A discussion course, open to CCS and L&S students.
COVID-19 is the disease of our time. It is altering our social behavior, and intruding into the American political process. It is affecting the economics of health care. Reacting to this disease, political actions, cultural practices, and economic forces are largely determining who shall live and who shall die.
We will first survey the history of COVID-19 – emphasizing its epidemiology, and seek a basic knowledge of its viral biology and pathology. We will examine its geographic spread and the roles of various risk groups in transmission. This will take us to the current day. Finally, we will carefully review the status of the COVID-19 epidemic in the USA today and contrast that with its status in other nations.
In the social part of the course, we will examine the politics of risk, compare national programs, review the role of information dissemination, and the economics of treatment and research. To ensure that all views are given fair weight, we will always begin with a simple analysis: What is the effect a particular policy or behavior on transmission risk? We will then discuss its socio-political context.
Students will present two short oral and written reports: the epidemiology of their home county, and of a nation of interest, analyses based on risk groups, geographic (spatial) details, and public health policies.
Throughout the course, we will discuss current events as they occur.
This discussion course is normed for 3 ungraded Upper Division units. Arrangements can be made for 1-6 units.
It will be taught at 3 simultaneous levels – for students with advanced knowledge of infectious disease, for beginning biology students, and as a general education course for non-biologists. Everyone brings something to the table in this disease of our time.