UBC to offer new course on how COVID-19 is impacting society

Jun 30 2020, 2:01 pm

The University of British Columbia (UBC) will be offering a COVID-19 course during the Fall 2020 semester.

The course, titled COVID-19 and Society, will be offered by the Department of Sociology, and according to the university, it is the first of its kind in Canada.

A statement from the school says the course will allow students to “learn more about the pandemic from an evidence-based, sociological perspective.”

One of the key takeaways involves students making connections between their own experiences with coronavirus and “larger social patterns occurring locally and globally.”

Students will study how the pandemic “exacerbated and exposed social inequalities,” changed social networks and daily interactions, and affected social institutions such as science, work, and healthcare.

There will also be more than 10 guest speakers and a number of interactive components.

Katherine Lyon, course instructor and developer, argues that “a lot of media coverage of COVID-19 focused on individualized risk, perpetuating a culture of distrust and fear.”

“I wanted to help re-shape the discussion and apply a collective and global lens to look at the issue,” she says in a release from the school.

The course filled up within a two-week period with 270 students registered and an additional 75 on the waitlist.

Lyon says “students are curious about interpreting their own experience of COVID-19 in light of larger social patterns.”

One of the final projects will include students working with a community partner to develop materials and recommendations to inform the public about coronavirus.

Wan Yee Lok, a spokesperson for the school, tells Daily Hive that while the faculty hasn’t discussed offering the course again during the Spring 2021 semester, “it is certainly possible if there is still demand.”