From COVID19: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Pandemic

This course will explore the current COVID-19 crisis from a variety of disciplinary perspectives that include biology, epidemiology, data science, history, politics, economics, sociology, literature, ethics, religion, arts, and more. The course will try to understand the aetiology (causes) and epidemiology (spread) of the virus, the various national and global responses to the pandemic, its dramatic economic and political consequences, the ways in which we gathered data, analyzed it, and visualize it in order to understand the magnitude of the pandemic, the ways in which wealth, class, and race had an effect in the responses to the pandemic, and the way in which information (and misinformation) spread like the virus itself. The course will also explore other themes such as the history of pandemics (from the black plague of the 14th century to the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 80s), the rise of the germ theory of disease, the development of public health policies to respond to pandemics, ethical issues surrounding the response to a health crisis, the effects of religion in cultural, and personal responses to the virus, and the way in which art and literature have portrayed pandemics.