COVID-19 | Health & Safety Guidelines
(Approximate Reading Time: 15 Minutes)
We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.
As you know, the recent worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on all of us. As of February, there are more than 100 million confirmed cases of the virus worldwide with new cases being reported every minute. Large portions of the global population are currently under curfew/lockdown and many governments are struggling to serve the medical, social, and economic needs of their citizens. In no uncertain terms, these are strange and difficult times.
At Qasid, the past year has been a very busy time. As the spread of the virus became more apparent in February 2020, our focus was set on the health and safety of our students and staff in Amman. We took a number of steps to spread awareness, make our physical space more hygienic and safe, and convey the guidance of local and international medical health experts.
In early-March, the pace and nature of governmental advice and regulations began to change and on March 17th developed into a total lockdown and ban on travel to and from Jordan (this ban continued until September 8th). In the days (and sometimes hours) that led up to the March 17th travel ban, we continued to prioritize the safety of our students and staff, however, in addition to providing resources for their physical and emotional well-being, we directed our attention to the importance of their physical location as well. Many decided to stay whereas an equal number preferred to go home. We did our best to make sure that everyone was able to be, or get to, wherever they felt most safe.
From March 17th until March 29th, our staff returned to preparations that began in February for transitioning our onsite program in Amman to an online setting. This was in order to continue serving our students who had left Jordan and those who remained but, due to the curfew imposed at the time, were unable to come to campus for their classes. Even with more than a decade’s worth of experience teaching Arabic online, it was a major shift. Despite the curfew, personal responsibilities, and a very different idea of “work-life balance,” the efforts of my colleagues quite literally blew me away. I’m happy to report that the transition was a success, and our 2020 Spring, Summer, and Fall Terms were completed online. The 2020-2021 Winter Term students are currently attending their classes online as well.
During this period, we’ve received a number of questions about health/safety regulations and guideline at Qasid if/when classes will resume in-person. To that end, in this message we’ll address the following:
- The current status of COVID-19 in Jordan
- Possibilities for in-person instruction
- Guidance if/when in-person instruction restarts
- What the Jordanian government is doing
- What Qasid is doing
- What you can do
- A note on staying calm and treating others with respect
- Important contact information
There is a significant amount of detail below. Please read (and re-read) carefully and reach out to us with any questions (contact information below).