COVID-19 Basics

Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic

Insights from Johns Hopkins University Experts

Johns Hopkins University is hosting a free, publicly available course titled Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from Johns Hopkins University Experts. This course is set up as a series of short modules to explore the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration is not required. The modules build on each other. The course begins with a discussion of the virus that causes COVID-19 and works its way to the pandemic’s broader implications for society. This course features original content that was created after the imposition of social distancing measures.


Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe characteristics of the COVID-19 disease, including how it is diagnosed and treated
  • Understand the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, and emerging trends throughout the world
  • Discuss societal challenges raised by COVID-19 and opportunities to address them

Course Modules:

Module 1:

Virology, Coronaviruses, and COVID-19

Your Instructor: Claire Marie Filone, PhD

Dr. Filone works at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She is a virologist who has spent her career studying some of the most dangerous viruses known to mankind in biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratories. Her research has focused on how viruses interact with humans and animals, with the goal of understanding how viruses work and designing new treatments.

Module 2:

Diagnosing, Treating, and Preventing COVID-19

Your Instructor: Jason Farley, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN

Jason Farley is a professor of nursing, an infectious disease-trained nurse epidemiologist, and a nurse practitioner in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing and Medicine.
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Module 3:

Medical Therapies and Vaccines in Development

Your Instructor: Dr. Ruth Karron, pediatrician, vaccinologist, and professor

Dr. Ruth Karron is a professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She directs the Center for Immunization Research and the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative.

Module 4:

Epidemiology: Understanding the Spread of COVID-19

Your Instructor: Jennifer Nuzzo, epidemiologist and senior scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Dr. Nuzzo is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. An epidemiologist by training, Dr. Nuzzo’s research focuses on global health security, including biosurveillance and outbreak detection and response.

Module 5:

Public Health Responses to COVID-19

Your Instructor: Crystal Watson, Assistant Professor Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Watson is an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Dr. Watson discusses the role of public health in understanding and managing infectious disease outbreaks, including COVID-19.