MIT Presents a Free Course on the COVID-19 Pandemic, Featuring Anthony Fauci & Other Experts

Most of us use the terms “coro­n­avirus” and “COVID-19” to refer to the pan­dem­ic that has gone around the world this year. We do know, or can fig­ure out, that the for­mer term refers to a virus and the lat­ter to the dis­ease caused by that virus. But do we know the full name “severe acute res­pi­ra­to­ry syn­drome coro­n­avirus 2,” or “SARS-CoV­‑2” for short? We will if we take the online course “COVID-19, SARS-CoV­‑2 and the Pan­dem­ic,” which MIT is mak­ing avail­able to the gen­er­al pub­lic free online. We’ll also learn what makes both the virus and the dis­ease dif­fer­ent from oth­er virus­es and dis­eases, what we can do to avoid infec­tion, and how close we are to an effec­tive treat­ment.

All this is laid out in the course’s first lec­ture by Bruce Walk­er, direc­tor of the Ragon Insti­tute of Mass­a­chu­setts Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal, MIT and Har­vard. Walk­er intro­duces him­self by telling us how he grad­u­at­ed from med­ical school when HIV was at its height in Amer­i­ca, tim­ing that placed him well for a career focused on dead­ly viral dis­eases.

The course’s com­plete line­up of guest lec­tur­ers, all of them list­ed on its syl­labus, includes many oth­er high-pro­file fig­ures in the field of epi­demi­ol­o­gy, immunol­o­gy, vac­cine devel­op­ment, and relat­ed fields: Har­vard’s Michael Mina, Yale’s Akiko Iwasa­ki, the Broad Insti­tute’s Eric Lan­der, and — per­haps you’ve heard of him — the Nation­al Insti­tute of Aller­gy and Infec­tious Dis­eases’ Antho­ny Fau­ci (find his ses­sion below).

“COVID-19, SARS-CoV­‑2 and the Pan­dem­ic” began last Tues­day, and its lec­tures, which you’ll find uploaded to this Youtube playlist, will con­tin­ue week­ly until Decem­ber 8th. Even if you have no back­ground in med­i­cine, biol­o­gy, or sci­ence of any kind, don’t be intim­i­dat­ed: as lead­ing pro­fes­sors Richard Young and Facun­do Batista empha­size, this course is meant as an intro­duc­to­ry overview.

And as Bruce Walk­er’s first lec­ture demon­strates, it’s not just open to the gen­er­al pub­lic but geared toward the under­stand­ing and con­cerns of the gen­er­al pub­lic as well. Tak­ing it may not reas­sure you that an end to the pan­dem­ic lies just around the cor­ner, but it will give you clear­er and more coher­ent ways to think about what’s going on. The virus and dis­ease involved are still incom­plete­ly under­stood, after all — but thanks to these and oth­er researchers around the world, get­ting bet­ter under­stood every day.

“COVID-19, SARS-CoV­‑2 and the Pan­dem­ic” will be added to our list, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

via Kot­tke

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Cours­es on the Coro­n­avirus: What You Need to Know About the Emerg­ing Pan­dem­ic

Watch “Coro­n­avirus Out­break: What You Need to Know,” and the 24-Lec­ture Course “An Intro­duc­tion to Infec­tious Dis­eases,” Both Free from The Great Cours­es

Inter­ac­tive Web Site Tracks the Glob­al Spread of the Coro­n­avirus: Cre­at­ed and Sup­port­ed by Johns Hop­kins

Why Fight­ing the Coro­n­avirus Depends on You

Use Your Time in Iso­la­tion to Learn Every­thing You’ve Always Want­ed To: Free Online Cours­es, Audio Books, eBooks, Movies, Col­or­ing Books & More

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

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Comments (3)
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  • Sheryl G Pincus says:

    I just lis­tened to Dr. Bruce Walk­er’s lec­ture. Excel­lent.

    But I have ques­tions for the med­ical experts: Are the cur­rent avail­able anti­body tests accu­rate, or are the too many false pos­i­tives and false neg­a­tives? What’s in the pipeline for a more accu­rate test?

  • Alice says:

    If i study this course as of March 2021, do I get a cer­tifi­cate

  • Okoli Chika Leona says:

    I am a bio­med­ical sci­en­tist doing mas­ter in clin­i­cal chem­istry and mol­e­c­u­lar diagono­sis. My research work is on Assess­ment of cytokine, immuno­log­i­cal and Hema­to­log­i­cal para­me­ters on SARS COV 2 indi­vid­u­als.

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