As I have been reporting, I was scheduled to teach an advanced undergraduate course at UNC Chapel Hill this spring, starting January 11. Several days ago, my wife and I had a serious talk about the dangers this posed. UNC does not require students to be vaccinated, although it does require them to wear masks, and professors are not even permitted to ask students whether they have been vaccinated. It seemed to me inevitable that I would be presented with the risk of a breakthrough Omicron infection, something that the odds say would not for the most part be dangerous for someone fully vaccinated and boosted. But I will be 88 in nine days, my wife will be 89 in a month, and both of us have medical conditions that in some form or other compromise our ability to fight off infections. So I contacted the very supportive and helpful Chair and Associate Chair of the Philosophy Department and asked whether I could teach virtually by zoom. Well, it seems that is not possible. I would have had to request permission months ago and even then it is questionable whether it would have been granted. So I will not be teaching this spring.
Needless to say, at the rate the new variant is spreading, I think it is quite likely that by middle or end of January UNC will have gone to virtual teaching, but alas that will be too late for me. So now I need to find something else to keep me busy this spring. My first thought was to arrange on my shelves in chronological order of publication all the books I have published with the various editions and translations included. It is, I am aware, the sort of thing Mister Toad would do but my options are limited, after all. So I started this morning and the first thing I discovered was that I had a Turkish translation that I had completely forgotten about of the little book that Barrington Moore, Herbert Marcuse, and I published in 1965. That was fun.
This task will not take me very long so I am open to suggestions.