Nov. 6, 2020

AUSTIN, Texas — St. Edward’s University is launching a free, online course for the community: “Staying Well in a Global Pandemic.”

In this three-part, three-hour course, academic experts lead an examination of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic through the lens of history, art and psychology. The course is aimed at helping individuals process the pandemic and its implications, and learn ways to better care for themselves and their communities during this challenging time.

Innovative faculty members at St. Edward’s originally designed the course for entering freshmen last summer. After seeing it resonate with students, the university has made the course available on YouTube so that people near and far can benefit.

The course is ideal for educators who are teaching similar topics in their classroom, college-bound students and adult learners. We encourage everyone to dive into the course, sharpen your critical thinking skills and learn how to stay well during this global pandemic.

To start the self-guided course, visit the St. Edward’s YouTube channel:

Part 1: https://youtu.be/Ax6QzdaWGX8

Part 2: https://youtu.be/s01cNiycPDs

Part 3: https://youtu.be/Qt1QFquj9QU

More about the course:

Part 1: People and Power: Plagues as Disrupters
Instructors:  Mity Myhr and Christie Wilson, professors of History
Time: 45 minutes

Description: This class session will investigate how plagues over time have disrupted society and even brought fundamental changes to societies impacted by their devastation. We will examine how they highlight social, political and economic inequalities, how they have the ability to tear down, build up or reinforce existing structures, and how such changes could endure. We will consider how similar forces might be at work in our own era of pandemic, questions that will be explored in depth over the rest of this course.

Part 2: Healing Power of the Arts: Coping, Community-Building and Re-Emergence
Instructors: Kathryn Eader, associate professor of Theater Design, and Michelle Polgar, managing director of Mary Moody Northen Theatre
Time: 60 minutes

Description: This class session will examine the healing power of art, taking an in-depth look at how communities have relied on art to help connect and cope during pandemics in the past and how our modern community has harnessed that power during Covid-19. Additionally, it will explore how the arts can help us emerge from our current environment. 

Part 3: Living with Unpredictability: Stress, Coping and Resilience during Covid-19
Instructors: Katy Goldey, associate professor of Behavioral Neuroscience  and Dr. Kadie Rackley, assistant professor of Psychology
Time: 60 minutes

Description: This session examines the impact of Covid-19 on psychological wellbeing. Right now, many people are grappling with anxiety caused by Covid-19 itself, the mental health implications of lost employment or disruption to routines, and loneliness. The term “quarantine fatigue” is becoming a popular way to describe feelings of physical and emotional exhaustion stemming from social distancing. This session will discuss why the pandemic is a unique stressor and the impact of stress on the body and brain. It will also discuss what we can do about it — concrete strategies based in social and behavioral science for students seeking to maintain social connections, mental health and academic performance during a global pandemic.

*Suggested reading and resources for each class: https://bit.ly/3ePw8SX

*If you are an educator and would like to access the complete six-part course, please email the Munday Library at archivist@stedwards.edu.