You may be encountering a world unlike any other generation. The public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a context of pervasive uncertainty, heightened anxiety, and social isolation that overlaps with a critical time of your own learning and development. The COVID-19 pandemic also has exacerbated long-standing inequalities and disparities, and recent events in the United States have laid bare historical and current realities of racism and systemic oppression. These challenges make starting college complicated in unprecedented ways, compounded by the fact that our university settings are themselves complex and rapidly changing. These challenges also present unique opportunities for interdisciplinary and practical learning.
This course aims to help you navigate this world and the new conditions for learning with knowledge and skill. We designed the course with participatory methods, which means that we asked students to take a key role as partners with faculty in designing the course content, structure, and learning experiences. Together, we sought to integrate faculty expertise with the perspectives and experiences of students to make the course material relevant to your life.
In this class, we will explore perspectives on disease and society and on systemic racism and inequality with scholars in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, education, communications and media, and engineering. Engaging these disciplines to examine the complex problems of the global pandemic and systemic racism will help you build conceptual and practical skills that you will use throughout college and beyond.
In conjunction with investigating health and social crises, new and ongoing, we also will explore the science and practice of individual and community wellness. You will learn skills relevant to emotions, relationships, common mental health concerns, and learning in the age of Zoom and remote classes. You will learn practices of cooperation, compassion, and anti-racism for community wellness.
Welcome to Health, Society, and Wellness in COVID-19 Times!
An Orientation to Health, Society, and Wellness in COVID-19 Times
This course was originally designed with undergraduates who are just beginning college in mind. They are unique in starting college during the COVID-19 pandemic and are encountering a world unlike any other generation. These challenges make starting college complicated in unprecedented ways, and this course was designed to help them navigate this world and these new conditions for learning with knowledge and skill.
Mental Health and Well-Being in COVID-19 Times
The ways we connect with others have been dramatically disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For our safety, we must remain physically distant from others, and across this module we learn how to stay connected to others and ourselves.
The Public Health Response and Transmission of the COVID-19 Virus
We hope that this module will first allow you to be an informed consumer of public health guidance and reflect on the context of public health challenges and actions that impact our lives as members of your community, the country, and the world. Second, we hope this module will equip you to think critically about models that are shared by media or public agencies as well as about how actions by and characteristics of individuals and communities can impact the future course of COVID-19.
Social Inequities and COVID-19
Module Four asks learners to thoughtfully consider the social inequities perpetuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.