2020-2021 COMPAS Program: COVID-19

COMPAS logo 2


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a level of economic, political, and social disruption that is unprecedented in recent memory. CEHV's 2020-2021 COMPAS program will address a wide range of fundamental ethical and political challenges raised by this public health crisis.

The COVID COMPAS will focus on three broad areas of concern:

  • Health care. How should we balance public health concerns against concerns about liberty and privacy? What has the current crisis taught us about inequalities of access and affordability in the American health care system?
  • The economy. How much is a life worth? How should we ration risk? How should we balance the value of public health against other important values? What has the current crisis taught us about the strengths and vulnerabilities of an interdependent global economy?
  • Democracy. What is the proper role of expertise and emergency powers in a democracy? How has the pandemic impacted voting and voting rights? What has the current crisis taught us about the relative merits of federal vs. centralized systems of government, or of authoritarian vs. democratic regimes?

The COVID-19 pandemic has also given all of us a chance to reflect on how we live our lives and what kind of world we want to live in. In keeping with the COMPAS program’s mission of promoting informed and civil discussion of controversial public issues, all events will feature a variety of perspectives on the issues at stake.

COMPAS Webinars in Spring 2021

[all webinars will be held from 1:00-2:00 pm EST/EDT]

  • February 5

Who's Essential? The Ethics of COVID Vaccination (video)

  • February 19

COVID in the Community (video)

  • March 5

Is This the New Normal? The Global Economy After COVID (video)

  • March 12

By the People or For the People? Authoritarian vs. Democratic Responses to COVID (video)

  • March 19

Where Should the Buck Stop? The Pros and Cons of Federalism in Public Health (video)


COMPAS Webinars in Autumn 2020

  • September 4

Lockdowns, Masks, and Social Distancing: The Politics of Public Health (video)

  • September 18

Testing, Quarantines, and Contact Tracing: Privacy in a Pandemic (video)

  • October 2

Who Gets Sick? Who Gets Care? Inequalities in COVID Outcomes (video)

  • October 16

Who’s Watching the Kids? School and Family in the Age of Zoom (video)

  • October 30

Who Voted for Dr. Fauci? Democracy and Expertise (video)

  • November 13

Can the Government Really Do That? Democracy and Emergency Powers (video)


COMPAS Photo Contest

See the winners of the 2021 COMPAS photography contest here.