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Dear Cary Academy Students,

Yesterday was a good day.

I know what you are thinking, how could yesterday be good? Pretty much every sports league in the US canceled or postponed their seasons. I’m stuck at home, and the only thing left to watch is professional golf. How is this a good thing?

Well, this might be the best time to finally convince your parents that e-games are cool.

But, Dr. Ehrhardt, I heard that Disney announced all its parks in the US were closing. The last time that this happened was 9/11. This is serious.

Yes. This is serious, and this is why yesterday was a good thing.

Yesterday it became pretty clear that a large-scale, country-wide response to the threat of COVID-19 is beginning to happen. This is important because this is the only way to slow the spread of the virus. Slowing the spread, sometimes called “flattening the curve,” is critical so that medical professionals can best support the most vulnerable.

But, Dr. Ehrhardt, am I at risk? I feel pretty vulnerable.

Anxiety is a natural emotion right now, for so many different reasons. I feel it. Your parents feel it. Thankfully, most of what is known about the virus right now is that it is more mild in young people.

So, Dr. Ehrhardt, why are you keeping us from campus if this virus isn’t super harmful for kids? I love Cary Academy, and it breaks my heart ten times over that I cannot come to campus next week. 😉

We canceled school because even if most young people may not get super sick, some will. Also, young people can carry the virus home and infect family members. You can infect your friends, too. And they can infect their family members. Many in our community have family, friends, or co-workers who fall into the vulnerable category – older people or those with a serious medical condition. If too many people get sick at the same time, the hospitals get overwhelmed. This is what is happening in Italy right now.

This is why yesterday was a good thing. The only way to slow the spread and get back to some sense of normal is if we all do our part.

So, Dr. Ehrhardt, what is my part

  1. Practice good hygiene. Keep yourself healthy. Oh, and look out for your parents and friends. Remind them that this isn’t the time to “suck it up” and forgo a doctor’s visit if they have a fever or bad sore throat.
  2. Keep some distance from folks for the next few weeks. You’ve been trying to tell your parents for years that social media is a good thing. Now is your time! Instead of asking to get together with a group of friends, communicate virtually. While school is not “closed,” you are not to come to campus unless you’ve checked in advance with an administrator or tech support and have a special reason to meet them. The gyms are closed. The fitness room is closed. The track is closed. Closed, people. Don’t come here.

Heck, your parents are always telling you to come down out of your bedroom. Now, you can tell them that you are just helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 😉

Ha, ha, Dr. Ehrhardt. You are a funny guy. But can’t you get serious and give me some good advice during these uncertain times?

Yes. A few more critical reminders as we get ready to transition to virtual learning next week:

What about my activities? At this point, just about every sport and activity has been canceled or postponed. Some of our peer schools are also transitioning to virtual learning next week. You are not missing out. Everybody is in the same boat here. (To be clear, boats are bad at the moment.)

What will “virtual learning” look like? You’ve all experienced a bit of what we are about to go through. You have used the tools needed to collaborate virtually. You have had experience working independently and making up work on your own. However, you have not been asked to do this for an extended period. Do not think of this like snow days. You will be asked to be online and available to collaborate with teachers and peers. To be most effective:

  • Set up a regular work space at home (maybe not in your bedroom). Minimize distractions during the times you are “in class.”
  • Stay on top of your work. It might be easy to think that you’ve got all the time in the world. Things will pile up quickly.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you are asked to do an online chat or discussion board, get on it quickly. Answer your emails promptly. Respond to your teachers right away. Ask questions if you are confused.

We are all about to do something pretty cool. Yes, this is an uncertain time … but you are also a part of history right now. First time Cary Academy has gone “virtual.” Remember, we celebrate innovation. You are ready for this, but you have to engage fully in this new type of learning.

OK, Dr. Ehrhardt, I got this.

You do. Oh, and one final thing. In the next few days, you will start to get slammed with emails from your administrators and faculty. Read them all carefully. Ask questions if something is not clear. If you have questions and you don’t know whom to ask, write me an email. I may not be able to answer your question, but I will get it to the person who can.

You may be doing school at home by yourself … but you are not alone.

Have a great weekend and a super start to T3, Chargers!

Dr. Ehrhardt


What’s the deal with the New York Times, Dr. Ehrhardt? Do you get paid by them to send us links?

Well, there is a lot of crazy stuff being said about the coronavirus right now. I am not a medical or scientific expert. I feel much more comfortable sending you links from them than, say, Buzzfeed.