Coronavirus: BU Tuesday Roundup
BU, Boston, state, national, and global updates
If you have a question or comment related to BU and its response to the COVID-19 crisis, on the subject of the move-out, remote learning, retrieving personal belongings, or anything else, please visit Boston University’s special COVID-19 website. Questions are being answered there by specific departments in a timely fashion. Thank you.
—Doug Most, executive editor, BU Today
Quote of the day:
The people of Massachusetts are meeting this challenge exactly the way we would expect—with determination, cool heads, and a selfless sense of community.
Stat of the day:
5 to 30 days: That’s now how long you’ll wait for some nonessential items ordered through Amazon Prime, which normally delivers within a day or two. The reason? Changing priorities due to the coronavirus, which has led Amazon to focus on household and medical goods and other essentials.
Governor limits travel, business, but higher education is deemed “essential”
With a fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state, Governor Charlie Baker on Monday issued a “stay at home” advisory for all Massachusetts residents and ordered nonessential businesses to close, effective Tuesday at noon. But University faculty and other workers are among those deemed essential and will be allowed to continue working, teaching classes over Zoom, and caring for those students who have had to remain on campus. Find details here.
You still need to eat. Here’s when and where
Now that those students able to leave campus have done so, Dining Services has adjusted the hours of operation for the dining halls, restaurants, and convenience stores that are still in operation around campus. Find a detailed schedule here. The Marciano Commons dining hall and the Starbucks at 700 Comm Ave are now closed. Your best bet for finding food on campus is to go to the Open Now page online.
A doctor’s encouraging message
Boston Medical Center (BMC) emergency room doctor Jon Santiago, who is also a first-term state representative from the South End (9th Suffolk), is one of a five-member working group of pols who’ll help guide the legislature through the COVID-19 crisis. On Twitter, as @IamJonSantiago, he offers a behind-the-scenes video of the work going on at BMC to help the influx of patients with the disease.
Just finished up another weekend in the ED, so far so good! After a crazy start, we’re seizing the challenge to create a more efficient and robust ER. And while #coronavirus will get worse before it gets better, I’m optimistic about the progress! Tune in! #COVID19MA pic.twitter.com/q0vgjGJnEj— Jon Santiago (@IamJonSantiago) March 23, 2020
Boston and Beyond News
Massachusetts legislators working on bill to halt evictions and foreclosures
Commonwealth lawmakers are preparing to advance a bill that promises a “crucial safety net” to protect renters and homeowners from the growing ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Renters should understand that a Trial Court standing order means no pending eviction cases can proceed until at least April 21, Governor Baker said Monday.
Walsh administration hires former US Afghanistan commander
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Monday that the city has hired a consulting group led by Stanley McChrystal, a retired US Army four-star general and former commander of US forces in Afghanistan, to review the city’s emergency plans in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Walsh also announced that the city has seen its second death from the coronavirus.
US & Global News
Fed fights economic impact of pandemic
The Federal Reserve said it would buy as much government-backed debt as necessary to keep financial markets functioning as the coronavirus continues to deal a crushing blow to the economy. “Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes,” the Fed said in a statement Monday, as many businesses large and small face significant losses and unemployment balloons.
Tokyo Olympics will go on, but when?
If you were planning a trip to the Tokyo Olympics this summer, hang onto those tickets. It appears that the games will still go on, but you might have to reschedule your flight—to next year. The International Olympic Committee announced that it is considering a postponement and will make a final decision within four weeks. After several countries said they wouldn’t send teams if the games are held this summer, it looks like the games may happen in 2021.
Latest count of coronavirus cases
United States, 41,708; Massachusetts, 777.
Salem. Mass., resident Matt Obey bought 21 gift cards from local businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak last Sunday. Since then, he’s been parceling out the $50 cards to followers of his Instagram account, @purelysalem. Small businesses in Massachusetts have been urging patrons to stock up on gift cards as shops and restaurants are forced to close or offer delivery only to slow the spread of COVID-19. “I saw shops encouraging people to buy gift cards, and I wanted to support them,” Obey says.
Find FAQs about BU’s response to the pandemic here. The University’s hotline for faculty, staff, students, and visiting scholars to call for referral of their virus-related medical concerns is 617-358-4990.