After years of advocating and then judging pandemic disaster scenarios in policy debate rounds, it is now time to find out what I really believe and how I act in the face of an actual pandemic.
There are variations in people's approaches to determine how much harm is coming from coronavirus and its illness, COVID-19.
- Some describe the problem by the numbers of cases and deaths at his moment. I dismissed those numbers as unimportant, as they were transient and did not reflect the extent of likely harm.
- Doctors record the cases they see and public health officials aggregate them. Often, the numbers are compared to previous numbers or with current numbers for other illnesses, and changes create a trend of what to expect. I pay lots of attention to these numbers and trends.
- Epidemiologists look at what is known about existing cases and deaths, then use algorithms and models to estimate what the harm could be. Assumptions about existing numbers of cases, small variations in rates of transmission, and differences in severity of harm or death produce vastly different outcomes. I found opinions on US deaths ranging from 80,000 to more than 2 million. While I could pick one which agreed with my level of alarm or serves to advocate a sense of harm, I do not have enough expertise to make a meaningful choice.
Knowing about the potential harm, what choices do I make? Thankfully, I'm not making governmental choices. I can focus on personal decisions based on my privileged position.
- Do I continue doing my usual activities or stop them in order to isolate? I have good health and adequate insurance, so I still interact with friends and neighbors. I am conscious of their risks for exposure and choose a physical distance based on my (and their) sense of threat. When there is a government mandate, I (mostly) follow the law.
- Do I continue to spend money as usual? Should I change my investments? I'm retired, so don't rely on a job's income (a good thing, as my former company announced another round of lay-offs). I am more cautious, but have not chosen “only absolute essentials.” I made a few changes to have more cash available, but did not sell or reallocate assets. Unlike some of my relatives and friends, I was not certain enough about impacts of this crisis to change long-term strategies in an effort to avoid losses or make a profit.
It is hard to say if those are the best choices – but they emerge from my background in debate, assessing harms and considering policy choices. Here's hoping you are learning from your DUDL experience to make the best choices for you.
We would like to extend our gratitude to those who are on the frontlines keeping us all healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also thankful for our state and community leaders who have responded to this situation thoughtfully and swiftly, and to all of the educators who have worked quickly to transition to online learning modes and prepared take-home lessons for students to keep them academically engaged during the school closures that have been put in place.
Last Friday, in alignment with our partner organizations, and in the best interest of our students and the Denver community, we decided to postpone the City Championships sponsored by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and the Student Celebration Dinner/ Breaking Barriers: A Fundraising Soiree to the weekend of May 22-23, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated, but we hope you all will save these dates for the tournament, dinner, and fundraiser.
To our supporters who have purchased tables or tickets for Breaking Barriers, we hope you will still join us on May 23, 2020 for this event which is our most important fundraiser of the year. For those who already signed up to volunteer, or were planning to volunteer, at the City Championships, we hope you will still be able to volunteer on May 22-23. Please email email@example.com to update availability.
The DUDL Office at the University of Denver is currently closed, but DUDL staff are working remotely and available by email to answer any questions you have. Please contact Executive Director Jessica Clark at JessicaClark@UrbanDebate.org with questions, concerns, or suggestions. The League very much appreciates your continued support during these times which are most trying for everyone.
Wishing you all good health,
The Denver Urban Debate League
Please consider joining us for the 2020 DUDL City Championships hosted by the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver.
Judging opportunities for speech and debate are available.
On Saturday, March 28th we will also have the Student Achievement Celebration Dinner.
Sponsored by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law & The Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.
This Saturday, students scurried up and down the halls of Hinkley High School, participating in the fourth DUDL tournament of the year. Over 130 students and 30 judges came to make the tournament a possibility. Thank you to everyone who made this tournament such a success!
At tournament 5, on February 22nd, the DUDL will host it's inaugural Middle School Congress Event entitled "Your City Council." Middle schoolers from across Denver are encouraged to attend this amazing opportunity. For more information and to register, visit our Middle School Debate page.
On Saturday, January 11th, DUDL students joined lecturers from many disciplines at the 2020 Winter Workshop. Students heard from a topic lecturer on foreign arms sales, this year's policy topic. They also participated in an improv workshop with a professional. With speech and debate skills warmed up, they are ready to jump into the second half of the competitive season!
The DUDL is honored to be the recipient of the Denver Foundation 2020 Grant!
"The mission of The Denver Foundation is to inspire people and mobilize resources to strengthen our community. Since 1925, The Denver Foundation has helped generous people like you to be catalysts for good by building charitable legacies."
The new year looks bright for the DUDL and we are ecstatic to move forward!
Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by social media. Created by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday encourages people and organizations around the world to donate time, resources or talents to address local challenges. In Colorado, the way we participate in GivingTuesday is by scheduling our Colorado Gives Day donations when the value of your donation will be increased in value by the First Bank Incentive Fund. Schedule your donation to be received on Colorado Gives Day here.
At lunch on Saturday, November 16th, two representatives from each attending DUDL school at the Baker Hostetler Classic attended the first Student Advisory Council Session of the 2019-20 season. 30 students came together and shared successes and challenges happening on their teams. Executive Director, Jessica Clark, worked with the students to problem solve and work towards an agenda for the rest of the year. Notable events discussed included the possibility of organizing a league-wide service event and more involvement at future tournaments.
ALUM AND COACH TAY ANDERSON WINS SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION BECOMING THE YOUNGEST ELECTED OFFICIAL IN COLORADO
University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. 2255 East Evans Avenue Suite 406, Denver, CO 80210