I just made my will today



I just made my will today.


The faculty and staff at my university got the email yesterday from Human Resources referring us to a resource available to university employees. It’s a holographic will done with software our human resources area has access to. It doesn’t even cost us anything, because our university has been so kind as to provide this service to us for free. 

I am furious. 

Not because I made a will, because I should have done that years ago. I knew better, but let it lapse anyhow because, you know, time passes and nobody likes to think about death. 

I am furious because this is the response of the university to the faculty and staff’s concerns about Coronavirus in the fall semester. We’ve already watched our cases double in the past week and a half in the county. Nobody has died — yet. What is going to happen when all five thousand-some students come back? 

We faculty wanted online classes. We got assistance with wills. 

To be fair, we’re trying some alternative classroom arrangements to allow for social distancing. I will have only eight students per class session; I will in effect be teaching only one class session a week six times (two sections x three cohorts of 8). But these students will be in residence halls, where social distancing cannot happen. They will be in the food court. They will get COVID and, hopefully, most of them will survive, except I guess those with comorbidities like diabetes and immune suppression.

We will wear masks — hopefully. I’ve not been told what to do with students who will not wear masks, other than “put them in the corner”.  

The death rate from COVID in the US, according to Johns Hopkins, is 3.6%. Most of that is concentrated in minorities, older age groups and people with preexisting conditions that predispose us to complications. I am 56 and obese, and at risk. My husband is 51 with a condition that makes him high-risk. 

I am told to prepare to go fully online at any time. When will campus call this? If students return to campus, some of which are already infected from group activities, the dam will already be broken. I am bracing for ugliness. I am bracing for illness.

I am writing my will.

2 thoughts on “I just made my will today

  1. I'm sorry you're having to go through this.I am one of those students with comorbidies and I am also a minority as well. I had the flu when it went around campus in late February to mid-March and it was devastating, I was sick for over 2 months. I am very uncertain about what is going to happen with COVID and it is sad to see the choices of the university. I've been preparing myself just in case it ends up killing me, without even being able to fully communicate that with my friends. I can only hope the university pulls the plug before anyone dies, but that's probably what it will take in the first place. Knowing how unlikely it is that most people on campus will somehow avoid it, I just hope that all goes well within your family, and there is no loss of life.

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  2. You're in a scary situation, and I hope that the COVID avoids you. It's going to be a very stressful time this fall, and I don't know that the university understands that many people are more likely to take risky behaviors under those circumstances. Hopefully, it won't take a student or staff death to trigger an online semester.

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