Daily COVID-19 Update: April 1, 2020

Dear Bereans,

This is the update for Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

An announcement from Madison County Public Health

We have 4 new cases in the county for a total of 12 now, 5 hospitalized and 7 recovering at home.  Further information is never provided.

An announcement from Academics

May-term will be conducted via distance learning. Expect announcements soon about changes in course availability and registration procedures. Labor is not required except for students residing on campus. Decisions on the summer 7-week session will be made in mid-April.

Everyone is pitching in

Professor of Biology Dawn Anderson and chemistry faculty Mary Robert Garrett and Matt Saderholm have made two gallons of hand sanitizer for Public Safety using the World Health Organization (WHO) protocols. Chemistry has the capacity to make more should there be a need. WHO hand sanitizer is more liquid than the commercial gels but is as effective because it is greater than 80% alcohol by volume.

An archival perspective: Encountering Berea’s Old Quarantine Dorm

by Christopher Miller, College Curator, Associate Director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center

Over the years, I have encountered bits and pieces about Berea’s historical quarantine practices.  From at least 1906 until 1940, Berea had designated quarantine spaces that were used during annual outbreaks of influenza.  One such space was the third floor of Stephenson Hall where EPG is located today.  Stephenson Hall used to be two separate buildings and this side was the Bruce Building.  In the basement of Bruce was the college’s on-campus saw and planing mill.  On the first floor street side, where the Appalachian Center is now, was the print shop, fully equipped for hot-lead typecasting and offset printing.  The back half of the first floor, where First Year Initiatives is now, as well as the entire second floor, was the woodworking shop which supported Woodcraft, woodworking instruction, and Facilities Management.  Finally, on the third floor of Bruce Building was the quarantine dorm.  Sometime after World War II, the quarantine dorm was converted to storage. However, in 1999-2000, it was completely emptied in preparation for remodeling as the home of EPG.  After clearing, but before renovation, I was in that space to scout for historical artifacts.  It has green painted pine floors and tongue-and-groove wooden walls.  The there were deep marks in the floor made by rows of metal bunk beds.  What is now Peter Hackbert’s office was the restroom, with three old toilets and two showers.  On street-side brick wall were the remains of an old candlestick telephone and a bulletin board.  I spent about an hour in that forgotten room.  Because of my training as a social historian and curator, those visible clues kept bringing to my mind to the anxiety and suffering that once occurred in that space.  Our current crisis has brought back that memory and gives me increased insight.

I’ll end this update by sharing appreciation for our entire Farm and Farm Store team, who, together with their students have continued to work very hard through the crisis.  The animals, crops and everything produced cannot be neglected for even a day.  We will be missing the opportunity of purchasing the great selection of healthy food from the Farm Store while they are on hiatus to assist with planting season.  So, special thanks to:

  • Bob Harnad – Farm Manager
  • Charlie Thomas – Crops and Livestock
  • Janet Meyer – Horticulture
  • Andrew Oles – Interim College Farm Director
  • Tammy Cornett – Farm Store Manager
  • David Little – Assistant Farm Store Manager and Butcher
  • Emily Smith – Baker
  • and all of their wonderful students.

Warm regards from Berea,

Lyle Roelofs, President