It is hard to see how science alone can end the pandemic without the rallying power of global diplomacy. The United States has played a leadership role in previous outbreaks, such as Ebola. It could play a similar role now to help consign the current pandemic to epidemic status.
As another extraordinary year draws to a close, we continue to believe that objective, nonpartisan research and analysis has a key role to play in navigating what continues to be a difficult time. Here are the 10 research projects that resonated most with rand.org readers in 2021.
Vaccine rollouts, an attack on the U.S. Capitol, massive ransomware attacks, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, record numbers of job openings and people quitting, and more. RAND researchers weighed in on all these topics and more.
The best RAND videos from the past year brought our research to life in new ways. From the sidewalks of Pittsburgh to preschools in the Middle East, see how people around the world are using RAND research to make their communities safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.
Collaborative technologies such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have transformed how we work, visit the doctor, and go to school. But can they also shift demographic trends in migration, fertility, morbidity, and mortality? And if so, how?
It's tempting to see in 2021 a harbinger of some permanent shift in our labor market, but that would be premature. What is clear is that we will never recreate the world of December 2019. The labor market in 2022 and beyond will reflect not only what workers learned from their pandemic experience, but also how employers and policymakers choose to respond.
Although it provided a foundation, the ACA alone could not have absorbed the effects of the pandemic's sudden job losses on health care coverage. Temporary expansions to the safety net enacted by Congress also were necessary to stem coverage loss. As the pandemic continues, policymakers will want to keep safety-net provisions as available policy options.
For three weeks in October and November, undergraduates from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College teamed up with Pardee RAND doctoral students to explore how vulnerable communities have fared during the pandemic and envision policies that might produce a more equitable recovery.
Overall, American support for sharing vaccines with other countries was high even before the Omicron variant. This may reflect recognition of the need to proactively address the pandemic beyond U.S. borders to truly be on the path to recovery.