
I.e. Let's assume young people have mild symptoms and therefore are more likely to be asymtomatic spreaders. They also go out more and are more likely to catch the virus at a bar.

Now, which is going to be worse: putting all the young people together in one place where they can only infect *eachother* , OR, mixing them into the general population with older adults such as parents?

Is it so implausible to imagine that putting them all in a campus environment where they are regularly tested and somewhat isolated from the general environment is going to reduce total infections (within the campus population AND the rest of the population). It's a bit like treating young adults like carriers and quarantining them to keep them away from the vulnerable populations.

Sounds a bit like a chicken pox party.

A segment of the commentariat has been arguing more or less for that approach.

aka Lock the old folks in a hole until there's a vaccine, and then let's get this over with.

"People seem to find this implausible, but I don't."

+1, I agree. This doesn't seem to be worse than having them stay home. Yes, their will be spikes and more cases more quickly, but then this is a large cohort that is largely immune pretty quickly.

yeah, and they're going to get it while they are largely isolated from the regular population, so maybe it does actually reduce total cases.

Now do Trump rallies.

like Dr. Victor Davis Hanson understand the academic equilibrium
better than cornell

This study relies on some questionable assumptions. Even if it proves accurate, though, it does not scale up and is irrelevant to the situation of most other schools. Ithaca is a small rural town. The college makes up half of it's population. The study is not measuring the effect of online vs in person instruction. It's measuring the effect of an extremely robust testing regime on a town.

I call Bull. Give me the citation to the peer reviewed work which concludes or even justifies this rubbish. "Cornell researchers". I wonder if Prof. Wansink was involved, or perhaps the "researches" were a couple of undergrad business majors.

The report doesn't say how often they will test the students. If the students, faculty, and staff are tested 3 times a week they should be able to prevent almost all on-campus virus transmission. If they start testing workers at local restaurants and bars they should be able to make infection extremely rare. If they trace and test into Ithaca NY they should be able to make infection extremely rare.

I think you are correct, but I'm doubt they are planning on testing to that level.

I think the costs of Covid tests are still too expensive to make that practicable. You can get a test done for free but that's because the Federal government is picking up the tab.

If the tests cost $100 (I'm not sure what the Federal government is actually paying but that's a commonly cited figure), that's $300 per week per students, faculty, and staff.

Also, on the plus side, it might kill off some elderly tenured professors thus saving the universities the cost of paying their salaries in the future.

I used to think white collar unions (unions for govt. bureaucrats, teachers, etc.) were a scam but I guess this would be the one exception they could be useful for elderly members of the faculty and staff are a high risk population.

Comments for this post are closed