Stanford Medicine educator Maya Adam’s coronavirus videos go viral

Two videos created by a Stanford Medicine educator MAYA ADAM are being used to teach people around the globe about how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Working on a video about how COVID-19 spreads, Adam aspired to produce something that would captivate people. A former ballet dancer, she knew the importance of holding an audience’s attention.

“We want to really engage them, make them stay in their seats,” said the assistant professor of pediatrics and director of health education outreach. “If we lose the audience, it’s game over.”

The short, animated video Adam and her collaborators created, Global COVID-19 Prevention, was so successful it attracted 1.2 million viewers within 10 days of its March 21 release on Stanford Medicine’s YouTube channel. Organizations in Guatemala and Sri Lanka have used it as a teaching tool, as have the U.S. Air Force and advocates in the deaf community.

The artists created a sequel, Staying Safe When COVID-19 Strikes, which Stanford Medicine released on April 22. It shows what to do if you become ill. Within 40 minutes of posting, it had garnered 3,300 views.

Adam began making health education videos when she spent a year in South Africa working with the country’s national department of health. There, she learned how to appeal to a broad audience: Keep the story simple, but interesting enough to hold attention.

“I like to call it healthflix,” she said. “If we can make our health education binge-worthy, we’ve really got something.”

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