Anthropology Question

Assignment overview:

Create a 5 minute narrated Powerpoint or Google Slides presentation on an aspect of Covid-19. Due date: March 21. Will be submitted as a Canvas Assignment (submit link to be posted soon).


1. Select a Covid-19 topic. You can choose from this list of topics or formulate your own topic. If you formulate your own topic, you should run it by me first.

2. Research the topic. You should use at least three sources (not counting image sources) to prepare your presentation. Your sources should be newspaper articles, scientific journal articles, or websites from research institutes, health organizations or educational sites. Here is a link to a page I prepared to some Covid-19 sources and articles. Other sources such as blog posts and videos can be used if they properly report on and engage with scientific data. List all your sources, including sources for any images used on the last slide of your presentation. When selecting sources, please refer to these useful tips for evaluating sources by digital information literacy expert Mike Caulfield: “Sifting Through the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

3. Prepare your slide presentation and narration. You can use either Powerpoint or Google Slides. Suggested number of slides is 5-15, but can vary depending on the number of images, and amount of text included. You are not graded on the visual appearance of your presentation, but you are welcome to make it look as spiffy as you want! Presentation should be around 5 minutes in length, but it’s fine if yours is longer. Unless you are very good impromptu, I recommend writing out a script and practicing a bit before recording. Simply reading the words on the slides is not an effective presentation technique.

The topics have been organized into three main headings (in bold). The individual topics are the bulleted points, not the headings.

Virus basics and effects on the body

  • What are viruses? What are coronaviruses? Are viruses alive? Describe how the structure of the coronavirus help it enter the body and multiply.
  • Describe the process of how the Covid-19 virus affects the body from a cell/protein perspective. Which cell types and body systems are affected? If it is primarily a respiratory infection, why are so many other body systems affected?

Vaccines and Covid prevention

  • Describe how two of the vaccines (the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines) use new mRNA technology to produce immunity. Discuss the following specifically: how was the mRNA sequence developed, how does it enter the body, how it produces an immune response. Does the vaccine change your DNA? Briefly summarize how the clinical trials were conducted for either vaccine and the efficacy rates.
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a technology called the adenovirus vector. Describe how the technology works, including what an adenovirus vector is, how it results in the production of a protein, and how this triggers the human immune response. Briefly summarize how the clinical trials were conducted for this vaccine and the efficacy rates.
  • With the recent approval of multiple Covid vaccines, there has been discussion of which vaccine is “best.” Can the vaccines be directly compared to one another? Is there a way to objectively determine the best vaccine, and if so, what criteria should be used? How worrisome are the emerging Covid variants with regard to vaccine efficacy?
  • Reopening K-12 schools in California presents one of the biggest challenges at this moment. Based on scientific data, what steps do schools need to take to make it possible for schools to reopen safely? What modifications–plexiglass, surface cleaning, air circulation, masking, physical spacing, etc. are most essential to implement? (Note–you can also apply this question to Grossmont College, and consider what the college will need to do to reopen safely in the fall).

Covid from an evolutionary perspective

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