SSCI E-126A The Coronavirus Pandemic: The Fight to Save the World
COVID-19, the worst pandemic in one hundred years, has rapidly transformed the globe, turning our most routine activities, like going to the grocery store or shaking someone's hand, into matters of life and death. It has exposed the weaknesses of healthcare systems worldwide and forced horrifying decisions about how to ration resources and care for the dying when families and chaplains are not allowed in the room. This course examines the existential threat of COVID-19 to the entire world through the four elements of fighting pandemic disease: staff, stuff, space, and systems. We use those elements to analyze and contrast the outbreak and response in the United States, China, Italy, and South Korea. While drawing analogies to previous global epidemics, such as AIDS and Ebola, we examine the constraints and opportunities to fight the novel coronavirus as medical problems that are products of political, economic, and imaginative limits. Classes frequently feature remote question and answer sessions with guest speakers working on the front lines, which allows the course to keep pace with the rapid developments of COVID-19.