Monday, June 14

The Virus Moves Off Campus

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These decisions to scatter students — rather than quarantine them on campus — have led to widespread criticism. “It’s the worst thing you could do,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s leading infectious-disease expert, said on NBC. “When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection.”

Zach Morin, a University of Georgia student, told WXIA, a local television station, “Once it is open and people are there and spreading it, it doesn’t make sense to send it across the nation.”

Susan Dynarski, a University of Michigan economist, wrote on Twitter that “unloading students onto home communities” was “deeply unethical.”

There are no easy answers for colleges, because creating on-campus quarantines brings its own challenges. At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, one student who tested positive — Brianna Hayes — said that no employee checked on her during her week in isolation. “Feverish and exhausted from the virus, she made four trips up and down staircases to move her bedding and other belongings to her isolation room,” The Times’s Natasha Singer writes, in a story about campus quarantines.

Still, many experts say that the colleges that chose to reopen their campuses despite the risks, often for financial reasons, have a moral responsibility to do better. “Universities are not taking responsibility for the risks they are creating,” Sarah Cobey, an epidemiologist at the University of Chicago, said.

Two soldiers from Myanmar have publicly confessed to rape, executions and mass burials as part of what U.N. officials call the country’s genocidal campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Their testimony is the first time members of the military have admitted to the mass killings and erasures of entire villages.

One of the men, Pvt. Zaw Naing Tun, said he was told by a superior: “Kill all you see, whether children or adults.” The two men were transported to The Hague, where the International Criminal Court is investigating the violence against the Rohingya.

Masks have become a mandatory item of clothing whenever you leave the house, inspiring debates about which brand is best and offering a new tableau for fashion statements.

But there is still some confusion about a core question: How often should you wash your mask?

Our colleagues at Wirecutter have done the research and produced an answer: Frequently.

As Ben Frumin, Wirecutter’s editor in chief, told me: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend washing masks ‘regularly.’ Experts we spoke to were more specific: Wash a used mask at the end of each day, especially if the mask is dirty or wet. But there’s no need to wash masks separately from your regular laundry.”

A more detailed version of this mask advice will be part of a new weekly Wirecutter newsletter called “Clean Everything,” offering step-by-step instructions for tasks like removing rust from a cast-iron skillet or washing a dishwasher. The newsletter debuts tonight, and you can sign up here. In the meantime, I confess I’ll need to start washing my masks a lot more often.

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