“They feel safer here.”
THERE ARE STILL 700 NMU students living in residence halls on the campus.
They either can’t or don’t want to return home.
“Some of them are telling us they don’t have a place to go or they don’t have transportation,” says Derek Hall, NMU’s chief marketing officer. “Some have said they don’t want to go back to (coronavirus) hotspots and they feel safer here.”
Makes sense. As of Thursday afternoon, only three cases had been diagnosed in the UP, only one in Marquette County.
University employees are mostly working remotely, although food service workers are still feeding the remaining students, public safety officers remain on duty, along with some facilities workers. Wednesday’s trustee meeting, scheduled for campus, was conducted remotely.
Graduation ceremonies? They’ve been postponed from their scheduled May 2nd date. Undetermined when they’ll actually occur. Maybe late summer? It all depends on when the virus outbreak dies down so that the university feels comfortable inviting students and families back for Commencement.
Delta’s flights to be cut
“THE AIRPORT THESE days is a very quiet place.”
That’s how Duane Duray, the airport manager at Sawyer, sums things up. Most airport employees are working from home if they can–no furloughs or layoffs. The airlines and rental car agencies are continuing to operate but on a limited basis.
Flights? Yep, Delta still has three a day, though not always if they determine that they’ll essentially be flying an empty plane, according to Duray. And come April, they’re reducing that to only one scheduled flight a day.
American still schedules one flight a day.
CDC guidelines being followed
WE’D HEARD FROM a few folks that some RN’s and other staff members from UPHS had recently returned from the Caribbean and were told they had to return to work immediately.
Some concern expressed.
Not a problem, according to Janell Larson, the director of marketing and communications for the hospital.
“We are not allowed to discuss individual personnel matters,” she writes. “However, rest assured, we are following CDC guidelines as it pertains to employees returning to work from personal travel.”
Tourism’s great, just not now
FROM OUR FRIENDS in northern Michigan south of the bridge….
A plea to the folks farther downstate to stay away, as reported by Bridge Magazine, the nonpartisan nonprofit news source.
“If you have friends and family downstate figuring since they are out of work, they may as well just come UpNorth to the cottage, please encourage them not to,” says Traverse City mayor Jim Carruthers.
“People should do what they are supposed to, stay in their homes and not travel,” says Petoskey mayor John Murphy.
It’s understandable why the welcome mat has been yanked. The Detroit area, unfortunately, has become a hotspot for COVID-19 while northern Michigan has seen only a very limited outbreak.
And the UP? As we said, not even a handful of cases here yet so, yeah, our welcome mat has also been yanked. Let’s continue to focus on social distancing and start dreaming about the warm, lazy, soothing days of summer…and going to restaurants and bars and coffee shops and barbecues and…you know, like, talking to each other from less than six feet away.
You don’t know what you got until you lose it.