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Educational concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic center on how to effectively assemble, communicate, and assess material to be taught and learned. We believe that in advancing “the how” of remote, online, and related learning, we do not overlook “the what” that is to be learned, as well as other concerns. U.S. performance in combating the pandemic provides an exceptional opportunity to teach students data presentation, interpretation, and basic economic principles to better understand individual behavior, hopefully to improve future societal responses to pandemics. We believe an important factor in the persistence and rebound of the virus as it spreads from urban to rural areas is the presence of negative externalities associated with the failure to wear masks and socially distance. Additionally, the public good nature of virus-free air and public health may not be well understood. U.S. performance has been affected by a complex interaction of economic, social, and political behavior. Dissecting these influences would challenge students at all levels to learn about and discuss the economic considerations surrounding the pandemic.


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