Imperial College London free course on COVID-19

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Jon Tara

Apr 1, 2020, 3:03:59 PM4/1/20
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Coursera is currently offering quite a number of free courses - in software development and other areas - for us shut-ins!

One in particular that I'd like to draw attention to is:

    Science Matters: Let's Talk About COVID-19

It is offered by Imperial College London, Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics and features as speakers - among others - Professor Neil Ferguson, lead author of the "London Model" we have been hearing so much about in the news.

Not not to get political (see what I did there?) but there is a lot of misinformation being spread in social media about this model - such as statements that Ferguson "revised the projection" downward - which is just not true. These misinformed social media posts are taking best-case and worst-case (do nothing) projections, and claiming that the best-case is a "revision" which it is not. The model has always had a range of projections from worst case (do nothing) to best case (multiple containment and mitigation measures). In fact, subsequent to the publication of a number of apparently deliberately misleading articles, the model was revised UPWARD for best-case scenarios.

It is an eight week course, and is being developed as events play out. The course is currently in Week 3, and at this point should be easy to catch-up. There are weekly updates I believe every Thursday by leading experts. ("Week 2" is udated every week with a new situation report - it's a unique situation that Coursera did not envision!)

This is a beginner-level course, and I feel it would be approachable for anybody with some basic science education. That said, the report on the model is dense reading, but only 15 pages (with 5 pages of references!). I STRONGLY urge reading this paper!

There are two additional free courses offered from reputable sources that I will mention. I have signed up for both, but have not started them.

The latter has an optional certificate for $49. This gives 2 CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits. Unless you are a doctor or other health care worker who can use the CME credits, suggest you audit the course for free if interested. Pass along to any doctors or health care workers you may know. Word from a doctor I know who works at Scripps Green and County Mental Health, his co-workers have LOTS of questions and there is a lot of confusion.

I have not yet started these last two course, so cannot comment on them at this time.

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