Course Description

ONLINE: In this online course, students will learn directly from medical and public health experts from Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the region about what it has been like to deal with COVID-19 since early 2020. Experts in clinical infectious diseases, vaccine and treatment research and development, diagnostic and laboratory sciences, and public health will review the timeline of events, and how our knowledge has evolved. Students are expected to come prepared to engage these experts in a question and answer session during the latter part of each class. Dr. Hamilton will facilitate these discussions. | Lecture + Q&A.
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Section Title
COVID-19: In the Trenches
Online - Zoom
9:00AM to 10:15AM
Jan 27, 2022 to Mar 17, 2022
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Virtual Classroom  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Recommended reading: Michael Lewis, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story (9780393881554). Michael Lewis's book about the first year of COVID-19 is based on interviews with people who had been thinking about and preparing for the "next" big pandemic for years, as well as with local and national frontline public health workers. It provides a very interesting perspective.

Class 1: Dr. Cameron Wolfe, a Duke infectious diseases expert, will discuss the facts about coronaviruses, the spectrum of diseases they cause, symptoms and complications of COVID-19, and risk factors for severe disease. Class 2: Dr. Cameron Wolfe returns to discuss key concepts in hospital infection control and the challenges COVID-19 poses for hospital spread, including diagnostic testing protocols. He will describe the evolution of our understanding of masking and social distancing for disease control. Class 3: Dr. Jeffrey Engel, an infectious diseases expert who has served as the NC State Epidemiologist and then State Health Director, will discuss the US public health system’s response to COVID-19 and the impact of various policies. He will give his opinion about how things may evolve over the next year or two. Class 4: Dr. Chris Woods, a Duke infectious diseases expert and executive director of the Duke Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health, will discuss the global evolution of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of the World Health Organization in controlling the pandemic. He will offer his opinion about which countries have had success in containment, and why. Class 5: Dr. Emmanuel (Chip) Walter, the Duke Human Vaccine Institute's chief medical officer, will discuss the process of vaccine development and clinical testing, how companies developed COVID-19 vaccines so quickly. He will compare mRNA vaccines to traditional vaccines, and the impact of COVID-19 vaccines on disease severity, infection, and infectiousness. Class 6: Dr. Chris Polage, director clinical microbiology, Duke Health Clinical Laboratories, and Dr. Melissa Miller, director microbiology laboratory, UNC-Chapel Hill Hospitals, will describe COVID-19 diagnostic tests, typical steps in diagnostic testing development, and the effectiveness and availability of current tests in our community. Class 7: Dr. Peter Kussin, a Duke pulmonary expert/professor of internal medicine physician, will speak about an ethnographic study that included interviews with people working in and around intensive care units during COVID-19. Class 8: Dr. Jason Stout, an Duke infectious diseases and clinical trials/clinical research expert, has been tracking the pandemic by writing a weekly gestalt of COVID-19. Dr. Stout will wrap up our classes by providing pithy observations about where we have been, where we are going, and how COVID-19 will play out.