COVID-19 Speaker Series, April 28 through May 1

Hands with blue gloves holding a face mask.

Explore different aspects of the current pandemic at the COVID-19 Speaker Series, daily from Tuesday, April 28, to Friday, May 1, via Zoom.

The series will feature UH West Oʻahu scholars speaking at a total of seven sessions, with topics including “Mathematics of a Pandemic,” “Hawaiʻi’s Economy 3.0,” and “Fake Health News in the Midst of a Pandemic.” Can’t make it to the live event? Each session will be recorded and posted to the UH West Oʻahu Library YouTube channel. All videos will be uploaded and available to view by Tuesday, May 5.

The sessions are:

  • I’ve Got the COVID Blues with Dr. Ricardo Custodio, noon to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28. A clinically-oriented, informational presentation on the COVID-19 virus and pandemic, as told through story, pictures, music, and some humor.
  • Mathematics of a Pandemic with Dr. Kamuela Yong, 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 28. During times like these, we are presented with a lot of information and numbers. It can be difficult to understand what we are hearing in the news. We will discuss the math behind a pandemic to understand how deadly and contagious a disease is, as well as the math behind vaccines.
  • Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain!: How has COVID-19 Magnified Existing Health Disparities? with Dr. Kauʻi Baumhofer, noon to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29. A short discussion of existing racial and ethnic health disparities in chronic illnesses both in Hawaiʻi and the continental U.S, and how the novel coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating these disparities.
  • Changes in Health Care Delivery and Policy Due to Coronavirus Pandemic with Dr. Lynette Williamson, 12:30 to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 29. This session will focus on the current changes in health care delivery, which includes telemedicine and the U.S. policy changes due to the pandemic. Those policy changes include the CARES act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Background and historical information will also be provided to give context.
  • Hawaiʻi’s Economy 3.0 with Dr. Thomas Scheiding and Dr. Holly Itoga, 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 30. An introduction to the fiscal and monetary policies that have been implemented to deal with the current health care crisis and what is the economic forecast for Hawaiʻi and the U.S. How COVID-19 is affecting Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry, and proposals to utilize this time for revitalization within Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry, and the overall ability to pivot proactively.
  • Fake Health News in the Midst of a Pandemic with Alphie Garcia and Carina Chernisky, 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 30. This session will examine the spread of fake health news during the current coronavirus pandemic, and identify ways that the public can protect themselves from the proliferation of false and misleading information.
  • The Power of Prevention: Mirroring the Work of UH Professor Alice Ball to Address Disease Prevention with Dr. Camonia Graham-Tutt, 1 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 1. This session will highlight the work of Alice Ball, the first African-American female Chemistry Professor at UH and her scientific contributions to fighting the spread of leprosy in Hawaiʻi. The discussion will also include the importance of the “Ball Method,” in relation to disease prevention.

The public is encouraged to register. Information about each session, and how to register, can be found at

For more information, contact Kamuela Yong at or Carina Chernisky at

Event flyer.
Images courtesy of Pixabay and UHWO Staff