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How do we work to flatten the curve for COVID-19 within academia? And how do we support other sectors, organizations, and individuals in doing the same?

As researchers race to conduct clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine with unprecedented speed, they are providing a beacon of hope for the future. But the only way to curb the exponential growth of this pandemic is for everyone to act now and fast. Within academia, that means developing plans for extended distance learning and working, expanding access to research, taking steps to combat public misinformation, and, in general, finding ways to cope with an increasingly nerve-wracking reality.

It is a troubling time, but it is also one illuminating the power of access to information and the power of community. Within academia, resources are coming out to help scholarly institutions cope with COVID-19, and researchers are taking steps to educate the public about concepts like “flattening the curve” to convey the gravity of the situation while also providing some reassurance in these anxious times.

We know that there is a lot of information to follow right now. To help you keep up, we’ve rounded up some of the top resources we’ve found for navigating COVID-19 in 3 key areas:

  1. Institutional response and distance learning
  2. Remote working and social distancing
  3. Tracking and communicating COVID-19 updates

We will be updating this post with new resources. We encourage you to share anything that you think should be added in the comments section.

Institutional responses and distance learning

For academic institutions around the globe, COVID-19 is forcing rapid changes in institutional operations as well as instructional planning and delivery. Below is helpful information on how institutions are approaching COVID-19 as well as resources for transitioning to distance learning.

Institutional responses to COVID-19:

Distance learning:

Remote working and social distancing

Within academia and other sectors, many organizations are instating optional or mandatory work-from-home policies in efforts to help flatten the curve for COVID-19. At Scholastica, we have decided on a mandatory work from home policy. As an already remote-friendly office, we have many remote working tools and processes in place. Below are a few top tips we wanted to share based on our team’s remote working experience:

  1. Put ample communication channels with designated purposes in place (e.g. Slack with channels by department or topic, so people know where to find each other and the best ways to facilitate organized and efficient communication).
  2. Maintain human contact with video conferencing tools — live personal connection throughout the really day matters, try not to go without it. (There are many great free options like Google Hangouts and Skype that institutions and individuals can use.)
  3. Encourage and model taking healthy breaks. (When you work remotely it can be easy to forget to turn off the screen for a few moments. Remembering to take time to eat and move about and letting others know you’re doing so is really important).

We hope those quick tips from our team are helpful! Here are some other resources on remote working and social distancing:

Remote working:

Social distancing:

Tracking and communicating COVID-19 updates

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the information agility of academics around the world, with tons of new research literature to keep abreast of and an onus to identify and combat public misinformation to promote expeditious and accurate responses to this pandemic. Below are some of the top places to freely access the latest coronavirus research for scholars, as well as some top resources academics have been sharing to help educate the general public and prevent the spread of COVID-19 myths.

Freely accessible COVID-19 research collections:

Below are some of the latest freely available research collections and datasets on COVID-19:

Public education and outreach:

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic as an academic and global community

We are navigating uncharted waters — if there has ever been a time for that phrase to ring true it is now. These are incredibly trying and unfamiliar days. It is also in such times that we see the immense power of information access and community to spur action. At Scholastica, we hope that this roundup of resources will help those in academia navigate COVID-19. Major kudos to all of the organizations and individuals developing these COVID-19 resources and making them freely available. We will be updating this blog with new information. We invite you to share any resources that you think should be added to this post.