Ocean Currents 8/7/20

Hello Fellow Oceanographers,

This is a brief Covid19 report for our school. I never really believed we would still be dealing with all this, even though we were told over and over again that this was a long haul. I am proud of the way we have behaved communally so far, and I trust in you that we can keep it together as we move through the summer and into the fall. The pandemic has been rough on morale, which is why the School has been investing in the Afloat challenges and the community slack channels. 

Please stay connected, please win the limited edition enamel pin! Click here now to update your social distancing data. The next level prize is chocolates from our own Bill Fredricks. You gotta’ socially distance to win!

As we pass through the 6th month since the coronavirus was detected in King County, I am pleased to report that there have been no known cases of the covid19 virus being present within the physical spaces of our school or aboard our ships. The one known positive test for a community member was handled in the moment by that person and resulted in no known transference of the virus because the person immediately went into quarantine and subsequently tested negative. In fact, the person’s situation prior to the test makes it likely that the incident was a false positive (which is thought to be currently occurring in <1% of the pcr tests). 

In April the School gradually reopened our buildings to critical research. We are currently at about 10-15% capacity and the HallPass system is working well. Thank you to all who use it, and to Shawn for his hard work creating the system. 

There are kinks in our armor. OSB has been frequented several times now by homeless, some of whom simply sleep in the building and then leave, others who defile our bathrooms and leave behind horrid messes. If you are coming into the labs, PLEASE check that the doors click shut and lock behind you. There are workers in our buildings who sometimes don’t wear masks – they are getting better at it.  Thank you for your willingness to respectfully approach them and ask that they conform to university guidelines. And, uugh, there are some of you who do not use HallPass but still come into our communal spaces. You probably also don’t read these emails, but I get reports about you and I know you are out there. I will be reaching out to you individually to once again request that you honor the system. Our health is of primary importance and we are best protected when we act as a community rather than as individuals.

Perhaps the biggest loss to our community because of the pandemic has been the opportunity to just hang out and chat, the so-called ‘hallway conversation.’ The Afloat team has some ideas for fall, and would love to hear your ideas, so please check in. And stay healthy.

As always, I want to hear from you if you have concerns or questions.  AND FILL OUT THE SCHOOL CULTURE SURVEY!!!

Rick

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