COVID-19: Life in a pandemic, one year on

COVID-19: Life in a pandemic, one year on

On March 13, 2020, King’s and Dalhousie jointly announced that classes would be suspended for one week to facilitate the transition from in-person course delivery to online classes.

The King’s community responded to the many challenges of this year with empathy for one another in difficult times.

Looking back on the year that was, we share a timeline tracing a few highlights and stories that document our shared experience.

March 2020

March 5

King’s shares its first public health-related message about what was then being called the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

March 13

President Lahey and Dalhousie University President Deep Saini release a joint message saying, “it is time for our institutions to take concrete measures to encourage social distancing and limit the spread of the virus.” Among the steps being taken they announce that classes will be suspended for one week to allow instructors to transition to “alternative means of teaching,” students who are able to are encouraged to move out of residences, non-essential university events and activities are canceled, and non-essential travel is suspended.

March 19

President Lahey shares the first of his weekly messages to the King’s community during COVID-19.

March 20

Lynn Ungar authors the first of a series of “FYP Letters” to keep the Foundation Year Program (FYP) community in touch with one another through a strange time.

April 2020

April 2

Alumna Margot Stafford takes followers time travelling on Twitter during social isolation.

April 17

President Lahey provides updated information on the Student Emergency Relief Fund, established in March to support students experiencing financial difficulties resulting from the pandemic. He informs the community that 22 students have applied for and received bursaries, clarifying that these students had “lost employment and/or incurred unexpected travel and relocation expenses.”

President Lahey reveals that the community has shown remarkable generosity in support of the fund.

May 2020

May 15

President Lahey writes his ninth message, marking the end of term. In it, he celebrates the presence of the “human element” in everything that takes place at King’s, even when the community must work and study remotely.

May 25

After two months of online learning, fourth-year History of Science and Technology student Megan Krempa checks in with six students to profile student life during COVID-19.

May 29

The King’s community celebrates the class of 2020 with a video hosted by President Lahey. Contributors include Honorary Doctorate recipient Sherri Borden Colley, who urges graduates to “remain teachable,” as well as a socially-distanced performance from the King’s College Chapel Choir, messages of support and inspiration from faculty and an address from Valedictorian Isabelle Reynolds.

June 2020

June 18

With the support of an Art Apart Grant from the National Theatre School of Canada, fourth-year student Katie Clarke develops a “documentary-style play” chronicling how Canadians are dealing with the pandemic.

June 29

Associate Professor Fred Vallance-Jones partners with the Canadian Association of Journalists to host the 2020 King’s Summer School in Data Journalism to students from around the country, expanding the reach of a course that has been offered in person since 2008.

July 2020

July 10

Izzy Ortner, a fourth-year student in the Contemporary Studies Program posts the first blog on ukings.ca for Crickets, a CSP student publication: “Coates, hip hop, and philosophical thinking beyond the education system.”

July 31

King’s, in conjunction with universities across Nova Scotia, announces that nonmedical masks are now required to be worn on campus.

September 2020

September 29

With social distancing requirements in place across the campus and the province, King’s holds Matriculation online.

September 30

President Lahey begins the term with a message to the community, providing insight on the campus safety plan that will keep the community safe, and sharing his pride in the “adaptability and creativity” of faculty faced with moving courses online, while also noting how much he misses having the regular opportunity to speak with students in person.

October 2020

October 21

First-year students share their early impressions of FYP, delivered entirely online.

October 29

Students from the School of Journalism discuss how they—and the department—are adapting to remote learning.

November 2020

November 12

FYP faculty fellows share tales of tutorials joined by wayward pets and other unexpected reasons for faculty and students to bond as they navigate the shared experience of online learning.

November 24

Offered in cooperation with the King’s Athletics Department to help the community stay fit in mind and body while team sports and gyms remain shut down, Coach Thomas Kochanoff discusses his “Wednesday Workouts”—short online workouts posted on YouTube.

December 2020

December 02

Faculty from the School of Journalism discuss the opportunities that have come with online course delivery and the things they miss about teaching in person.

December 16

Jordan Roberts, the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Officer, shares a blog about how to be good to yourself through a holiday season that brings unusual challenges.

December 18

President Lahey hosts his annual Holiday Social online to an audience of over 70, including 50 alumni from across the continent.

January 2021

January 06

Assistant professor of Journalism Terra Tailleur discusses adapting the collaboration and buzz of a newsroom to online course delivery.

January 05

As online programming for alumni expands, Kate Cayley, BA(Hons)’01, comes online to discuss how she’s made a career as a writer of fiction, plays and poetry.

January 27; February 25

Annual student society conferences take place online for the first time for the Contemporary Studies Society and the Early Modern Studies Society. The EMSS hosts guest lecturers based in the United States and Ireland.

February 2021

February 10

Director of the History of Science and Technology Program Dr. Gordon McOuat co-teaches Science and Culture II: Resetting the Modern with Dr. Sundar Sarukkai, bringing students from King’s and three Indian universities together for live discussions held over the nine-and-a-half-hour time difference.

February 17

Beginning with Ash Wednesday, the University of King’s College Chapel Choir records an Evensong service weekly through Lent, sharing a new video each Wednesday evening on its YouTube channel.

February 18

The second annual J-School Noire workshops—a Canadian Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) initiative sponsored by King’s to encourage Black youth to consider a journalism career—takes place online, connecting youth from around Halifax with Black journalism professionals.

March 2021

March 10

As part of Read Now, an initiative to keep FYP students engaged and connected to the community through online course delivery, King’s faculty, staff and alumni come together online for a full-cast reading of Anton Chekhov’s play The Cherry Orchard—the subject of the students’ FYP lecture the following day.

March 12

President Lahey hosts a Hot Chocolate Social in the Quad to mark the anniversary.

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