Daily COVID-19 Update: March 19, 2020

Dear Bereans,

This is the update for Thursday, March 19.

An announcement from the Campus Christian Center

College Chaplains will continue to offer daily spiritual support through our CCC Facebook page.  Please join us for:

  • A written prayer each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning on CCC Facebook.
  • Tuesday Chapel Meditation via YouTube
  • Thursday Interfaith Moment via YouTube or FB

For encouragement and spiritual support, please follow the Campus Christian Center on Facebook.

College Chaplains are available via email and telephone.  Wherever you are—you are not alone.  Together, we can do this hard thing.

An announcement from Public Safety

Public Safety is shifting to card access for their office.  Persons who need assistance should call their office (859-985-3333) to get their assistance.  They will also be providing a box for key drop off, instead of having folks come in to drops off keys.

An announcement regarding the housing and meal refund

Some students have asked when they can expect the housing and meal refund to be disbursed.  We are planning/aiming to process those refunds on Friday, March 27.  Please note that the refund will be applied to the student account; if that creates a credit balance on the account, a check or direct deposit in the amount of the credit balance will be issued to the student.

Access to Alumni Building

As of noon today, Alumni Hall will be card access only. Please be sure to have your ID card with you to get into the building. Public Safety confirmed that everyone’s card should have access to be able to enter the building. Should you have any issues, do not hesitate to reach out Public Safety.

General Access to Campus Buildings

For both safety and risk management Public Safety is locking all buildings to keep unauthorized visitors out.  Entrance will be by card key only.  As our campus has de-populated, we may become a target for the unscrupulous.

Follow up announcement from the CDL

During this mandated shut-down of the CDL, many parents may have questions regarding their CDL tuition payments.  Whether by self-pay or the College’s payroll deduction system, the CDL does not expect payment for an emergency shutdown. These days are treated the same as days closed for inclement weather; they are credited to a parent’s account.  There will be seven days in March (March 23-27 and 30-31) in which the CDL will be closed. Those who have already paid through the month of March will receive this credit with the first charge when we return.  Those who decided to decline childcare in March while working from home, when the CDL was open, will be credited the same seven days as those who attended.  CDL tuition is based on enrollment and paid when services are available and a child is enrolled. Going forward in this shut-down, tuition will not be required until the governor releases this mandate and the CDL reopens. At that time, the credit for seven days will be applied to the first charge for those parents who paid for March in full.  For those parents with College Flex, these deductions are out of our control, as these are arranged with Human Resources.  Please contact HR with those questions.

Also, during this temporary shutdown, the CDL has learned from Frankfort that parents with Child Care Assistance (CCA) will continue to receive this subsidy as long as the closure is mandated and the child remains enrolled at the CDL.  The Division of Child Care will pay all fees in full to the CDL, including all copayments.  Since, CCA will pay copayments, all College-related payroll deductions for copays were stopped mid-March going forward.  This will continue until the CDL receives notice from Frankfort.

Any child who is currently enrolled will keep their spot regardless of the duration of this closure. However, we do ask that when the CDL reopens to please let the CDL administration know if your child will not be returning for care, or should care need to be delayed. We do enjoy serving the kids and our CDL families and will miss all of you; we will have many stories to share when we return!

A suggestion for your consideration

This is a time of great adjustment for everyone and I have been amazed so far with the creativity and flexibility I’ve seen, even as folks are doing there utmost still to carry our all of their specific duties and to contribute to our overall mission.  At this point I want to urge that we not expect perfection in our own efforts or those of other Bereans.  I guess I am saying that in this challenging time, we can grade ourselves and one another on the curve.  (For that reason you can give me a pass for the incorrect usage of “there” in this announcement, or for any of the other typos that were not intentional.)

Faculty have responded with enthusiasm to my invitation to contribute learning opportunities for us.  It is my great pleasure to include two for your interest in this issue of the Daily update.

A Biophysics Perspective on the COVID-19 Virus

by Troy Messina, Chair and Associate Professor of Physics

Structure-function relationships are a cornerstone of science. From the metal that makes our cars impact- and rust-resistant to the pharmaceuticals that relieve us from various maladies, functions emerge and can be manipulated to our technological advantage from understanding structure at the atomic and molecular level. For many biomolecules, solving the atomic-level structure can take years because of the difficulty obtaining a highly organized crystal.  However, Zhang, B., Zhao, Y., Jin, Z., Liu, X., Yang, H., Rao, Z., scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) quickly isolated, crystallized, and solved the structure of the COVID-19 protease, the viral protein enzyme responsible for breaking apart our bodily proteins as part of the infection cycle. The structure was released on March 11, 2020 to the Protein Data Bank. The availability of these molecular structures are likely to go a long way toward our ability to inhibit their disease-causing functions in the future. For your viewing pleasure, here is a video of the structure.

A Peace and Social Justice Perspective on the COVID-19 Virus

by Meta Mendel-Reyes, Associate Professor of Peace and Social Justice and Chair of Division VI

From a PSJ perspective, the pandemic and the global response to it highlight the distance between our aspirations to peace and social justice and the reality of violence and social injustice. While the virus itself does not distinguish along lines of difference, except for age and chronic disease, your chances of survival are greatly affected by group membership.  A white, wealthy man living in the global North who contracts COVID-19 is much more likely to recover than a poor female woman of color living in the global South. The pandemic reveals the price of inequality – it is literally a matter of life or death. In terms of COVID-19, inequality takes many forms, including access to affordable healthcare, poverty, refugee and immigrant status, racism, sexism, homophobia, and the effectiveness of leadership and government. All of these are exacerbated by violence – global wars, civil wars, and communities dominated by those with the weapons. Defeating COVID-19 will require both medicine and movements, both social distancing and collective action for structural change.