A #thread about seeing a light at the end of the covid tunnel, not realizing it's an oncoming train. Yes, my employer and neighbor, @JohnsHopkins.

A million years ago, in August, 2020, me and Prof Toby Ditz wrote an editorial in the @JHUNewsLetter. /1

The watchword, we suggested, was transparency. WHO are you testing, HOW often, WHAT ABOUT staff, WHAT ABOUT community testing (will university testing infringe?). And just being above-board about everything.

Comes an email form pres Ronald Daniels. JH will open in the spring. /2
"That's interesting," I thought. "No significant outbreaks?" Seemed implausible, given that case counts, positivity, and hospitalizations have been rising in Baltimore and Maryland. So I checked the NYT on college cases. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-college-cases-tracker.html


477 cases isn't nothing!/3
It's not *impossible* to open safety -- some universities (including the University of Illinois and Yale) have had some success. But, again, transparency, not sugar-coating the case numbers, and being open about the fact that JH plans reopening in the teeth of a case wave. /4
This is why my colleague, Francois Furstenberg, has made a tongue-in-cheek but completely accurate graph superimposing JH admin decisions on the Covid case count.

Again, transparency, actively soliciting collaborative governance -- all our suggestions -- a dead letter. /5
There's still time! Hopkins can work with communities, faculty, students -- yes, and staff -- to figure out a way to test widely, support generously, and open safely. But it will require a change of culture, top-down and bottom-up. / end
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