How to Think about COVID-19 like an M.D.

The curriculum, which was vetted by faculty members, provides a physician’s-eye view into the depths of the pandemic. It begins with first principles: the initial module covers virology and immunology. Readers are told that coronaviruses, in general, have the largest genomes of any RNA-based viruses that infect humans. And the curriculum details our prodigious ability to generate respiratory droplets through a sneeze (40,000 droplets) or cough (3,000) or just by talking (about 600 droplets per minute). A unit on epidemiology compares COVID-19 with the previous H1N1 flu pandemics of 1918 and 2009. Another module teaches how to don and doff personal protective equipment, and how to adjust the settings on a mechanical ventilator.