Suspend In-Person Instruction at UBC

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The Coronavirus (COVID-19) currently has 32 cases reported in BC as of March 9th, and has taken 1 victim. National Post article by Sharon Kirkey states that experts expect 35 to 70 percent of Canadians to contract the disease. UBC, which hosts over 10,000 students and staff everyday, is a hot bed for the spread of the Coronavirus. For the safety of students and staff members, UBC should suspend in-person instruction ASAP.

Italy has 10,149 cases of coronavirus, as of March 10th, up from only 3 cases on February 20th. British Columbia already have 32 cases, with most of them being in Vancouver. Given the Italy's trajectory, the risk of infection is very high in Vancouver, which has almost 30 cases and even 1 death. Many lectures at UBC have over 150 students in a closed room, and a typical student may come into contact with thousands of individuals in one day at UBC. UBC is a hotbed for infection, and students and staff are endangering the health of themselves and their loved ones attending school. 

Furthermore, as of March 10th, numerous U.S. universities have suspended in-person instruction, including Ivy-League schools like Harvard. Many of the universities that suspended in-person instruction are located in regions with less cases of COVID-19 than Vancouver, and chose to prioritize the safety of students and staff members. New York State has created a containment zone as of March 10th too. Isolation is the best preventative method against COVID-19, and UBC should help the effort to contain the spread of the disease.

Lastly, from a personal note, I have not been able to focus in many of my lectures lately due to COVID-19. I move seats and hold my breath whenever another student coughs near me. I live with my elderly grandparents, and I am in fear of bring home a disease that is likely fatal for my grandparents. A significant portion of student body are wearing masks to lecture, demonstrating that I am not alone in my fear.