sociology – A Day in the Life of a Pandemic

A Day in the Life of a Pandemic


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What does a day in the life of COVID-19 look like at different scales (i.e., personal, government response, cultural moments, etc.)?


In this assignment, you will examine a single day of the COVID-19 pandemic (either in the past or at the time of the assignment) from a wide range of perspectives. The idea is for students to:

a. develop their own records of these unprecedented events,

b. understand how the COVID-19 picture looks different from different scales and vantage points,

c. develop a timeline of COVID-19 which is couched within the larger socio-economic- political-cultural contexts, and

d. use their (inter)disciplinary tools (i.e., readings, films, etc.) to analyze this moment.


For example: March 11, 2020 was a significant date because the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, the U.S. announced that it would suspend most travel from Europe, financial markets plummeted, and Italy ordered nearly all businesses to close. These were important moments. But March 11 was also the date that the NBA suspended its season and that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced that they tested positive for COVID-19, which was a development that made the pandemic more real to many people in North America. Note that the date can be as early as January (for example, the first case of COVID-19 in the Canada was identified on January 25, 2020.)


You are encouraged to examine which moments were significant to you and why (e.g., How did that moment impact you? What else was going on that day?) in dialogue with the sources that you will use in your essay. The sources that you choose to include in your essay are supposed to help you to understand and analyze those moments from a sociological perspective.




1) You will pick one or two dates and explore what COVID-19 looked like at different scales including:

· Your own daily life

· International response

· Federal and/or provincial response

· Pop culture

· Sports

· News coverage (e.g. left leaning vs. right leaning)

· Popular songs

· Trending hashtags

I encourage that you focus on at least two scales in your essay.


2) You will build on, and draw from, at least 4 different sources (e.g. textbook chapters, lecture videos, podcasts, documentaries, etc.) from the class and one external source (e.g., news articles, ads, etc.) to inform you work.


3) You will submit your project in the folder “Course Project” under Course Assignments in the left menu on Blackboard.


General Guidelines and Formatting:


· The paper must be at least 5 and no more than 6 pages, excluding references.

· All papers must be submitted as a Word document using standard formatting (i.e., 12-point Times New Roman or 11-point Arial/Helvetica font, double spaced, 2.54 cm margins).

· You do not need a cover page. Just make sure that you have your name and the title of your research paper in the header on the first page and paginate your paper.

· You need a reference page listing your sources.

· Your paper should follow a general flow, so, make sure that you give consideration to writing your introduction, body and conclusion.

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