From Julie Adam on December 16th, 2020
As a medical doctor and professor, Mugur Geana has a unique perspective of the pandemic. Eight months after Covid-19 hit the United States and KU went online, Geana talks about how “pandemic fatigue” started to show with many people no longer taking CDC guidelines seriously. According to three national surveys conducted by Geana between April and September 2020, people feel informed about COVID, but behavior has become more polarized over that time span.
Looking back to March, he was surprised at the United States’ delayed response to the pandemic and the polarization among Americans amidst a health crisis. Because Geana’s area of interest is health communication to underserved populations, he was sure to keep his students well-informed about the pandemic once KU decided to finish the spring 2020 semester virtually. This semester, he is teaching Journalism 460: Research Methods in an asynchronous format, which he says has decreased participation and engagement among students. On a more positive note, however, Geana thinks the pandemic has strengthened the relationship between faculty and administration, which he hopes will continue into future semesters.