Due to the coronavirus pandemic, our employees are practicing social distancing measures to control the spread of the virus. Employees have been split into two groups labeled A and B; one group goes to work while the other works at home instead and even communicates to us via Zoom, which gained massive popularity earlier this year, though most of us used Microsoft Teams instead.
To avoid employees’ pathogens from spreading, desks in our offices have been set apart from each other to enforce social distancing, and they are to sit in the same seat each time they are in the office, and to disinfect their seat when they enter and leave. They are also required to wear masks as well to avoid catching the coronavirus. We conduct most of our stuff paperless for the same reason and all materials are delivered through either Teams or Discord.
The pandemic has caused some anxiety among us. “I really hate the pandemic, I want it gone as soon as possible,” says one person.
Many are speculating that a vaccine will be released in the middle of this autumn, a statement that Tom Forsthoefel, a professor in the Religious Studies department mentioned during his first lecture in his Buddhism class at Mercyhurst University. “It will most likely take at least three months for a vaccine, then it will likely take even longer to distribute it to everyone in the world,” says another employee at Drillimation
As we mentioned in previous blog posts, Mercyhurst has imposed a set of policies to control the spread of the disease. These include traversing the buildings in one direction and stay home if a student falls ill from COVID-19. All students should regularly sanitize themselves after returning to their residence building. This includes having direct contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Some schools were not so lucky. Classes at Notre Dame in Indiana had to temporarily suspend in-person classes due to a surge in cases, and as of this writing, will return to the original format. Others had to send their students back home even though it has been at least 1-2 weeks into the semester. Consequences for failing to comply with the policies can be harsh, with the highest level being suspension or expulsion.
Mercyhurst sent all their students home back in March when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and cases in the United States surged. After Erie got back to business in June despite restrictions being placed on them, the university decided to return to in-person classes this semester but with restrictions. The WHO warned that the pandemic could last another year, even if a vaccine is in place. The previous pandemic before COVID-19 was the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic, which infected between 10 – 20% of the world’s population and killed nearly 600,000. COVID-19 has infected nearly 25 million people. While two-thirds of all cases have recovered, the virus has killed over 800,000 people as of this writing.