How has COVID-19 Changed Your Perspective?
Meda Higa, PhD
Associate Professor, Biology
I’m a biologist who researches viral infection and even teaches a class on viruses. So my perspective started out different than most. I was more interested in SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). How did it infect cells? What was the zoonotic origin? Since then, my perspective has changed several times.
Change #1: witnessing misinformation communicated through social media and the news, at times more viral than the virus itself! I became one of many trying to stamp out inaccuracies and disseminate factual information.
Change #2: COVID-19 affects my daily life. I’m juggling childcare while working, and learning new ways to teach, communicate, and socialize remotely.
Change #3: a few days ago, my 3-year old ran a fever on top of his existing cough. “Bring him in” was the advice we received. Now, we’re the “patient.” Did we do enough to physically distance ourselves? Who might we have come into contact with? I have a few days to wonder and worry; test results won’t be back for 3-5 days. [Editor’s note: Happily, Prof. Higa says her son’s test was negative.]
Interim Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions
The COVID-19 crisis has renewed my faith in humanity and community. The response from the School of Nursing and Health Professions’ faculty and staff has been everything you would expect from healthcare professionals. They worked tirelessly to find innovative ways to create online lectures and identify virtual simulations that will help keep students on track.
We have donated thermometers to the York City Bureau of Health for use by our local fire and police. We have also been able to support some of our partners in the York community by donating medical supplies such as a ventilator, masks, medical gloves, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to WellSpan Hospital, UPMC Memorial Hospital, and a local nursing home. These agencies are vital partners as they give our students the hands-on learning they need. The COVID-19 crisis has given us a chance to express our gratitude for their support.
Rory Kraft, PhD
Chair, English, Humanities, and the Arts Dept.
Assistant Professor, Philosophy
I have spent much of my professional life working at the intersection of ethical theory and public life. In that time, I have encountered many brilliant people working in public health, the corporate world, and higher education. Some of my favorite moments in classrooms are those which involve helping students understand the ethical complexities of everyday life. Now we are in the midst of a life that is very much so not everyday.
As this COVID-19 pandemic has spread, I have been impressed, first in the classroom and then online, by how quickly my students understood that what we were facing was not just a public health crisis but also profoundly a question of how society could respond in an ethically responsible way. I am also trying hard to recast any disappointment in politicization of the crisis into an opportunity for additional discussion about how our political views profoundly impact how we understand the world.