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Highly vaccinated Harvard Business School announced last week that it will move most of its classes to an online format due to a surge of COVID-19 infections among the student body, further cementing our years-long prediction that virtual classes will replace brick-and-mortar classrooms.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the school is one of the first major universities to change direction after the school year officially started. Administrators said in an email, obtained by the Journal, that the business school accounted for two-thirds of the COVID-19 cases in the entire university and just recently saw a 20 percent spike in cases.

Srikant Datar, the school’s dean, said the school is a “complete outlier” and its positivity rate is 12 times the rest of the university.

“These distressing figures are so high that they have attracted the scrutiny of local public-health officials,” he said.

Harvard reported last week that 60 of the 74 COVID-19 cases have been among graduate students, faculty, and staff. The school also pointed out that 95 percent of those attending in-person classes have been vaccinated, and 96 percent of the staff have received both jabs.

Students at the business school were asked to stop “unmasked indoor activities, limit in-person interactions with others outside their household, move group gatherings online and cancel all travel.”

The Trends Journal has said in previous issues that COVID-19 infections need to be clearly distinguished from severe illness and death, but this is ignored by the media and politicians. 

Indeed, there is no mention of any student COVID deaths.

TREND FORECAST: When the COVID War was launched in February 2020 and universities and schools began shutting down, we noted it was the beginning of the upending of the industrial age education system that was long ready for a facelift and heralded in a new, more effective approach to education: online learning. (See “INDIA’S ONLINE-LEARNING AN INVESTMENT WINDFALL, SOLIDIFYING ‘INTERACTIVE U’ FORECAST IN TRENDS JOURNAL;” the 2017 article “INTERACTIVE-U: THE INDIA MODEL,” and the August 2020 article “INTERACTIVE U IN THE U.S.A.”)

Gerald Celente had forecast 25 years ago that online learning would replace the factory model education methods that got their footing in Prussia after the Napoleonic Wars. The coronavirus outbreak has shown that in-person learning can be replaced, which will only further accelerate the move to all-interactive learning.

TRENDPOST: Megan McArdle, a columnist for The Washington Post, wrote in response to Harvard's decision that MBA students at the prestigious school are “there to network with other MBAs and score interviews with elite firms, not to master course content. They may rebel at paying $100,000 a year to sit home and stare at a screen.”

COVID-19 has upended every aspect of our lives and those who are fastest to adapt will succeed, while those stuck in the pre-COVID business and school structure will become dinosaurs. 

Of course, it is hard to duplicate in-person networking (but not impossible); it is quite easy to replace the learning element. Gerald Celente wrote in 2017 that interactive learning “will revolutionize education and “the growth of the home education and Interactive-U trend will accelerate rapidly once tele-videophony or other comparable multimedia-interface technologies become available and affordable.”

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