In-person classes for COM 316 Photographic Communication transitioned to Zoom on the second day of class after the instructor’s child had contact with someone who contracted Covid-19. Prof. Raymond Thompson had to quarantine until the child tested negative.
A few students did not receive the last-minute announcement and stayed for the Zoom lecture in the Dealey New Media Center lecture hall.
The Covid-19 pandemic altered lives of students, faculty, and staff of the University of Texas at Austin in an dramatic fashion. On the last day before Spring Break, March 13, 2021, a mass email announced the cancellation of classes for the week following the vacation, that students would not return to campus, and that all school interactions would occur online, primarily through Zoom.
By the Fall 2021, classes resumed employing a hybrid structure of in-person and virtual learning. The faculty and teaching assistants could not require masks or ask about a student’s vaccination status. The expectation was to not talk about Covid other than urging students to stay safe. As new variants arise, such as Delta and Omicron, whether or not the school ever will return to a state wherein masks and social distancing are unnecessary is uncertain.