Over the past month or two, as the COVID-19 pandemic in America has become over-emphasized and magnified, it is also clear that it will soon be necessary for colleges and universities to recognize their resources to help in their battle against the deadly virus. Recently, there have been campuses answering phone calls, research laboratories, using faculty expertise, and applying campus leadership to assist others who are similarly affected with the pandemic. Below is a list of some specific examples.
Temporary Hospitals. Middleburg College, Tufts University, and New York University prepared and modified their campus dorms into temporary hospitals to accommodate beds for patients who are no longer accepted in city and community hospitals. Others, like Ohio and Wisconsin University, are ready and waiting to convert their dormitories into hospitals should there be a need to do so.
Trials, Testing, and Disease Tracking. Researchers are now using university health facilities to experiment on certain medicines that may be able to treat the symptoms of COVID-19, and the University of Nebraska is one of those that were approved to perform clinical trials of the medication Remdesivir. This anti-viral was used during the Ebola outbreak. Other institutions that are doing the same are the University of California San Diego and the medical centers in San Francisco and Irvine.
On the other hand, students have also been coming forward to share information and innovative solutions. A team of students from Cornell College, for instance, has donated processing power from their arena computers to a worldwide network of computers to create an international supercomputer that is mimicking COVID-19 proteins.
Finally, John Hopkins University has also formed its COVID-19 global tracker that would show how the virus has been spreading globally, down to the individual city level. This tracker was created by Lauren Gardner, a professor and her student Ensheng Dong.
Leadership in Universities and Colleges. School administrators must be acknowledged and praised for the way they have led their institutions as well as the several communities that they have served. They are currently struggling with intensely tricky tasks such as:
- Evaluating and planning the expenses needed to keep the schools and communities financial stable for the long-term
- Screening the types of demands received daily while pursuing effective learning strategies for students, teachers, and university staff
- sharing the school’s resources in a way that it helps serve the country during this devastating crisis.