Coronavirus and the “SEM with Mplus” courses
The courses planned for September and December are still “on track” to take place as scheduled.
Meanwhile, I invite you to visit my website for online courses: MplusWizard. The website includes a detailed description of what it is like to take the courses, complete with videos.
If you still prefer the in-person course, my current outlook for a safe delivery of the course in September is very positive. This will be updated when/if things change, but here is my view on three main issues:
1. Danger of contracting the virus here:
The teaching room has the capacity to seat 47 people, but only 10 places are offered at the moment. Thankfully, the course will take place before the return of students (term time only starts in October here). More generally, rates of infection with the virus have been very low in Cambridgeshire county throughout, with a much “flatter” curve than the rest of the country [graph source here]. All these factors indicate it will be safe to deliver a course in September.
Should the worst happen, Cambridge has one of the best hospitals in the country, Addenbrookes, which is a university hospital. More generally, two drugs are now deployed at fast pace across the country: remdesivir (this reduces duration and severity in mild cases) and dexamethasone (which significantly reduces death risk in severe cases). Another notable medical advance is the fact that a test exists that can be easily administered upon admission to hospital, which can directly inform whether a specific patient should be given blood thinners and be provided with oxygen assistance.
Current rules are that any visitor from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days. This rule is due to be reviewed on 29th June, 20th July and 10th August. The restriction is being challenged in court by 3 major airlines (British Airways, Easy Jet and Ryan Air). Air bridges are currently being set with several european countries (to be announced on 29 June) and it is widely believed restrictions will be lifted for arrivals from most countries by the end of August.
The College and I are committed to keeping you safe above all. Should circumstances change for the worse, we will err on the side of caution. And if you change your mind at any point, you will obtain a full refund for the course fees and a full refund minus £10 for accommodation in the College.
I am currently offering only 10 seats (to be revised later, if safe). However, if you wish to take the course, please do not delay your registration. If you sit on the fence until the very last minute, two things could happen:
a) There might be a “sign-up frenzy”, whereby all the seats are snapped up within a couple of days. So you might miss out on a place! This has happened twice before, where up to 20 seats were snapped up in 3-4 days.
b) We might cancel the course in the mistaken belief that there is no/low demand. So if you want to make this course happen, you need to help a bit by signing up so that we know you intend to come. As I mentioned above, you will get a full refund if your circumstances change.